Using Earth Day as a Springboard for Engaging Your Faith Community
Wednesday, April 22nd will mark the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. Started in 1970 in the United States, the original Earth Day is credited as the launch of the modern environmental movement and with inspiring legislation like the Endangered Species Act. Today, the event is not just an opportunity to unite the world in reflection on the wonderful world we have been given, it is an opportunity to unite and engage our congregations in caring for creation.
Many of Blessed Tomorrow’s partners are providing programs to help people of faith take advantage of Earth Day. Interfaith Power & Light recently extended their annual preach-in to April 22nd. As part of this event, you can join thousands of other congregations committed to giving a sermon on climate change and working toward solutions. To learn more about this program and to receive sample sermons and other resources, go to www.preachin.org.
GreenFaith is hosting a national event with a slightly different take. Rather than encouraging sermons on climate change, they are encouraging congregations to invite a scientist to come speak. The event, which runs from April 17th – 26th, is a chance to connect the dots between faith and climate change and raise awareness for the upcoming climate negotiations set for December in Paris. In association with Climate Voices, GreenFaith has over 300 scientists who are prepared to present to congregations across the country. For more information and to register for the event, click here.
Another outstanding way to bridge Earth Day with the values of your faith community comes from Creation Justice Ministries (formerly the National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Program). Creation Justice Ministries produces an Earth Day Sunday Resource focusing on a different topic every year. This year’s resource, entitled “Have you anything here to eat?“, explores sustainable food in a changing climate. Included within the resource is background information, liturgy, prayers, discussion ideas, and steps your congregation can take to be part of the solution. You can even access versions adapted for use in specific denominations. Other “Earth Day Sunday Resources” from Creation Justice Ministries can be found here.
With the help of Blessed Tomorrow’s partners and other faith organizations, you should be set to use Earth Day as a springboard to engaging your congregation in creation care!