This morning I received a letter from the interim Executive Director of our denomination highlighting one of the decisions that synod made this past summer regarding “creation care” and environmental issues. This is what synod agreed with:
“That synod recognize that: a) It is the current near-consensus of the international scientific community that climate change is occurring and is very likely due to human activity, and b) Human-induced climate change is an ethical, social justice and religious issue.”
Because of that decision, the synod has sent through some recommendations and some resources. To quote again from the letter I received:
“Synod recommends that we as individuals, congregations, and agencies commit ourselves—or recommit ourselves—to three things:
- Take responsibility for our own styles of living: “…examine energy choices in our homes, lives, businesses, farms, and institutions from a perspective of stewardship, challenging ourselves to use less energy and to use it more wisely.” “…(encourage) churches and their members to reduce individual and collective carbon emissions to the atmosphere.”
- “…respond with generosity and compassion to people and places negatively affected by climate change, as well as to make efforts to mitigate it.”
- “Be voices for justice and public examples in the effort to live sustainably within our God-given resources…” “(We) …call upon the churches and their members to consider and advocate for public strategies that reduce carbon emissions and move us toward very low or zero net emissions.” “…to promote stewardship in our own communities and our nations, and to seek justice for the poor and vulnerable among us and for future generations.”
You can find the study committee's full report here: http://www.crcna.org/pages/osj_creationcare.cfm. We have also received, through the Office of Social Justice, a list of resources that might help us fulfill the recommitments synod has asked us to partake of. If you want more information on those resources, please don't hesitate to contact me.