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Lutheran World Federation Tenth Assembly

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July 21 - 31, 2003
Winnipeg Manitoba Canada

Home » In Convention » LWF 2003 » Village Voices » Healing Creation Send to a friend     print

Healing Creation

1. What are the wounds that have been inflicted on creation? What caused these wounds? What kind of ecological disasters have happened that have made you sensitive to the cries of creation?

Wounds

Pollution

  • air, chemicals, water, contaminated land, spraying crops, oil spills, smog/acid rain,
  • garbage, nuclear waste, land mines, noise pollution, space debris

Overuse/depletion

  • air, water, forests, habitats for animals destroyed, extinction of plants and animals,
  • over fishing, erosion of top soil

Human characteristics and manipulation

  • greed
  • sin
  • poor planning
  • lack of Christianity
  • produce genetically altered
  • uranium/diamond mines
  • population explosion
  • 'playing' with the balance of nature
  • dams/flooding
  • genetic intervention in cloning sheep
  • test tube babies
  • war and how it ravages the land
  • HIV/AIDS
  • flooding/droughts
  • arson/fires
  • rich not sharing with the poor
  • street people
  • feeding animals animal parts
  • violence
  • lack of trust
  • people throughout world homeless and without food, water and education
  • economic sanctions which result in starving children

What caused these wounds?

  • humankind
  • greed
  • economics
  • exploitation
  • poor planning

Ecological disasters

  • Chernobyl/Three Mile Island
  • Love Canal
  • hog farms
  • gated communities
  • poverty
  • forests depleted in Haiti
  • lice on fish
  • abnormal weather
  • space debris
  • mad cow disease
  • tornado damage
  • war causing starving, homelessness, etc.
  • poor crops because of global warming
  • Walkerton/North Battleford water story/crisis
  • extinction of species through slaughter or for money
  • drought causing starvation for millions

2. How might humans honour other parts of creation, rather than dominating, devaluing or exploiting them?

Take responsibility

  • education to increase awareness about the impact of our actions
  • First Nation People seem to have something that causes them to honour their land. What is it? We should learn from them.
  • share and respect time, space, resources
  • prepare and plan effectively

Action

  • recycle, reuse, reclaim treat the environment as if it is God's
  • respect people and property
  • we are caretakers
  • pursue alternative sources for energy
  • protect our resources
  • help other countries with technology
  • plant trees
  • water management
  • grow a vegetable garden and give half to the poor
  • church should speak out on population control
  • cut down on spray/chemicals
  • use safe products
  • support companies that respect environment
  • become stewards of God's creation
  • be an example

3. How far should efforts go to heal or improve human life through biotechnologies? At what risks? How might we use biotechnologies to heal creation rather than harm it?

How far?

  • quit playing God
  • carefully regulate cures
  • technology can be used to grow better crops and preserve food
  • technology can control diseases, reduce suffering
  • carefully controlled transplants
  • do not approve of cloning
  • stem cell — could be helpful
  • wealthy people should not be able to buy transplants. Poor must not be exploited for body parts
  • proceed slowly
  • respect the limits of human life and the interrelationship of all things to each other
  • should support God's creation and not try to modify it
  • greed and power should not be deciding factor
  • human life should not be sacrificed to improve life
  • the overall benefits significantly outweigh the risks
  • when used to destroy creation e.g. bombs

How might biotechnologies heal rather than harm?

  • need an independent agency to review ethics and viability and safety for human beings
  • and the environment
  • limitless, given that no one of God's creation is dominated, devalued or exploited
  • U of A makes synthetic skin
  • insulin cells
  • transplants good
  • we cannot avoid death but sometimes quality of life and avoiding suffering are important
  • we should use the new biotechnologies to heal or improve human life
  • we should not alter genes
  • ethical and environmental check and balance
  • put in place ethical processes for food (both human and animal)
  • share with everyone e.g. bone marrow transplants
  • Stem cell biotechnology does save lives. Ethical problems arise from how the stem cells are harvested and the selection of the recipient.
  • clean water technology, medicines, food, save lives but are not available to everyone in the world
  • nuclear energy used for cancer treatments, diagnostic tools
  • electrical energy that does not pollute

Bishop Ray asks:

As Lutherans in Canada prepare for the Tenth Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation in Winnipeg, how are you and your community addressing important environmental issues? How about an environmental audit of your church building?

Recycling, reduce, reuse

  • use of china rather than Styrofoam
  • use of linen instead of paper
  • no air conditioning
  • no watering of lawns
  • heat turned up only when needed
  • use a composter
  • don't waste food and materials

Promote healthy living

  • walk instead of drive
  • car pools, use public transit
  • don't smoke
  • plant trees
  • set aside green spaces
  • increase insulation in homes
  • turn off lights
  • wildlife stewardship programs
  • avoid pesticides
  • nature walks

Environmental audit

  • Yes
  • Could use one

In full communion with The Anglican Church of Canada
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