Consider the Birds

A Conversation on Community Organizing with Nicholas Tangen

Community organizing is often hard and contentious work. How can people stay committed when the world becomes overwhelming?

In this episode, writer and congregational organizer Nicholas Tangen describes how observing the natural world is connected to his work for justice within the ELCA church. Nicholas has relied on birdwatching as a spiritual practice during the pandemic and in the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing in his city of Minneapolis. The birds remind him that there is a wide diversity of gift and strengths needed in movements for social change. In this interview, Nicholas also speaks about his role as a scribe in the ELCA justice movements and how Benedictine spirituality has been important in sustaining his work.

View Nicholas’ writing portfolio » 


Nicholas Tangen is a writer, congregational organizer, and avid birdwatcher in Minneapolis, MN. He is a graduate of United Theological Seminary and works in an ELCA Congregation near the University of MN. In May 2019, Nicholas participated in the Collegeville Institute workshop Writing for Mystic Activists. Subscribe to Nicholas’ newsletter on his website and follow him on Twitter.