Adapted from General Synod Communications, Anglican Church of Canada
A statement on Earth Day 2014 from Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada and Bishop Susan Johnson, National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.
“This fragile Earth, our island home”
At your command all things came to be:
The vast expanse of interstellar space,
Galaxies, suns, the planets in their courses, and this fragile earth, our island home;
By your will they were created and have their being.
Glory to you forever and ever.
This year’s observance of Earth Day follows immediately on the events of Good Friday and Easter Sunday. In them we see movements from enmity to reconciliation, suffering to hope, and death to new life. They speak not only to humanity but also to the interconnectedness of all of creation.
The Scriptures tell us that our first vocation as human beings is to tend God’s creation. An honest assessment of our diligence in that call inevitably leads us to confess “our waste and pollution of creation and our lack of concern for those who come after us.” (Ash Wednesday Liturgy)
Reports on the state of the environment as documented by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are increasingly alarming. Of particular concern is the global collapse of oceans and the serious consequences already borne by the poorest nations. At a climate conference in Warsaw last November, there was an emotional outpouring from countries that face existential threats, among them Bangladesh, which produces just 0.3 per cent of the emissions driving climate change.
In the face of increasing concern and vulnerability in the world voiced especially by the poor and the young, what word does the church speak? What action do we take?
Image of Earth’s Eastern Hemisphere by NASA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons