As a congregation, we now begin the process of understanding the Social Statement, and embedding its principles into the fabric of our church, community, and personal lives. The Social Statement centers around four main themes.
The first theme, duty, acknowledges the responsibility that God gives us to care for the earth as he/she cares for the earth, as “servant kings.”
The second, hope, relates our belief that, as Christians, we can work to overcome the sin and captivity that has resulted in the severe degradation that we see in our environment today.
The third theme, justice, acknowledges that all of creation, human and non-human, present and future, have certain rights and responsibilities in how we collectively manage our natural resources.
The final theme, calling, requires that each of us bear witness to creation and put our faith into action for its preservation and well-being. These actions include:
- As individual Christians, to commit ourselves to personal lifestyles that contribute to the health of the environment;
- As a congregation, to see ourselves as a center for exploring and educating on the scriptural and theological foundations of caring for creation;
- As a model for the principle of participation, to welcome the interaction of differing views and experiences in our discussion of environmental issues, and play a role in bringing together parties in conflict;
- As advocates, to apply the principles of participation, solidarity, sufficiency, and sustainability in our advocacy—in neighborhoods and regions, nationally and internationally, advocating to corporations, business leaders, and public policymakers, in partnership ecumenically and with others who share our concern for the environment;
- As church leaders, to encourage each congregation member to put faith into action in fulfilling God’s call to care for His/Her creation;
Throughout the coming year and beyond, there will be many opportunities for us as a congregation to discuss and implement the imperatives of the ELCA Social Statement, in partial fulfillment of our commitment to Living God’s Love. St. Matthew has made many positive advances in caring for creation over the past 5 years. We now encourage you to seek out new and increasingly powerful ways that you can learn about God’s love for creation and our obligations to it, and see how you can best serve God in your actions.
Thanksgiving Packing Event
One upcoming volunteer opportunity to highlight, on Friday, November 18 from 6-8 PM, we will participate in the annual Thanksgiving Packing Event sponsored by our local mission partner NJ Farmers Against Hunger (FAH).
Each year FAH packs and distributes thousands of pounds of produce that otherwise would be wasted, to families in need for the holiday, including as part of our Thanksgiving baskets for Bridge of Peace in Camden. The event is held locally, at FAH’s new headquarters at Laurel Run Park (173 Creek Road in Delran).
Because the event will be held on a weeknight, we are inviting all volunteers to stay for a pizza party afterwards!
This is a great outdoor service project for all ages, including families, seniors, and confirmands/mentors, and COVID- related precautions will be in place. To sign up, please RSVP by Sunday, November 13 to Rebecca Masserini-Cooper.
If you are interested to lend a helping hand in fulfilling our mission “to reveal the connection of our congregation and community to God’s presence in the natural world, by fostering a culture of environmental reflection, engagement and stewardship,” please contact Brian Lestini. We welcome your service to God in creation!