Cool Davis is always pleased to welcome another faith group into the fold. Many members of the Lutheran Church of the Incarnation have supported Cool Davis since its beginnings, and recently the church formalized its relationship as a coalition partner. Welcome!
From Pastor Dan’s perspective, “Just bringing us into community with other organizations with sustainability as part of their mission will help to strengthen our resolve.”
The mission of the church is “to be an inclusive, multi-generational congregation living in the grace of God, and a sanctuary that equips us for service in the community while bringing the Good News to all.” Pastor Dan Smith is most proud of meeting the spiritual needs of his congregation and community, providing food and workers to the Interfaith Rotating Winter Shelter, and encouraging and facilitating support for a number of local, national, and international ministry partners.
Helping Local Partners
Cool Davis has been grateful to be one of those chosen local partners. The Lutheran Church of the Incarnation came forward with a generous donation for the first Cool Davis Festival in addition to finding enthusiastic volunteers to help. Since the 2010 Festival, church members have continued to participate as steadfast volunteers in Cool Davis festivals, and the church has been a regular donor as well!
In addition to expanding their witness throughout the Davis community, this church plans to further develop a “green” strategy and ministry. Soon they plan to renovate the facility to lower their carbon footprint as much as possible and establish sustainable, ongoing practices such as extensive recycling.
Perhaps partly because he has two young children, Pastor Dan Smith is completely dedicated to earth stewardship which he believes has solid biblical roots. His ministry celebrates and emphasizes the importance of protecting creation. His Earth Day sermons are most impressive, and he has already prepared an Earth Day editorial for the Enterprise for 2013. In his own words, “We practice what we preach.”
We need a multi-layered approach to this problem that recognizes both our own complicity in environmental degradation, while at the same time demanding that our political leaders help us to have access to better choices.
Here’s how Pastor Dan responded to Bill McKibben’s April 2012 visit to Davis. “…As Mr. McKibben said, doing the right thing for the environment in our own personal lives, using less energy, recycling, and eating more local and more vegetarian are all necessary but insufficient. He’s right. We need a multi-layered approach to this problem that recognizes both our own complicity in environmental degradation, while at the same time demanding that our political leaders help us to have access to better choices.”
Pastor Dan added, “Many of us want to do the right thing, but we don’t know how, or can’t imagine a different future. If we are part of the problem, that means we can also be part of the solution. Perhaps our most important asset right now is the imagination to see things in a new light and live differently with planet earth. From my perspective, I don’t see any way around it.”
Being part of a larger community
Despite Pastor Dan’s commitment, the congregation sometimes lacks a clear focus to move forward in their green ministry. Parishioner Kristin Heinemeier and Pastor Dan believe, “being part of a larger “green” community such as Cool Davis will help us to focus our efforts. Just bringing us into community with other organizations with sustainability as part of their mission will help to strengthen our resolve.”
“Being part of a larger “green” community such as Cool Davis will help us to focus our efforts.”
Kristin sets an impressive example herself. She joined the Cool California Challenge group and attended planning meetings last fall and winter until the program launched. She spearheaded the faith groups challenge to get people signed up online in a competition. This winter she helped us organize the interfaith “Climate Crisis Conference: Putting Faith into Action,” including recruiting Pastor Dan to lead a song accompanied by his own guitar as well as lead a discussion group.
Kristin definitely puts her beliefs into practice. She took her two young “radical” sons to the Forward on Climate rally against the Keystone XL Pipeline in San Francisco on February 17, wanting her sons to be part of the climate movement.
It’s exciting to add new members to the Cool Davis Coalition, and the Lutheran Church of the Incarnation is already an active part of Cool Davis.