"The earth is the Lord's.."
TheLuther Memorial encourages greater awareness and joyful fulfillment of our mandate to become wise stewards of God’s creation. We seek to raise consciousness about the many actions we can take—as a church, as members of society, and as individual citizens—to reduce our impact on the Earth.
For 2023, the Tapestry Team of the Virginia Synod now has four focus groups to address social justice issues throughout the year: Racial Justice, LGBTQIA+ Inclusion, Care of Creation Justice, and Justice for Women. Thanks to the Tapestry Team for providing the following resources:
Luther Memorial Lutheran Church is now the home of a new recycling project administered by The Alleghany Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). This DAR chapter elected to take part in a recycle program offered by the Trex Company for their community service project in 2022. Their goal is to collect 500 pounds of plastic film packaging which local community recycling programs do not usually accept. Once 500 pounds are collected, the materials are sent to Trex, who will create a bench from the recycled materials and return it to us. Benches received from this project will be located on the grounds of Luther Memorial Lutheran Church, where they will be available to anyone in the community as a place for rest and meditation. Other organizations in the New River Valley have participated in this program with enormous success.
The collection box for this recycling program is in the back of the Luther Memorial fellowship hall. Items that qualify for recycling in this program include produce bags, grocery bags, bread bags, dry cleaning bags, overwrap from toilet paper or paper towels, and any bag with a recycle symbol of 2 or 4. All items should be clean and dry. Click here for more information on recyclable materials.
The purpose of the areas (marked above by a red "X") include intentionally planting native pollinator plants in the midst of a no mow area
as well as observing naturally returning plants to the area. The immediate objectives are to reduce regular mowing on a portion of our property
to lower our carbon emissions, reduce storm water runoff, improve soil health, aid pollinators with host and nectar native plants, increase
successful song bird clutches by increasing the number and diversity of caterpillars and provide a dynamic way to educate and enjoy creation
on our property for congregation members and the community.
Luther Memorial has an extensive property surrounding the church buildings. The majority of this property is turf lawn that requires constant mowing during the growing season. Mowed grass lawns have become an urgent environmental problem. The CreationCare committee wants to reduce the congregation's environmental impact, create a better habitat for insects, pollinators, birds and wildlife, and provide a beautiful educational area for our members and community.
We have been reworking our chapel garden to encourage butterflies and birds to come into it. It's surrounded by glass walls on four sides so visitors can look out on the garden, but is open to the sky. It's truly a gem -- and will continue to improve over the coming months.
On June 4, 2023, Deacon Phyllis Cox preached on Climate Justice at our first outdoor worship service of the summer. Following worship, Ken Cox planted a native Dogwood sapling in our "No-Mow Zone."
Just in time for spring, we have installed a new bluebird house
at our "no-mow" pollinator garden! Thanks to Carol Reynolds for donating the house, and to Mark Barrow for getting it erected and adding a guard
to keep predators from raiding eggs and young. Find out more about bluebirds here.
Our initial goal with the LMLC no mow pollinator areas is to establish healthy, low maintenance areas to meet two of the goals above including 1) naturalized or unmowed turf grass that is left to grow wild; and 3) native or naturalized landscapes where turf is replaced with native plants that are climate-friendly and can thrive in local conditions with no watering once established. Our long-term goal is to establish the demonstration garden and the entire church property as a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat.
What does shopping have to do with the environment? A lot, actually! When people shop, the choices that they make have a profound effect on the world around them. To help protect the environment, people have to make intelligent and thoughtful decisions about what they buy and how they go about shopping. Visit the ""Guide to Green Shopping" to find out more.
The Virginia Native Plant Society is dedicated to the conservation of wild flowers and wild places. It is a nonprofit organization of individuals who share an interest in Virginia’s native plants and habitats. The Society and its chapters seek to further the appreciation and conservation of this priceless heritage. Follow them on Facebook or join their Facebook Group open to all who are interested in native plants of Virginia.
The vision of Sustainable Blacksburg is for Blacksburg to become a model of community sustainability for Virginia. We want to preserve and enhance sustainable living in Blacksburg and environs by promoting clean energy, smart growth and mobility, ecological integrity, social equity, local food systems, and reduction of waste, carbon emissions, and pollution. Visit Sustainable Blacksburg to find out more.
Local ecologist Dave Tallamy is fed up with invasive species and sterile landscapes, and urges Americans to go native and go natural! Read his fascinating article in the Smithsonian magazine - click here.
Master Naturalist and Luther Memorial congregation member Rebekah Paulson shares her list of Virginia-native plants. Click here to download the list. She also offers tours of her yard’s Monarch butterfly habitat - please call the church office if you are interested!
There are many ways to become a "Creation Care Congregation." We can start at home as well - here are some ideas...
Equal Exchange and Lutheran World Relief (LWR) are strongly committed to furthering Fair Trade and environmental justice together with Lutheran congregations across the U.S. As a participant in the LWR Coffee Project, you make a positive impact on the planet and on the people who grow
our food. For every bag of rich, delicious LWR Farmers Market Coffee
you buy, a farmer receives a strong, up-front price for their coffee beans and shares in the profit of the final sale.
Equal Exchange's mission is to build long-term trade partnerships that are economically just and environmentally sound, to foster mutually beneficial relationships between farmers and consumers and to demonstrate, through our success, the contribution of worker co-operatives and Fair Trade to a more equitable, democratic and sustainable world.
Watch this video to learn about the current items that may be recycled locally. For example, did you know only plastic bottles with a 1 or 2 in the triangle recycling symbol can be recycled? All others 3-7 must go in the trash. Visit BlacksBurg, VA Public Works Recycling Information page to find out about schedules and locations.
Textile waste and the fashion industry now cause nearly as much pollution and landfill waste as big oil. Going green with your clothing habits is more important than ever, and fortunately, it’s fairly easy to mitigate your personal impact on the environment. The average American throws out around 70 pounds of textiles every year. To reduce waste, try an eco-friendly way to get rid of things rather than throwing them in the trash - click here for helpful suggestions.
Insects such as butterflies and bees are not just pretty to look at or mere producers of honey. Instead, they are vital to life on earth. More than 80 percent of flowering plants need pollinators in order to reproduce, and flowering plants that cannot reproduce cannot produce food for the world. Butterflies and bees are vital for pollination, and we can help these pollinators by creating pollinator gardens that attract them and give them a place to find food, reproduce, and experience safety from predators and from the elements. Find out more...