Austin native has ‘green’ internship

Published 8:39 am Saturday, July 4, 2009

Luther College student and Austin resident Natalie Baudler is taking on a city-wide internship this summer for Creation Care, a method of involving theological perspective into becoming “green.” Six churches are coming together for the ecumenical purpose of bringing faith into reducing the community-wide carbon footprint.

“This internship will be perfect for Austin,” Baudler said. “I’m excited to get started and wee how much of a difference a single summer can make.  Austin has a lot of potential and a lot of enthusiastic people who are eager to live a ‘greener’ lifestyle.”

What started out as a combustion of ideas developed by members of Luther College, the Lutheran Coalition for Public Policy in Minnesota (LCPPM), Pastor Kristi Koppel at St. Olaf, and Pastor Glenn Monson at Our Savior’s, is now a full-fledged project packed into three short months.

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In a three-step process, Baudler hopes to bring together the faith communities in their common care for God’s creation. The first phase of the internship will be to build a theological understanding of earthkeeping principles with weekly bible studies.

The bible studies, “Awakening to God’s call to Earthkeeping,” start today at St. Olaf Lutheran Church at 7 p.m. In four sessions, Baudler hopes to encourage, empower and equip communities of faith in their calling to care for creation, an essential component of religious faith and witness.

Also incorporated into this internship is Austin’s “Park It” campaign to reduce vehicle miles traveled, which begins July 12.

While reducing the community-wide carbon footprint, Baudler hopes to take it a step further and campaign for this on the state and national level.