Spring Break 2019

Appalachia: God, Land, Humans, and the Energy Between Them

Saint Andrew's Lutheran Campus Center's photo.


We’re thrilled about our Spring Break trip in March 2019!

Often Christian service trips focus on providing a good or service to a population, but without the theological and social frameworks causing the suffering of the disadvantaged population. By providing “mercy ministries” without the larger context of an area or group of people, the individuals Christians intend to help often wind up with a greater sense of helplessness and alienation. To address this challenge, we will embark on a more holistic and integrative service trip to Appalachia over spring break, in which most of the focus of the trip is on humanity’s relationship with creation and how that can manifest itself as environmental degradation, systemic poverty, and the complete marginalization of entire populations. We will engage in deep reflection in our actions with respect to energy production, through seeing remnant iron and coal furnaces and Acid Mine Drainage affected streams, and we’ll interact with the coal labor movement through the music and philosophy of early coal miners and how the wealth from coal production did not get reinvested into the community.

Before we witness environmental and economic degradation, we’ll spend time in some of the most beautiful landscape in Ohio (https://www.hockinghills.com/) to fully appreciate the scope and scale of land form change. Only after we get a grasp on the environmental and human costs of energy production will we then offer ourselves in service to the local population.

One of our co-leaders, Josh Richardson, grew up in the area and is trained as a scientist. He is currently attending seminary at Garett Theological in Evanston, IL, and is passionate about educating people on issues of climate change, poverty, and eco-justice. He knows what he’s talking about!

We’ll have daily time of prayer as well as study of Scripture and theologies surrounding poverty and eco-justice. Our cost guesstimate is not more than $500 (likely less) for the trip, food, lodging, and transportation (in other words, everything but your own personal stuff). Money should *not* prevent you from attending! We have scholarships and funds available for any who need it.

We will ask for a deposit of $100 (refundable until Feb 24, 2019) due by Dec. 2, 2018. We hope you’ll consider joining us!