With the approach of Earth Day this Saturday, April 22, Canadian Anglican and Lutheran leaders have issued an invitation to creation-minded prayer and action.
“In recognition of Earth Day…we invite you to join us in praying for the humility and discipline to use Earth’s resources wisely and responsibly,” say Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada; Susan Johnson, National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC); and Mark MacDonald, National Indigenous Anglican Bishop, in a statement released Wednesday, April 19.
Through Lent and Easter, the bishops say, they have been reminded of how Jesus gave his life for love of the world. Jesus invited people to reflect on his death and resurrection, they say, with the image of a seed planted and growing from the soil—“budding, bursting, blooming, bearing beautiful fruit.”
The image challenges followers of Christ, the bishops say, to offer their lives in the same way, reflecting on questions suggested by the image: “What do we have to offer and to plant? What in us needs to die so that we can bear much fruit? What happens when we touch the Earth with faith?”
The bishops add that with Earth Day, they recommit to their care for creation. They also commend the efforts of congregations across Canada in living out the call to care for the Earth. They recommend to Anglican and Lutheran congregations the Faith Commuter Challenge, a friendly competition, devised by Faith and the Common Good, an ecumenical environmental group, that encourages participants to use some way other than their automobile to get to their place of worship the week of June 2-11.
The bishops conclude with a prayer for Earth Day:
Creator, we give you thanks for the intricate balance of relationships that sustains life. Bless us with the humility and discipline to use Earth’s resources wisely and responsibly.
Crucified and Risen Christ, we give you thanks for forgiveness, life and salvation that is the source of our hope for true community and abundant life. Help us, guide us and transform us so that we may walk in your ways of justice, equity and peace.
Holy Spirit, we give you thanks for fresh winds of renewal, that open our hearts to new possibilities and deeper insights. Grant us courage to act in diverse, creative and generous ways.
Creator, Christ and Spirit One: call us together for the love of the world, and send us to proclaim your gift of hope. Amen.
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Tali Folkins has worked as a staff reporter for the Law Times and the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal. His writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail and The United Church Observer.
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