Dear Westminster Family of Faith,
Fifty-three years ago, in 1970, we celebrated “Earth Day” for the first time. Since then, the movement has grown to involve more than 1 billion individuals in more than 190 countries. Some consider that day—April 22, 1970—to have been the “birthday” of the modern environmental movement.
Like many holidays, all that “Earth Day” represents cannot be constrained to a single day—but I nonetheless delight in its observance each year. Though it is a “secular” holiday, it reflects core values of our faith—namely that the planet around us is a good creation, and that it requires and deserves our diligent care.
In the first account of creation, God surveys God’s creation and declares it “good.” Then God creates humankind in God’s image so that all of the created world—including every creature to whom God gave the “breath of life” (Gen 1:30)—might be stewarded with a love and devotion reminiscent of God’s own (Gen 1:26). But since that commissioning moment, we have struggled to be in right relationship with nature, to our own detriment.
Earth Day reminds us of this responsibility—and invites us once more to engage with God’s abundant creation and see too that it is “good.” I encourage each of you to observe this holiday on Saturday, April 22nd in whatever way you can—from community projects to advocacy work to financial contributions to earth care. And get outside!
On Sunday, April 23rd, we will come together for Creation Care Sunday, with special liturgy, art and poetry, and a guest preacher. Westminster’s own Earth Care team will a
lso offer an update on their work—as well as share ambitions for the months ahead. There’s a certain congruence that this celebration falls on the third Sunday of the Easter season, when we are still actively reflecting on the joy and meaning of Christ’s resurrection. With God, the bad thing is never the last thing; our own brokenness cannot compare to the goodness of God.
We have inherited a broken relationship with God’s creation around us—but the invitation to right relationship is perennial. Reconciliation and restoration are the language and substance of the God of Christ. Another way is always before us.
He is risen! Alleluia!
Grace and peace,