Congregational Organizer for Environmental Justice

Website Minneapolis Area Synod, ELCA

Position description

The Congregational Organizer for Environmental Justice position draws on the tradition of professional community organizing methodology, facilitated through the institution of the Lutheran church. It is centered on building a network of relationships among congregational leaders that can be organized for effective and strategic change on issues of environmental and climate justice.

Organization Background

The Minneapolis Area Synod is here to support the 140 ELCA congregations and five new starts located in and around Minneapolis, from urban neighborhoods to first-tier suburbs and outlying communities beyond Hennepin County to the south, west, and north. We do this by supporting both rostered ministers and congregation leaders in their work and leadership, as well as fostering community connection. We manage the call process (calling clergy to serve the congregations in the synod) and resource church staff and volunteers charged who work with the rostered ministers to sustain a vibrant faith-based community.

Our mission statement: “The Minneapolis Area Synod works together so that all experience gracious invitation into life-giving Christian community and live in just and healthy neighborhoods.”

A significant part of our commitment to just and healthy neighborhoods is the development of an Organizing Department within the synod office. Using the skills and tools of community organizing, we cultivate leadership across our congregations to work collectively on issues of environmental, racial, and economic justice – working for positive social change around the most critical issues we face in this day.

Job Description

The job description of the Congregational Organizer for Environmental Justice includes the following responsibilities:

Facilitating environmental justice leadership within the synod

  • Identify and engage individuals and congregations interested in environmental justice issues through 1:1 conversations to build a strong network of engaged leaders.
  • Practice and facilitate intentional leadership development of lay and rostered (clergy) leaders.
  • Define (cut) issues strategically in order to focus on solutions to environmental justice problems.
  • Train leaders in use of public space, including presence at hearings and community actions.
  • Energize and support the EcoFaith Organizing Leadership Team to collaborate on strategy and the on-the-ground work of the issue campaign(s).

Supporting congregational efforts

  • Lead trainings on relevant issue topics and organizing skills with lay and rostered leaders.
  • Work strategically with leaders and congregations to bring about social change in focus areas.
  • Represent the Office of the Bishop when working with synod congregations.
  • Facilitate occasional programmatic learning opportunities on environmental best practices and share resources for green teams.
  • Produce content for online and print materials to support the synod’s organizing efforts on environmental justice campaigns.
  • Manage a network of congregational contacts and run quarterly e-newsletter communications.

Building presence in the public sphere on specific issue campaigns

  • Coordinate issue campaign(s) to engage leaders on issues of environmental and climate justice, using a variety of tactics and strategies.
  • Maintain strategic relationships with partner organizations; participate in coalition spaces relevant to issue-campaign(s).
  • Implement issue-campaign and program plans, in consultation with supervisor, to fulfill commitments to foundations, governmental agencies, watershed districts, or other grant-making organizations.
  • Assist the Director of Organizing in preparing materials for funding opportunities.

Participating in internal staff work for the synod  

  • Participate and offer initiative in building a community organizing framework within the synod.
  • Work to visibly connect a life of faith and ecological activism.
  • Participate in ongoing staff-wide and organizing team responsibilities.
  • Engage actively and positively on staff, contribute towards maintaining a respectful and friendly work culture, and share commitment to working as a team.
  • Carry out additional duties as assigned.

Supporting synodical efforts

  • Broaden the environmental justice lens in the ongoing work of the synod office.
  • Support the Bishop’s public voice and leadership around issues of environmental justice.
  • Contribute to synod events in content and logistics where opportunities arise to model environmental stewardship and highlight climate justice.

Desired qualifications

  • Excellent personal organizational and time management skills.
  • Excellent communication skills in writing, public speaking, and group facilitation.
  • 1-3 Years of experience in community organizing, other grassroots efforts for social change, and/or political campaigns is preferred.
  • Willingness to work primarily within the Lutheran faith community, organizing a faith-rooted base of leaders.
  • Demonstrated understanding of congregations and/or people of faith is preferred.

Additional Details

The Congregational Organizer for Environmental Justice will be stepping into the role to carry out issue-based organizing that has been developed over the past six years, with an established network of leaders within the congregations of the synod. The organizer will continue to build and maintain this strong base of leaders to take on structural environmental issues that can be addressed through community-based organizing.

Collaborating with the Director for Organizing and the strategic-thinking leadership table of the EcoFaith network, the organizer will run focused issue-campaign plans, build leadership capacity in congregations, and work in partnership with other community organizations. Specifically, success will look like carrying forward the current issue campaign on local energy democracy to achieve incremental “wins” that build momentum toward a more just and sustainable energy system.

The first review of applications will begin November 30. The position is open until filled. The anticipated start date would be January 10, 2022.

The Congregational Organizer for Environmental Justice reports directly to the Director of Organizing and participates on the Organizing Team. The position is full-time exempt, and the salary range is $41,000-$46,000 commensurate with experience, with excellent benefits.

Submit resume, cover letter, and a list of references to Emilie Bouvier at

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