Tag Archives: resolutions

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.

 

 

Northern Illinois Synod Resolution to Become a “Green Synod” (2008)

WHEREAS, God’s first commandments to humanity are that we care for and take care of God’s good creation (Gen. 1:28 & 2:15); and

WHEREAS, Jesus came to bring salvation to the entire cosmos (John 3:16-17); and

WHEREAS, the Church, as the body of Christ in the world, is charged with calling the world to repentance and ushering in the kingdom of God; and

WHEREAS, “the whole creation is groaning” due to the abuse and misuse of God’s good creation by humanity;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Northern Illinois Synod become a “green synod” by taking the following steps:

Instituting all possible changes to improve energy efficiency in the synod office and other properties owned and/or operated by the synod, including but not limited to:
Performing a “green” audit (as per Green Synod Model proposed by Dr. David Rhoads, LSTC) that will make short and long term recommendations to lessen the carbon footprint on the earth,
Changing incandescent light bulbs to energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs,
Exploring and utilizing alternate, more environmentally friendly means of producing electricity and heat, and
Replacing as necessary windows, doors, insulation, and other structural aspects of the property that may result in loss of energy.
Being persistent about the reduction and recycling of disposable resources in the synod office(s) such as paper, ink cartridges, plastic, Styrofoam, etc.; and
Taking all possible steps to make all synod sponsored events more environmentally friendly by things such as:
Reducing paper use by utilizing projection where practical and encouraging participants to use electronic media such as laptops, PDAs, etc., and
Insisting that meals be served in a manner that reduces waste by things such as:
i. Serving buffet style when possible so people only take what they will eat,

ii. Insisting on the use of paper or washable cups and plates instead of plastic or Styrofoam,

iii. Requiring that all recyclable waste be divided out and recycled properly.

Encouraging, expecting and enabling participants to carpool to events; and
Replacing synod owned vehicles with those that are the most environmentally friendly available (currently hybrid vehicles); and
Providing necessary support and resources so that the Northern Illinois Synod Green Team can continue its work to help the synod, its congregations and agencies to become green; and
Identifying a symbol that expresses and promotes our care for creation that will be used whenever green steps are taken; and
Instituting other strategies that may emerge as science and technology continue to explore means of helping preserve and regenerate the environment.

Submitted by: Synod Green Team

Contact Person: Pastor Don Knowles or Pastor Jeff Schlesinger

Date Received: April 10, 2008

***************************************************************************************

Action of the Resolution Committee

Date of Action: April 25, 2008

Action Taken: Recommend Adoption

Eastern WA/ID Synod Accepts Eco-Reformation Work

Congratulations to the assembly and team which brought forth a Memorial and Resolution to support the focus on ecological integrity throughout the ELCA’s 500th Observance of the Reformation!

The good news as detailed by proud Pastor Alex Schmidt:

Greetings, this evening, Folks of Faith Lutheran [Leavenworth, WA]!
You can be proud of our Synod delegates, John Butruille and Lisa Therrell who have done a splendid job in hanging in there on some long days beginning Friday! Ninety-two churches with over 200 delegates are present here in Pasco. It is now Sat. night and we’ve just finished our 12 hour day.

Lisa, on behalf of the Faith Lutheran Earth Stewardship Group of which she is a part, did a most excellent job in her assembly workshop (which she’ll present as an adult forum on May 24th, along with John’s assembly reflections). Lisa also in gave two very articulate 3 minute speeches presenting the Memorial (directed to the National Church) and Resolution 1 (directed to our Synod) for the Assembly’s consideration and vote. Both documents were prepared by the Earth Stewardship Group and both passed nearly unanimously!

The testimonies that set the stage:

Reverend Barbara Rossing’s video address on why this is a critical ministry for the ELCA to wrap their arms around.
>>>>>>>

Keynote address from Prof. Ben Stewart included the logic laid out in Chris Hayes’ “The New Abolitionism”:

· scientists have identified a limit to how much carbon can go into the air if we hope to avoid cataclysmic damage to human civilization (565 GT by midcentury)

· there’s 5X that much carbon in known, extractable reserves right now (2,795 GT)

· countries and corporations are counting all of that carbon as wealth, but they can only cash it in if they burn it.

