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Resolution Adopted by the 2015 Diocesan Council

The Stewardship of Creation Committee submitted a resolution to the 2015 Diocesan Council, Accepting Our Duty of Care for God’s Creation. The full text of the proposed resolution, its supporting narrative, and a listing of selected sources considered during drafting is here. With minor amendments, the resolution was adopted unanimously (Resolution 1S).

Resolution1S identifies concerns and establishes a framework for advocacy and other measures in support of environmental stewardship. It should be emphasized that the resolution does not prescribe specific measures that should be supported or their timing. Those are matters reserved for prayerful consideration and discernment by churches and their members.

The resolution, instead, identifies concerns and calls for churches and their members to educate themselves regarding means to avert and mitigate global warming and its impacts, to take steps to mitigate effects of climate change, to celebrate creation in liturgy, and to advocate with relevant decision makers for changes in course to avert and mitigate the effects of global warming.

As expressed in the Presiding Bishop’s recent pastoral message, “[t]he present moment is a critical one, filled with both challenge and opportunity to act as faithful individuals and churches in solidarity with God’s good creation.” In support of this concern, the Committee will be coordinating with other church denominations and other concerned interfaith and secular organizations to identify opportunities where advocacy framed in terms of environmental stewardship could be important.

This will be a new initiative for the Committee, but one fully consistent with the mission as conceived when the Committee was formed by Bishop Peter Lee in 1992 to implement a 1991 resolution of the General Convention. That resolution called for Episcopalians “to view environmental stewardship as a matter of highest urgency.”

As understood by the Committee, environmental stewardship is fundamentally a moral issue rooted in our covenantal relationship with God and God’s creation, i.e., that the issues are not purely scientific and that the Church is both a resource and a context for discerning and protecting the integrity of creation.

Through Holy Baptism, we are received into Christ's body, the Church. Within the Church, through the gifts of the Holy Spirit we may discern our place in God's mission. Through the General Confession, we may acknowledge our collective limitations.  Through the Holy Eucharist, we may receive grace and gain strength, courage and capacity for hope.   As a Church in the Anglican Communion, we are called "to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and renew the life of the earth.” Our accountability to God’s creation encompasses whether the whole of creation continues to flourish. By adopting the resolution, the 2015 Council has affirmed this duty, its ramifications, and its urgent importance.