Friday, May 08, 2009

Call for Lutheran communion solidarity with communities affected by climate change

LWI News online:

PURI, Orissa State, India/GENEVA, 7 May 2009 (LWI) - A group of theologians, ethicists, anthropologists and staff working on
adaptation and mitigation measures related to climate change, are calling for the Lutheran communion's global solidarity with vulnerable communities that are acting to address the impact of climate change.

"To be in communion with creation, means to be in solidarity with those victimised by climate change, who inspire and motivate
our commitment and actions to redress climate change," stated the 23 persons following a Lutheran World Federation (LWF) "Climate Change Encounter in India," 16 - 20 April, in Puri, in the northeastern state of Orissa.

The international event in disaster-prone Orissa was aimed at witnessing first hand the dramatic effects of climate change, and
reflecting on the interconnections with other parts of the world. It was organised by the LWF Department for Theology and Studies (DTS) in collaboration with the United Evangelical Lutheran Church in India (UELCI) and the Department for World Service (DWS) associate program, Lutheran World Service India (LWSI).

In addition to those from the UELCI and LWSI, participants came from LWF member churches in Australia, Denmark, Germany, India,Indonesia, Sweden and the USA, from DWS programs in Bangladesh and Tanzania, as well as other Christian denominations and faiths. The five-day event comprised visits to coastal fisher folk and farmer communities around the Bay of Bengal, analyses of climate change, Bible story and worship.

In the six rural communities visited, the participants heard testimonies from and interacted with a large number of persons, whose entire lives, meaning and future are deeply affected by climate change. The LWSI rural development project is working with such communities to educate, empower people and support local initiatives such as self-help groups, disaster management and village development committees to counter the impact of climate change.

The initiatives to adapt and take preventive measures include effort to continually plant more trees; educating children;
promoting traditional food, well-being and health; and relying more on communal family systems, which can survive better amid
climate change. Community members are also conscious of the need to build houses on safer ground or raise them off the ground; and to construct elevated tube wells that guard against salinization during flooding. Through cooperation with government authorities and various disaster alert mechanisms and groups, villagers receive and plant new seeds after floods.

The LWF communiqué titled, "Witnessing to Hope Amid Rising Waters," sums up what the event's participants witnessed, and
also invites solidarity with the hopeful actions that the villagers are taking for their future.

As part of sharing the insights from the Puri communities with the wider Lutheran communion, the participants recommend that the process be broadened before and during Pre-Assemblies leading up to the July 2010 LWF Eleventh Assembly in Stuttgart, Germany.

"Give Us Today Our Daily Bread" is the theme of the assembly, to be hosted by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wuerttemberg.

They expressed their support for the various climate change-related advocacy positions of the LWF Council and member
churches and encouraged others to do likewise. They urged a strategic presence and LWF message at the December 2009 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen, Denmark. To coincide with that crucial meeting, they proposed that a time be designated and promoted globally for ringing church (and other) bells in order to emphasize the urgency of redressing climate change.

The full text of the communiqué from the LWF event in Puri is available at:

More information and further reflections about the LWF Eleventh Assembly theme are available at:

*        *          *

(The LWF is a global communion of Christian churches in the Lutheran tradition. Founded in 1947 in Lund, Sweden, the LWF
currently has 140 member churches in 79 countries all over the world, with a total membership of 68.5 million. The LWF acts on
behalf of its member churches in areas of common interest such as ecumenical and interfaith relations, theology, humanitarian
assistance, human rights, communication, and the various aspects of mission and development work. Its secretariat is located in Geneva, Switzerland.)

[Lutheran World Information (LWI) is the LWF's information service. Unless specifically noted, material presented does not
represent positions or opinions of the LWF or of its various units. Where the dateline of an article contains the notation
(LWI), the material may be freely reproduced with acknowledgment.]

P. O. Box 2100 CH-1211
Geneva 2 Switzerland

Tel.: +41/22-791 63 69
Fax: +41/22-791 66 30



  1. It would have been interesting to read Papua New Guinea point of view to this topic. How ELCPNG is addressing this issue? What is your reflection as a reporter from PNG to this.

  2. As church groups joined circular politics-The Goodnews of Jesus Christ,Cross,repentance,Heaven ,Hell will diminish from christian pulpits. Satan has succeeded in sustituting Death of Christ-salvation by fearful lies-It is more useful to trust the Lord than man Psalms118:8. I think Churches should stick to the Word of Good.Not Climate change. God who hang the world on nothing,adorn it with (Job 26:7
    He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.)gases-CO2,ozone,clouds,plants,animals..has more to say than what man thinks. The responsibility is saving souls-not Climate change! Who ever you are,be prepared to face God for using God's pulpit for Satan's lies. You cannot save two masters..!
    Those churches who are supporting such climate change,abortions,use of have more to answer God on that fateful day. It is fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

    Who commanded the churches to preach climate church instead of God's salvation for mankind?

    Torwards the end of the age-perilious (2Tim 3:1) things must happen-Churches should be rising up- not in make belief fear filled lies. Fear is opposite of FAITH. Churches should give hope to these fears!

    just my views.