Faith Based Environmental Initiatives in Canada

Joanne Moyer: The King's University 

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

About:  The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) was established in 1986 through the merger of the former Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada and Lutheran Church in America-Canada Section. The ELCIC exists in three main entities, a national body, regional synods, and local congregations. Their vision consists of four main principles which include: “spirited discipleship, compassionate justice, healthy church, and effective partnerships.”


Environmental Activities:

  • Concern for environmental issues dates back to the 1960s, addressing acid rain, pollutants, and journeying with Indigenous peoples.
  • “The Evangelical Declaration in Mission for Others: A Theology of Mission” (1997) outlines commitment to nurture and care of creation.
  • The ELCIC created a statement expressing support for the Kyoto Accord in 2009 and passed the ELCIC Resolution on Climate Justice (2015), which encourages policy advocacy and education for climate justice.
  • The Joint Assembly Declaration (2013) with the Anglican Church of Canada committed the churches to work together on issues of responsible resource extraction, homelessness, and affordable housing.
  • Formational activities include encouraging a more simple lifestyle, creating various educational and worship resources, using the Holy Cross Day in September as day to focus on environmental issues. Church camps are also engaged in raising awareness about the environment.
  • Statements include:
    • “The Canadian Interfaith Call for Leadership and Action on Climate Change” (2011)
    • “On Promoting Climate Justice and Ending Poverty in Canada Faith Communities in Canada Speak Out” (2015)
    • “The United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties 22 Interfaith Statement” (2016)
  • The Stewardship of Creation Program encourages congregations to participate in environmental work through various avenues, such as energy or gardening.
  • In partnership with Canadian Lutheran World Relief, the church promotes low-emission stoves, water management projects, and other sustainable development projects.
  • The Right to Water project for youth provides sustainable water in Pikangikum, Ontario.
  • Congregational level initiatives include:
    • 20 congregations involved in The Stewardship of Creation Project, exploring solar panels, improving insulation, using lower wattage light bulbs, and other environmentally friendly initiatives.
    • Community garden projects



  • Compassionate justice, including climate change and other environmental concerns, is part of the mandate of the assistant to the Bishop, Justice and Leadership.