· thus, we are charged with convincing or compelling these countries and corporations to count those “assets” as being worth zero, nothing.

· (there’s one clear historical precedent for such a huge amount of “assets” suddenly being ruled no longer “property” — the abolition of slavery in the United States.)

>>>>>>>>

Short address to the assembly:

My name is Lisa Therrell. I am from Faith Lutheran Church in Leavenworth, Washington. I am retired from a 34 year career with the United State Forest Service, where discussions on climate change science became commonplace towards the end of my career. Our family also has a farm in Asotin County that has been in our family prior to Statehood, where we witness changes to the landscape.

In the Genesis story we read, “And God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.”

We know this about the Inland Northwest: a land defined by mountains and canyons, prairie and scabland, forests, rivers, lakes, and fertile fields. We are defined by this landscape, fed by this landscape, renewed by this landscape.

I am here to remind you the Earth is God’s Good Creation worthy of our care. Before you are two companion resolutions. Memorial 1 is directed to the 2016 Churchwide Assembly to make addressing climate change and ecological justice major themes of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. Resolution 1 is to this Synod, to advocate for reduced dependence on fossil fuels and to step up our care for creation.

God appointed us to tend the garden. Our failure to care for the garden is a sin against God, a failure to love the Creator with our whole heart. The challenge is clear. We must steadily reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. And we can do it. Our congregation put 96 solar panels on our local Middle School, a sign of the transition we can make to renewable energy.

But what does this have to do with the Reformation? The Reformation was a return to our biblical roots and a call for the renewal of the church and its mission. Theologians have coined the term “Ecclesia semper reformanda” meaning “the church is always to be reformed”. So we can observe the 500th anniversary of the Reformation as a “looking back”, but also a “looking ahead” for where the active presence of God’s people is needed in an ailing world.

There are many ways churches can work on ways to reduce their own carbon footprint and to inspire members to do the same. We can be a faith voice in our communities, region, and nation for care of creation. We can lead the way globally as peacemakers and healers of the land, standing in solidarity with those in peril and leaving a positive legacy for unborn future generations.

We are a church of reformers. I ask for your vote in favor of leading an Ecoreformation to save the atmosphere that surrounds our fragile planet while there is still time.

Thank you very much.

 

Eco-Reformation in the Context of Climate Change

Eastern Washington-Idaho Synod Assembly 2015
Resolution 1 

Memorial on Eco-Reformation in the Context of Climate Change

WHEREAS, 2017 will mark observances of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, which addressed fundamental threats to human well-being and all of God’s creation in theological, social, and political ways; and

WHEREAS, the 1993 ELCA Social Statement Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope, and Justice affirms that, “we are called to care for the earth as God cares for the earth;” and

WHEREAS, in 1993 with Caring for Creation we realized the urgency was already “widespread and serious, according to the preponderance of evidence from scientists worldwide [of] dangerous global warming, caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide” from the burning of fossil fuels, and that “action to counter degradation, especially within this decade, is essential to the future of our children and our children’s children. Time is very short;” and

WHEREAS, in the 1999 ELCA Social Statement Economic Life:  Sufficient, Sustainable Livelihood for All, this church declares that “Too often the earth has been treated as a waste receptacle and a limitless storehouse of raw materials to be used up for the sake of economic growth, rather than as a finite, fragile ecological system upon which human and all other life depends;” and

WHEREAS, the Statement of Vision and Expectations for Ordained Ministers in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) stipulates that “the people of God are called to the care and redemption of all that God has made. This includes the need to speak on behalf of this earth, its environment and natural resources and its inhabitants. This church expects that its ordained ministers will be exemplary stewards of the earth’s resources, and that they will lead this church in the stewardship of God’s creation;” and

WHEREAS, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton wrote in a pastoral letter on September 19, 2014: “Daily we see and hear the evidence of a rapidly changing climate. Glaciers are disappearing, the polar ice cap is melting, and sea levels are rising. Incidents of pollution-created dead zones in seas and the ocean and toxic algae growth in water supplies are occurring with greater frequency. Most disturbingly, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is rising at an unprecedented rate. At the same time we also witness in too many instances how the earth’s natural beauty, a sign of God’s wonderful creativity, has been defiled by pollutants and waste… The present moment is a critical one, filled with both challenge and opportunity to act as faithful individuals and churches in solidarity with God’s good creation”; and

