Julia Frost Nerbonne

Julia Frost Nerbonne is Director of Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light.


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Building a Collective Identity: 'Drawing the Line' in Communities of Faith

by Julia Frost Nerbonne 09-20-2013
Drawing a line in the sand, Stephen Rees / Shutterstock.com

Drawing a line in the sand, Stephen Rees / Shutterstock.com

In my state of Minnesota, there are literally hundreds of faith-based green teams doing a variety of good works. We’ve collectively tackled solar panels and bike racks. We’ve individually been consuming less, doing energy audits of our homes, and taking action in our neighborhoods. It is important work. And yet when I talk to the lay leaders in these congregations, they report that enthusiasm has waned and that their groups have become stale. As one tired (and yet tireless) leader confided in me: “I don’t know what it is, Julia, but it’s like we are swimming in molasses.”

As the new executive director of Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light I am trying to pay attention. What is this feeling of stuck-ness? If it’s not working, what then is the special sauce that will help these tireless leaders to ignite their communities?

A few observations about humans: