Kim Winchell is a Diaconal Minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) serving the North/West Lower Michigan Synod. Her focus is on "earthkeeping ministry" and providing resources on religious-environmental issues to clergy and laity.
Kim has been a particularly enthusiastic and active RENEWAL Circle member. On Tuesday, March 18th, she screened four segments of RENEWAL to a group of ELCA clergy in her area. She hoped to introduce this film to clergy who could then share it with their congregations and inform them of the depth and breadth of the religious environmental movement. Kim reported significant success for her goals with nearly all of the clergy requesting copies of the film when they are available. The feedback was twofold with concern not only for political activism (fueled by the mountaintop removal segment) but practical responses as well (desires to replicate the GreenFaith activities). She noted that the responses to the film might be fueled by the high profile political climate leading up to the November presidential election.
Kim is particularly active in the Michigan area and will be giving a keynote speech to thirty United Church of Christ congregational representatives on April 20. She plans to work in segments of RENEWAL into her speech and will recommend the DVD to attendees. From April 10-13, Kim will be attending an Ecumenical Round Table at Ghost Ranch, NM, with numerous attendees from mainline Protestant denominations. This year's meeting will focus on climate change and energy policy, drawing from the working faith and science groups of each denomination. Kim hopes to screen portions of the film here, but will share it with those with whom she comes in contact. Finally, in June, Kim will be attending the Illinois ELCA Annual Assembly. The Lutheran Youth Organization will be holding a conference concurrently. Kim is being invited to organize the content of this youth conference and will build it around environmental themes. We hope that she shares this interactive material with the RENEWAL Circle.
A long time environmental minister, Kim finds great value in RENEWAL. She said that this is a fresh voice to support her on-going work. She finds great support from this film, adding, "It's not just me bringing the message!" RENEWAL has helped her make and strengthen environmental inroads into the Lutheran community. She is also the author of a study guide on earthkeeping for the ELCA entitled "Awakening to God's Call to Earthkeeping." We hope to share some of this on our RENEWAL Project websites in the future.