Care of Creation
Scripture teaches that humanity has a special role in relationship to the rest of creation. While we are formed from the earth like other creatures, humans are charged with being God’s stewards of all of creation. Our elected officials help support the stewardship of God’s creation by appropriating funding for programs that protect human health and the environment. On a state and national level, these programs include promoting clean air and water, protecting land, preventing harm to plants and animals, and supporting biological diversity and healthy communities. In addition, Congress funds major international development efforts to mitigate the impact of greenhouse gas emissions. These environmental programs are essential to global food and national security, welfare, and economic productivity.
Lutheran Advocacy - Minnesota advocates for policies that protect God's creation, recognizing that failure to do so intensifies social injustices across the board. Here are the issues that LA-MN works on to promote care of God’s creation:
Severe consequences of climate change are happening more rapidly than scientists believed would be the case even just a handful of years ago. A report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that carbon pollution must be cut by 45% within the next 11 years and must be at zero within about 25 years to avoid disastrous global warming.
Significant changes to the climate have already occurred as a result of global warming, disrupting agriculture, worsening food scarcity, poverty, famines, and flooding. Sea level is already seven to eight inches higher than at pre-industrial levels due to melting glaciers, and getting worse quickly. Warming is increasing the intensity of storms, changing habitat for insects and causing disease to spread. And this just scratches the surface.
The world needs an unprecedented mobilization to slow carbon emissions and stop them, a level some compare to the mobilization in the U.S. for World War II. The world must move rapidly to increase efficiency, replace fossil fuels with renewable energy, plant millions of trees, and remove carbon from the atmosphere. We must work to address climate adaptation and resilience. These economic transitions will bring changes. These changes have the opportunity to expand economic opportunities, industries and jobs for the future.
Decarbonizing our energy sector is necessary to stop the disastrous and expensive aftermath of climate change. The crisis is all around us, yet many in our society (including many legislators) are not making the connection between extreme weather/disasters and climate change. If society doesn’t make the connection, change won’t happen.
Creation Care Resources
Below are resources related to care of creation:
Agriculture and Food Security in a Changing Climate (Background Paper)
Awakening God’s Call to Earthkeeping – a four-session small group study to encourage, empower, and equip Lutherans in their calling to care for creation.
Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope, and Justice, a social statement of the ELCA.
Climate Change 101 (Background paper)
Climate and Resiliency (Background paper)
Green Blades Rising Newsletter - A monthly newsletter produced by the NE MN EcoFaith Network containing theological resources, EcoFaith initiatives throughout the synod, educational opportunities, and more.
Laudato Si – Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment and human ecology
Let’s Talk Faith and Climate: Communication Guidance for Faith Leaders
Why Lutherans Care for Creation: Building on our foundations in the ongoing reformation of the church