Reflect on “Sense of Place” for Earth Day Sunday

On April 22, 2018, many churches across the United States will observe Earth Day Sunday. 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 is a liturgical year in which Earth Day and Sunday fall on the same day, and that Earth Day neither conflicts with Holy Week nor Easter Sunday.

“On any given day in the United States, it is possible to drink coffee from Guatemala, while wearing clothes made in Bangladesh, while sheltered under a roof that was partly manufactured in China. The average U.S. adult devotes approximately ten hours a day to consuming media, spends 87 percent of their time indoors and passes another six percent of their time inside a vehicle . today, connecting with our local communities requires intention.”

This year’s theme is a “Sense of Place.” The “Sense of Place” Earth Day Sunday resource available through Creation Justice Ministries (PC USA) includes materials to reflect, teach, preach, pray, and act to preserve a “sense of place” in our communities. The education section of the resource begins with a poignant quote from Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man: “If you don’t know where you are, you probably don’t know who you are.”

Ecumenical leaders’ intention for the resource is to encourage Christians in the United States to engage in spiritual practices that help us to be more present to one another and our local watersheds. The resource encourages bioregional faith practices such as familiarizing ourselves with our watersheds. The Bible Study in the resource includes an invitation to read Psalm 104 in context by imagining how it would sound when referencing plants, creatures, and geological features familiar to our own watersheds.

In the action section, the resource invites congregants to get to know their local public lands and waters, participate in garden ministries, care for water, and protect nearby threatened and endangered species. Please see the FPCP Partners in Earth Care bulletin board to see a map of community opportunities for a “sense of place.”

Find all this and more at www.earthdaysunday.org.