Calling on all members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) to take actions to reduce their environmental footprint and to create "greening congregations", the ELCIC took steps towards becoming a green church by adopting an environmental stewardship initiative, Stewardship of Creation, during its Eleventh Biennial National Convention which is taking place in Winnipeg, June 21-24.
“We commit ourselves as a church to answer the call to respect the integrity of God’s creation through an environmental stewardship initiative engaging our national, synodical, congregational and individual member expressions,” the statement adopted by delegates read in part.
A key part of the initiative is the establishment of an accreditation process for congregations wanting to be recognized as “green congregations.” The National Office will create the accreditation process after hosting a consultation meeting in the spring of 2008. The initiative will be promoted through local or regional Stewardship of Creation groups and congregations will carry out “green” activities through their own groups and individual members.
Ryan Andersen, Assistant to the Bishop for Stewardship in Public Life, said it was his hope that, "congregations will designate persons to lead them in environmentally sustainable practices, suggest options for such practices and share their experiences with other congregations."
“What it means is that we’re going to be more self-disciplined as a community of church members across Canada to attend to these issues and to develop the kind of practices that will give us a credible voice,” Bishop Raymond Schultz said in an interview following the introduction of the initiative. “We’re expecting that, by engaging the church beginning with grassroots congregational members, this will heighten awareness so that at regional conferences and synod conventions initiatives will begin to arise.”
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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