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The ELCA and the Environment - Winter 2010

The ELCA and the Environment - Winter 2010

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Published by Green Churches

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Published by: Green Churches on Feb 09, 2011
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02/03/2012

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©2010 by Morehouse education resources • all rights reserved • www.livingthegoodnews.coM • 1-800-242-1918
Wer A • 2010-2011
Te ELCA addresses environmental concerns rom asimple platorm 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 careor 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 inormation 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 inormation and education that willresult in change as we look orward to transormation inour relationship with creation.
Staying Informed
Many ELCA congregations list on their Websiteconnections to good inormation about the presentcrisis areas o interaction between humans and creation.Te inormation connects congregational members toorganizations that advocate or change, ways to make adierence individually or communally and statistics inareas o crisis. Inormation 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.
Earth honoring 
is another way that inormation isgiven in the ELCA. Earth honoring emphasizes ritualsand relationships that identiy the beauty o nature.Earth honoring is a way or humans to reinstate theirrelationship to ood, nature and the cycles o lie.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 inormation and to acttogether responsibly. Environmental coalitions suchas
www.saveourenvironment.org,
are listed on church Websites. ELCA members work in these organizationsto pass on inormation to congregations that result inadvocacy to make change. Acting to make changes ingovernmental policy and worldwide relationships is animportant part o creation care.
Education
 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 let 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 (LSC) with ProessorDavid Rhoads. Te goals are twoold 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,
www.webofcreation.org,
 which oers “Ecology Resources toransorm 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
ReNew 
is a greenVacation Bible School
(www.augsburgfortress.org/store/ item.jsp?clsid=204813&productgroupid=0&isbn).
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,
ReNew,
educates children and helps congregations walk the wordso environmental change.
The ELCA and the Environment
SR-00-WA-10-L-ELCA And thE EnviRonmEnt
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