Consulting & Eco-chaplaincy

“The Great Turning is a name for the essential adventure of our time: the shift from the industrial growth society to a life-sustaining civilization.”
—Joanna Macy

In my consulting practice, I work with organizations and businesses (nonprofits, for profits, and faith communities) committed to carrying out their mission while furthering meaningful connections with one another, those they serve and the earth. Drawing upon nature’s teachings and applying human spirit, I partner with my clients to assess, co-create, design and implement practices that:

  • Align the mission and values internally to become a powerful story externally
  • Energize staff engagement to cultivate collaboration and leadership
  • Invite innovation, new behaviors and fresh thinking to increase efficiency, joy and “flow” in the workplace

Sample strategies and processes:

  • Assessment (focus groups, interviews, findings report)
  • Senior leadership visioning sessions
  • Customized retreats and seminars
  • Leadership development (individual or group sessions)
  • Communication and facilitation tools
  • Peer-to-peer mentoring systems

Combining my passions, education and in-the-field experience I facilitate change and build new bridges between the inner/outer ecology of individuals and organizations, one at a time. I call this work, Eco-Chaplaincy.

“I had the privilege of working with Lauren in my role as Director of Sustainability at Walmart. Lauren helped craft and rollout our associate grassroots sustainability effort known as PSP (Personal Sustainability Project). Together with the team, we reached about 1.2 million associates. She was fully engaged throughout the project and added value at every turn.”
—Janelle Kearsley, Director Sourcing: Private Brands, Walmart Stores, Inc.     2010

What is Eco-chaplaincy?

I found my answer at Walmart. My work as an Eco-chaplain began when I joined the founding team that designed and facilitated over 200 day-long sustainability workshops for the 1.2 million associates of Walmart Stores, Inc. Traveling across the country that spring, speaking with the voices of America at hundreds upon hundreds of Walmarts—a place I had come to oppose and avoid—I turned toward love. With a necessary naiveté and “beginner’s mind,” I entered corporate America to invite change, to be changed, and to provide space to consider a new operating practice.

My Eco-Chaplain story began in 2007, when I recognized that caring for the earth had become my deep love in ministry. I left my work as a hospital chaplain and sought endorsement from my seminary to renew my ordination vows and profess myself an Eco-Chaplain. I arrived at the name feeling deep love and deep dread: What does it mean when our earth is so ravaged that it, too, like a prison or army barracks, needs a chaplain? And what was I really proposing to do?

Through this work, I was reminded again that a chaplain’s call is to bring connection; to prophetically state, “Here, and now! No matter how set apart, lost or beyond-love this place may appear, the Source of our Breath abides here, too.” Looking for God or honoring the mystery in a variety of settings is the work of a chaplain. Just as the chapel stands apart from a church or temple, a chaplain endeavors to create sacred space in the free-standing complexity of hospitals, campuses, military bases and corporations.