Dear members of the Christian Reformed Church in North America,
It always is the privilege and praise-giving responsibility of each one of us to acknowledge that the earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof, the world and all who dwell therein. And it also is our privilege and honor to image God's love for the world and all creation in our lives and landscapes. In our report (available here in PDF format) we convey to you, in deep gratitude to God, the results of our deliberations to you as fellow members of Christ's church, with the expectation that you will join with "all creatures here below" to praise our triune God, Creator of heaven and earth, for the great gift of God's creation! We are truly stewards of God’s gifts, stewards of God’s world, and we join you with gratitude for God's great gifts of creation and God's salvation, to which we know and believe we must respond with love and gratitude.
Together we share the beautiful text of Romans 1:20, and believingly know from it and its elaboration in Article 2 of our Belgic Confession---and from direct experience in creation---that we and people everywhere are left with no excuse but to know God's divinity and everlasting power by what God has made and sustains. Moreover, we know from God's holy and divine Word the goodness of God in granting salvation in Jesus Christ, apart from which we would go our own way, even going so far as destroying the gifts of creation that God has given us in love and beneficence. Of God's children, we are among those who profess our native sinfulness and are not surprised by the degradation that human beings bring to God's creation. And in confessing this in ourselves and across humanity, we expect and find that God's great gifts and provisions in creation will be neglected, abused, and even destroyed. Yet, we know our chief end---to glorify God---and it is to this all-important end that we confess in our time that we are divinely-appointed stewards of God's great gifts to us, including the great gift of God's creation. This report---the result of much prayerful work by us for the benefit of all---is given to the churches in gratitude to God for God's great gifts for us, particularly God's great gift of this remarkable creation of which we are part, and in which we have the awesome vocation as its responsible caretakers and stewards. We hope this report will be uplifting and empowering to you, and we pray for God's blessing as all of us take up and read what we have been asked to prepare for the inspiration and counsel of the church. We hope that you will move beyond taking this to heart to putting it into dedicated and grateful practice.
In service of the Lord whose service we work to image in our life and work,
Calvin B. DeWitt, Chair