WHEREAS, the Lutheran World Federation has already, with its three-fold theme “Salvation: Not for sale. Human beings: Not for sale. Creation: Not for sale.”, signaled its intention to include creation at the center of global 2017 anniversary commemorations; be it therefore

RESOLVED, that this Eastern Washington-Idaho Synod, recognizing the need for ongoing reformation of the ELCA, memorialize the 2016 Churchwide Assembly of the ELCA to make climate change and ecological justice major themes in ELCA planning and activities leading up to and following the observance of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

 Signatures:

Faith Lutheran Earth Stewardship Group:

Margaret Neighbors, Facilitator, Lisa Therrell, Presenter of Resolution

MaryCarol Nelson, Mary Schramm, Rev. John Schramm, Rev. Dr. Barbara Rossing, David Morgan, and Don Hurst, members.

Faith Lutheran Council:

MaryCarol Nelson, President

Judy Moody, Mary Schramm, John Butruille, Terry Leverenz, Dottie Smallbeck, Lindsay Camp, and Pr. Alex Schmidt, members.

Cluster Pastors:

            Pr. David Haven, Celebration Lutheran, Wenatchee

            Pr. Kent Narum, Fullness of God, Holden Village

Congregational Forum Resources:

Caring for Creation:  Vision, Hope, and Justice  http://www.elca.org/Faith/Faith-and-Society/Social-Statements/Caring-for-Creation   A most excellent Lutheran and Biblical perspective on the crucial, political, social, and economic issues surrounding environmental care of creation.

Economic Life:  Sufficient, Sustainable Livelihood for All   http://www.elca.org/Faith/Faith-and-Society/Social-Statements/Economic-Life   Another insightful and biblically based document which examines the impact of economics on human well-being as well as sustainability of our environment.

Lutherans Restoring Creation
www.lutheransrestoringcreation.org  LRC is a grassroots movement advocating for and promoting care of creation through the ELCA.  Their website provides extensive and creative ideas and resources.

Lutheran World Federation:
https://www.lutheranworld.org/reformation-2017  This global service and justice oriented organization’s informative website provides an excellent and insightful critique of global tendencies tying human and environmental well-being to economic gain.

 

 

New England Synod’s Eco-Reformation

Resolution on Eco-Reformation 

WHEREAS, 2017 will mark observances of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, which addressed fundamental threats to human well-being and all of God’s creation in theological, social, and political ways; and
WHEREAS, the 1993 ELCA Social Statement Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope, and Justice affirms that, “we are called to care for the earth as God cares for the earth;” and
WHEREAS, in 1993 with Caring for Creation we realized the urgency was already “widespread and serious, according to the preponderance of evidence from scientists worldwide [of] dangerous global warming, caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide” from the burning of fossil fuels, and that “action to counter degradation, especially within this decade, is essential to the future of our children and our children’s children. Time is very short;” and
WHEREAS, in the 1999 ELCA Social Statement Economic Life: Sufficient, Sustainable Livelihood for All, this church declares that “Too often the earth has been treated as a waste receptacle and a limitless storehouse of raw materials to be used up for the sake of economic growth, rather than as a finite, fragile ecological system upon which human and all other life depends;” and
WHEREAS, the Statement of Vision and Expectations for Ordained Ministers in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) stipulates that “the people of God are called to the care and redemption of all that God has made. This includes the need to speak on behalf of this earth, its environment and natural resources and its inhabitants. This church expects that its ordained ministers will be exemplary stewards of the earth’s resources, and that they will lead this church in the stewardship of God’s creation;” and
WHEREAS, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton wrote in a pastoral letter on September 19, 2014: “Daily we see and hear the evidence of a rapidly changing climate. Glaciers are disappearing, the polar ice cap is melting, and sea levels are rising. Incidents of pollution-created dead zones in seas and the ocean and toxic algae growth in water supplies are occurring with greater frequency. Most disturbingly, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is rising at an unprecedented rate. At the same time we also witness in too many instances how the earth’s natural beauty, a sign of God’s wonderful creativity, has been defiled by pollutants and waste… The present moment is a critical one, filled with both challenge and opportunity to act as faithful individuals and churches in solidarity with God’s good creation”; and
WHEREAS, the Lutheran World Federation has already, with its three-fold theme “Salvation: Not for sale. Human beings: Not for sale. Creation: Not for sale.”, signaled its intention to include creation at the center of global 2017 anniversary commemorations; be it therefore
RESOLVED that the New England Synod search for ways to enact the 2013 Churchwide Assembly action to “support and encourage synods, congregations, members, the churchwide organization, and agencies and institutions of this church to adopt and advocate for policies that reduce energy use, and with it our dependence on fossil fuels, as an expression of this church’s commitment to address climate change and to care for God’s creation” and “to re-examine lifestyles and environmental footprints as they relate to the climate crisis and to improve their stewardship of energy resources and promote care for God’s creation;” and be it further
RESOLVED, that the New England Synod commits itself to participate with the ELCA in becoming even more faithfully a denomination that embraces creation care throughout its life and mission.
Memorial on Eco-Reformation 

