Rev. Dr. David Carlson, Co-Chair, NE-MN EcoFaith Network
The Rev. Dr. David Carlson is pastor of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Duluth, MN and co-chair of the Northeastern MN Synod EcoFaith Network. Originally from Denver, CO, he holds theological degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary, the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and Luther Seminary. "Earth Stewardship and the Missio Dei: Participating in the Care and Redemption of All God Has Made" is the title of his Doctor of Ministry thesis, which he defended in 2016. Pastor Dave believes the church in general and Lutherans in particular are well suited to help society address ecological needs and the problems of climate change, and that congregations are ideal settings for modeling the kind of earth stewardship needed for a more sustainable world.
Rev. Kristin Foster, Co-Chair, NE-MN EcoFaith Network
Over the course of her ministry, Rev. Kristin Foster served in school settings in Virginia and New Hampshire, and parishes in Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh) and Minnesota (Cloquet and Mountain Iron, where she served over three decades). A graduate of Yale Divinity School, she has always looked for the intersections between Word and world, between the Gospel and the grit of life. Over three decades as pastor of Messiah Lutheran Church in Mountain Iron, she developed several church-based community initiatives, including the Iron Range Partnership for Sustainability, as well as the interfaith, ecumenical Congregations Caring for the Earth.
Officially “retired” since 2020, she has channeled her deep concern for the environmental crisis and her passion for bringing people together for the common good into the work of the EcoFaith Network. With co-chairperson the Rev. Dr. David Carlson, she leads a team of 20 people in finding ways to mentor leaders and nurture a growing network of congregations and other companions in living out God’s call to be stewards of the earth for the sake of the whole creation. She is the founding editor and coordinator
of the Green Blades Preaching Roundtable.
Rev. Bob Lehner Co-Chair, Saint Paul Area Synod Care of Creation Work Group
Pastor Bob Lehner is a retired ELCA pastor living in Vadnais Heights, a suburb of St. Paul. He grew up on a farm in central Minnesota and, as an ordained pastor, served several congregations in the Southwestern Minnesota Synod, the most rural synod in the ELCA. He is a husband; father; grandfather; brother; neighbor; and resident of God's good earth. He is currently a member of Christ, the Servant Lutheran Church in Vadnais Heights and a member of the Care of Creation Work Group of the St. Paul
Don Schuld, Co-Chair, Saint Paul Area Synod Care of Creation Work Group
Always a big fan of water, forests, mountains and plains, that passion was sidelined by 40 years in education; ten years as a school psychologist followed by 30 years as a public school administrator of birth – age 21 special services (special education, health services and alternative programs). Semi-retirement in 2016 and full retirement in 2020, allowed for the investment of time and energy in his passion for the environment, second only to family. Volunteering for civic organizations such as Sustainable Stillwater was a first step. In 2018 he was afforded the opportunity to lead the St Paul Area Synod Care of Creation Work Group. Combining a passion for the environment with God’s call to care for and nurture the gifts of our Earth, makes for a powerful message. Don continues to co-chair this group as well as the Care of Creation Team for Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Stillwater. In addition, he chairs the Climate/Environmental Action Team for Stillwater Sunrise Rotary and is currently a member of Lutheran Advocacy Minnesota Policy Board.
Don has been married for 49 years to Charlotte, a former art and music teacher who is currently a landscape artist, painting God’s creation in hopes others will look at it and care for it. They have been residents of Stillwater, MN for the past 23 years and prior to that time, spent 20 years in the Fairmont and Blue Earth areas of southern Minnesota. Both grew up in North Dakota. Together they have two children and four grandchildren. Their future, and the future of all people, is a constant motivator.
Rachel Wyffels, EcoFaith Network Communication Coordinator
Rachel Wyffels is a current candidate for ministry of word and sacrament in the Minneapolis Area Synod, studying in the Master of Divinity program at Luther Seminary. She began to work with the EcoFaith Network in an official capacity as Communication Coordinator in July 2022.
Before EcoFaith, she worked as a Hunger Advocacy Fellow with ELCA Advocacy. Rachel is a graduate of St. Olaf College, where she was president of the St. Olaf Student Congregation for two terms. In her free time, she loves to play violin and sing, knit, and spend time with her dog.