"We celebrate the vision of hope and justice for creation, and dedicate ourselves anew. We will act out of the conviction that, as the Holy Spirit renews our minds and hearts, we also must reform our habits and social structures." - Caring for Creation Social Statement
Lutherans Restoring Creation (LRC)
The New England Synod has a network of churches and individuals who use the resources and support of a national program called Lutherans Restoring Creation. LRC is a grassroots movement of Lutherans that is driven by laity, pastors, lay professionals, synodical leadership, and others who hold positions in the ELCA and its institutions. This movement grows out of a long history of Lutheran concern (the 1993 social statement Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope, and Justice, and other pre-ELCA Lutheran documents) and involvement. Many publications by Lutheran theologians, a manual for greeting congregations, worship resources and other information are accessible available on this highly informative website.
What Lutherans in New England are already doing:
Synod Green Team Report, 2019
Coordinators of the New England Team are Phoebe Morad (Executive Director, Lutherans Restoring Creation) and the Rev. Dr. Nancy Wright (Pastor, Ascension Lutheran Church, S. Burlington, VT)
One focus of the team’s work has been watershed discipleship. The work builds on the “Resolution Urging Stewardship of the Gift of Water,” passed at the 2016 Churchwide Assembly (see link below). The resolution asks that resources be prepared to encourage watershed discipleship.
We are excited to announce that the Congregational Watershed Discipleship Manual: Faith Communities as Stewards of the World’s Waters (1st Christian edition), and Congregational Watershed Manual: Religious Communities as Stewards of the world’s Waters (1st Interreligious edition) are now available. Bishop Jim Hazelwood wrote the Preface for the Christian edition of this manual. Ascension Lutheran church parishioners and pastor wrote the manuals, with input from water organizations in Vermont, and with sponsorship and funding from Vermont Interfaith Power and Light.
Congregations can grow in leadership and strength by caring for water!
Congregations can download the manual for free at www.vtcleanwaternetwork.org/communities-of-faith or www.vtipl.org. For high resolution print copies, spiral bound to conveniently lie flat, congregations may order the manual at www.vow4climate.org/store. Here is a link to access the order form: https://vow4climate.org/manual-order-form-congregational-watershed-manuals/
Let’s mobilize for watershed care and support each other. Here is how:
- Order or download the manual.
- On this link you can find your watershed: https://serc.carleton.edu/eslabs/drought/2b.html. Now you know what watershed your congregation is in. What is the state of the water? What organizations are working to steward the water? How can your congregation grow in leadership to become a water disciple?
- We are ready to help.
- If you wish us to be in touch with you to foster your leadership as watershed stewards, we are glad to do so. Please contact Pr. Nancy Wright, and we will be glad to come to your church to foster your leadership in this area or to consult by phone.
Water Stewardship ResolutionAND ECO-REFORMATION RESOLUTIONS
Resolutions are moving our advocacy forward. For the Churchwide Resolution on Water go to https://lutheransrestoringcreation.org/churchwide-assembly-resolution-urging-stewardship-of-the-gift-of-water. For the resolution on Eco-Reformation, go to https://lutheransrestoringcreation.org/resolutions-new-england. For additional resolutions from synods in the national church, go to: https://lutheransrestoringcreation.org/advocacy/resolutions/#resolutions+p:2.
Helpfully, the clergy heard from Dr. Diana Butler Bass at the Bishop’s Convocation in November 2016. Her excellent new book, Grounded: Finding God in the World, A Spiritual Revolution invites us to find God in soil, air, water, and local community. Many other clergy and Christian scholars are writing excellent books about theology and practice for creation care, including Paul Santmire, Larry Rasmussen, Cindy Moe-Loebeda, Lisa Dahill, Leah D. Schade, and Mark Wallace, among others (see Lutherans Restoring Creation website for more information about these authors).
Further, the ELCA Eco-Reformation document is a wonderful document from which to preach during this year-long celebration of the Reformation. Groundwork for Eco-Reformation observances was laid in the document above.
Finally, join the Lutherans Restoring Creation active leadership group. To join, or send stories of your efforts, send an email to Phoebe Morad or Pr. Nancy Wright, Co-Conveners of the New England Synod GreenTeam.
Great News about the Earth Charter!
The 2019 Churchwide passed the memorial on the Earth Charter. The New England synod was one of four synods to memorialize the Earth Charter. For more information, see pp. 14 to 18 here: https://download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Section_VII-Report_of_Memorials_Committee.pdf?_ga=2.220710993.818224731.1566921651-1641765695.1507216790
Lutherans Restoring Creation (which includes preaching suggestions for each week)
Green Team Leadership
Pr. Nancy Wright, Ascension, South Burlington, VT
Environmental liaison to the New England Synod
Phoebe Morad, Braintree, MA
Director of Synod Training, Lutherans Restoring Creation
Nancy Urban, Hartford, CT
Awakening the Dreamer Workshop Facilitator
Synod and Churchwide Resolutions
What does Eco-Reformation refer to? Hear from Barbara Rossing, Professor New Testament, Lutheran School of Theology.