General Synod has backed a call to all LCA members to consider the health of creation and the environment in all they do.
On behalf of the Commission on Social and Bioethical Questions, along with co-sponsor Australian Lutheran World Service, Pastor Geoff Burger presented the proposal to Synod: ‘that the LCA affirms that a prime responsibility of Christians is to be responsible stewards of creation and all life on the planet’.
The proposition, which was supported by an overwhelming majority of delegates, also encouraged members, congregations, groups and agencies of the church to keep ‘God’s gift of creation and our stewardship and care’ prominent in our prayers and worship life, as well as in decision-making.
Pastor Burger showed part of a video he has produced on the subject and said that, while the current generation would not experience the worst consequences of environmental neglect, it was not the legacy we would want to leave future generations.
‘We’re acting totally irresponsibly with the gifts God has given us and it can’t continue’, he said. ‘We’re leaving the pantry half empty, the taps all running and the Christmas gifts opened with all the paper lying around. And we’re going to die and leave it all to our children and grandchildren.
‘Christians are called to be responsible carers of creation.’
There were five further key points to the submission, including: to ‘encourage, implement and model ways of living and working that minimise the production of greenhouse gas emissions’, to ‘examine the long-term implications of an economy which readily consumes and throws away’, and to ‘act to reduce waste and implement the sustainable use and recycling of Earth’s resources’.
The final element was a request that church members engage with decision-makers and environmental groups in the broader community in order to discuss, learn and take action for the good of the planet.
The proposal background stated that there was no intention to ‘bind congregations or individuals to particular courses of action’, instead placing ‘the issue of responsible care and keeping of creation before the LCA for members and congregations to celebrate, reflect upon and implement in individually appropriate ways’.