A Call to Celebrate
What is it that you love about the Earth? Lush green forests, beautiful beaches, fields of wildflowers, the fact that it provides the air we breathe, the food we eat, the very substance of our existence? While every day is a day to celebrate the earth, April 22 Earth Day is a special day to do just that with others across the globe. This year For the Love of Creation invites all faith communities to be part of the movement and join with faith communities across the country in Earth Week 2023 – Together for the Love of Creation. To do this, we’ve created a map where you can enter your celebration in one of three categories: praying, learning, acting.
Quoted in the Catholic Register, eco-theologian Hilda Koster says, “Theologically, climate change is about our relationship with God as Creator and sustainer of this wondrous planet. Deciding to continue to take part in the destruction of the conditions for the flourishing of life is a decision against God’s creation and, hence, against God.” Being in relationship with the land, grieving and holding out hope, advocating to end the destruction, exploring new ways of living – these are all part of the Christian relationship with God as Creator. Whether you hold to the Christian faith or another faith or spirituality, For the Love of Creation is asking, “How are you Spirit-led?” “What feeds your Spirit and your relationship with the Earth?” For some it will be an Earth Day Kabbalat Shabbat or a People’s Parade for Life on Earth or a chance to “Resurrect” their bike for active transportation. For you, will it be Forest Bathing, a Deep Time Walk or a familiar worship service with a Creation Care focus? See details about all these options on the map.
Another Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report came out in March. Again, the world’s scientists emphasize that unless immediate changes are made, it will be impossible to avoid a catastrophic warming of 1.5 or even 2 degrees Celsius. This is terrifying and depressing news. How do we hold onto hope? How do we make a difference?
As I learned from a young activist, Rebecca Hamilton, a few years back, action is what makes the difference, for personal hope and mental health, as well as changing systems for the better. Change is going to take all of us and each action brings hope. Each action brings the possibility that one more person, one more community, one more faith-body, government or corporation, will be moved to do what needs to be done, a radical shift away from fossil fuels and consumerism and into a loving relationship with the Earth.
We encourage you to act and gather in your local community as much as possible. For the Love of Creation has also planned three opportunities for you to engage online across the country:
Act: sign the Give it Up for the Earth personal pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and advocacy letter to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, urging him to set more ambitious climate action targets and expressing support for climate justice legislation.
Learn: attend a webinar Addressing Environmental Racism in Canada with guest speakers Dr. Leora Gansworth and Dr. Jane McArthur to learn more about how environmental racism manifests in Canada and how we can address it. April 25. More information and registration here.
Pray: join EnviroMuslims, the Reform Jewish Community of Canada and For the Love of Creation for a joint webinar, Spirit-led: An Interfaith Call to Action. This session will focus on sharing, in a circle of ritual and reflection, on how our faith compels us to seek climate justice. We will be guided by Muslim, Jewish, Indigenous and Christian spiritual leaders. April 30. More information and registration here.
If you or your community are planning something on or around Earth Week, April 16-23, please put it on the map! If you haven’t started planning yet, don’t fret. Check the map and see what events you can attend in your area. If you want to plan something, Just keep it simple and start now. A prayer circle? A walk in the woods? Any and all events that bring people Together for the Love of Creation are welcome and encouraged. Start today!
Together for the Love of Creation Earth Week 2023 is co-endorsed by the Anglican Church of Canada, Faith and the Common Good, Mouvement Laudato Si Movement-Canada, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, the Canadian Yearly Meeting of the Society of Friends (Quakers), the Canadian Religious Conference, The United Church of Canada, KAIROS, The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund, the Grey Sisters, The Presbyterian Church in Canada, the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions, Development and Peace – Caritas Canada, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, Citizens for Public Justice, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto, and the Canadian Council of Churches.
 Michael Swan, “Churches must press government on climate, MP says,” The Catholic Register (April 2, 2023): 5.