“We of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America are deeply concerned about the environment, locally and globally, as members of this church and as members of society. Even as we join the political, economic, and scientific discussion, we know care for the earth to be a profoundly spiritual matter” (Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope, and Justice, a social statement of the ELCA, 1993).
In 1993, the ELCA released a social statement containing views on matters of ecology and the environment. As stated by the ELCA, the statement “expresses a call to pursue justice for creation through active participation, solidarity, sufficiency, sustainability, and states the commitments of the ELCA for pursuing wholeness for creation–commitments expressed through individual and community action, worship, learning, moral deliberation, and advocacy.”
As part of the commitment to the environment, the statement presents the idea of “environmental tithing” and encourages individuals to “reduce their burden on the earth’s bounty by producing ten percent less in waste, consuming ten percent less in non-renewable resources, and contributing the savings to the earth care efforts” as well as spending time learning about environmental issues and how to work towards solutions.
Since his retirement, Bishop Emeritus Schleicher has been working to support the environment and serves on the board of Michigan Interfaith Power and Light, and organization that promotes practical ways for congregations to become better stewards of the earth. Read his Letter on Environmental Tithing for more information.