Green Synod Mission Statement
As a synod committed to care for creation, we affirm creation in all its glory and beauty. We acknowledge God as the source of all things. We acknowledge Christ as the redeemer of all things. We acknowledge the Spirit as the sustainer of all things. As a result, we strive to respect all of life as sacramental. We accept our vocation as earth-keepers who care for creation. We see ourselves as part of the covenant of Noah that God made with humans and with all the animals of the land, sea, and air. We accept our responsibility to live justly in relation to our fellow human beings in ways that all creatures may mutually thrive together. We as a synod commit ourselves to support creation-care in the following five areas. Each area is followed by sample actions.
1. Worship: We seek to worship in ways that express our gratitude and praise to God the creator and that glorify God intentionally together with all creation. In worship, we will celebrate creation, confess our sins against creation, grieve the losses of creation, commit ourselves to care for earth, and devote ourselves to peace and justice for the whole earth-community.
2. Education: We seek to learn about the biblical, theological, and ecclesial traditions about creation, including the biblical mandate from God for us to care for Earth. We will seek to learn about the present degradations of creation due to human activity, how these degradations are related to human exploitation and oppression, how we as religious people are implicated in these matters, and what we as Christians can do to restore creation for future generations. We will train people to be leaders in their synod and community in our cooperative efforts to care for creation.
3. Building and Grounds: We agree to assess the destructive impact that our activities and the use and maintenance of our property may have upon creation—in such matters as energy use, toxic products, paper use, water use, waste, transportation, among others. We will strive to make choices that lessen our negative impact on Earth and that heal and renew Earth Community.
4. Discipleship as Home and Work: We encourage ourselves as individual members of this synod—at whatever age, economic level, ethnic group, or walk of life—to care for creation in our personal lifestyle, in our homes, and at our work—knowing that our habits and practices can contribute significantly to care for creation. We seek to foster a closer relationship with nature so that we can live simply and walk lightly upon the earth.
5. Public Ministry/Political Advocacy: We seek to change the systems of government, business, and industry that foster the degradation of creation and to rectify the injustices that result from it. In cooperation with the ELCA office of advocacy, we seek to alert our congregations to legislation that protects creation and to encourage their active participation in the development of public policy. We encourage members to participate in civic activities and organizations that foster environmental health. We seek to let our care for creation be known to others..
We will pursue the implications of these provisions in a grace-filled and non-legalistic way, seeking to find hope and joy in the commitments that these provisions may entail and in the restorations that they engender. Because we desire to leave Earth a better place for our children, we will promote love and respect for creation in our youth.
Green Synod Funding
To support projects at the synodical and congregational levels, we will seek funding from the church, governmental agencies, foundations, and corporations concerned with care of the Earth.
Green Synod Declaration
In support of our commitment to care for creation, the synod will seek to declare itself a “Green Synod” and make public commitments with support for carrying them out.
Cooperation with the ELCA and with Lutherans Restoring Creation
We will seek to cooperate with the promotion of creation-care in the ELCA and the activities and resources of LRC. We will network among synods in the sharing of ideas, experiences, and resources. We will contribute reports to the LRC website. As we are able, we will seek to promote the greening of the ELCA in its offices, divisions, organizations, events, publications, and assemblies.
[Please adapt this mission statement for your use]