What our church says
“Christian concern for the environment is shaped by the Word of God spoken in creation, the Love of God hanging on a cross, the Breath of God daily renewing the face of the earth” (ELCA social statement Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice).
What the â€¨environmentalists say
• Toss out enough paper and plastic cups, forks and spoons every year to circle the equator 300 times.
• Throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour.
• Fill enough garbage trucks each year to form a line that would stretch halfway to the moon.
• Perhaps your congregation adopts a stretch of highway and routinely picks up litter.
• Maybe you’ve organized a team to confront local pollution issues.
• Or you might have a recycling bin near the church soda machine and your young people raise funds by recycling.
Whether efforts are large or small, global or local, caring for the earth is likely part of your congregation’s ministry. Or it should be, said David Rhoads, professor of New Testament at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.
In partnership with Lutheran Earthkeeping Network of the Synods, Rhoads helps congregations combine environmental concerns with their faith.
Action begins with a congregational green team. The team serves as a catalyst for integrating “greening”—environmentally focused thinking and practices—into the life of the congregation and in members’ homes. Green teams are responsible for “transforming the identity of a congregation,” making care for creation integral to its identity and mission, Rhoads said.
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© 2013 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers