Heritage Sunday

Earth Day gathering in New YorkHeritage Sunday always falls on the Sunday closest to May 21, the opening date of the first General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America in 1789. The Presbyterian Historical Society creates resources to help congregations plan celebrations for  congregation   and learn more about Presbyterian history.

This year the Historical Society has chosen Christian Responsibility for Environmental Renewal as their theme for Heritage Sunday.

As many well know, Americans celebrated the first Earth Day in 1970, 50 years ago this past April. 1970. That same year the United Presbyterian Council on Church and Society undertook a study on threats facing human survival on an increasingly crowded and polluted planet. The study culminated in the 1971 United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. General Assembly adopting the council’s report, “Christian Responsibility for Environmental Renewal.”

Linking the fate of small and large ecologies around the world, the report called for responsible energy extraction and consumption and warned of technologies that “master” instead of “serve” humanity. It also connected environmental justice with broader church goals of economic and racial-ethnic justice.

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