WHEREAS, 2017 will mark observances of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, which addressed fundamental threats to human well-being and all of God’s creation in theological, social, and political ways; and
WHEREAS, the 1993 ELCA Social Statement Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope, and Justice affirms that, “we are called to care for the earth as God cares for the earth;” and
WHEREAS, in 1993 with Caring for Creation we realized the urgency was already “widespread and serious, according to the preponderance of evidence from scientists worldwide [of] dangerous global warming, caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide” from the burning of fossil fuels, and that “action to counter degradation, especially within this decade, is essential to the future of our children and our children’s children. Time is very short;” and
WHEREAS, in the 1999 ELCA Social Statement Economic Life: Sufficient, Sustainable Livelihood for All, this church declares that “Too often the earth has been treated as a waste receptacle and a limitless storehouse of raw materials to be used up for the sake of economic growth, rather than as a finite, fragile ecological system upon which human and all other life depends;” and
WHEREAS, the Statement of Vision and Expectations for Ordained Ministers in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) stipulates that “the people of God are called to the care and redemption of all that God has made. This includes the need to speak on behalf of this earth, its environment and natural resources and its inhabitants. This church expects that its ordained ministers will be exemplary stewards of the earth’s resources, and that they will lead this church in the stewardship of God’s creation;” and
WHEREAS, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton wrote in a pastoral letter on September 19, 2014: “Daily we see and hear the evidence of a rapidly changing climate. Glaciers are disappearing, the polar ice cap is melting, and sea levels are rising. Incidents of pollution-created dead zones in seas and the ocean and toxic algae growth in water supplies are occurring with greater frequency. Most disturbingly, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is rising at an unprecedented rate. At the same time we also witness in too many instances how the earth’s natural beauty, a sign of God’s wonderful creativity, has been defiled by pollutants and waste… The present moment is a critical one, filled with both challenge and opportunity to act as faithful individuals and churches in solidarity with God’s good creation”; and
WHEREAS, the Lutheran World Federation has already, with its three-fold theme “Salvation: Not for sale. Human beings: Not for sale. Creation: Not for sale.”, signaled its intention to include creation at the center of global 2017 anniversary commemorations; be it therefore RESOLVED, that the New England Synod, recognizing the need for ongoing reformation of the ELCA, memorialize the 2016 Churchwide Assembly of the ELCA to request that climate change and ecological justice be major themes in ELCA planning and activities leading up to and following the observance of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

 

 

NorthEastern Iowa’s Eco-Reformation (2015)

Submitted/Approved at the June 2015 Northeastern Iowa’s Synod Assembly:

Eco-Reformation in the Context of the Northeastern Iowa Synod

WHEREAS, in the previous Memorial Eco-Reformation in the Context of Climate Change, substantive statements were presented indicating the urgency and importance of addressing this matter at our next Churchwide Assembly; and

WHEREAS, these propositions also apply and are critical for our own Northeastern Iowa Synod; be it therefore

RESOLVED, that this Northeastern Iowa Synod will find ways to enact the 2013 Churchwide Assembly action to “support and encourage synods, congregations, members, the churchwide organization, and agencies and institutions of this church to adopt and advocate for policies that reduce energy use, and with it our dependence on fossil fuels, as an expression of this church’s commitment to address climate change and to care for God’s creation” and “to re-examine lifestyles and environmental footprints as they relate to the climate crisis and to improve their stewardship of energy resources and promote care for God’s creation;” and be it further

RESOLVED, that this Northeastern Iowa Synod commit itself to participate with the ELCA in becoming even more faithfully a denomination that embraces and practices creation care throughout its life and mission.

