Lutherans in Minnesota

Does eating have an ethic?

With a strong history of connection to the land, Lutherans have an important voice to add to the discussion

An ecclesial assemblage in the Middle Ages might well have been called a “diet.” Lutherans know about Martin Luther’s attendance at the famous 1521 Diet of Worms, when Luther needed to defend his assertions in the 95 Theses that launched the Reformation against the refutations of the papacy.

Glen Hill (right), executive director of the Minnesota Food Association, shows fall planting efforts to participants in the recent ELCA Region 3 “Ethics of Eating” conference in Minneapolis. Metro Lutheran photo: Bob Hulteen

Today people are more likely to note that a diet has more to do with eating. Often, in a society where some people have an abundance of wealth, dieting becomes the antidote to obesity. And this is only one of the many ethical issues that “eating” raises within lands of plenty and abundance or lands of scarcity.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America World Hunger Program recently hosted an assemblage of people from the nine synods of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota to discuss the ethics of eating, a seemingly very popular topic at this time.

“We are a people who gagther to celebrate God’s abundance and the gift of love,” David Creech, director of hunger education in the ELCA World Hunger program, told participants in the “Ethics of Eating” retreat at The Forest, Concordia Language Village, Marine-on-St. Croix, Minnesota. “We should be eating the best.”

Five representatives from each of Region 3’s nine synods attended the retreat, according to event organizer Eva Jensen. Each synod was asked to send at least one person of color and one young person as part of the delegation, she explained.

Teresa Bernstein, member of Martin’s Lutheran Church, Casselton, North Dakota, and representing the Eastern North Dakota Synod, said, “As Lutherans, we need to organize outside our little box to help people.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,