Earth Day Sunday 2022
Weathering the Storm: Faithful Climate Resilience
The last five years have shown that the climate crisis is no longer a future worry—it is affecting our communities right now. Record-breaking storms, extreme weather, and the slow violence of sea level rise are tearing at the physical and social fabric of our society. So-called “natural” disasters in the United States have increased in frequency and intensity in the last two decades. In 2021, there were at least 18 weather disaster events in the United States with losses exceeding $1 billion each, 11 events more than the average since 1990. At the same time, our political leaders and structures have failed to prevent climate change and prepare for its worst effects.
It has become clear that climate change is not merely a problem for the church to prepare for in ten or twenty years; it is time for the church to prepare right now. Around us, God’s people and planet are facing the impacts of the climate crisis. As the world groans in travail, the
church ought to partner with God in cultivating a redeemed, restored, and resilient creation. It is time for Christians to be disciples of “Faithful Climate Resilience.”
CHRISTIAN FAITH AND EARTH DAY
The Bible is full of beautiful language and theology for celebrating God's creation. Yet sometimes, in the rhythm of the liturgical year, it can be challenging to find a specific time to focus as a church community on the theme of creation. Earth Day Sunday provides just such an opportunity.
Since 1970, communities have taken one day each year to be especially mindful of the Earth and its many gifts: April 22, Earth Day. This day has ecumenical and bipartisan roots. Each year, thousands of congregations set aside a day to pray, learn, and take action on a Sunday close to Earth Day.
ABOUT OUR WORK
Each year, Creation Justice Ministries focuses on a particular Earth Day Sunday theme chosen by our members. We highlight ways individuals and congregations can celebrate and protect God's creation. Our toolkits include liturgical resources, sermon starters, Biblical insights, and action ideas. We hope these toolkits inspire further thoughts, conversations, and actions that respond to God's call to be faithful stewards of creation.
Do you want to plan an Earth Day celebration in your faith community? Consider using our theme materials for this year, or find a treasure trove of Earth Day Sunday resources from previous years on our education resource page.
We've also listed some ideas below which have stood the test of time for many congregations.
For More Information Contact:
Creation Justice Ministries
110 Maryland Ave. NE, Suite 203
Washington, DC 20002
2022 EARTH DAY RESOURCE:
Tried-And-True Ideas for Earth Day Sunday Celebrations
- Plan an Earth Day themed worship service. Find a wealth of Earth Day Sunday worship resources at www.creationjustice.org/educational-resources.
- Have bulletin inserts or handouts for congregation members. Most of Creation Justice Ministries' Earth Day Sunday worship resources have bulletin insert handouts included, but you can also opt for something your congregation is currently working on. For instance, "Ten Steps to Green Your Home" or "Products to Green Your Home" - include energy efficient light bulbs, environmentally friendly cleaning supplies, low-flow faucets and shower heads, information on energy efficient appliances, 100% post consumer waste recycled printer paper, and more.
- Invite a guest speaker to your church for after worship to talk about your Earth Day theme with a local focus
Lead by Example
- Host a special "Creation Justice Fellowship Time." Serve organic, fair-trade coffee and treats from a local organic bakery; use re-useable plates, cups, silverware, and napkins, or if that isn't possible, recycled or biodegradable disposables; and post big, easy-to-read signs to educate people about what makes your fellowship oriented toward "Creation Justice."
- Have a Creation Justice Church workday to set up rain barrels, install faucet aerators, do native landscaping on church grounds, replace incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs.
- Examine your church's energy use by performing an energy audit and present your findings on Earth Day Sunday. Hold a "town hall" discussion about how your church can reduce energy use.
- Plan to officially join your denomination, fellowship, or communion's ecological ministry and announce/celebrate it on Earth Day Sunday.
- Serve Your Community
- Plan a community service project like a Clean-Up in a local park, along a local body of water, or near a highway.
- Organize a hike at a local trail, park, or natural area. Make sure you organize carpools for transportation to and from the site. If you're not sure where to go, check www.findyourpark.com for ideas.
- Plan an Earth Day festival. Ask local environmental groups to set up informational booths. Invite local growers/food producers and artisans to set up booths to showcase and/or sell their products. Arrange for a variety of brief informational or practical workshops where people can to go learn about Eco-Justice issues (especially your Earth Day theme) or learn how to do something (like make an effective call to an elected official, adopt sustainable office practices, or start a compost pile at home).