Message for Earth Day 2023
from Anglican and Lutheran Leaders
~ from a post dated April 18, 2023 on the In Full Communion website
Every year on April 22nd, communities and individuals around the world participate in Earth Day. This is a global occasion for collective reflection on our current environmental realities, and an opportunity for commitment to action to protect and preserve Creation for the generations to come. As Christians, we are called to recognize the sacredness of the gift of God’s Creation at all times, and Earth Day provides a distinct occasion to join with other faith communities, networks and civil society organizations to address the ongoing ecological crisis.
This year we join with our partners in the For the Love of Creation network to encourage you to come Together For the Love of Creation throughout Earth Week (April 16-22). This is an opportunity to break down barriers between faith communities by considering ways we might come together with others to connect, grow, listen, inspire hope, and affect change. You might plan an activity or a gathering and invite others in your community to join you, or you may seek out what others are doing and find ways to come alongside those efforts. Activities might range from intentional times of prayer to greening of your church buildings to policy advocacy with all levels of government. There are some suggestions for activities on the For the Love of Creation website, along with an interactive map where groups can share information on local events across the country. Together we can amplify each others efforts, and increase the effectiveness of our actions.
We cannot deny that the crisis does indeed continue across the globe. Significant and sustained increases to global temperatures are resulting in increased extreme weather events, accelerated biodiversity loss, and ongoing impacts on health and well-being. These impacts continue to be experienced disproportionately by Indigenous peoples and by communities in Global South countries, particularly in low-lying coastal areas and small island nations. Only through collective action can we limit these negative outcomes and reduce the impact of a changing climate.
As we continue to celebrate the miracle of Christ’s resurrection, let us keep hold of the hope of new life and new possibility that is offered to us. It is not too late for us to make a measurable difference in the impacts of global warming and biodiversity loss. The most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change insists that with “deep, rapid, and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions” it is still possible to slow the rate of global warming.1 There is still hope, and by acting together we can help to cultivate this hope for our world.
As you work together with your communities this Earth Week (and beyond), please join us in prayer:
Loving God, be with us as we face the challenges in caring for this Creation which you have shared with us. Enfold us as we come together for the love of your Creation. Inspire us as we continue to seek new and creative ways to preserve this gift of Creation for those who will come after us. Amen
The Most Rev. Chris Harper
National Indigenous Anglican Archbishop, Anglican Church of Canada
The Rev. Susan Johnson
National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
The Most Rev. Linda Nicholls
Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church of Canada
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “Synthesis Report of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6): Summary for Policymakers” paragraph B.1, p.12 https://report.ipcc.ch/ar6syr/pdf/IPCC_AR6_SYR_SPM.pdf