ELCA celebrates Earth Day

By Andy Brunner/Public domain via Unsplash

On Earth Day, April 22, Lutherans spoke out about climate change and remain engaged about highlighting the negative impact humanity has had on the planet.

In a recent Living Lutheran series, the experience of ELCA missionaries seeing climate change in their daily work.

Ruth Ivory-Moore, ELCA Advocacy program director for environment and energy, told the magazine that climate change has had a disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable including the elderly poor, minorities, and developing countries.

On Earth Day itself, which fell on a Sunday, Pastor Susan Henry of House of Prayer Lutheran Church in Bingham, Massachusetts gave a sermon on our partnership with God in caring for creation.

“Compassion, community, and deep-down knowing that we are called to be partners with God all draw us to care for creation,” she said in a sermon that was later posted to Lutherans Restoring Creation website. “Mere convenience, sheer carelessness and human selfishness all work against our caring for what God has created and what God desires with us.”

Some ideas for celebrating Earth Day from the Lutherans Restoring Creation group include presenting your congregational council with the “Congregational Covenant with Creation” along with a copy of the Care for Creation social statement affirmed by the ELCA 25 years ago. Congregations can also imagine a change of habit or project for their church as an expression of stewardship of the gifts God has given.

Presiding Bishop of the ELCA, The Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, in an Earth Day statement acknowledged the evidence of rapidly changing climate. As a member church of The Lutheran World Federation, she said that the ELCA affirms “that the global ecological crisis, including climate change is, human-induced. This is a spiritual matter. As people of faith, we are called to live in right relationship with creation and to not exhaust it.”

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