Let’s Celebrate Earth Day!

By The Rev. Canon Pam Hyde, Canon for Creation Care

Pam Hyde

Earth Day is just over a week away, on Thursday, April 22nd! Faith communities of all types are embracing this 51-year-old celebration of our beautiful but fragile island home, and here in our diocese we are featuring a special bilingual Earth Day Morning Prayer service offered online on Sunday, April 25th at 10:00 am.  However, there are a multitude of ways that we can celebrate God’s gift of Creation as individuals and together in our church communities this year. Mark your calendars, take a look at these offerings, and plan some ways that you and your church can worship, celebrate, learn, take action or simply enjoy the beauty of the Earth and its creatures!

Earth Day Morning Prayer Service, The Episcopal Diocese of Arizona, Sunday, April 25th, 10:00 am

The diocesan Creation Care ministry and the Creation Care Council will offer a special online, bilingual Morning Prayer service on Sunday, April 25 in honor of Earth Day. The service will include liturgical materials for Honoring God In Creation developed by the General Convention’s Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music. The Rev. Pam Hyde, Canon for Creation Care will preach. Everyone is invited to join at 10:00 a.m. on the diocesan YouTube channel for worship, or to view the recording afterward.

“Kiss the Ground” film offered by Interfaith Power & Light

Kiss the Ground” is a new documentary film hosted by Woody Harrelson about how regenerating the world’s soils has the potential to rapidly stabilize Earth’s climate, restore lost ecosystems, and create abundant food supplies. Interfaith Power & Light (IPL) has arranged to offer a free online viewing period for home viewing from April 10 through April 26. All viewers must register with IPL.  Or locally, register to join the Care for Creation ministry of the Franciscan Renewal Center for a Zoom discussion of the movie on Friday, April 16th from 7 to 8:30 PM.  Registration includes the link from Interfaith Power & Light to watch the movie in advance. 

Sacred Ground Toolkit from Interfaith Power & Light

Interfaith Power & Light’s Faith Climate Justice Week, April 16-25, is focused on Sacred Ground: Cultivating Connections Between Our Faith, Our Food and the Climate, which examines how our food systems contribute to injustice and to climate change, and how our faiths call us to respond through practical solutions.  Dig in to a discussion with your congregation on the connection between our faith, our food practices, climate change, and environmental justice. Toolkits are available for download. 

Episcopal Public Policy Network (EPPN) Creation Care series

Learn more about policy and advocacy around Creation Care from the Episcopal Church’s Office of Governmental Relations and the Episcopal Public Policy Network (EPPN).  The first two pieces in the 2021 series are “The Paris Agreement and 1.5 Degrees Celsius” and “Wise Stewardship of Land,” with new pieces out each week. 

Sustaining Soil and Souls: Stories of Food and Faith, April 18, 4:00 – 5:00 pm

Food has been a staple subject in as many cultures as there are cuisines. Join Arizona Interfaith Power & Light (AZIPL) online on Sunday, April 18 from 4:00 to 5:00 pm to hear storytellers from a variety of cultures and faith traditions tell stories about nourishing food that sustains both the soil and our souls. Advance registration is required.

“Extinction: The Facts” film on PBS

Scientists have described the extinction crisis as an existential threat to civilization, along with climate change and pollution, to which it is tied.  Biodiversity loss is at an unprecedented level in the history of mankind.  Sir David Attenborough explores how this crisis of biodiversity has consequences for us all, threatening food and water security, undermining our ability to control our climate and even putting us at greater risk of pandemic diseases.  Available online through PBS until April 28th.

Book discussion of Braiding Sweetgrass, April 19, 6 pm

Join the Earth Ministry community in a Zoom discussion of Robin Wall Kimmerer’s book Braiding Sweetgrass on Monday, April 19 at 6pm.  Registration is required.  Kimmerer brings to her writing her identity as an indigenous woman and also her knowledge as a botanist. She offers a lovely perspective on how to enter into a reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world.  Time is short to read the book if you haven’t already read it! 

2021 Ecumenical Advocacy Days: “Imagine! God’s Earth and People Restored”

The 2021 theme for Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD), an annual gathering of Christian advocates and activists, will be “Imagine! God’s Earth and People Restored.” This year’s gathering, which will be held virtually on April 18-21, is an opportunity to support a global movement centered on and led by the people and communities most vulnerable to climate impacts due to historic racial and colonial inequities.  The conference offers ample workshops to hone your advocacy skills, social opportunities to connect with other faith-based folks engaging in advocacy, educational presentations focused on environmental protection, and finally an opportunity for direct advocacy to your members of Congress.  Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will be the opening preacher.  See the schedule for the event here

Go take a hike!

If an organized event isn’t your thing, or you’re tired of staring at a screen, get outside!  Go for a hike, walk, stroll or amble.  Get on your bike and go for a ride.  Find a park and watch the birds.  Plant a garden, pot a houseplant or just go outside, close your eyes and listen to the natural world around you.