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Wer A • 2010-2011
Te ELCA addresses environmental concerns rom asimple platorm o caring or creation. As created beingso God, humans need to care or creation. Humansare caregivers o the world in which we were created.Humans are connected to creation through God asproclaimed by scripture (see, or example, Genesis 1:31,Psalm 24:1, Psalm 104). God loves creation and asbeloved siblings, creation and humans must love and careor one another. When human consumption is the main element o ourrelationship to creation, the result is devastating. Weexchange the caring relationship God means or us tohave with creation or a relationship o misuse, depletionor pollution. Te ELCA uses inormation and educationas the tools with which to repair the relationship o humans and creation. Trough the hope given to us by God the ELCA seeks inormation and education that willresult in change as we look orward to transormation inour relationship with creation.
Many ELCA congregations list on their Websiteconnections to good inormation about the presentcrisis areas o interaction between humans and creation.Te inormation connects congregational members toorganizations that advocate or change, ways to make adierence individually or communally and statistics inareas o crisis. Inormation has three general themes inELCA congregations.
A greener earth
through changing consumption andrecycling is one theme that congregations adopt. Tisshows itsel in congregations through ewer, shorter,reused bulletins, no oam cups or collecting aluminumcans. By “doing”, congregational members begin toput in place actions that have measurable results.
is another way that inormation isgiven in the ELCA. Earth honoring emphasizes ritualsand relationships that identiy the beauty o nature.Earth honoring is a way or humans to reinstate theirrelationship to ood, nature and the cycles o lie.Community gardens that reestablish the connectionbetween growing and consuming would be one way earth honoring takes place.
Advocacy in partnership
is embraced by the ELCA as a way to obtain good inormation and to acttogether responsibly. Environmental coalitions suchas
are listed on church Websites. ELCA members work in these organizationsto pass on inormation to congregations that result inadvocacy to make change. Acting to make changes ingovernmental policy and worldwide relationships is animportant part o creation care.
At the core o the ELCA is the emphasis on education.Te priesthood o all believers calls us to work togetherto know more at the congregational level. Creation careis not something let to Churchwide leadership, but theresponsibility o each individual member o the ELCA equally. Education is the way this is achieved. Educationabout the environment happens at the seminaries,through Augsburg Publishing and through the NationalChurch Ofce.
Te Seminary Green Initiative
began at LutheranSchool o Teology at Chicago (LSC) with ProessorDavid Rhoads. Te goals are twoold or the Seminary Green Initiative. First, to educate pastors, at any placein their call, to the important work o creation care.Secondly, Te Green Initiative believes that the churchhas a distinctive place in the reversal o our unhealthy re-lationship with creation. One way in which the Seminary Green Initiative helps is through their Website,
which oers “Ecology Resources toransorm Faith Communities and Society”. Augsburg Fortress, the ELCA publishing house, has anew venue or educating children and amilies about theenvironment. Rather than just talking about environmentthrough publication, the curriculum
is a greenVacation Bible School
ReNew uses recycled paper and plastics. Materials can be usedmultiple years and in multiple ways. Te New estamentstory, the Parable o the Sower, teaches through scripturetopics on the environment. Trough curriculum,
educates children and helps congregations walk the wordso environmental change.
The ELCA and the Environment
SR-00-WA-10-L-ELCA And thE EnviRonmEnt