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Caring for Creation

Lutherans Restoring Creation

A grass roots movement dedicated to care for creation in the ELCA

 

 

 

Statement of commitment. As a congregation, we strive to make care for creation an integral to our life and mission—in our mission statement, the decisions we make, the tasks of committees, the worship we celebrate, the maintenance of our property, the programs we embrace, the events we sponsor, our outreach to the community, and our commitment to global issues. In short, we want care for creation to be part of the ethos and ministry of our congregation.

 

 

Action plan.

  • Establish a Green Team to serve as leaven to promote care for creation throughout the life of the congregation.

  • Spearhead some events, partner with committees for other events, and make proposals for other groups to carry out.

  • Meet regularly to develop plans and to follow through on projects. Choose from projects suggested or create your own.

  • Promote the congregation as a creation-care congregation.

 

 

1. Worship:  We seek to worship in ways that will express our gratitude and praise to God the creator and that will 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 humans and for the whole Earth-community.

 

 

 

Worship Action Plan. Every worship service can include:

  • Call to worship with all creation.

  • Confession of sins against creation.

  • Prayer petition on behalf of creation.

  • Closing blessing and mission to “Tend the Earth.”

  • Plus: LRC provides creation-care reflections for preachers on weekly lessons.

 

Worship Action Plan.

  • Observe the four-week Season of Creation

  • Celebrate Earth Sunday

  • Blessing of the Animals, Rogation Sunday, Tree Planting, Garden Blessing

 

 

 

2. Education: We seek to learn about the biblical, theological, and ecclesial traditions concerning creation, including the biblical mandate from God for us to care for the earth. We will seek also 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 heal and restore creation for future generations. We will seek to train people to be leaders in the congregation and the community in our cooperative efforts to care for creation. We will seek opportunities for environmental education for youth of all ages.

 

 

 

Education Action Plan.

  • Study the ELCA Social Statement “Caring for Creation” with study guide.

  • Earthbound. A six-week DVD series that explains the theological basis for creation-care with case studies from Lutheran Institutions.

  • Hold forums, have Bible studies, invite speakers, take a retreat, visit eco-sites of interest to educate members about climate change, pollution, and threats to fresh water.

  • Vacation church school with nature-friendly theme.  

 

3. Property: 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, maintenance products, paper use, water use, recycling, waste, transportation, land use, among others. We will strive to make choices that lessen our negative impact on the earth and that serve to heal and renew Earth community.

 

 

Property Action Plan.

  • Do a comprehensive environmental audit: energy, lawn care, recycling, paper, water, cleaning products, transportation, and more. Take actions.

  • Energy Stewards Initiative. LRC sponsored one to two year program to reduce energy and lower carbon footprint.

  • Experience your property as an Earth community.

 

 

 

4. Personal Discipleship: We encourage each other as individual members of this congregation—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 restore creation. We seek to foster a closer relationship with nature so that we can live simply and walk lightly upon the earth.

 

 

 

Discipleship action plan.

  • Invite members to make an LRC “Covenant with Creation” to afform their commitment.

  • Train members to do an environmental audit of their homes and take action.

  • Suggest and provide materials for daily devotions and inspiration.

  • Establish eco-book club or group to watch eco-videos.

  • Take a retreat to cultivate relationship with the rest of nature.

 

 

 

5. Public Ministry/Political Advocacy: We seek to change the cultural patterns and systems of government, business, industry, and other institutions that foster the degradation of creation and to rectify the injustices against Earth community that result against from them. We seek to alert our members to environmental 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 become a witness to others.

 

 

 

Public Ministry Action Plan.

  • Restore nature. Clean up a river, restore a prairie, establish a community garden.

  • Join ELCA advocacy action alerts to promote earth-friendly laws and policies.

  • Start a local Green Congregations program to meet regularly and encourage each other in creation-care.

  • Promote Community Supported Agriculture and food choices by members that are healthy for people and environment.

 

 

 

Out of Love. We will explore the implications of these provisions together 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 and grandchildren, we will promote love and respect for creation in our youth, teach them responsible Earth practices, and engage them in programs that restore creation.

 

 

 

 

 

Lutherans Restoring Creation

Founded in 2009, Lutherans Restoring Creation is a grass roots movement devoted to fostering care for creation in the life and mission of the Evangelical Church in America. We work with: Pastors                                                          Lay members

         Congregations                                          Synods

         Seminaries                                                Colleges

         Camps and Retreat Centers                      Social ministry Organizations                     

         Youth Ministries                                       ELCA agencies of advocacy                                  

 

 

 

 

Lutherans Restoring Creation

We stand ready to support you in your efforts to be Earth-keepers in your congregations, communities, and personal lives at home and work. Please visit us at:

www.lutheransrestoringcreation.org

For worship resources, we sponsor this ecumenical site:

www.letallcreationpraise.org.

We would love to hear about your ideas and resources and make them available to others. Consult the LRC website to see the best way to reach us.

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