Last month, the ELCA Church Council unanimously approved the adoption of a social message related to climate crisis. ELCA social messages provide analysis and theological interpretation on a focused social question to establish ELCA teaching and public stance for discernment and action.
The ELCA social message on Earth’s Climate Crisis builds on previous social statements, particularly Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice, adopted in 1993. The ELCA asked for public input on a draft social message via email and a comprehensive survey on its website from September to December last year. Revisions guided by that feedback led to the April 20 adoption of the message by the Church Council. The document comes at a time when the ELCA at its Churchwide Assembly last summer supported the social target of reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030. The social message challenges all expressions of the ELCA to seek that target, as well.
“In the Scriptures, God assigns a sacred responsibility to human beings: we are to care for and keep God’s creation for future generations,” the social message reads. This insight is drawn from Genesis 1-2, which opens the message and sketches both God’s love for creation and God’s command seek the flourishing of the earth.
Susan is an author with a long-time interest in religion and science. She currently edits Covalence, the Lutheran Alliance for Faith, Science and Technology’s online magazine. She has written articles in The Lutheran and the Zygon Center for Religion and Science newsletter. Susan is a board member for the Center for Advanced Study of Religion and Science, the supporting organization for the Zygon Center and the Zygon Journal. She also co-wrote Our Bodies Are Selves with Dr. Philip Hefner and Dr. Ann Pederson.