Church of Norway has a responsibility to care for creation, to work for peace and reconciliation, to fight poverty and defend human dignity.
On this page you can read more about some of this work in the society.
Read more about the different topics by pressing the red arrow.
Diakonia is the church’s caritative service to the world. This care is shown through inclusive fellowships, care for creation and fight for justice. Diakonia spans from the daily care for our neighbours to international engagement for climate justice and fight agains economic injustice.
Diakonia is the Gospel in action, and is expressed through love of your neighbour, inclusive fellowships, care for creation and struggle for justice. The vision for the diaconal service of Church of Norway is: God’s love to every human being and everything created, made real through life and service.
The church is diaconal in its being, and diakonia is an integral part of its identity and mission. Diakonia wants to promote respect and dignity, and contribute so that people can experience reconciliation in their own lives, as well as in their relationships with other people, and to empower.
The church’s work for climate justice and environmental concerns
Environmental concerns have become ever more important for the church. Both in Norway and around the world the church has increasingly come to realise this. Oftentimes indigenous peoples and the churches in poorer countries have been pushing this on the agenda.
To love your neighbour and to care for creation are both basic elements of Christian faith. The work for climate justice is about a sustainable way of living, both nationally and internationally. As part of the worldwide Christian fellowship, the church wants to underline that climate justice is a global responsibility. For Norway this means that we must ask how our revenues from oil and gas production can be useful on a global scale, and show commitment to this global responsibility by reducing our own emissions in Norway.
The gravity and universal character of the climate crisis makes this a main focus area for the church. However, it is a sign of the church’s involvement to always highlight the connection between the climate crisis and topics like economic justice, environmental destruction, greed, consumption of goods and natural resources, and a sustainable economy.
Church of Norway Synod in 2021: More heaven on a threatened planet
At its meeting in September 2021, the Church of Norway Synod adopted the document “More heaven on a threatened planet”, a plan for the church’s work on climate, environment and sustainability. Byt this, the Synod confirmed the extensive and longterm commitment in the church, and expanded the list of topics to be dealt with in the years to come.
The document obliges the Church of Norway to reduce its own emissions and environmental footprint through cutting emission caused by travel by 60 %, and make Church of Norway climate neutral by the year 2030.
The decision goves direction for Church of Norway’s future achievements in the work for climate and environmental justice. It also gives guidelines for the church’s efforts to develop theological awareness connected to climate and environment, and to challenge society to take necessary measures.
The deep conviction of the church, that God loves the world, and never stops relating to it, is one of the reasons why the church is involved in public issues. The church has a public dimension in that it is called to be an agent for change in the world.
The human rights are important, both to give direction and tools for the church’s involvement in many areas, such as climate justice, economic justice, the Sustainability Development Goals, asylum- and migration issues, international campaigns against caste discrimination, human trafficking and participation in civil society.
Human rights contribute to secure a common international standard for national authorities and their duties towards individuals today, but Christian ethics stretch further than that. The calling of the church to love, forgiveness and reconciliation are examples of values that are not secured by human rights. Human rights is therefore not the only source for Christian ethics.
The human rights committee is the Church of Norway expert committee on human rights issues, and is an important support to the church’s diverse involvement in human rights work.
Emergency work in Norway
From media we may recognize the work of the Church of Norway in situations of emergency, such as catastrophes and accidents. Behind this work there are many plans and important training.
Announcing that someone has passed away
Pastors in Church of Norway work in shifts to bring closest relatives of a deceased person the message that he or she has passed away. It is the responsibility of the police to let relatives know when there has been a sudden and unexpected death, and there is an agreement that Church of Norway shall assist the police in this work.
Incidents within the church
There is also a contingency plan for incidents that take place within the church’s own premises, e.g. routines for evacuation in case of fire in a church building. The church’s employers’ organization, KA, has developed guidelines for this this work. (Lenke?)
Support for survivors and close family
What may be the most well-known work of the church is connected to the support provided by church staff to survivors and close family members when there has been an accident or a case of emergency. This often happens in collaboration with the police or the local emergency team.
Care for people and Christian rituals
Pastors and deacons are trained staff members and have experience with people living in times of crises. Their task is to be a support for those who wish so. Also, the church can offer ceremonial support, such as candle-lighting, memorial services or moments, open church (moments for prayers or silence) or the like.
Faith and life-stance communities
In places where Church of Norway is part of the local emergency team, the church staff member has a responsibility to ensure that a representative of another faith- or life stance community is contacted when needed.
Equality, inclusive community and availability
The Church of Norway wants to be a church for all. All members of the church shall have a possibility to participate and belong to the church community.
The Church of Norway shall contribute to increased equality, equal rights and participation of people living with a disability. The Church of Norway shall meet the requirements of the Norwegian legal Equal rights and Anti-discrimination Act. The Church of Norway shall support the Sustainmable Development Goals and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of the United Nations.
Facilitating inclusion of persons with disabilities
It may be a good experience to be part of a smaller group specially facilitated for access for people with disabilities. There are about 200 such groups connected to the Church of Norway. Under different names they all have in common that they wish to offer safe and inclusive spaces. The groups often have activities such as music and singing, crafts, conversations and a meal together. Contact us to find your local community here.