“It is in hope of God’s promised fulfillment that we hear the call to justice; it is in hope that we take action. When we act interdependently and in solidarity with creation, we do justice. We serve and keep the earth, trusting its bounty can be sufficient for all, and sustainable.”    ELCA Social Statement – Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice, 1993

In 2015 LAMPa is focused on two priorities: Clean Air for All God’s Children Campaign and Clean Water for All.

1. Clean Water for All

Water is a fundamental component of all life. Care for water resources is part of our call to be stewards of God’s creation. Water is also a critical part of our spiritual life as Christians — welcoming us into our life as Christians through baptism, and forming a powerful thread throughout the scriptures, symbolizing life, faith and the love of God.

Dr. Gil Waldkoenig, Professor of Church and Society at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg led this theological reflection on water for LAMPa on May 27, 2015. Hear the recording in two parts:

  • Water – Part 1, 17 min. 2 Kings 5 – Story of Naaman being cleansed in the water. Water concerns globally and in Pa. Human arrogance and the limits to water use.
  • Water – Part 2, 13 min. Lutheran theological commitments regarding fresh water.

STORMWATER – Starting in 2015, LAMPa is focused on storm water in Pa., the primary source of water contamination in our state.

Pennsylvania boasts 83,161 miles of streams and more than 3,900 lakes, reservoirs, and ponds. Our abundant water resources support forests, fish and wildlife, and provide more than four billion gallons of ground and surface water per day for human use. Population growth and development have radically altered the natural systems that filter and manage rainfall and runoff into surface waters, with consequences ranging from poor water quality to flooding, severe erosion, and droughts.

Stormwater runoff results when the amount of rain falling exceeds the land’s ability to absorb it. Without treatment, most of the stormwater that runs from the land into our waterways is unhealthy for people and bad for the environment. Runoff can carry chemicals, metals, bacteria, viruses, organic compounds, and other pollutants directly into creeks, lakes, rivers, and streams. Stormwater runoff can also cause severe erosion and flooding.

2. Clean Air for All God’s Children Campaign

ELCA Advocacy asks Lutherans and members of the faith community to come together in support of clean air for all of God’s children and the EPA’s proposed rules to reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants.
Why reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants?
  • Power plants are the single largest source of carbon dioxide pollution in the United States and contribute greatly to climate change.
  • Climate change is already causing extreme weather events that impact communities around the world and pose a threat to global agriculture.
  • Pollution from carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases impacts human health and disproportionately affects our most vulnerable friends and neighbors.
On June 2, 2014 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rule under the federal Clean Air Act to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide from existing power plants, a step towards modernizing our nation’s power plants while limiting our contribution to global climate change.  Power plants are the single largest source of carbon dioxide pollution in the United States, emitting more than two billion tons of carbon dioxide and other toxic pollutants into our air each year. Scientists tell us that carbon dioxide released by burning fossil fuels is linked to changes in earth’s climate.  Climate change is already causing extreme weather events that impact communities and people around the world – particularly those who lack the resources needed to recover and adapt.

Changes in climate pose a threat to global agriculture, including food supplies and prices. Pollution from carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases impacts human health and disproportionately impacts our most vulnerable friends and neighbors. The Clean Power Plan is expected to lead to climate and health benefits worth an estimated $55 billion to $93 billion in 2030, including avoiding 2,700 to 6,600 premature deaths and 140,000 to 150,000 asthma attacks in children.

We need your help to ensure these rules are implemented and Lutheran voices are heard throughout the process!

Read the testimony from Lutherans at the EPA hearings in Pittsburgh.

Stay tuned for action opportunities.

Find resources on caring for creation:

Lutherans Restoring Creation seeks to empower and equip ELCA congregations, synods, seminaries, colleges and universities, outdoor ministry sites, public policy offices, social ministry organizations, and the ELCA churchwide leadership to embrace caring for creation in more substantive and meaningful ways. Lutherans Restoring Creation (“LRC”) is a program designed to encourage the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to incorporate care for creation into its full life and mission at all levels.

National Religious Partnership for the Environment.  NRPE is an association of independent faith groups across a broad spectrum: the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops along with its affiliated program arm the Catholic Climate Covenant, the National Council of Churches USA and its affiliate Creation Justice Ministries, the Jewish Council on Public Affairs and its affiliate the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, and the Evangelical Environmental Network.

Creation Justice Ministries educates, equips and mobilizes Christian communions/denominations, congregations and individuals to protect, restore, and rightly share God’s Creation. 

GreenFaith‘s mission is to inspire, educate and mobilize people of diverse religious backgrounds for environmental leadership.  Our work is based on beliefs shared by the world’s great religions – we believe that protecting the earth is a religious value, and that environmental stewardship is a moral responsibility.

The EPA has created EJSCREEN, an environmental justice screening and mapping tool. The new tool uses high resolution maps combined with demographic and environmental data to identify places with potentially elevated environmental burdens and vulnerable populations. EJSCREEN’s simple to understand color-coded maps, bar charts, and reports enable users to better understand areas in need of increased environmental protection, health care access, housing, infrastructure improvement, community revitalization, and climate resilience. Access the new tool here.