SUBMITTED BY: Care of Creation Network

Memorial on Eco-Reformation in the Context of Climate Change

WHEREAS, 2017 will mark observances of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, which addressed fundamental threats to human well-being and all of God’s creation in theological, social, and political ways; and

WHEREAS, the 1993 ELCA Social Statement Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope, and Justice affirms that, “we are called to care for the earth as God cares for the earth;” and

WHEREAS, in 1993 with Caring for Creation we realized the urgency was already “widespread and serious, according to the preponderance of evidence from scientists worldwide [of] dangerous global warming, caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide” from the burning of fossil fuels, and that “action to counter degradation, especially within this decade, is essential to the future of our children and our children’s children. Time is very short;” and

WHEREAS, in the 1999 ELCA Social Statement Economic Life: Sufficient, Sustainable Livelihood for All, this church declares that “Too often the earth has been treated as a waste receptacle and a limitless storehouse of raw materials to be used up for the sake of economic growth, rather than as a finite, fragile ecological system upon which human and all other life depends;” and

WHEREAS, the Statement of Vision and Expectations for Ordained Ministers in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) stipulates that “the people of God are called to the care and redemption of all that God has made. This includes the need to speak on behalf of this earth, its environment and natural resources and its inhabitants. This church expects that its ordained ministers will be exemplary stewards of the earth’s resources, and that they will lead this church in the stewardship of God’s creation;” and

WHEREAS, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton wrote in a pastoral letter on September 19, 2014: “Daily we see and hear the evidence of a rapidly changing climate. Glaciers are disappearing, the polar ice cap is melting, and sea levels are rising. Incidents of pollution-created dead zones in seas and the ocean and toxic algae growth in water supplies are occurring with greater frequency. Most disturbingly, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is rising at an unprecedented rate. At the same time we also witness in too many instances how the earth’s natural beauty, a sign of God’s wonderful creativity, has been defiled by pollutants and waste… The present moment is a critical one, filled with both challenge and opportunity to act as faithful individuals and churches in solidarity with God’s good creation”; and

WHEREAS, the Lutheran World Federation has already, with its three-fold theme “Salvation: Not for sale. Human beings: Not for sale. Creation: Not for sale.” signaled its intention to include creation at the center of global 2017 anniversary commemorations; be it therefore

RESOLVED, that this Northeastern Iowa Synod, recognizing the need for ongoing reformation of the ELCA, memorialize the 2016 Churchwide Assembly of the ELCA to make climate change and ecological justice major themes in ELCA planning and activities leading up to and following the observance of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

SUBMITTED BY: Care of Creation Network

Upper Susquehanna PA Synod Eco-Reformation 2015

Memorial on Eco-Reformation in the Context of Climate Change

WHEREAS, 2017 will mark observances of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, which addressed fundamental threats to human well-being and all of God’s creation in theological, social, and political ways; and

WHEREAS, the 1993 ELCA Social Statement Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope, and Justice affirms that, “we are called to care for the earth as God cares for the earth;” and

WHEREAS, in 1993 with Caring for Creation we realized the urgency was already “widespread and serious, according to the preponderance of evidence from scientists worldwide [of] dangerous global warming, caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide” from the burning of fossil fuels, and that “action to counter degradation, especially within this decade, is essential to the future of our children and our children’s children. Time is very short;” and

WHEREAS, in the 1999 ELCA Social Statement Economic Life: Sufficient, Sustainable Livelihood for All, this church declares that “Too often the earth has been treated as a waste receptacle and a limitless storehouse of raw materials to be used up for the sake of economic growth, rather than as a finite, fragile ecological system upon which human and all other life depends;” and

WHEREAS, the Statement of Vision and Expectations for Ordained Ministers in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) stipulates that “the people of God are called to the care and redemption of all that God has made. This includes the need to speak on behalf of this earth, its environment and natural resources and its inhabitants. This church expects that its ordained ministers will be exemplary stewards of the earth’s resources, and that they will lead this church in the stewardship of God’s creation;” and

