Inspiration from Germany

August 03, 2022

One Year Anniversary of Treuhandschaft für die Erde​

It's been one year since the formation of Treuhandschaft für die Erde, or LDS Earth Stewardship Germany—our first chapter in Europe! Recently we talked to Lucia Burnside, one the Germany co-chairs about her experience starting and managing a local chapter. Portions of her response are below.

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What inspired you to start LDS Earth Stewardship Germany?

"I have always tried to live an environmentally-conscious life. Sustainability is very important to me and I try to raise my kids with an awareness of our great responsibility to take care of our planet.When Ralf Grünke- a former bishop of mine and family friend for many years- asked me if I was interested in organizing a local LDS Earth Stewardship group in Germany with him, I was all for it. I think it is important to raise awareness of the impact we as humans have on our planet and the things we can do to become better stewards of the beautiful world we have been given so future generations can still enjoy it, too. · What challenges have you faced while running this group?

I think our biggest challenge has been making a name for ourselves. Most people have never heard of LDS Earth Stewardship here and don‘t really know what to expect. We are still trying to figure out the best way to advertise for our online and in-person meetings so we can have more people attend to see what we are all about."

What ideas do you have for the future? What do you hope your group accomplishes?

"We want to continue our online meetings offering interesting classes, discussions and workshops on all sorts of topics that promote sustainability and earth stewardship. We also have our first in-person event in September, where Ralf Grünke-the founder of our local group in Germany-will speak at an interfaith celebration in Hanau. We have hopeful plans for one bigger in-person event in 2023. Our goal is to bring multiple generations together for a day of environmental awareness including a variety of sustainable activities for all ages."

Tell us about your devotional with Sister Fingerle. What message did she have for you?

"Sister Fingerle reminded us of our great responsibility to take care of God‘s creation. She shared four gospel principles that can help us do so. They were1. Prayer-so we know what we should do; 2. Counseling within our families, friend circles, church communities and workplaces to increase our impact; 3. Doing everything with charity, love and kindness without judgement for other people’s choices; and 4. Repentance so we can do and be better every day."

Tell us about the interfaith project “Religions for biodiversity”. We’d love to know more about it!

"Religions for biodiversity" is a project organized by the Abrahamic Forum and supported by the German Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Center for Social Responsibility of the Protestant Church in Hessen-Nassau. The Abrahamic Forum brings together Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Baha'i believers and scholars."

What advice would you have for anyone starting their own local group of LDS Earth Stewardship?

"If you plan to start your own local group of LDS Earth Stewardship, don‘t hesitate but also be patient with yourself. It takes time to get established and get your message out to the people. I think it‘s important to remember that every little bit of awareness that gets spread could help someone else be more environmentally-conscious which might not seem like much, but can have a huge impact in the long run. It really is the little things that we do every day that count.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your group?

"We are still very small and are just starting out trying to get more people to join our ranks and support our online and in-person events. But we are a very fun group of people to work with and would love to grow our team. Come join us!"

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