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April 22, 2008

ELCIC Congregations and Individuals Encouraged to Celebrate GHDA Sunday on May 4

As we together celebrate Earth Day today, there are a number of ways in your community to celebrate, give thanks, and work together for a better future.

As Christians, we believe that the earth is the Lord’s, and all that is in it (Psalm 24:1). So, as disciples, it’s about much more than Earth Day, it’s about earth year, and a life which acknowledges that God has entrusted this rich garden to us, not to use or abuse, but to tend lovingly, recognizing that the real meaning of ‘dominion’ is to point to the ‘Dominus’, the Lord, to whom it all belongs. It is God’s, not ours. But we celebrate that, especially when the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ makes it crystal clear that God loves creation, so much that God actually entered into and became part of it, for our sake, and for all.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC)'s commitment to use what God has entrusted to us in the service of our most needy neighbours, and caring for God’s good earth, is carried out by Global Hunger and Development Appeal (GHDA) working effectively through many partners. GHDA is the means by which the ELCIC works together as a church to:

Provide immediate relief of hunger and other emergency needs
Assist people in the struggle to deal with the causes and effects of poverty through long-range development
Educate the church to understand and confront the causes of hunger
Promote social and economic justice as it relates to hunger, including support of and advocacy for government policy and programs
Promote a healthy and responsible stewardship of creation, recognizing that justice involves all the relationships which God has made possible in the gift of creation

All this, and much more, can be summed up in the final phrase of Article IV of the Constitution of the ELCIC: through service in Christ’s name.

GHDA Sunday is a way to help us focus on this particular part of that service, of our being In Mission for Others: A People Called to be and to give signs of hope. Attached here you will find a document:
http://elcic.ca/GHDA/documents/GHDASunday2008.pdf)
the major part of which is suggestions for a liturgy for Easter 7, GHDA Sunday, prepared and presented by Debbie Lou Ludolph, CWA, Director of Worship Ministries for the Eastern Synod of the ELCIC. You will also find suggestions for and links to many other resources, most of which, like this liturgy can be adapted and used at almost any time.

It is our hope and prayer that you will use this material to lift up GHDA in your parish, that this seventh Sunday of Easter will be a blessing to many, as we celebrate again the eighth day of creation, the Resurrection of Our Lord, and look ahead to many resurrection celebrations on many other Sundays. Thank you for your support of this important ministry which belongs to all of us as we strive to be spirited disciples of the risen Lord Jesus, in whom we live and move and have our being.

For more information on the work of GHDA, please visit: http://elcic.ca/GHDA/default.cfm
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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada's largest Lutheran denomination with 174,555 baptized members in 620 congregations. It is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches.

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For more information, please contact:
Trina Gallop, Manager of Communications
302-393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B 3H6
204.984.9172
tgallop@elcic.ca

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