WHEREAS, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton wrote in a pastoral letter on September 19, 2014: “Daily we see and hear the evidence of a rapidly changing climate. Glaciers are disappearing, the polar ice cap is melting, and sea levels are rising. Incidents of pollution-created dead zones in seas and the ocean and toxic algae growth in water supplies are occurring with greater frequency. Most disturbingly, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is rising at an unprecedented rate. At the same time we also witness in too many instances how the earth’s natural beauty, a sign of God’s wonderful creativity, has been defiled by pollutants and waste… The present moment is a critical one, filled with both challenge and opportunity to act as faithful individuals and churches in solidarity with God’s good creation”; and

WHEREAS, the Lutheran World Federation has already, with its three-fold theme “Salvation: Not for sale. Human beings: Not for sale. Creation: Not for sale.”, signaled its intention to include creation at the center of global 2017 anniversary commemorations; be it therefore

RESOLVED, that this Upper Susquehanna Synod, recognizing the need for ongoing reformation of the ELCA, memorialize the 2016 Churchwide Assembly of the ELCA to make climate change and ecological justice major themes in ELCA planning and activities leading up to and following the observance of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

Submitted by:

The Rev. Dr. Leah Schade, Pastor, United in Christ Lutheran, Lewisburg, PA

and

The Buffalo Valley Conference of the Upper Susquehanna Synod

Congregational Forum Resources:

Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope, and Justice http://www.elca.org/Faith/Faith-and-Society/Social-Statements/Caring-for-Creation A most excellent Lutheran and Biblical perspective on the crucial, political, social, and economic issues surrounding environmental care of creation.

Economic Life: Sufficient, Sustainable Livelihood for All http://www.elca.org/Faith/Faith-and-Society/Social-Statements/Economic-Life Another insightful and biblically based document which examines the impact of economics on human well-being as well as sustainability of our environment.

Lutherans Restoring Creation http://www.lutheransrestoringcreation.org LRC is a grassroots movement advocating for and promoting care of creation through the ELCA. Their website provides extensive and creative ideas and resources.

Lutheran World Federation: https://www.lutheranworld.org/reformation-2017 This global service and justice oriented organization’s informative website provides an excellent and insightful critique of global tendencies tying human and environmental well-being to economic gain.

Eco-Reformation in the Context of Upper Susquehanna Synod

WHEREAS, in the previous Memorial Eco-Reformation in the Context of Climate Change, substantive statements were presented indicating the urgency and importance of addressing this matter at our next Churchwide Assembly; and

WHEREAS these propositions also apply and are critical for our own Upper Susquehann Synod; be it therefore

RESOLVED, that this Upper Susquehanna Synod will find ways to enact the 2013 Churchwide Assembly action to “support and encourage synods, congregations, members, the churchwide organization, and agencies and institutions of this church to adopt and advocate for policies that reduce energy use, and with it our dependence on fossil fuels, as an expression of this church’s commitment to address climate change and to care for God’s creation” and “to re-examine lifestyles and environmental footprints as they relate to the climate crisis and to improve their stewardship of energy resources and promote care for God’s creation;” and be it further

RESOLVED, that this Upper Susquehanna Synod commit itself to participate with the ELCA in becoming even more faithfully a denomination that embraces and practices creation care throughout its life and mission.

Submitted by:

The Rev. Dr. Leah Schade, Pastor, United in Christ Lutheran, Lewisburg, PA

and

The Buffalo Valley Conference of the Upper Susquehanna Synod

Congregational Forum Resources: See previous memorial.

