voices in the wilderness

Dec. 15, 2011 (by Pastor Markus):
Voices in the Wilderness can comfort the afflicted or they can afflict the comfortable, or both. Isaiah sang “Comfort ye my people…” but John the Baptist cried “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” When I listen for the voice of Jesus, I hear both.

This morning I received an email from my national bishop, addressed to the minister of the environment. To me it’s a voice in the wilderness speaking for the voiceless creation threatened by human greed and speaking for the many people who have become speechless in the face of callous destruction. “Thank you, Lord, for the voice in the wilderness.”

Here is Bishop Susan’s letter:

The Honourable Peter Kent Minister of the Environment
December 14, 2011

Dear Minister Kent:

On behalf of the members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), I am writing to express my disappointment and concern that your government has decided to withdraw Canada from participating in the Kyoto Protocol.

Climate change is very real. It is urgent that we reduce green house gas emissions in order to limit the effects of climate change. At the 2009 ELCIC National Convention, our delegates affirmed, “that global warming is the greatest threat to life on earth–that entire populations and ecosystems are threatened by devastating impacts such as drought, heat waves, fires, floods, storms and rising sea levels.” They also affirmed “that, as scientists have warned the United Nations, only urgent action can avert uncontrollable, runaway climate-change.”

Our planet needs urgent action from the Canadian Government. The ELCIC urges the Government of Canada to set a national target to cut greenhouse gas emissions at least 25 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020. We urge the government to implement an effective national plan to reach this target and help developing countries to reduce their emissions and adapt to climate change. And we urge you to work with other nations to adopt bold and strengthened protocols that will empower nations to work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Each person on this planet needs to do their part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Those of us who have enjoyed the wealth and privilege of industrialization have a particular obligation to find more earth-friendly ways to live our lives. Members of ELCIC congregations are encouraged to reduce their own carbon emissions by 25 percent, and to support a national plan that helps reduce emissions.

In stepping back from the Kyoto Protocol, the Government of Canada appears to be failing to take responsibility for the action that Canadians need to take in order to reduce the threat of global warming. By setting targets and creating a national plan, the government offers leadership that empowers individuals, families, businesses, organizations and public institutions all to do their part in caring for the environment and the global human community. On behalf of the members of the ELCIC, I urge you to work together with leaders from around the world to set national targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, and to develop and implement a plan that will help Canada reach these goals.

Yours in Christ,
The Rev. Susan C. Johnson
National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

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  1. THANKS to the hard working Sunday School teachers who went way beyond the call of duty today, the third Sunday of Advent. Not only did you provide many delicious dishes for the lunch which served over 100 people after church; you also did the set up, serving and clean up. We’re all busy at this time of year; you’ve helped prepare your students for the pagaent and done all sorts of behind-the-scenes things to help us celebrate Advent. May you “get back” as much as you give this season!


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