ELCA NEWS SERVICE
June 28, 2010
ELCA Presiding Bishop Calls Oil Spill in Gulf 'Heartbreaking'
CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is "heartbreaking and infuriating," wrote the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Although the spill causes deep sorrow, all who care for the earth and work for its restoration can be confident that they are not pursuing a lost cause, he wrote in a June 28 pastoral letter to the 4.6 million-member ELCA.
"Moving to indignation and anger over the neglect and carelessness that led to this disaster, both in private industry and in government regulation, is understandable," wrote Hanson.
"However, to do so without recognizing the responsibility we all share -- as consumers of petroleum products, as investors in an economy that makes intensive and insistent energy demands, and as citizens responsible for the care of creation -- lacks credibility and integrity. An honest accounting of what happened (and what failed to happen) must include our own repentance," he wrote.
"The human family need not drown in a flood of suspicion and recrimination that is more toxic and more lasting than the oil that floods the gulf can ever be," wrote Hanson. "The cleansing waters of baptism in Christ … bring forgiveness and reconciliation with God."
Responding to a challenge of this size and complexity will call upon "countless insights and skills, embodied in hundreds of occupations and trades, and upon the collective strength and will of us all," Hanson wrote.
In his message Hanson suggested members use a series of resources for "worship, study and action."
"God who made the creation and made it good has not abandoned it," wrote Hanson. "The life-giving power of God's creative goodness remains at work, even in the Gulf of Mexico."
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The Rev. Mark S. Hanson's letter is at http://www.ELCA.org/bishopstatement on the ELCA Web site.
Worship resources are at http://www.ELCA.org/worship and the ELCA social statement "Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice" at http://www.ELCA.org/socialstatements/environment on the ELCA Web site.
Resources for action are at http://ga6.org/elca_advocacy/notice-description.tcl?newsletter_id=29974114 on the Web.
For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or email@example.com