Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Recent Victory for Creation Care

Celebrate Veto of Mountaintop Removal Permits

An email notice was mailed out today from the National Council of Churches USA for Eco-Justice Programs announcing that after years of litigation and debate, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said "no" to the devastation that Mountaintop Removal mining has on God's Creation. According to the NCC Eco-Justice Team, "Two weeks ago the EPA finalized a veto of permits for a new mountaintop removal coal mine in West Virginia, specifically the Spruce Number One Mine.

The following thank you note was sent to the EPA by the NCC Eco-Justice team:

"Dear Administrator Jackson,
We are writing to express our gratitude for the Environmental Protection Agency's decision to veto the Spruce Number One mine permit in West Virginia. As people of faith, we believe that we are called to be stewards of the Earth and to manage our land, water and other resources for the benefit of all of creation and for future generations. For years we have, as a community, expressed great concern over the destructive practice of mountaintop removal coal mining in the Appalachian Mountains, which favors short term economic gain over the protection of these ancient mountains and the unique culture and communities that depend upon them.

Over the years, mountaintop removal mining has led to polluted drinking water, increased risk of flooding, damage to homes and buildings due to mining blasts, massive amounts of dust, related health ailments, and a devastated landscape.

Your decision to revoke the permits for the Spruce Number One mine reflects the often overlooked negative impacts that mountaintop removal mining has on Appalachia. High rates of poverty, high unemployment, and high illiteracy rates along with damaged ecosystems and degraded human health are being borne by the people who get little benefit and can least afford to adjust to these circumstances.

We support your decision and look forward to working with you in the future to slow the growth of mountaintop removal mining and help communities that have been affected seek justice for their families and future generations."

Click here if you would like to sign this thank you note to the EPA.

To learn more about the NCC Eco-Justice Program click here.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Let There Be... Stuff?

Have you ever heard of the internet sensation, The Story of Stuff? Do you ever wonder what you can do to make the biggest difference on the future of the planet? Do you want ot feel closer to God while you're at it?

If the answer is "YES!" and you're between 13 and 18 years old, then you have a great adventure ahead. Come be part of the Let There Be... Stuff? program. Commit to six sessions and change the world.

Contact Melissa, Minister for Youth & Family Discipleship (, to sign up!

Starting Sunday, January 9, the Youth & Familiy Discipleship program is offering this special, six-week program for our Sr. High students and the Lutheran Campus Ministry students at MN State University, Moorhead. Study sessions will be Sundays in the Youth Room, 6:00-7:00 p.m.

Recycled Paper for the Future of the Planet

Have you noticed in your bulletins this past year that Our Savior's uses paper from sustainably managed forrests as well as recycled paper? Though you may have seen it printed you might still be wondering "what does that mean?"

The Sustainable Forrest Stewardship Council, whose seal can be found on the packaging ofthe paper filling the shelves in our church office, has been certified by Scientific Certification Systems, meaning the wood used to create our bulletins comes from forrests that are being managed in an environmentally responsible way.

Even better, we have recently been using more and more recycled paper - anywhere from 50% to 100% post-consumer content - meaning fewer trees have to be cut down to make it and less damage to God's creation.

Recycled paper does cost more in the catalog than non-recycled paper and that can deter people from choosing the recycled option. Even the sales rep from our supply company who sells us our paper commented one day when an order was placed, "You know, not many people order that recycled stuff. It's too expensive!" And then he asked the inevitable question, "So why are you buying the recycled paper?"

Why? Because it's the right thing to do. Because God never promised His way would be easy. But He did promise to be with us along the journey - and what an incredible journey it will be, the more and more we choose God's way over the easy way.