Archbishop Fred Hiltz and National Bishop Susan Johnson of the ELCIC lead an event on water issues on Parliament Hill as part of the 2013 Joint Assembly. Photo: Art Babych
Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, and Bishop Susan Johnson, national bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), have issued a joint statement in anticipation of Earth Day 2015, to be observed April 22.
The statement calls on Anglicans and Lutherans to put aside time during this Easter season to reflect on the multifaceted issue of climate justice. Further, it encourages members of both churches not simply to “speak a word of hope into the ecological crisis of our time,” but to actually “be that word of hope through our attitude toward the Earth and our actions—personal, ecclesial and political—in the interests of its healing and sustainability for our children and their children.”
In calling on congregations across Canada to take action on climate change, Hiltz and Johnson point to the commitment to tackle environmental issues made by both Anglicans and Lutherans at the 2013 Joint Assembly. They also note that care of the Earth is “our first calling as human beings.” The sacred nature of this calling, the statement said, is emphasized by the fact that “Creation—not for sale” will be one of the themes of the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation in 2017, while the Anglican Communion’s Marks of Mission include a pledge “to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and to sustain and renew the life of the earth.”
The statement also points out that while climate change is almost exclusively driven by “the world’s rich minority,” the fallout has a disproportionate effect on the poor and the vulnerable, as well as the world’s myriad Indigenous peoples. It is the churches’ responsibility to “stand with Indigenous Peoples in their struggles…as resource extraction and transportation impact their traditional lands and ways of life,” they wrote.
In addition, Hiltz and Johnson note that Canadians bear a particular burden of responsibility, as Canadian companies are deeply involved in resource extraction and the energy sector, both at home and abroad.Back to Top
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