Meet Our Team

To manage and support these Evangelical and Jewish initiatives, Creation Care Partners has convened an exceptional team of clergy, managers, and specialists in solar, energy conservation and efficiency, tools development, and training.

Board

Reverend Robert Whitaker, Chair.

Rev. Whitaker has served as senior pastor of Evangelical Community Church (ECC), a large Evangelical church in Bloomington, Indiana since 1998.  Over the past two years, he has led his congregation to consider the challenges facing the earth and to take a leadership role in Creation care in Bloomington. ECC has undertaken numerous educational events within and outside the church facility including hosting a talk for Evangelicals and the public by the national spokesperson for Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, introducing a public talk by Evangelical climate scientist Dr. Katharine Hayhoe on the Indiana University campus, speaking on creation care panels, and collaborating with Concerned Scientists at Indiana University on a set of workshops for Evangelicals and scientists on Creation care and the earth’s changing environment.

Nathan Hendershott, Treasurer.

Nate Hendershott is the Associate Director of Undergraduate Retention and Achievement for the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington. Through his role at Indiana University and volunteer work, Nate brings a diversity of experience in financial management and oversight to the Creation Care Partners team. He is currently a member of of his church’s finance committee, and serves as secretary to his church’s board of elders. He is also responsible for the financial management of a family-owned business, and has previous experience in grant writing and administration.Nate holds a B.A. from Indiana Wesleyan University, an M.S.W. from the Ohio State University, and an M.S.Ed. from Indiana University Bloomington.

Madeline Hirschland, Executive Director.

Madeline Hirschland founded Solarize Indiana and the Seventh Day Initiative, for which she recruited and supported 22 congregations to install solar panels and deeply reduce their energy use. The first thirteen cut their energy use by an average of 33% and over a third of their households acted to deeply reduce at home. Hirschland has co-facilitated energy conservation workshops for hundreds of congregations. The household energy conservation program that she led in her own synagogue was awarded first place in a national challenge and she also led the congregation’s 25 kW solar self-installation.  In her prior career, as microfinance director at Save the Children, Madi was responsible for technical support to 40 country programs, monitoring and evaluation, documentation, staff supervision, and programmatic management of a $5 million grant.

Ashley Inselman, Secretary.

Ashley Inselman has decades of experience managing training programs and developing resources and training curricula to facilitate practical adult learning. In addition, much of her work has focused on capacity building, monitoring and evaluation. With an MSC in Environmental Assessment and Evaluation from the London School of Economics and Political Science, Inselman brings to this Creation Care Partners initiative extensive expertise in the evaluation of grassroots projects. Ashley currently serves as the Global Humanitarian Surge Capacity Development Advisor for World Vision International, a global Christian relief, development and advocacy organization that helps children, families and communities overcome poverty and injustice. She is leading a Creation Care energy initiative in her own Evangelical church.

Ron Klotz, Liaison to Rabbinic Advisory Council.

Rabbi Ron Klotz grew up on the north side of Chicago and studied and was ordained at Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem and Cincinnati. As Director of the Union for Reform Judaism’s Goldman Union Camp Institute for 36 years, Rabbi Ron was responsible, each summer, for the health and safety of over nine hundred campers and staff. He oversaw a $1.5 million budget, designed the program, created the Jewish educational content, hired the staff, and developed the facility. During the winter months, he traveled throughout the Midwest partnering with congregational rabbis to recruit campers. Prior to that, Rabbi Ron served the Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute in Wisconsin as a counselor, specialist, unit head, and assistant director.  In his retirement, Rabbi Ron has supported Indiana University Hillel as a faculty member, advising staff, working with students, and leading holy day services.  

Advisors

Rev. Mike Bowling, Faith Outreach. 

The pastor of Englewood Christian Church for 26 years, Mike Bowling has led his church to become a sustainability leader in Indianapolis and beyond. An Evangelical church that is an anchor of its eastside Indianapolis community, Englewood was one of the first congregations in the state to install solar panels while deeply cutting its own energy use – electricity by 57% and natural gas by 32% – and helping a third of its households to deeply reduce as well. Englewood Christian gave birth to and houses Englewood Community Development Corporation that has developed a 30-unit apartment building for seniors that is net-zero in its energy use: the complex has 500 solar panels, solar water heating, solar-heated siding and rain gardens. Pastor Mike is sought out to provide guidance to pastors of other urban churches, for which Englewood serves as a model.

Dr. Bennet Brabson, Energy Conservation.

Indiana University physicist emeritus specializing in energy, Ben Brabson is an ongoing advisor to Creation Care Partners on issues of energy conservation.  He has led his own congregation to significantly reduce its energy use and to install solar panels. Ben also has led teams to assess energy use in houses of worship and then documented the findings in accessible reports. Along with the CEO of Evangelical Environmental Network, Dr. Brabson serves on the Board of Reference for the national Mennonite organization, Center for Sustainable Climate. For years, he has co-led “Climate Boot Camps” for dozens of clergy. He is about to keynote a workshop for Evangelical clergy and scientists on “Creation Care: The Earth’s Changing Environment”. Ben has been a contributor to reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Our chair and executive director were honored to receive a Hoosier Resilience Heroes Award from Indiana University’s Environmental Resilience Institute. Read their feature in the Herald Times here.

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