This Saturday “What’s Working in Wisconsin”

Did you know you can receive up to $10,000 in a rebate for solar panels for churches anywhere in Wisconsin? Come learn more about that along with what else is working in caring for God’s creation in Wisconsin this Saturday!

Even though you can register at the event, if you are sure you are coming, it would be very helpful for the planners if you would register by this Thursday, Oct. 4.
Register here or call 608/270-0201

Learn more about the event

A Statement from ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton Addressing our Call to Care for Creation

Last week we provided an update on what this synod team is doing to help us care for God’s creation. This ministry is funded through your mission support and a portion of that is sent on to the ELCA for our shared work caring for God’s creation. Thank you for your weekly offering to your congregation! This work is so important and in fact, Bishop Eaton shared this message recently addressing our call to care for creation:

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) members pray and care for God’s marvelous creation every day. We also join the global Christian community each Sept. 1 to Oct. 4 to mark the Season of Creation. This season starts with a World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation, an invitation to focus our worship, our stewardship and action on honoring God by honoring and caring for God’s handiwork.

As members of the ELCA, we share a love and a responsibility for all that God has made. In our social statement “Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice,” we affirm that “made in the image of God, we are called to care for the earth as God cares for the earth. God’s command to have dominion and subdue the earth is not a license to dominate and exploit. Human dominion, a special responsibility, should reflect God’s way of ruling as a shepherd king who takes the form of a servant, wearing a crown of thorns.” We confess the ways in which we have been negligent in our responsibility to God and to all of creation and commit ourselves to exercising our stewardship by upholding the integrity of creation and safeguarding those most vulnerable to environmental degradation.

On this year’s World Day of Prayer, I am mindful that our warming climate is creating unprecedented crises for millions. These include increased food insecurity, forced migration, natural disasters, civil conflict and water scarcity. From across all communities most affected by climate change, women and girls are disproportionately affected. According to ACT Alliance, these communities suffer huge losses that extend beyond monetary losses to noneconomic impacts such as loss of lives, land, territory, language and culture.  Our response to these losses has focused on the neglect and carelessness, both in private industry and in government regulation, that have contributed to these changes. An honest accounting also recognizes that we all participate, both as consumers and investors, in economies that make intensive and insistent demands for energy. We are part of the solution.

In September, the ELCA will mark the Season of Creation by taking a leadership role during the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. Together with The Lutheran World Federation and other partners, we will host a Talanoa Dialogue to accompany those most affected by climate change. The U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change states: “Talanoais a traditional word used in Fiji and across the Pacific to reflect a process of inclusive, participatory and transparent dialogue. The purpose of Talanoa is to share stories, build empathy and to make wise decisions for the collective good … sharing of ideas, skills and experience through storytelling.”

The focus of these dialogues will be “Loss and Damage” and “Just Transition” related to climate change. The former will explore the suffering that climate change is causing right now and seek new ways to learn from and accompany those most affected. The latter recognizes that we must also accompany those whose livelihoods are dependent on extractive industries, making sure they are not left behind during the transition to renewable energy sources. These dialogues will equip us in the planetary movement toward climate solutions with initiatives that reflect God’s concern for the sufficiency and sustainability of all people.

Our ELCA ministries are making an impact as we as a church take hold of our common responsibility to creation and to God. We know that transitioning to lifestyles that eliminate the causes of global warming is critical and must be done now. In response to the 2016 Churchwide Assembly resolution “Toward a Responsible Energy Future,” ELCA members answer the call to care for all of God’s creation in our churches and homes through stewardship, education and advocacy. These efforts include establishing environmental stewardship committees, building awareness around energy efficiency, evaluating investments in fossil fuels, and learning more about sustainable farming and development.

All who care for the earth and work for the restoration of its vitality can be confident in the power of the Holy Spirit to guide us as we serve in concert with God’s creative and renewing power and the indwelling Spirit of Christ to give us hope, courage and direction.

Almighty God, in giving us dominion over things on earth, you made us coworkers in your creation. Give us wisdom and reverence to use the resources of nature so that no one may suffer from our abuse of them, and that generations yet to come may continue to praise you for your bounty; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen (prayer for stewardship of natural resources, ELW p. 80).

In Christ,

The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Read the ELCA Social Statement: “Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice,”

https://www.elca.org/en/Faith/Faith-and-Society/Social-Statements/Caring-for-Creation

Upcoming synod event: October 6, 2018 “What’s Working in Wisconsin:  Public and Private Uses of Renewable Energy”

Mission Moment: Care for God’s Creation Ministry

This ministry is funded through your mission support.  Thank you for your weekly offering to your congregation. A portion of that is sent on to the synod for synod-wide ministries such as Care for God’s Creation!

