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April 17, 2018

Canadian Lutheran, Anglican Leaders offer message for Earth Day

April 17, 2018

In recognition of Earth Day on April 22, 2018, we invite you to join us in praying for the humility and discipline to use Earth’s resources wisely and responsibly.

We begin by praying the rule of Life, from Gospel-based Discipleship of Indigenous Ministries of th Anglican Church of Canada:

    Creator God, we acknowledge and give thanks that:

In Jesus we know we belong to a Sacred Circle with the Gospel and Baptismal Covenant in the centre.
In this Sacred Circle:
We are all related;
We live a compassionate and generous life;
We respect all life, traditions, and resources.
We commit ourselves to spiritual growth, discipleship, and consensus.(1)
Amen.


As we read this prayer today, we are reminded of the importance of relationships, including our relationship with Mother Earth. We are also reminded that through prayer God calls us to action.

Consider what you might do to use Earth’s resources more responsibly. Some possibilities are:

  • Being more mindful in your use of water;
  • Eating locally grown food when possible and eating meat less often.Taking more trips by walking, biking, busing or car-pooling in order to reduce your carbon footprint
  • Reducing your use of plastics by not taking a straw or a shopping bag. See 17 Tips to Use Less Plastic for more ideas; www.greeneducationfoundation.org/nationalgreenweeksub/waste-reduction-tips/tips-to-use-lessplastic.html.

Consider what your faith community might do to nurture responsible and sustainable relationships to water, land, home, and each other. Some possibilities are:

  • Finding ways for your community to reduce its environmental footprint. Greening Sacred Spaces offers a variety of resources: www.greeningsacredspaces.net.
  • Listening to children, youth, adults and elders to discover innovative approaches to the challenges that we share.
  • Joining with partners in your community and neighbourhood who are inspiring and implementing
    new ways to care for the earth.
  • Making safeguarding the integrity of creation a regular part of your worship life by using worship
    resources that celebrate God’s creation.

Consider what we all might do to advocate for a more equitable world that recognizes the need for communities to define their own development goals and objectives. Some possibilities are:

  • Encouraging your Member of Parliament to support Bill C-262 which would insure all Canadian
    laws are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
    www.anglican.ca/news/primate-endorses-bill-c-262-letter-prime-minister-trudeau/30020361/
  • Upholding the principle of free, prior, and informed consent for all communities impacted by resource extraction.
  • Commending the recent announcement of a new Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Business Enterprise. (https://www.kairoscanada.org/what-we-do/ecological-justice/open4justice)

Recent important legislative initiatives are a reminder for all of us to continue to work for human rights and to care for creation every day. As the recent collaborative report from Auditors General across Canada highlights, there is need for much stronger federal and provincial relations to meet important emissions reductions targets in order to begin addressing the very real impacts of climate change already being felt in Canada and around the world.(2)

On this Earth Day, let us pray together:

Creator, we stand in awe and wonder at God's great creation, at the diversity of beings, and at the intricate balance of relationships that sustains life.

We recognize the need and basic human right for each person to have a place to which to belong.Inspire in us the will to live in responsible and sustainable relationships to water, land, home, and each other are part of realizing our full humanity.

Gather us together for the love of the world, and send us out, with patience and persistence, to act as your disciples. Amen.

We are confident that through your prayers and discernment you will discover a multitude of ways to learn, raise awareness and make difference for the Earth.

The Rev. Susan C. Johnson
National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

The Rt. Rev. Mark MacDonald
National Anglican Indigenous Bishop, Anglican Church of Canada

The Most Rev. Fred Hiltz
Primate, Anglican Church of Canada

——
(1) https://www.anglican.ca/im/introgbd/
(2) http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_otp_201803_e_42883.html

In full communion with The Anglican Church of Canada
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