Chad Rimmer is an ordained Lutheran pastor and currently serves as the Program Executive for Lutheran Theology and Practice at the Lutheran World Federation in Geneva, Switzerland. He is the author of several articles, the book Greening the Children of God: Thomas Traherne and Nature’s Role in the Ecological Formation of Children and the collection of poetry titled, Yellow: Chemopoetry from a Caretaker’s Journey. Growing up in the USA, Chad was formed by the wildness of the Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina, where he studied Biology and Chemistry.
Following a call to ordained ministry in Word and Sacrament, Chad returned to doctoral studies in Theological Ethics, at the intersection of faith and ecology, specifically focusing on the role that nature plays in the ecological formation of children. Through living, serving and teaching around the world among cultures, lifestyles and languages of multi-religious people in diverse bioregions in Scandinavia, Scotland, and Sénégal in West Africa, Chad deepened his experience of the connection between the creative power of the Word (the Divine breath) with the ambiguously creative power of our words. As the griots and prophets remind us, when our words go out, they do not come back empty. So, as people of faith, and those called to engage in the ministry of Word and participate in the sacramentality of life, do we really respect the power of words and their relationship to the land? Chad advocates for a constructive theo-poetic approach to theology, which is a method of theological reflection and meaning making that reconnects Beauty with Truth and Goodness.
Through the beauty of poetry (and other arts), we can open new ways to access “theological discourse”. Centering new voices and perspectives to narrate our cosmology broadens our perspective on the Truth. This diversity naturally challenges hegemonic theologies and patriarchy, and that is Good. If you have any difficulty finding Chad, he is probably backpacking on a mountain, and listening for the Spirit in communion with our more than human co-creatures.