Crafting Connections within our Environment
My name is Megan Tomkiel, and I will be 24 years old next week. Along with my husband Paul, I am a student at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, where I am pursuing my Masters in Religion. The focus of my studies is the intersection between environment and religion. My interests include reading just about any book I can get my hands on, dancing, hiking/adventuring, and trying out various traditional crafts. My favorites are crochet and knitting, but I have also experimented with some basic weaving, sewing, jewelry making, and basketry. I also enjoy caring for plants in the house and the garden, and I have a soft spot in my heart for animals. Our cat, Esther, is as spoiled as her biblical namesake. I cannot help but care for the animals I find in suffering, and I wouldn't have it any other way!
I feel drawn to these interests because I love making connections. I love experimenting with fiber arts because I get to take pieces of something and knot or weave them, binding them together into a patterned whole that is stronger and more beautiful than the sum of its parts. I view the world around me in a similar way. Creation is full of unrelated parts which are woven into a whole by God who created it all. In fact, any consideration of our religion cannot be viewed apart from the world we live in. We can experience God's creative and continuing presence in the beauty and complexity of the tapestry of creation and cultures. For this reason, I feel drawn by God's love and presence to care for animals who cannot care for themselves. I am connected to them just as strongly as I am connected to my fellow humans.
I hope that I will be able to explore more of these types of connections throughout this class. I am eager to investigate the ties between religion and the way we communicate with each other. Media is ever-changing, which gives added challenges, but exploring is half the fun. My generation is thriving on the new forms of media that are popping up everywhere. I love the creative outlets that these media have allowed for, and I have seen many great uses of media by religious groups. I look forward to seeing what more I can learn about these connections during this class.