Praised Be to You!
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
 
"The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change. The Creator does not abandon us; he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us. Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home. Here I want to recognize, encourage and thank all those striving in countless ways to guarantee the protection of the home which we share. Particular appreciation is owed to those who tirelessly seek to resolve the tragic effects of environmental degradation on the lives of the world’s poorest. Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded."

-Encyclical letter, Laudato Si, Of the Holy Father Francis on Care for Our Common Home
 
Today, Pope Francis issued a clarion call for the care of God’s earth; for humanity to come together to protect the planet that God created, which sustains us and our fellow creatures.  In an encyclical, or Catholic teaching document, the Pope outlines the ecological challenges we face and calls on individuals, institutions and governments to take action.
 
In a statement released this morning, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton praised the encyclical, noting parallels to our own social statement “Caring for Creation” and calling for action: “The present moment is a critical one, filled with both challenge and opportunity to act as individuals, citizens, leaders and communities of faith in solidarity with God’s good creation and in hope for our shared future.”
 
The encyclical speaks to a variety of current ecological issues, but prominently calls for action on climate change and expresses particular concern for those who are most impacted by the earth’s changing climate—those living in poverty around the world.  In a year where countries are negotiating a new global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help poor countries and communities  build their resilience to the effects of climate change, the Pope’s message to our world leaders could not come at a better time.  
 
You can send a message to U.S. leaders now, calling for a strong climate agreement! Sign an interfaith petition on climate change by clicking here to urge President Obama and Members of Congress to take strong action to combat climate change before it’s too late. Add your voice to a growing chorus of people of faith who are holding our leaders accountable on this critical issue!

Our ELCA advocacy initiatives are made possible through support from ELCA World Hunger. Please donate now to ensure that we can continue to work for systemic change that truly supports our brothers and sisters facing poverty and hunger.
 
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