In December of 2015 this team met for the first time.  Care of Creation is part of the World Hunger effort of our church. At this time, members of our team include Pastor Mae Jean Zelle (First, Janesville) Jane Harrison (First English-Platteville), Pastor Cindy Crane (LOPPW), Pastor Nick Utphall (Advent, Madison), Bob Lindmeier (St. John’s, Oregon), Eleanor Siebert (Five Points – Blue River) and new member, Debbie Nelson (Bethel-Madison).

Our emphasis is education and advocacy in the area of the environment. We continue to educate about the Carbon Fee and Dividend issue.  This year we are prioritizing the formation of Green Committees in churches.  Bob Lindmeier continues to be available for speaking engagements and others of the team are also willing as time permits.  The SCSW/LOPPW Care for God’s Creation team is excited about our October 6th event “What’s Working in Wisconsin,” which will highlight renewable energy progress in the state and tools for how we can all make a difference. The event is free! Who should attend?  Anyone interested in renewable energy for their church, business or home, or who would like to know more about advocacy and various local and statewide groups that help us to care for  God’s creation!  Check out the synod website for resources:

Update from Eleanor Siebert, Coordinator, Care for God’s Creation Team

Upcoming event: October 6, 2018 “What’s Working in Wisconsin:  Public and Private Uses of Renewable Energy”

 

Mission Moment: Care for God’s Creation/ELCA World Hunger Team 

We See God at Work In and Through this MInistry Team:

We are called to environmental stewardship and to care for the creation that God has given us. Climate change is impacting God’s creation. Humanity has an ongoing responsibility for restoration and stewarding all that God has given us. This journey of care can start with your church. The ELCA strongly supports actions to reduce climate change and calls congregations and individuals to environmental stewardship. The South-Central Synod of Wisconsin Care for God’s Creation Team works with congregations to raise awareness and recommend actions that you can take to help us be better stewards of all that God has created.

Who is on the team?

In December of 2015 this team met for the first time. Care for God’s Creation is part of the World Hunger effort of our church. At this time we have Pastor Mae Jean Zelle, Jane Harrison, Pastor Cindy Crane, Pastor Nick Utphall, Bob Lindmeier, Eleanor Siebert, and at our last meeting we were joined by a new member, Debbie Nelson.

Where is God at work in and through us?

Our emphasis is education and advocacy in the area of the environment.  We had a successful workshop and information table at both LEAD and synod assembly. We continue to educate about the Carbon Fee and Dividend issue.

This year we are prioritizing the formation of Green Committees in churches.  Bob Lindmeier continues to be available for speaking engagements and others of the team are also willing as time permits.  To schedule Bob, see the Speaker’s Bureau: https://scsw-elca.org/resources/speakers-bureau/

On October 6th in the morning at Good Shepherd, Raymond Road, the team will be presenting a time of information and learning about the good things that are happening in our area related to the environment.  More information will soon be available about this event.

What Can Your Congregation Do?  Visit our page on the synod website for First Steps Your Congregation Can Take:  https://scsw-elca.org/2018/04/elca-care-for-creation/

Eleanor Siebert, Coordinator of the Care for God’s Creation Team


WHAT MATTERS INTRODUCES MISSION MOMENTS!

We know how much you appreciate hearing Mission Moments at synod events, so we thought we would share these in writing in between our events. Each week, What Matters will lift stories and updates from our ministry partners and synod ministry teams.  Together we are doing What Matters in God’s kingdom!  Please visit the synod website if you are interested in learning more.  https://scsw-elca.org and click on “Ministries and Partners.”

ELCA Care for Creation

FIRST STEPS FOR YOUR CONGREGATION
We are called to environmental stewardship and to care for the creation the God has given us. Climate change is impacting God’s creation. Humanity has played a part in destruction so we have a responsibility for restoration. This journey of care can start with your church. The ELCA strongly supports actions to reduce climate change and calls congregations and individuals to environmental stewardship. Some first steps to get your congregation started:

 read the ELCA Social Statement 
 form a Care for Creation/Green Team in your congregation
 complete a building energy use checklist with your building team, maintenance manager, and/or pastor
 conduct an energy audit of your church facilities to reduce the carbon footprint of your church
 use ELCA World Hunger Resources for Bible study
 plant a church garden
 invite a speaker from the Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wis. (LOPPW) to talk to your church about Care for Creation
 connect with the South Central Synod/LOPPW Care for Creation Team for more tips.

The Care of Creation Team  has resources to help you find Lutheran connections for faithful action!