Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Some Earth Day 2015 Thoughts, Prayers, and Links

Earth Day, 2015
This gorgeous photo is entitled Earthrise. Taken by astronaut William Anders in 1968, on the Apollo 8 mission, the first manned mission to orbit the Moon. It is considered "the most influential environmental photograph ever taken" (according to Garen Rowell, photographer). I dearly love this image and for me, it serves as a frequent reminder to check my perspective and to look up at the sky, remembering we are all on a little roundish rock whirling in orbit around an average white star in a vast universe. 
Today is Earth Day. 
First is the appreciation and then there's the "what are you going to do about it?" question.
At the recent Episcomm (Episcopal Communicators) conference held at The Bishop Claggett Center in Adamstown, Maryland, we were extremely fortunate to be blessed with both the Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori and her husband, Richard Schori. In the presiding bishop's keynote address to us, she mentioned how important it is that we care for our Earth in addition to caring for humanity on it. 

She said: "Being able to discern the hand of God in ALL creation is important, essential work!" 

"We must be stewards of creation. If not, we won't have a place to continue other good work"

The message: We are stewards of God's creation.

Ok, so what am I personally doing to help care for our Earth? I decided a couple of weeks ago to try and cut my electricity useage. This stemmed from the "Dark Hour" or Earth Hour experiment and I realized when I did it, that I leave lights on all over the apartment. I also went out that weekend and replaced all my old bulbs with the "correct" longer-lasting (really?) ones. I also decided that when my office lights go off during the day, I'll leave them off and use my windows. Less headaches too!

The resources: I began looking at what our church has out there in the way of resources for Earth Day prayers and liturgies as well as resources and while I'm a bit late, here is a little bit of what I found.

- Resources for Environmental Liturgy: found in the Book of Common Prayer, Enriching Our Worship, and The Hymnal 1982, compiled by the Episcopal Diocese of New York
- Episcopal Relief and Development
- The Climate Change Crisis Forum now available for viewing. Presiding Bishop’s keynote address; 30 Days of Action leads up to Earth Day  * Here (via ENS)
- I love this: The PB's message on Climate Change. It's in the form of a bulletin insert

Some prayers that can be used for Earth Day 

Almighty God, in giving us dominion over things on earth, you made us fellow workers in your creation: Give us wisdom and reverence so to use the resources of nature, that no one may suffer from our abuse of them, and that generations yet to come may continue to praise you for your bounty; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
- Book of Common Prayer

God is the foundation for everything
This God undertakes, God gives.
Such that nothing that is necessary for life is lacking.
Now humankind needs a body that at all times honors and praises God.
This body is supported in every way through the earth.
Thus the earth glorifies the power of God.

-Hildegard of Bingen

Lord, help us to maintain a reverent attitude towards nature, threatened from all sides today, in such a way that we may restore it completely to the condition of brother/sister and to its role of usefulness to all humankind for the glory of God the Creator.
- Franciscan prayer

Kingfisher bird. Photo taken by Caroline Carson in Chitwan National Park, Nepal, 2014

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