The Alliance for Faith, Science, and Technology is an independent organization of the ELCA, dedicated to expanding awareness and promoting conversation about the implications of science and technology for Christian faith and life. The Alliance consists of ELCA scientists, science teachers, clergy with an interest in science, and laypeople.
The Alliance aims to help both scientists and clergy at the parish level integrate their belief in God with an understanding of science. This includes affirming that within the ELCA, science is recognized as a legitimate and fruitful vocation for Christians.
In addition, the Alliance has sponsored Sunday Scientist Symposia on topics related to cosmology, environmental science and awareness, faith and food, and the church and Charles Darwin. These symposia are designed to provide a learning opportunity so that ELCA scientists can not only take their faith into the workplace but also bring their vocation into a fuller dialogue within their congregations and synods — thus becoming "Sunday scientists" who are fed by the Word and enhance our understanding of theology with a greater appreciation of God's creative and redemptive activities.
Such theologically aware scientists and scientifically astute clergy and other church leadership can provide a vital resource within individual congregations by leading classes on controversial technological issues, countering the discredited — but still common — idea that science and faith always have been in conflict, writing short informative articles for congregational newsletters, and even providing scientifically informed sermons on appropriate occasions. They also can be a rich resource for synods and the churchwide office.
The Alliance has challenged and assisted the church to understand, discuss, and act on the implications of science and technology for Christian life. Through an online newsletter Covalence
, participation in task forces preparing social statements on topics related to science, preparation of worship materials, and ecumenical cooperation with other denominational groups with similar aims, the Alliance seeks to communicate the gospel in a world profoundly and pervasively influenced by science and technology.
Its cooperation with the churchwide office is through the ELCA Interunit Staff Team under the auspices of the Church in Society program unit. Information, resources, and access to a database for registering are found at the ELCA Alliance
Web site. Fides quaerens intellectum
. Faith seeking understanding. This ancient theological aphorism captures the kernel of truth that motivates the Alliance and its members. Just as faith can and has motivated many scientists in their pursuit and application of knowledge, so science and technology can expand the church's appreciation of God as creator and sustainer. Both are enriched by dialogue with the other, a dialogue that the Alliance invites you and your parishioners to join. Karl Evans is a professional geologist and the chair of the Steering Committee for the Alliance for Faith, Science, and Technology of the ELCA. He is a member of Bethany Lutheran Church, Cherry Hills Village, Colorado.
This article appeared in the November / December 2009 issue of Lutheran Partners (vol. 25, no. 6).