As a child, I instinctively felt an intimate connection between the natural sacred places of my youth and my own small self, a connection that felt deeply violated whenever I helplessly witnessed the destruction of these wild landscapes. Coinciding with this arc of strengthening ecological awareness was another arc intersecting and intertwining along the way. It was the arc of my theological awareness and sense of call to ministry. After becoming an ordained minister I found ways to integrate my Earth-concerns with my ministry through preaching, teaching adults, youth and Confirmation students, and through my initiation and implementation of an Eco-ministry committee within the church. It was a natural move, then, to formally join these two arcs into one as I began doctoral studies at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.
As a Lutheran homiletician concerned with ecological justice issues, I am called to speak, indeed, to preach, to offer my voice to speak for and with the trees, the wildlife, and Earth herself. And more, to educate others in the art of conversing with the natural world and engaging in theological reflection within that context, so that a Word may be preached which proclaims God’s liberation for human and non-human alike. It is with this conviction – that preaching can help give new life to God’s Earth, and that God’s Earth can give new life to preaching – that I undertake my work.