Thursday, March 20, 2008

ELCA News on Triduum

This was posted today on the ELCA News Blog:

Lutherans wade in water during World Water Day, Easter Vigil, March 22

March 20, 2008  
by Melissa Ramirez Cooper, ELCA News Service

More than 1 billion people in the world lack access to clean, safe drinking water.  In an effort to bring about awareness, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution in 1992 to designate March 22 as "World Water Day."  "Water access is a priority to all people, and World Water Day is a day to bring attention to those in our world who lack clean, safe drinking water, and adequate sanitation services," said Patricia Zerega, director, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Corporate Social Responsibility.  The ELCA social statement, "Caring for Creation Vision, Hope, and Justice," affirms the church's support for proposals and actions to protect and restore "water, especially drinking water, groundwater, polluted runoff, and industrial and municipal waste."

The new edition of the ELCA World Hunger's "Congregation Connections" and the new ELCA World Hunger "Reproducible Stories" will feature water and justice themes, said Sue Edison-Swift, communication director, ELCA World Hunger and Disaster Appeal.  Both resources will be made available in April.  "Just as water is foundational for life, life-giving water efforts are foundational to ELCA World Hunger," according to Kathryn Sime, director, ELCA World Hunger and Disaster Appeal.  "Clean water becomes a trout farm, safety in a refugee camp, or heightened knowledge about malaria prevention," said Sime.

For Christians, water is symbolic in Baptism.  "A number of ELCA congregations will be conducting Baptisms on March 22, since it is the Vigil of Easter this year," said the Rev. Marcus Kunz, executive for discernment of contextual and theological Issues, ELCA Office of the Presiding Bishop.  "The Easter Vigil service is focused on Baptism and the believer's baptismal journey with Christ in his death and resurrection, following the tradition of the early church in baptizing converts at the Easter Vigil after catechesis during the season of Lent.  The story of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea is read.  When the Easter Vigil service is observed with gusto, a lot of water gets thrown about, and a thanksgiving prayer full of water references is prayed," he said.
World Water Day? Just whose church is this?

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