Resolution on Caring for Creation: North/West Lower MI Synod in Assembly 2004

WHEREAS, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America adopted the social statement “Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope, and Justice” by a more than two-thirds majority at its third Churchwide Assembly on August 28, 1993 in Kansas City, Missouri; and

WHEREAS, the 1993 Social Statement:

1) Offers a vision of God’s intention for creation and for humanity as creation’s caregivers;

2) Provides a solid biblical, ethical, and theological rationale for caring for God’s creation;

3) Acknowledges humanity’s separation from God and from the rest of creation as the central cause of environmental crises;

4) Recognizes the severity of current environmental crises; and

5) Expresses hope while calling the church to effective action on behalf of restoring and protecting the integrity of creation; and

WHEREAS, there is currently only one churchwide full-time staff person to address both environmental education and advocacy; and

WHEREAS, a Churchwide consultation, convened in November 2003 on the tenth anniversary of the “Caring for Creation” social statement, urged the ELCA through its congregations, synods, Churchwide organization, and institutions to strengthen its resolve to implement faithfully the commitments that it made in the social statement in 1993;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the North/West Lower Michigan Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in Assembly commends the “Caring for Creation” social statement and its subsequent implementation strategies recommended by the 2003 consultation, available on the ELCA’s Division for Church in Society website, to our congregations for prayerful review, study, and action;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this Synod memorialize the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Assembly 2005 to offer increased attention and support to both churchwide and synodical programs and ministries for environmental education and advocacy, so that this church might more faithfully carry out the vision, hope, and justice goals of the 1993 statement.

Resolution on Caring for Creation

Approved – North/West Lower MI Synod in Assembly

May 14-16, 2004

Synod Resolutions: Eco-Reformation (2015 and 2016)

Northwest Synod of Wisconsin 
Approved May 2016
Submitted/approved by the Upper Susquehanna (PA) Synod
June 2015 Workshop Power Point Presentation
 
Submitted/approved by the Northeastern Iowa Synod June 2015
Approved by New England Synod June 2015
 
Adopted by Northeastern Minnesota Synod May 2015
(forwarded to conference deans for consideration) 
Eastern WA/ID Synod
Approved April 25, 2015

ELCA Churchwide Pledges to Move Towards a Sustainable Energy Future

August 13th, after days of conversation, discernment and prayer the 2016 churchwide voting assembly voted to pass the Memorial: Towards a Responsible Energy Future. After a grassroots divestment coalition brought together various synodical divestment memorials and the proper parliamentary protocol into one statement, the church is now called to act on the amended version you can read here. [Watch recording of vote here minute 47]

 

Sample resolutions to edit and submit at your next synod assembly

Sample Transition to Clean, Renewable Energy Resolution

Sample Fossil Fuels Divestment Resolution

Sample Synod Resolution on Eco-Reformation

Sample Resolution Regarding Inclusion of Stewardship of Creation in Worship

Sample Resolution to Become a Lutherans Restoring Creation Synod

 

 

2017 Synod Assemblies Pass More Eco-Justice Resolutions!

South Central Wisconsin passed their Carbon Fee & Dividend Resolution!
MD/DE Synod Assembly for approving a Resolution on Ecological Justice (read here).

2016 Churchwide Assembly Passes Memorial To Move Towards A Responsible Energy Future

2016 Churchwide Assembly Passes Memorial To Move Towards A Responsible Energy Future

During the months leading up to the August 2016 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, a group of people promoted memorials to suggest that the church divest from fossil fuels and/or invest in renewable energy, and worked to ensure that the issue was properly discussed by voting members.
Read their position paper and follow their efforts as reported on our Facebook page  See also information on Key differences between divestment and shareholder advocacy
We still have a ways to go – but with the advocacy office, Portico, and a handful of dedicated “restorers of creation” progress is being made.
 

From minutes of Plenary 8 session – August 13th, which can be found in full here.

MEMORIAL B3:

To receive with gratitude the memorials of the Saint Paul Area, Metropolitan New York, Northeastern Pennsylvania, Upper Susquehanna and Northwestern Pennsylvania synods related to climate change and fossil fuels;

To urge all ELCA members, congregations and synods to inform and educate themselves about the effects of climate change through the lens of the “Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice” social statement, and to advocate for policies that reduce energy use and our dependence on fossil fuels and encourage development of renewable energy sources as an expression of our commitment to address climate change and caring for God’s creation;

To affirm the action of the 2013 Churchwide Assembly and subsequent action of the Church Council in 2014 related to the development of revised or additional investment screens on fossil fuels, and to support and commend ELCA members, congregations, synods, the churchwide organization, and related institutions and agencies such as ELCA Endowment Fund and Portico Benefit Services for their leadership efforts to invest in companies that are taking steps toward a sustainable environment;

To affirm Portico’s balanced approach to supporting this church’s principles and directives as stated in the social statements — including the commitment to help transition to an economy less dependent on fossil fuels.

