As there has been continuing conversation and controversy emerging since Michael Moore’s film: Planet of the Human, we decided to share some feedback from a Lutherans Restoring Creation member. Thanks to Josh Thede, an active member of the Central States LRC Mission Table.
Our LRC community plans to discuss the broader challenge of how to make progress in this ministry when consensus on solutions seems vague, if not conflicting. Join our next Connection Call.
Katherine Hayhoe has some of the most compelling information: Post 1 Post 2
Some of us bemoan the fact that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has not committed to entirely divest from fossil fuels as many others have (see latest cohort of 42 religious institutions). Some of us are wary of pulling out entirely from shareholder positions when we may be able to have more leverage to make change having a seat at that table. Others have a deep concern for all who are dependent on these economic systems, which many of us are complicit in driving every time we use a device or heat up our dinner.
There are many facets (explore below) involved with this complex issue which we are called to discuss and act on as people of faith. There are ways to move forward before we reach a church-wide consensus. Below are some of our responses, thus far, from regional resolutions to individual members lifting up a moral calling.
Where are you called to next?
Click on each below to hear stories and information we hope will inspire you to act and bring others with you:
The general call to to action is simply: “Stay Home”. However, many can’t heed that call, even if they wanted to. When we are asked to care for our neighbors by stepping back, what are other ways we can lean in to understanding each other and practice moving forward in action?
The following is a selection of conversations, reflections, and emerging information. Consider what realities we have learned about our neighbors’ insecurity, the adaptability of humans under stress, the impact of policy decisions on our daily lives… and what does our faith give us as tools to fight any crisis?
May 19th – DETAILS & REGISTER (click): Join us for a conversation on the latest ELCA draft social message, Government and Civic Engagement: Discipleship in a Democracy, with the Rev. Dr. Roger A. Willer, Director of Theological Ethics in the ELCA.
We hope that the Pacto Congregacional de Cuidado para la Creación will be useful to support Spanish-speaking congregations to reflect together about all the ways our faith is reflected in how we treat each other and share resources. The step-by-step supporting materials for this covenant can be found here (click).
Christyn is a second-generation ordained ELCA pastor and first-generation environmental activist. Her experiences at a Lutheran summer camp in Ohio led her to seminary in Berkeley, California, where she met her husband and also her love for environmental stewardship. She’s especially passionate about using modern media and Christian theology to share the good news of caring for creation. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chinese language and philosophy from the University of Kentucky and a Master of Divinity degree from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Camp Tomah Shinga (ELCA), Junction City, KS, and has previously served as a Bishop’s Associate in the Central States Synod.
Christyn’s current call is as a hospital chaplain outside of Kansas City, where she also serves as co-pastor alongside her husband in an ELCA redevelopment congregation.
I enjoy being involved in a larger organization and network with people who have a similar interest in advocating for justice in God’s creation. It’s challenging to think on a broader level of how we can impact the lives of the next generation and to use our gifts for good.
Part of my personal theology is creation care and care for the environment. I see the Lakota spirituality of Mitakuye Oyasin (All are related) as primary in how I view my neighbor and in how I view the creation. All things are related and we need to treat each other, and the creation as God’s good gifts to us. We cannot follow Christ fully if we are unable to faithfully care for all that God has made.
Thanks to the people of Creation Keepers Ministry at St. Andrew’s Lutheran, Columbia, MO
Your stories, your wisdom, your dedication, your friendship.
In gratitude for our life-giving rivers and lakes
Matthew 6:26-29 “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to your life’s span? And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these.”
- In honor of Zulu Davidson -
May we treasure all our elder creatures!
In honor of Jane Affonso, co-chair with me of the Southwest CA Synod Green Faith Team.
For those who advocate & steward well for the Earth!
Psalm 104:14-21 You cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to use, to bring forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden the human heart, oil to make the face shine, and bread to strengthen the human heart.
In Honor of Dad & Mike
For all of your dedication, friendship, and hard work. :)!
Psalm 1:3 They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper.
Phoebe Morad for her awesome job as Executive Director of Lutherans Restoring Creation!
Thanks to all the passion from the North West Pennsylvania Synod Green Team!
Genesis 1:20-23 And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky.” So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.
