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Kirsten Wahlberg, Bethel University, Senior
Major: Environmental Studies
Minor: English Literature
How have you been involved with creation care initiatives on campus?
I have been involved since my sophomore year when I took on the role of being the Sodexo Food Liaison and Green Council member.
How did you come to realize the importance of creation care?
For my high school AP Environmental Studies, my teacher took a group of us up to the boundary waters in the wintertime. On our last night there, he took us out on the frozen lake where there was no light pollution and we did some star gazing.
While we were realizing how incredibly clear the night sky was he said, “We are so lucky to be able to come up here and enjoy a view like this. However, there may come a day in the near future where future generations will not be able to get away to places like these. Places like the boundary waters may not exist anymore.”
And it hit me how we have the responsibility to take care of everything around us. Not just around us, but the entire creation. It wasn’t until I came to Bethel University and took my favorite class – Sustainability – that I realized we were called by God to take care of the creation (Gen 2:15.) So I wasn’t just crazy. I was passionate and actually realized my love for the outdoors made sense both biblically and personally.
Favorite non-human life form:
My hermit crab Sebastian. My roommate and I bought him together and became slightly obsessed with hermit crabs afterwards. It may be hard to believe, and I may be slightly biased, but he was the cutest crab I’ve ever seen.
Favorite outdoor spot on your campus:
My favorite outdoor spot on campus would probably be our “Sem Hill.” It’s close by Bethel’s seminary buildings, and also has a great view of our Lake Valentine. It also has a couple of bonfire pits which students are able to rent out if need be. It’s a great place for groups to meet, be outdoors and enjoy God’s creation together.
Three books worth reading:
I am a huge Matthew Sleeth fan, the main reason is due to his book Serve God, Save the Planet. This is a hopeful introduction to creation care which I read when first starting out. Sleeth was a doctor and talks about the many adventures he goes on, the connections he’s made, and the faith creation care has brought him.
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. I found this book fascinating, learning about the many cultures who have fallen in the past. A lot of the societies relate to the issues we face today as a country.
The final book is a more personal love of mine, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. It’s a classic and a quick read.
What is a dream you hope to one day accomplish?
I have found that I absolutely love working with people in any way, shape or form. I also love learning about new cultures and different ways of life. Someday, I really want to be able to travel anywhere and everywhere. I want to be able to meet people from all over the globe.