14-37-MRCCHICAGO (ELCA) — In support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule on carbon emissions, the presiding bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and The Episcopal Church said in a June 5 joint statement that the rule is a “critical step toward safeguarding the lives and livelihood of future generations.” In their statement, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton and Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori noted that recent reports have outlined the impacts that climate change has already had on the world. “Multi-year droughts, sea level rise, extreme weather events and increased flooding dramatically affect communities internationally, from the Inupiat on the north slope of Alaska to Midwestern farming families to our brothers and sisters in the Philippines,” the leaders said. “We recognize with concern that climate change particularly harms low-income communities that lack the resources and technology to adapt to rapid environmental changes.” In addition to the effect climate change has had on agriculture, food supplies and prices, the presiding bishops said that ending hunger and alleviating global poverty also are key concerns for both faith traditions. “Sustainable solutions must include both poverty alleviation and environmental conservation,” they wrote. Eaton and Jefferts Schori cited that power plants “are the single largest source of carbon dioxide pollution in the United States and major contributors to climate change. These emissions not only threaten the environmental stability of our planet, but also the health of young children and their families, disproportionally affecting the poorest among us.” They said the carbon rule proposed this week “will reduce the carbon dioxide output from existing power plants, setting a strong standard that will modernize our nation’s power plants while limiting our contribution to global climate change. Reducing carbon emissions from power plants must be a top priority for the United States if we hope to prevent the worst impacts of climate change and ensure a just and sustainable world for our generation and those to come. “Our faith traditions teach us that no single person can be whole unless all have the opportunity for full and abundant life. That wholeness and collective well-being is only possible as a global community. We recognize our connections to fellow citizens and neighbors around the world who are already suffering from the consequences of climate change, and acknowledge our responsibility to those yet unborn, who will either benefit from our efforts to curb carbon emissions or suffer from our failure to address this ethical imperative. We believe that addressing climate change is a moral obligation to our neighbors and to God’s creation, so that all may enjoy full, healthy and abundant lives,” the presiding bishops said. The proposed carbon rule for existing power plants “is the single largest step that we can take now to address the pressing issue of climate change,” they said, adding that the ELCA and The Episcopal Church “are eager to collaborate with the EPA and states across the nation to ensure that the carbon rule is implemented fairly, particularly for low-income consumers.” Eaton and Jefferts Schori concluded their statement with a prayer “that all involved in this good work will be graced with vision, hope and the search for truth as they seek to implement the carbon rule swiftly and effectively.”The full text of the statement is available at http://www.elca.org/Resources/Presiding-Bishop-Messages, and the ELCA’s social statement on “Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice” is available at www.ELCA.org/en/Faith/Faith-and-Society/Social-Statements/Caring-for-Creation.
ALL TENNESSEE 2018
122 youth and adults met November 10 & 11 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hixson, Tennessee for All Tennessee. During the event youth from across Tennessee gathered to learn more about the "GODISNOWHERE" theme by participating in different activities throughout Saturday afternoon. Youth looked at where God was through an interactive Stations of the Cross activity, they also got to ask Pastor Ed Myers and Pastor Katherine Museus any question they wanted to ask, they learned about how we can be God's hands in the midst of disasters through the work of Lutheran Disaster Relief and put together hygiene kits for Lutheran World Relief. To finish out their service that day they moved mulch on to the church's playground. Worship started with a group of youth from Christ Kiswahili Lutheran Mission leading in song and during the confession participants were invited to take a piece of string to represent their confession and tie it on nails that formed "GODISNOWHERE" - a powerful way to see that God comes to us in the midst of our brokenness and as we communed together we saw God come once again in the body and blood of Christ. Special thanks to the volunteers of Trinity Lutheran Church for their hospitality and meals, as well as the ALL Tennessee planning team for their hard work putting it all together.