ELCA members advocate for action on climate change

9/23/2014 1:00:00 PM

            CHICAGO (ELCA) – Hundreds of members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) were among the more than 400,000 participants in the People's Climate March in New York City on Sept. 21. The Lutheran delegation joined the People's Climate Interfaith Contingent, one of the largest groups in the march.                      "As a Lutheran, I feel that I was given the responsibility to hold domain over nature, that is to protect it and nurture it," said Kristin Heinemeier, a member of Lutheran Church of the Incarnation in Davis, Calif., who traveled from home with her 14-year-old son to participate in the march.
            ​"Nature is God's gift to us and it's beautiful. This is clearly an issue of interest to the faith community, and I'm proud to be representing my congregation and church body in this march," she said.
            ​Heinemeier's son, Peter Holderbein, said he participated in the march to "protect my future and the future of my children.
            "God trusted us to protect the planet," said Holderbein. "As a teenager, young people have a lot more voice than we think and we should be more involved in decision-making."
            The People's Climate March kicked off a week of events in New York City, including the United Nations Climate Summit on Sept. 23, where President Obama and other global leaders will meet to discuss climate change.
            "This summit begins a two-year period of global attention to the issue of climate change," said Mary Minette, ELCA director for environmental education and advocacy, who also attended the march. "In December, world leaders will convene in Lima, Peru, under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to discuss a new global agreement on climate change, with the hope that a final agreement will emerge by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting in Paris in December of 2015."
            ​The ELCA advocacy office, based in Washington, D.C., and the ELCA New York Metropolitan Area Synod office worked to help Lutherans from around the country attend the march by providing information on housing and transportation.
            "We prioritized this event because our global partnerships give us a unique understanding of the impact that climate change is already having on the food security and livelihoods of vulnerable people and communities around the world," said Minette. "We know that climate change is already impacting our church's work to alleviate and eliminate hunger and threatens the future well-being of all. We believe that we are called to be stewards of God's good creation and to care for our neighbors, whoever and wherever they may be."
            Heinemeier said she was "very proud to be marching with Lutherans, because of the strong commitment many Lutherans have made. The energy of the group was very positive and life affirming, she said.
            "Being surrounded by a large number of Lutherans among a throng of thousands singing 'We are marching to the light of God,' a song we sing often in our church, gave me a strong sense of community," she said. "I think the march illustrated all the different communities that care about the planet, from faith groups to unions to farmers to scientists."
            ​Other events during the week include an interfaith conference on climate change sponsored by the World Council of Churches. Minette will attend the conference, along with a delegation from The Lutheran World Federation, a global communion of 144 churches representing more than 72 million Christians in 79 countries. The ELCA is the communion's only member church from the United States.
About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:

The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with about 4 million members in nearly 10,000 congregations across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of "God's work. Our hands," the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer, Martin Luther.

For information contact:
Candice Hill Buchbinder
773-380-2877 or Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org
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Living Lutheran: http://www.livinglutheran.com


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