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By Urek Meniashvili (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia CommonsHallo again to all.

The forty-fifth Earth Day is this week on 22 April. We do not tend to participate in rallies and marches, but we do like to observe the day in our own fashion. The themes of Earth Day are in line with our belief as Christians that we are entrusted with stewardship of the planet and all its animals, vegetables, and minerals with whom we share it. So we are in the process of creating a self-study to guide our meditations for the week.

As a starting point, we decided to re-read the creation story from Genesis. One of our favorite parts is where God forms the creatures of the animal kingdom to be Adam's helpers in tending the Garden of Eden. We like that God shows each new creature to Adam and lets Adam bestow names upon them. To us, 'naming' means there is a relationship between the one doing the naming and the one being named. We give names to those we care for making them individuals in their own right—no longer an unnamed and undifferentiated clump.

We imagine Adam examining each creature and taking note of its features. Perhaps he looked into their eyes and they into his before deciding upon each name. We read a recent scientific study about bonding between dogs and their owners touted as 'the first to present a biological mechanism for bonding across species'. We can believe it.

Our Earth Day general maxims are:

  • All living creatures, human and non-human, are partners in taking care of God's creation.
  • Humans have a bond with the non-human inhabitants set in place by the Creator.
  • Humans are to be responsible caretakers and preserve the symbiotic relationship between species and the environment.
In a nutshell, we are all in this together.

We have a friend who works on a research vessel that travels the globe. Our friend has told us of the great garbage patches in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans as well as the garbage vortex in the Indian Ocean. We have seen for ourselves human-generated debris washing ashore with each tide. And that is the waste large enough to be easily seen. According to scientific journals, microplastics are an equally or even bigger problem for marine life. It isn't just these sources of debris that clutter our oceans. Around the world, we have added to the ocean a significant amount of abandoned fishing gear which causes its own harm.

What is a good Anglican to do? Prayer is the first and essential step. We especially like using the New Zealand Prayer Book's Eucharistic Liturgy of Thanksgiving for Creation and Redemption (pp. 456-473).

But what about action? We can follow the lead of our bishops who recently issued a call to work for climate justice one person, one family, one youth group, one parish, one deanery, one diocese, one province at a time, until we are working together in the way God intended—restoring creation as God envisioned it.

We hope that you, dear reader, will write us from your corner of the Anglican Communion to tell us about the prayers used in your province and your parish, the youth and adult projects and studies you think helpful, and the resources you have found for learning more about how we can reclaim our God-given role as caretakers and stewards of God's creation.

As John Donne eloquently wrote,

No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

See you next week.

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All of us at Anglicans Online

19 April 2015




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