The 27th Earth Day includes more religious initiatives than ever
April 22, 2008 :
Today, April 22nd 2008 is the 28th annual Earth Day – a celebration that began in the United States in 1970. Although there are many (perhaps too many) such days in the year – as well as the UN’s World Environment Day on June 5th, another Earth Day on March 22nd, Earth Hour on March 28th and others, many of the faiths also celebrate their own days - and although this Earth Day is still mainly recognized only in North America some of the material might be useful for the faiths around the world to use on their own days of the environment.
The aim of all of these Environment Days is to encourage people to think more deeply about their relationship with the earth and with nature – at first for just one day a year, but with the hope that the one day will expand into 365 and a quarter. As such, Earth Day has worked increasingly with faith leaders in the US on expanding the outreach of these ideas.
Last year for example, according to the Earth Day Network’s website, 12,000 sermons and religious events were brought into being by leaders from the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian faiths.
Earth Day campaigners “created the 2007 Global Warming in the Pulpit Pledge as a way to engage national faith leaders and local clergy to deliver a sermon on climate change on the weekend preceding Earth Day, or to commit to preaching a sermon on climate change one day during the year.
Thousands of ministers, rabbis, and other religious leaders throughout the U.S. and Canada responded by pledging to deliver a sermon on climate change to their congregations.” It also helped create the first “Earth Day Sunday” at the Washington National Cathedral, which was televised.
The Network’s Communities of Faith Climate Campaign educates leaders and members of religious communities to bring climate change education and opportunities for civic activism to those associated with religious life, self-described population of more than 250 Americans.
Earth Day 2008
This year, in coordination with the National Council of Churches, the Religious Coalition on Creation Care and other faith-based and inter-faith-based organizations, the Earth Day campaigners hope “to activate 500,000 parishioners in areas of the country that have not responded to the climate crises in support of climate legislation that invests in renewable energy and the creation of green jobs and helps low-income Americans transition to the new green economy.”
The Pulpit Pledge and Earth Day TV
Faith leaders from across the U.S. and Canada are preaching on global climate change as a moral issue. If any faith leaders want to transmit their message on Earth Day television, they are invited to send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
More links and information can be found on the Earth Day website.
In 2008 the Sierra Club launched an inspiring document called Faith in Action giving examples from all US states of faith-initiated environmental actitivies. Link here for more information and to download the book.