Mark A. Torgerson
In Greening Spaces for Worship and Ministry, Mark Torgerson asserts that greening the built environment of a congregation is a powerful way to achieve and model a commitment to creation care. Green building involves designing and constructing in ways that are environmentally, economically, and socially responsible. The approach considers dimensions of a project from its inception to its re-use or demise, through both initial design choices and gradual, systematic upgrades to existing facilities.
In part 1, Torgerson explores both Jewish and Christian traditions and theology regarding creation and its care, the interdependence of human and non-human creation, and humanity’s responsibility to steward God’s creation. He also guides congregations in creating creation-care consciousness by examining in education and worship settings our lifestyle and environmental footprint.In part 2, Torgerson first outlines issues involved in designing, constructing, and maintaining buildings. He then reviews the work of ten congregations—five that carried out new construction; three, renovation or expansion; and two, historic preservation—with differing climates, energy sources, building materials, congregational sizes, and economic circumstances. Finally, he addresses in detail ways to develop land, building shell, and interior environments, enabling congregations to share their beliefs and values throughout the wider community.
“The Prophet Isaiah’s counsel, ‘God did not create the world in order that it might become a waste; God formed it for human habitation’ (45:18) summarizes Greening Spaces for Worship and Ministry. This blueprint for melding the natural cadence of God’s earth with the rhythms of worship and holiday celebration finds expression in the design of houses of worship that take the LEED in environmentally responsible stewardship of the earth’s resources.”
—Stephen S. Pearce, senior rabbi, Congregation Emanu-El, San Francisco, California
“Greening Spaces for Worship and Ministry provides a wonderfully thoughtful and practical guide to the work of greening our congregations and religious facilities filled with inspiring real-world examples. I hope and pray this book becomes a well-worn manual for the growing movement of religious communities caring for the whole of God's creation.”
—Matthew Anderson, Executive Director of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment
"Greening Spaces for Worship and Ministry helps congregations of different faiths serve God by protecting God's Creation. From the sublime to the practical and from the pulpit to the pews, it is a great planning tool for those who want to be better stewards of God’s Creation.”
—Sybil Sanchez, director, Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life
Mark A. Torgerson teaches in the areas of worship, theology, and architecture at Judson University, Elgin, Illinois. He has served as a pastor in churches in Wisconsin and Connecticut. His work with the material environment and worship spans more than twenty years. His most recent book is An Architecture of Immanence: Architecture for Worship and Ministry.
Alban No. 423
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