Read what one Lutheran congregation is doing to care for our environment.
At LCA General Convention of Synod 2015, the following proposal was jointly put by the Commission on Social and Bioethical Questions (CSBQ), Australian Lutheran World Service (ALWS) and Lutheran Education Australia (LEA). The proposal was passed.
BE IT RESOLVED THAT the LCA affirms that a prime responsibility of Christians is to be responsible stewards of creation and all life on the planet and encourages LCA members, congregations, groups and agencies to:
- intentionally and regularly include God’s gift of creation and our stewardship and care in prayer and worship, individual and group study and church decision making
- encourage, implement and model ways of living and working that minimize the production of greenhouse gas emissions
- examine the long term implications of an economy which readily consumes and throws away
- act to reduce waste and implement the sustainable use and recycling of earth’s resources
- wrestle with issues of resource and environmental justice for poor communities nations and future generations
- engage in dialogue, discussion, shared learning and action with decision makers and environmental groups in the wider community.
In 2016 an Environmental Action Working Group was formed. Its role is to summarise the actions already being taken by CSBQ, ALWS and LEA, and to identify some priority actions for CSBQ to consider in order to progress the achievement of the above six commitments for the LCA.
Action already taken
Following advice from CSBQ and endorsement by the College of Bishops, LCA Bishop John Henderson signed the Interfaith Statement on Climate Change which was presented at Marrakech in November 2016. Read Bishop Henderson's statement.
Ongoing role of CSBQ
CSBQ and its Environmental Action Working Group can assist the LCA and its agencies in reviewing and reporting progress on key initiatives and preparing papers to communicate progress. In respect of this review and reporting role, CSBQ is able to ask its working group to address questions such as:
- Are the LCA’s targets realistic?
- Is there a commitment within the whole LCA to deliver?
- Have resources been allocated?
- Are resources being used effectively?
In addition to resources that other Christian organisations have developed, the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has published a book, Creation – Not for Sale. It is one of the three sub-themes of the 500th Anniversary of Reformation’s main theme, 'Liberated by God’s Grace'. Although theological and academic, some key chapters are:
- Chryssavgis, J 2015, ‘A New Heaven and a New Earth: Orthodox Theology and an Ecological Worldview’
- Kopp, M 2015, ‘Responsible Stewards of God’s Creation: Advocating for Climate Justice’
- Kuss, C 2015, ‘Creation is not up for Sale, but what about our Theological Conscience?’