Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Ecoreformation Resolution

Lisa Therrell is an Earth Ministry Colleague from Leavenworth Washington. She gave this brief speech at the Eastern Washington-Idaho ELCA Synod Assembly in 2015, at which two Eco-Reformation resolutions were adopted. One prioritized ecological justice in light of climate change be included in planning for the 500th anniversary celebration of the Reformation. The other is a commitment to creation care in the life and mission of the Synod. Lisa eloquently connects the call to stewardship with reformation values. Earth Ministry is grateful for her leadership, along with others who are raising up the moral voice for climate action in Eastern Washington!

"My name is Lisa Therrell.  I am from Faith Lutheran Church in Leavenworth, Washington.  I am retired from a 34 year career with the United State Forest Service, where discussions on climate change science became commonplace towards the end of my career.  Our family also has a farm in Asotin County that has been in our family prior to Statehood, where we witness changes to the landscape.  
In the Genesis story we read, “And God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.”
Flickr: Chris Weber
We know this about the Inland Northwest:  a land defined by mountains and canyons, prairie and scabland, forests, rivers, lakes, and fertile fields.  We are defined by this landscape, fed by this landscape, renewed by this landscape.
I am here to remind you the Earth is God’s Good Creation worthy of our care. Before you are two companion resolutions.  Memorial 1 is directed to the 2016 Churchwide Assembly to make addressing climate change and ecological justice major themes of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.  Resolution 1 is to this Synod, to advocate for reduced dependence on fossil fuels and to step up our care for creation.
God appointed us to tend the garden.  Our failure to care for the garden is a sin against God, a failure to love the Creator with our whole heart.  The challenge is clear.  We must steadily reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. And we can do it. Our congregation put 96 solar panels on our local Middle School, a sign of the transition we can make to renewable energy.
But what does this have to do with the Reformation?  The Reformation was a return to our biblical roots and a call for the renewal of the church and its mission.  Theologians have coined the term “Ecclesia semper reformanda” meaning “the church is always to be reformed”.  So we can observe the 500th anniversary of the Reformation as a “looking back”, but also a “looking ahead” for where the active presence of God’s people is needed in an ailing world.
There are many ways churches can work on ways to reduce their own carbon footprint and to inspire members to do the same.  We can be a faith voice in our communities, region, and nation for care of creation.  We can lead the way globally as peacemakers and healers of the land, standing in solidarity with those in peril and leaving a positive legacy for unborn future generations.  
We are a church of reformers.  I ask for your vote in favor of leading an Ecoreformation to save the atmosphere that surrounds our fragile planet while there is still time.
Thank you very much."

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