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EcoFaith Summit 2024
Cross+Currents in the Flood: Building Arcs Together for a Livable Planet

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EcoFaith Summit 2024 Report


Photos by Arthur Goodman, First Lutheran, Duluth

Duluth, MN – On Saturday, April 6, 2024, over 300 people (229 in person and 102 online) attended the 8th annual EcoFaith Summit at First Lutheran Church in Duluth.   This year’s theme, Cross Currents in the Flood: Building Arcs Together for a Livable Planet, was inspired by the book by Dr. Larry Rasmussen (The Planet you Inherit: Letters to My Grandchildren When Uncertainty’s a Sure Thing) and a myriad floods: literal floods and extreme weather disasters, floods of misinformation, as well as debilitating floods of anxiety and hopelessness.  Attendees confronted the reality of the climate crisis, listened for God’s call, and conspired for life across generations.  We experienced a powerful call to active hope which arose from the morning keynote presentations and respon, original music, worship service of water and life, a series of themed workshops (arc-building sessions) and a wide ranging array of displays.


Dr. Rasmussen delivered powerful messages calling us to keen awareness of the deepening crisis for earth’s creatures and the movement from ego- to eco-centric consciousness.  He interwove the cold facts of these life-altering realities with humor, and emphasized the both/and of "savoring and saving" what remains of the beauty of life on this planet.  Equally powerful, two young responders – a Duluth 6th grader and an Augsburg University senior, Carson Vincent - moved us as they described their fears and cries for hope, as exemplified in this statement: “For young adults, it can feel like we’re staring down the barrel of the current climate crisis with no idea how to respond and it’s easy to get lost in this feeling.  So I’m interested in connecting with others facing the same fears.” 


The afternoon was filled with arc-building sessions to equip ourselves and our communities for ways of building arcs through individual and community action to tackle the climate crisis.  These ranged from awareness of incentives available through the inflation reduction act, effective political advocacy, graceful conversations about climate in the divisive world we live, connecting and re-discovering our spiritual arc with water, building sanctuaries with pollinator gardens, building intergenerational arcs, and dealing with climate grief and mental health.


It was a day of boldly uniting as Christians to gather strength to go out into our communities and live our faith in raising awareness and demanding change for the sake of the planet future generations will inherit.


The Summit was co-presented by the Northeastern Minnesota Synod EcoFaith  Network, the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin Creation Care, and the Saint Paul Area Synod Care of Creation Work Group.


Summit Partners included: Augsburg University, Calvary Lutheran, Willmar, Minnesota, A Community Called Grace, Lutheran Campus Ministry – Bemidji State, English Lutheran, Bateman, Wisconsin, The Ministry Lab, Lutheran Advocacy-Minnesota, Lutheran Campus Ministry at University of Minnesota – Duluth, Lutheran Campus Ministry at University of Minnesota, Lutherans Restoring Creation, Luther Park Bible Camp– Chetek, Wisconsin, Luther Seminary, Minneapolis Area Synod ELCA EcoFaith Network, Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light, Northwestern Minnesota Synod ELCA Creation Care Team, Southeastern Minnesota Synod ELCA, St. Olaf College, Southwestern Minnesota Synod ELCATogether Here Ministries, United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, and Voyageurs Lutheran Ministry.

About the Summit 2024

The year 2023 was the hottest year on record. The climate crisis is no longer a future we are trying to avert. This crisis is upon us like a flood. We feel caught up in its cross currents that threaten to sweep us away and pull us under.  We are overwhelmed by myriad floods: literal floods and other disasters that threaten our existence, floods of information and misinformation, as well as debilitating floods of anxiety and hopelessness.


At the same time, we are being carried forward on the Spirit-led cross currents toward new possibilities and new life.  As in the waters of baptism, this journey involves both death and resurrection.  By acting together with an ever-expanding circle of companions, we discover signs of hope.


As we build these relationships, we are building arcs that become the Ark necessary for survival. We build arcs of relationship connecting generations, crossing boundaries, and healing divisions.  We build arcs that lead us to Indigenous ways and wisdom. We repair the broken arc between us and the whole community of creation. We build arcs together from problems to solutions, from fossil fuels to sustainable energy, from extractive economy to regenerative economy.  As we build these arcs, we look to the rainbow – the arc of promise.


Throughout this journey, questions abound: How can we unite in the face of this flood?  How can we listen more closely to the cries of creation and to the promises of God? How do we respond in life-sustaining ways?  What other questions do we bring?

Summit Goals

Confront the reality of the climate crisis.

Listen for God’s call through the cries of the world.

Conspire for life across generations.

Equip communities for action.

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