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Earth Day

Minute for Mission: Earth Day

When thinking of the Arctic, many cling to an image of pristine white tundra. This is far from reality. Research is confirming that the Arctic contains some of the most highly contaminated animals and people in the world due to the persistent industrial chemicals and pesticides that are transported on atmospheric and oceanic currents from lower latitudes. Much of this pollution comes from both plastic production and plastic contamination.

Presbyterian pastor, Menaul School students help unearth a treasure

In honor of Earth Day in April, I had the opportunity to take out 70 students and faculty from Menaul High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for a guided hike and day of service on the Caja del Rio, one of the most significant cultural, historical, archaeological, spiritual and wildlife landscapes in the American Southwest. Sadly, it’s also considered one the most endangered landscapes in New Mexico as it faces huge threats from climate change, mining, illegal dumping and shooting, poaching, vandalism and theft of ancient petroglyphs and unlawful off-highway vehicle use that disrupts wildlife and cultural sites.

How can your congregation celebrate Earth Day?

While it is not a faith-based occasion, it is fair to argue that Earth Day should be a natural observance for Christians. In the first pages of Scripture, God calls us to care for Creation.

Minute for Mission: Earth Day

We recognize Christ’s urgent call to be vital congregations and worship communities, where God’s love, justice and mercy shine forth and are contagious. Faith comes alive when we boldly engage God’s mission and share the hope we have in Christ. This Earth Day, the Presbyterian Hunger Program is again reminded of the 277 Earth Care Congregations (ECCs) and all the ways in which they turn their commitments into caring for God’s Creation into ministry that rejuvenates, restores and revitalizes their own communities.

Caring for creation

There are 12 simple ways that congregations of any size can take to practice better environmental stewardship.

How ‘pew sitters’ become doers of the Word

April 22 marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Last year, a St. Louis church, Webster Groves Presbyterian, celebrated the 49th event in a big way — with a themed worship service, featuring a flowing fountain with blue and green fabric “water” cascading down the chancel steps. There was also an ethereal rendition of “Amazing Grace,” complete with the sounds of birds filling the sanctuary, and a slide show displaying photographs of water from the congregation, along with a soulful version of “Wade in the Water.”

The fierce urgency of now

As stewards of God’s Creation, we are challenged to care for planet Earth and all its inhabitants. This is an awesome responsibility, but also an incredible opportunity. There are many concerns facing our planet, with climate change and its impact on the most vulnerable at the top of the list. Related concerns include privatization of the Earth’s precious resources, threats to the safety of our world’s water supply and the effects of toxic emissions.

Minute for Mission: Presbyterian Heritage

Americans celebrated the first Earth Day 50 years ago this spring, on April 22, 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.