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Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod Resolution on Energy Stewardship








7 Reference & Counsel Number: 2010-03 Secretary’s Number:


9 Title: Energy Stewardship


11 Submitted by: The Rev. Sarah Scherschligt on behalf of the Synod Creation Care

12 Team.


14 Received: -- April 3, 2010


16 Whereas, the created world is a gracious gift from God to all living beings, and to

17 every generation, and to us; and God’s people have a Biblical calling to

18 act as responsible stewards of this gift of creation; and


20 Whereas, human activity, especially our use of energy and resources, affects the gift

21 of creation in significant and sometimes harmful ways and is a driver in

changes in climate and environmental distress,a 22 causing both harm to

23 God’s creation and exacerbating already difficult situations for many

24 people and for other non-human life; and


26 Whereas, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), recognizes the

27 gravity of these issues, and has a history of commitment in addressing

28 environmental issues as part of our call to justice, sustainability, and

solidarity with affected communities,b 29 along with our partners in the

30 Lutheran World Federation and Lutheran World Relief who are committed

31 to working to alleviate hunger, poverty, and unsustainable living conditions

globally;c 32 and


34 Whereas, the ELCA’s Washington Office is advocating at the Federal level a goal of

35 25-40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020; and


37 Whereas, there are many low cost tools and resources available to assess and

38 reduce a congregation’s greenhouse gas emissions through organizations

such as the ELCA’s Caring for Creation,d Lutherans Restoring Creation,e 39

the Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light,f 40 and The Pew Center

on Global Climate Change;g 41 therefore, be it


43 Resolved, that the Metropolitan Washington DC Synod in Assembly encourage its

44 congregations, administrative offices, campus ministries and associated

45 outdoor ministry facilities to offer a public witness of energy stewardship

46 by: (1) Measuring the greenhouse gas emissions (i.e., “carbon footprint”)

47 associated with the energy use of facilities they own or use to establish a

48 baseline starting point; and (2) With the assistance and/or support of our

Synod Creation Care Team,h 49 conduct an energy audit to determine what

50 options there are for reducing energy use; and (3) Make a commitment to

51 decrease their carbon footprint by a certain percentage over a specified

52 period of time through energy conservation, efficiency, or clean energy

53 measures; and be it further


55 Resolved, that the Metropolitan Washington DC Synod in Assembly invite its

56 congregations, administrative offices, and outdoor ministry facilities to

57 share this information with the Synod Creation Care Team, Synod office

58 and, where applicable, on ELCA congregational reporting forms, and

59 subsequently also share what energy-saving steps were taken and what

60 measurable energy savings realized, as evidenced in a lower carbon

61 footprint measurement; and be it further


63 Resolved, that the Metropolitan Washington DC Synod in Assembly encourage each

64 congregation to establish a “Congregational Creation Care Team” that,

65 with the support of the Synod Creation Care Team, would be responsible

66 for implementing this resolution, providing educational opportunities to its

67 members about our calling as stewards of creation, and further guiding the

68 congregation and its members to be better stewards of energy in all

69 aspects of its shared life; and be it further


71 Resolved, that the Metropolitan Washington DC Synod in Assembly memorialize the

72 2011 Churchwide Assembly to encourage all expressions of the ELCA to

73 reduce their energy-related greenhouse gas emissions incrementally per

74 year with the ultimate goal of reducing these emissions 25-40% by 2020,

75 and to share this commitment and steps taken to achieve it in a public way

76 in official publications and communication channels of this church.


National Conference Center in Landsdowne, Virginia

May 7-8, 2010


b ELCA 1993: Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice

c for educational materials that show how hunger and climate change are connected


e (Anticipated launch date: September 2010 – if not sooner)


g and (non-partisan; sound science)

h Our Synod Creation Care Team, with the help of Lutherans Restoring Creation (LRC), stands ready to offer

assistance and guidance on the implementation of this resolution and in the sharing of your congregation’s results

with others. Our Synod Team will be in contact with LRC and others that are joining in this effort in a

collaborative, coordinated initiative across the ELCA