The Climate Crisis and Us: Will We Provide the Necessary Lift to Achieve Our Lofty Goals?
Our feature article discusses the climate crisis with a focus on proposed actions to achieve carbon neutrality in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) to be considered by the special convention this summer for approval.
This initiative began when the 2019 ELCIC National Convention adopted a resolution for the ELCIC to be carbon neutral by 2050.
As the article observes, obviously, such a lofty goal can’t be achieved overnight. So the proposed plan is to reduce emissions by 50 per cent by 2030.
If this initiative is approved, the question remains about whether we will provide the necessary lift to achieve our lofty goal.
The interest in and actions of congregations related to environmental concerns has been mixed, with observers noting all too little interest and very little action in most congregations in Canada.
The struggle at COP 27 to approve a plan for action globally is mirrored in our own situations. As Jackson Ashby, LWF delegate from the ELCIC at COP 27 noted, “There’s a lot of hollow talk and empty promises.”
There is a lot of heavy lifting to be done and there is legitimate concern that we may not have the strength or will to do it.
Most of our church buildings were not designed to be environmentally responsible. The needed modifications can be very expensive; this at time when congregations are struggling to meet their budgets that provide for other legitimate needs as well.
A recent report from the National Academy of Sciences reports on a debate among scientists about whether it is even possible to limit global warming to 1.5 C. It suggests that this target will be breached in less than ten years with catastrophic consequences.
We need to find the individual and collective will to do better than we are doing.
The actions recommended by the Task Force on Carbon Neutrality will help us to move in the right direction. As we do that, let us continue to do what we can to nudge each other to pay attention, to learn more, to dare to dream big, each doing our bit to create the needed climate of change.
Compassion theology and research brings new insights and energy for ministry with those who are searching for healing, wholeness and well-being (p. 6).
Practicing Our Faith (p. 9) raises questions about why the church has failed to claim foot-washing as a sacrament.
As always each synod section presents many inspiring examples of ministry happening through and among us.
Naming hate in our midst is a step towards healthier churches, particularly concerning anti-Semitism (p. 15).
When reading or hearing the stories of the Passion this Holy Week, Voices from Scripture (p.31) offers some insights about Simon of Cyrene, someone who is often overlooked.