That approach includes has included:

1. shareholder advocacy (filing and supporting resolutions on environmental issues, including 150 resolutions in 2015),

2. focused investment screening, which has identified 113 companies screened for environmental reasons, and

3. ramping up positive social investments, such as investments in companies that develop solar, wind and water power generation systems, repurposing waste products and reducing toxic emissions;

and now:

To call upon Portico to evaluate the viability of an optional fossil -free fund for retirement plan participants; and To call upon the ELCA to heed the call of the Lutheran World Federation Council in 2015 to member churches “not to invest in fossil fuels and to support energy efficiency and renewable energy companies, and to encourage their institutions and individual members to do likewise”; and

As part of this church’s response to the Lutheran World Federation’s call, to request that the ELCA churchwide organization review the ELCA’s applicable social teachings and Corporate Social Responsibility policies and procedures, with the goal of not investing in, and removing the largest fossil fuel companies as identified by Carbon Tracker, and investing in corporations which are taking positive steps toward a sustainable environment.

 

 

 

 

2016 Churchwide Assembly Resolution Urging Stewardship of the Gift of Water 

Noting “the many biblical themes of renewal and liberation that water affords,” and the importance of watersheds for environmental justice and creation care, the Assembly resolved to promote awareness, appreciation and stewardship of watersheds and water.  Click here to read the resolution

Motion C: Resolution Urging Stewardship of the Gift of Water

2016 Churchwide Assembly

ASSEMBLY ACTION CA16.05.24 To adopt Motion C. ­­­

WHEREAS, Holy Scripture reminds us that “the Holy Habitation of the Most High” includes “a river whose streams make glad the city of God,” and that “waters of the sea may become fresh, so everything will live where the river goes,” and that “the Holy Spirit descended on [Jesus] in bodily form like a dove” when he was baptized in the River Jordan; and 2016 Churchwide Assembly: Legislative Update Friday, August 12, 2016 Page 11 of 14

WHEREAS, a watershed is the ground that water flows within as it moves toward a stream, river or lake, and is a natural boundary within God’s creation, unlike arbitrary and haphazard geopolitical boundaries, and all of God’s creatures live in a watershed; and

WHEREAS, many of the watersheds in this country are degraded, and this environmental damage leads to water shortages and a crisis that disproportionately affects people of color and people with lower incomes; and

WHEREAS, the ELCA social statement “Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice” states that “We see the despoiling of the environment as nothing less than the degradation of God’s precious gift of creation,” and the social statement also reminds us that “congregations have various opportunities during the year to focus on creation… Thanksgiving, harvest festivals, and blessings of field, water, and plants and animals,” and encourages us to “observe Earth Day or Soil and Water Stewardship Week,” so as to protect and restore “natural and human habitats, including seas, wetlands, forests, wilderness, and urban areas”; and

 WHEREAS, “watershed discipleship” requires that Christians acknowledge that water lies both at the center of our Christian rite of baptism and our current ecological and climate crisis, thus deserving deep theological treatment; therefore, let it be

RESOLVED, that the ELCA, in Assembly, requests the Church Council to direct the appropriate churchwide unit to provide every active rostered leader with resources to locate each congregation within its watershed district, so that waters may be named and known in worship and intercessory prayers, and that theological and biblical themes may build awareness, care and thanksgiving for the gift of these waters; and let it be further

RESOLVED, that the ELCA, in Assembly, requests the Church Council to direct the appropriate churchwide unit to provide resources to congregations and individual members to encourage and support conservation and prayerful stewardship of water resources; and let it be further

RESOLVED, that the ELCA, in Assembly, requests the Church Council to direct the appropriate churchwide unit to continue to develop strategies and provide resources to support areas struggling with natural or human-caused disasters that impact access to clean water, such as water contamination, drought and floods, with an awareness that the impact of our environmental actions have disproportionate implication for communities of color with lower incomes; and let it be further 

RESOLVED, that the ELCA, in Assembly, encourages congregations to plan events outside their doors and within their watersheds, utilizing the many biblical themes of renewal and liberation that water affords.