Metro New York Resolution: Establishing an Environmental Stewardship Committee (2009)

Submitted by the Tappan Zee Conference, St. Luke’s (New Rochelle), St. John’s (Mamaroneck), Our Redeemer (Chappaqua), Chapel of Christ (Yonkers), St. Paul’s (Rye Brook), Trinity (New Rochelle), Grace (Yorktown Heights), Grace (Scarsdale), United Lutheran (Mt. Vernon), Ascension (Glendale), Trinity (Brewster)

Whereas, scripture teaches us that “The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and guard it” (Genesis 2:15) and that “The earth and its fullness are the Lord’s” (1 Corinthians 10:26); and

Whereas, the issues of climate change and threats to biodiversity and natural habitats are not simply scientific, economic, and social issues, but also fundamentally ethical and moral concerns; and

Whereas, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s social statement “Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope, and Justice”

· decries “the despoiling of the environment as nothing less than the degradation of God’s gracious gift of creation,”

· calls for “action to counter (environmental) degradation” and “pray(s)… for the creativity and dedication to live more gently with the earth,”

· asks us to “commit ourselves to personal life styles that contribute to the health of the environment,” and,

· calls on our church community to be “a center for exploring scriptural and theological foundations for caring for creation” and “to incorporate the principles of sufficiency and sustainability in our life,” therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Metropolitan New York Synod will:

· educate our churches and members on issues of environmental integrity and creation care,

· encourage celebrations commemorating Earth Day, Rogation Days, Arbor Day and other environmentally conscious events as may be appropriate for Christian churches,

· promote and encourage specific actions each church community and its members can take to act with greater environmental responsibility, and

· promote and encourage actions synod-wide to “green” our operations, including energy audits, adopting cleaner and renewable energy sources, increasing our commitment to recycling and using recycled materials, reducing the amount of waste we produce, and working to protect the precious shared environmental resources of land, air, and water, and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Metropolitan New York Synod, in support of the above ongoing efforts, will establish a standing committee on Environmental Stewardship. The Environmental Stewardship Committee may be formed immediately, but will be unfunded for the 2009 year. It will be financed out of the general budget beginning with the 2010 budget cycle.