Look for these monthly features on what we believe which will focus on social statements and social messages adopted by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
As we approach Earth Day on April 22, learn about our church’s views on caring for creation. Adopted in 1993, Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope, and Justice offers a deepening understanding of how we, as a church, can join the discussion about the environment.
This particular statement:
- "offers a vision of God’s intention for creation and for humanity as creation’s caregivers;
- "acknowledges humanity’s separation from God and from the rest of creation as the central cause of the environmental crisis;
- "recognizes the severity of the crisis; and
- "expresses hope and heeds the call to justice and commitment."
Caring for Creation call us to return to a Biblical vision where we recognize that care for creation is care of a gift given to us from God. We are intimately entwined with creation as humans – we rely on it for our own wellbeing and have a role to serve and tend to God’s Garden.
Although this statement is almost 24 years old, the urgency surrounding how our human practices threaten the environment and how environmental degradation is related to social injustices continues to ring true today.
This statement reminds us that we are people of hope, freed from sin, and prepared to act. Seeking justice around environmental issues "means honoring the integrity of creation, and striving for fairness within the human family."
As you prepare for Earth Day on April 22, consider reading the social statement and using these prayers during worship:
- "We pray that our church may be a place where differing groups can be brought together, tough issues considered, and a common good pursued." (page 6)
- "We pray for the humility and wisdom to stand with and for creation, and the fortitude to support advocates whose efforts are made at personal risk." (page 7)
- "We pray for the strength to change our personal and public lives, to the end that there may be enough." (page 7)
- "We pray for the creativity and dedication to live more gently with the earth." (page 8)
Find also the ways for congregations and the church at large to actively engage in creation care in the statement. What might your congregation or you as an individual commit to doing?
Learn more about this social statement and download it in English or Spanish here.