As we recognize 50 years since the first Earth Day in 1970, supporters from across the nation say thanks by giving a donation to Lutherans Restoring Creation and lifting up the people, scripture, places, creatures which remind them of God’s love shown through Creation and our vocation to care for it:
On our April 2020 Connections Call, we lifted up numerous ways we can represent what the ELCA’s Creation Care stance offers and how to implement action from where we are each planted. Since we are all living in very different spaces and each know our own audiences best there seems to be a spectrum of resources. Below is a sampling which we can add to and will continually evolve. While there is no one size which fits all, we can all work in harmony to lift up the common language our faith offers.
During this time of patchwork efforts as we navigate new tools and ways of being together I offer this “place” for now to keep adding tools so that you can take what you wish and utilize for an at-home worship/meditation. I hope that it helps to hear Pastor’s voice, know that the piano music comes from Lenae’s fingertips, and Kristen’s consistent efforts are still guiding us through worship every week in the attached bulletin. Our efforts in the community will only continue to be needed – and YOU are a part of our strength. Keep feeding your spirit so that you can be a help to others. Even apart, we are at work together through the body of Christ.
Below are this week’s (March 22. 2020) resources to pick/choose from. Just click on each and it should open automatically. Please contact me if you need help opening something. – Phoebe at firstname.lastname@example.org
Since there are so many members of our ELCA community who live in agricultural areas and we all depend on food to sustain us; let’s explore how we can deliberately share the spectrum of ways our churches can inform members of opportunities, practice mindful eating, and love the wide array of neighbors who help feed us.
Compared to the idealized image of a farm, how do these images reflect the difficult and risky labor that goes into feeding others? How can you take these images with you to make decisions at the grocery store or next time you pray before a meal?:
While many are anxious and isolated during this time of response to a pandemic, we offer these reflections on this week’s readings. (If there are other recordings you wish to share as a balm to soothe and inspiration to act for the common good please submit them here.)
For such a time as this … Lexington Theological Seminary’s new Creation Care Continuing Education option for pastors and congregational lay leaders prepares you for more effective leadership as we unpack issues that directly impact ministry today. This six-course series is designed to meet the needs of today’s leaders in the church, allowing you to study online and earn 8 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) within a 12-month timeline, culminating in a Certificate in Continuing Education. Beginning in September 2020, Creation Care will consist of the following courses:
Sallie McFague Environmental Theology (September 2020) Dr. Emily Askew
Climate Change: Caring for Our Planet, Caring for Ourselves (October 2020) Rev. Dr. Richard R. Coble
Church, Society, and the Ethics of Global Warming (November 2020) Rev. Dr. Christy Newton.
Food and Faith (March 2021) Rev. Dr. Wilson Dickinson,
Thanks to Rev. Kris Litman-Koon, as the South Carolina’s Synod Creation Care convener, a group of ELCA members from across the country came together for rejuvenation and inspiration in November 2019 at the Coastal Retreat Center.
Some Lutherans Restoring Creation have decided to take on a challenge of inviting at least 50 Congregations in their synod to make a Covenant with Creation in honor of Earth Day turning 50! Want to take take the challenge? Follow these steps below and let us know how it goes!
Mail/e-mail it directly to ELCA churches in your area or create a spreadsheet to share the task with others (go to the ELCA Directory to get addresses in one place).
Call their office within a week to ensure it was received and ask who in their church would be the best to follow up with personally. That person should make a date to present the Council with the Covenant (that process may take months – but a great way to get everyone thinking about this ministry!)
Send your contact the Congregational Self-Organizing Kit if they are responsive to the idea. (A printed version would be good to share with their Council, but the whole kit is online too.)
This past fall, Lutherans Restoring Creation helped facilitate an Ocean Leadership Training event at the New England Aquarium along with the aquarium’s educators and Creation Justice Ministries. We started as a group of strangers coming together with a common concern for the ocean. We spent the day together exploring the miraculous diversity of life as we explored exhibits, awestruck at images from unknown worlds amoungst seamounts just a few miles from the coast we stood on, and lifting our voices about the significance this all has from faith perspective. Tools were shared with each other: personal experiences, data from social behavioral research, techniques for reaching out to the public sphere, and the prophetic information gathered by the world-renowned marine researchers. For more information about how to talk about the significance of oceans to climate (and for the immediate well-being of the soul), explore the Creation Justice Ministries site (here).