Dennis Groce was confirmed as a member of the LAMPa Policy Council by vote of the Northwest PA Synod Assembly in June, 2021. Dennis and his wife Marcia have been members of St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in North East, PA (Erie County) since 2006. In addition to congregational roles, Dennis is the current chairperson of the NWPA Synod Green Team. The Green Team carries out educational and advocacy work with NWPA Synod congregations, members, and communities regarding the expression of our faith through creation care.

Dennis grew up in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri and has degrees in civil engineering, public health, and occupational safety and health. Most of his career was spent in the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, working for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His work at CDC, based at a laboratory in Morgantown, WVi, focused primarily on occupational health research across the United States that assessed job-related exposures to harmful substances and physical agents. That information, along with health evaluations carried out by others at CDC, led to recommendations for limits on working conditions.

“Dennis is no stranger to LAMPa,” said Director Tracey DePasquale. “He is an active and trusted advocate who has testified on matters of environmental stewardship at the federal and state levels. We are grateful that he accepted this call to serve, and look forward to his leadership, especially as LAMPa helps disciples respond faithfully to the challenges before us related to climate change.”

Advocacy as part of discipleship

“These are such difficult times – different in tone and urgency from anything in my lifetime,” Dennis said. “The world is facing a monumental existential challenge to address climate change and other environmental matters. At the same time, we have burning issues related to nutrition, health care, racial and gender disparities in financial and physical well-being, and now…the pandemic. This is not a time when we can assume that “someone” will do the right thing. We must do the right thing. I feel an inspired urgency to act out of faith. We are extremely fortunate to have LAMPa to help raise awareness and lead advocacy for legislation in so many areas, bringing our faith to the public square. In that process, LAMPa brings strength to Christians and others. We must each look within our faith to discern what we can do as individuals and as a part of the body of Christ.”

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