The Episcopal Church Bishop issued a statement full of disappointment on President Trump’s decision to withdrawal the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement. He stated that Psalm 24 teaches us that the whole world belongs to God and human beings have been charged with being caretakers and stewards of God’s creation. To read the full statement, click here.
The Earth Keeping Summit 2016 was held at the Ohio State University, School of Environment and Natural Resources. The summit went deeper than the importance of recycling, shutting off your lights and using less energy, and addressed questions of ecology, justice, and race. Dr. Melanie Harris was the keynote speaker of the event and also spoke on the importance of sharing stories. She is an Associate Professor of Religion at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX.
Dr. Harris spoke of the importance of diversity in ecology and how social justice relates to the environmental movement. She talked about how sharing our stories and experiences plays a part in taking care of the environment and having a connection to the environment and to each other. In this environmental movement we must listen. We must reflect on our experiences. We must take race, class and gender very seriously. She gave the example of Eric Garner whose life was taken by police but before that he struggled with asthma. Melanie talked about our air and how the earth is barely breathing. When we heal our earth we will then heal ourselves.
Earth connection begins by sitting with difference. Sitting with nature and seeing things in a different kind of lens. You can hear Melanie’s powerful message here.
Thursday, September 1, 2016, has been declared a shared World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation by Catholic and Orthodox Christian communities. This year, Pope Francis issued a video invitation to prayer
in which he calls believers and unbelievers alike to work together to care for our common home. In August of 2015, the pope issued a letter declaring Sept. 1 as an annual day of prayer for the care of creation, joining the Orthodox Church, which has been doing so since 1989. Citizens are urged to pray and join a local prayer service, or if no local service is offered, representatives from Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox and Episcopalian churches will offer an online prayer service at 8am US EDT.
The Episcopal ecological Network is the Eco-based resource for the Episcopal faith. Their home website, found here, contains information on how churches and congregations can become more environmentally friendly and aware. They do this through a three part program involving reflection, education, and action.
The Episcopal Church has issued multiple environmental statements over the years. Their foundational statement in the 1990’s was released in parts. The first part discussed environmental policy, and what must be done to preserve creation. The full policy piece can be found here. The second part addressed taking action through the church. It involves advocacy, leadership involvement, and education. This part can be read in full detail here.
All information regarding the Episcopal Ecological Network can be found here.