By Deb Wolterstorff
In today’s world, our lives are so busy and if you’re anything like me, you forget things or dates. Just recently, I totally blanked out on a CPY dinner. I have to write things down in my calendar and sometimes use sticky notes to help me remember things. How do you remember things? We all have different ways that we try not to forget things.
One thing we should never forget is how much Jesus loves us, and Communion is one reminder of that.
The Lord’s Supper is an essential part of our Lutheran faith. It is one of two sacraments—baptism being the other. The Lord’s Supper is a reminder to us of the meal shared by Jesus and the disciples before Jesus died. It is a memorial of Jesus’ death on the cross so that we might have eternal life. And it is a physical means of experiencing God’s grace through which the gifts of forgiveness, life and salvation come to us.
Today, we have 7 children, Jack, Malen, Kyle, Liam, Mara, Will and Robert, taking their First Communion. It truly is a joy to watch these kids learn, bake bread together, and see their expressions when they get to taste the wine for the first time. What a special time for them to be joining us at the table.
For the blog this week, you are invited to read a draft version of the ELCA's statement on "Earth's Climate Crisis" that was released for discussion and feedback for a period of 2022. Please be aware that this is a draft and does not express the ELCA's explicit social teaching on this topic. It is, however, valuable to engage the discussion as we celebrate Care for Creation Sunday. A edited version of the statement will be voted on in 2023.
You can access the draft here:
God gives a sacred responsibility to human beings in Genesis: to care for and “keep” God’s creation for future generations. God made humans to be “keepers” of the garden, God’s earth (Genesis 2:15).
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) first addressed this calling three decades ago by pairing environmental and social justice in its social statement Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope, and Justice. That statement emphasizes the goodness of all creation, humanity’s kinship with other creatures, and God’s promise for the fulfillment of all creation (Ephesians 1:10). It also names climate change as a central environmental issue, one the ELCA has addressed to varying degrees since 1993.
Thirty years later, climate change poses grave dangers to present and future generations. With this social message the ELCA provides facts, raises questions, draws on its own social teaching, and identifies convictions that expansively address caretaking for climate. At the heart of this social message lies the claim that climate change presents our generation with a kairos moment; that is, a critical moment in time when decisive action is required.
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Our planet has a fever. God yearns for earth’s ecological well-being. “God’s faithfulness alone sustains the Church and renews our faith, hope, and love.” As God’s people we address the climate crisis with active hope rather than paralyzing despair. “Captured by hope, we proclaim that God has made peace with all things through the blood of the cross (Colossians 1:15-20), and that the Spirit of God, ‘the giver of life,’ renews the face of the earth.”
Additionally, the public responses to the draft have been compiled into a separate report. If you have interest in digging deeper to how some members of the ELCA responded to this draft, you can access that document here:
In the next couple of weeks we will hold two SALT sessions focusing on care for creation. CtK is a congregation that recognizes our responsibility as stewards of all that God has given us and seeks to do our part in preservation and restoration.
April 16 SALT - The Science of Climate Change
SALT this week will be about the science of climate change and how we can help lower our impact on the earth. How do scientists know about climate change, what affects it, and how can we prevent it? What does our future look like? Come with questions and learn how to make changes in your life to lower your climate impact. Presented by Zach Johnson, environmental science teacher and University of Minnesota Center for Climate Literacy fellow.
April 23 SALT - Ethical Responses to Climate Change
Climate change presents a novel ethical challenge to humanity. This challenge is global, intergenerational, and exacerbates existing inequality. But what can I do about this big problem? We will actively discuss ethical questions like "what should I do about it?" as well as "what should we do together, particularly as a church?"