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South Central Wisconsin Synod Resolution

A Faithful Response to Global Climate Change


Whereas, God has created us and all that exists, given and preserved our bodies and all necessities for life, and protected us “out of pure, fatherly, and divine goodness and mercy” [The First Article:  On Creation, Luther’s Small Catechism] and God has declared all of creation to be “very good” [Genesis 1:31]; and


Whereas God has called us to be faithful stewards, and we have understood our vocations to Care for Creation with Vision, Hope, and Justice [1993 ELCA social statement], in ways that protect the fruitfulness and viability of the Earth and the sustainability of human communities; and

Whereas, scientific consensus warns that humankind’s deep dependence on the use of fossil fuels contributes to and is accelerating global climate change and global warming that is expected to cause severe and disruptive changes to all of creation through more frequent extreme weather events, rising sea levels, more frequent deadly heat waves, increasing extinction of species, spread of tropical diseases, and displacement of human communities; and

Whereas, faithful members of caring Lutheran congregations who take action now to reduce the use of fossil fuels and emissions of carbon dioxide can help to mitigate and lessen the ultimate severity of the effects of global warming and provide a
more hopeful future for our children and our children’s children, therefore, be it

Resolved, that the leaders, congregations, and members of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin become informed of the problem of global warming and respond by taking advantage of available educational resources such as the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago/Greater Milwaukee Synod’s manual for a Green Congregation Program, and the Wisconsin Climate and Energy Campaign/Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin’s “Climate CAFÉ” discussion and action kit, and be it further

Resolved, that we will undertake actions, individually, and in our congregations, to reduce and improve our use of energy through the increased use of energy efficient lights, appliances, heating/cooling systems, and vehicles, and be it further


Resolved, that we will utilize programs such as the Wisconsin Climate and Energy Campaign’s “Energy Collaborative” and the state of Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy program that assist congregations to become better and more efficient energy stewards through retrofitting and conservation, and programs to offset carbon emissions, and be it further

Resolved, that we will advocate for policies in the state of Wisconsin and in Washington, DC, that assist the state and nation’s transition to clean, renewable, and efficient energy use, and be it further

Resolved, that this synod memorialize the 2007 Churchwide Assembly to take action so that the ELCA offices and national church work toward eliminating their carbon footprint and increasing awareness of the ways to reduce global warming among members, congregations, and synods of the ELCA.


by the 2007 Assembly of the

South-Central Synod of WI



Websites for 2007 Resolution


Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – Advocacy

            Features many matters of justice and e-updates to contact legislators.  Also

includes global warming fact sheets, environmental audit for congregations,

unique Lenten devotion, “Awakening God’s Call to Earthkeeping” study, etc.


Wisconsin Interfaith Climate and Energy Campaign


            Information on joining a nine-month program to be coached in evaluating your

congregation’s ecological footprint.  Search also for Climate CAFÉ info.


Focus on Energy


            A Wisconsin program, helps fund installation of projects to aid energy efficiency.


Web of Creation


            Through the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, info on the “Become a

Green Congregation” program.


A Few Other Resources


Lutheran World Relief


            Order sustainably-harvested “eco-palms” and fair trade organic shade-grown

Equal Exchange coffee.


National Council of Churches – Eco-Justice


            Ministries to “heal and defend creation,” see especially Earth Day Sunday.


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star program


            Energy Star for Congregations page begins “Most congregations can cut energy

costs by up to 30%…” using free resources like “Putting Energy into

Stewardship” guide and advice.


Earth Ministry


            Features the “Greening Congregations Handbook” and other resources.


            Example of non-profit way to calculate and offset carbon dioxide emissions.

Any Given Sunday



            Note Ash Wednesday confession’s emphasis on pollution

            also renewing baptismal promises à



            e.g., Luther’s flood prayer “…in the beginning your Spirit moved over the waters and you created heaven and earth.  By the gift of water you nourish and sustain us and all living things…” (LBW p122)


            “For the peace of the whole world…”



            a few easy examples: 

Genesis 1:1-2:4a (Easter Vigil, A,B,C; Holy Trinity, A)

Deuteronomy 8:7-18 (Thanksgiving, A)

Isaiah 35:1-10 (3 Advent, A; Lectionary 23, B)

Psalm 8 (Holy Trinity, A,C; Lectionary 27, B)

Psalm 148 (1 Christmas, B; 5 Easter, C)

2nd Corinthians 5:6-17 (Lectionary 11, B)

Colossians 1:15-28 (Lectionary 16, C)

Mark 4:35-41 (Lectionary 12, B)

Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52 (Lectionary 17, A)



            “I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.”

            (“God has created me together with all creatures.” – Sm. Cat.)



            Prayers reflect the wideness of God’s mercy for the whole world—

                        …for the well-being of creation  (ELW rubric, p105)



            “As the grains of wheat…” Examples of fruits of creation returned to right use, brought to mind that they and we serve God’s purposes, a symbol verbalized in the offertory prayer “…you bring forth food from the earth and nourish the whole creation…” (ELW p107) and focused on earthly elements of bread and wine



            e.g., #IV (Ash Wednesday—Day of Pentecost)  “…Praise to you for creating the heavens and the earth.  Praise to you for saving the earth from the waters of the flood…with the earth and all its creatures, with sun and moon and stars, we praise you, O God…” (ELW p111)


            “Give us today our daily bread.”

            (Daily bread is “everything our bodies need such as food, … fields, … good weather, peace, health, … and the like.” – Sm. Cat.)



            “Go in peace.  Till and keep it!”





            ELW includes a “Creation” category (#730 – 740)

LBW and ELW both have “Creation” as index listing

            a few other easy examples: 

All Creatures, Worship God Most High/All Creatures of Our God and

King (ELW 835/LBW527—St. Francis’ Canticle of the Sun)

                        Awake, My Soul, and with the Sun (ELW 557, LBW 269)

                        Away in a Manger (or most any other Incarnation-based hymn!)

Beautiful Savior (LBW 518, ELW 838)

Earth and All Stars! (ELW 731, LBW 558)

Let All Things Now Living (LBW 557, ELW 881)

Let Justice Flow like Streams (ELW 717)

Praise and Thanksgiving (LBW 409, ELW 689)

We Know That Christ Is Raised (ELW 449, LBW 189)





Also notice prayers provided as resources in the hymnals

            LBW p39 - 49 include:  Harvest, Stewardship of Creation, Agriculture, General Thanksgiving, Harvest of Lands and Waters, Conservation of Natural Resources, Thanks for the Harvest, In Time of Scare Rainfall

            similar categories are in ELW p61 - 81

            one example:  O merciful Creator, your hand is open wide to satisfy the needs of every living creature.  Make us always thankful for your loving providence; and grant that we, remembering the account that we must one day give, may be faithful stewards of your good gifts; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen