An Earth Day prayer

Earth Day is almost upon us, so Fred Hiltz, Mark MacDonald and Susan Johnson have pooled the considerable resources of their little green brain cells to pray for it.

Jesus’ Resurrection has become a handy illustration of what really matters: spring is just around the corner!

As we celebrate this great mystery we recall how he helped us understand death and resurrection using the image of a seed planted and coming out of the earth as a new growth—budding, bursting, blooming, bearing beautiful fruit.

And:

Our churches are committed to responsible stewardship of the earth.

That’s why the ACoC is demolishing so many of them.

The Carbon Pariah receives an honourable mention, even though the ACoC is using diesel fume spewing bulldozers to demolish its churches:

We recommend that you or your congregation get involved with the Faith Commuter Challenge, a creative way to reduce your carbon footprint and raise awareness of the impact of our actions

Naturally, we have muddled – twisted, really – wording to prompt right Gaia thinking: world – as in “for God so love the world” here seems to mean “earth” rather than “people”:

Through our Lenten Journey to Easter we have been reminded once again that Jesus offered his whole life and death for the love of the world

Speaking of God, Hiltz doesn’t, he refers to Creator instead, an Indigenous metaphysical replacement that Hiltz seems more comfortable with these days. Or perhaps he is referring to the process of Darwinian evolution.

Likewise, as far as I know, Father and Son have not made guest appearances in a Hilztian prayer for decades and, by the end of the prayer, the Holy Spirit has metamorphosed into “Spirit One”; who was Spirit Zero, I wonder?

What happens when the transcendent and Christianity part company

Easter Day becomes Earth Day.

Postulants for this new religion are given the LED of Christ and repeated baptisms in waterless showers. The Koinonia of the malodorous must piously recycle, reuse, compost and abstain from braking, accelerating, dirty investing and driving on flabby tires. If that isn’t heaven on earth, I don’t know what is.

In lieu of public self-flagellation with bound copies of the Truth and Reconciliation Report, backsliders, will be permitted to recite 100 Hail Marks of Mission under the direction of an eco-bishop. Indulgences may be purchased here.

From here:

An Easter people respond to climate change by proclaiming the good news, by proclaiming the good news through taking actions that honor our Creation……

Here are some things we can do:

1) Use water efficiently. Every time you shower, wash your hands, wash dishes, or drink water, give thanks for this resource and consider how you might avoid wasting it.

2) Reduce waste and recycle. I just spoke with someone this week who has a friend who has two young children, but together as a family they have pledged to go an entire year with zero waste. Perhaps you can’t get to zero waste, but consider how you might reduce your waste, by composting, using reusable products or buying products with less packaging.

3) Drive smart, avoid hard accelerations or braking, get regular maintenance, check your tire pressure. Or better yet, give the car a break now and then and take public transit. On your next car purchase, buy a fuel efficient vehicle.

4) Use LED light bulbs.

5) Reuse and recycle all you can.

6) Review your investments and divest from those companies known to be the biggest polluters. Start with the much published list of the 200 dirtiest companies.

7) Write letters to our leaders and tell them combating climate change must be a priority.

Earth Day Dopiness from the Diocese of Montreal

God dwells in creation, therefore God, in a way, is creation making the earth God’s body; Jesus is God, or the earth, so when we wound the earth we re-crucify Christ. Get it? No, me neither.

This is from the Earth Day sermon delivered by Rev. Elizabeth Welch:

The sins of others wounded Christ’s body and our sins are currently wounding the earth. The theologian Sally McFague writes that one way to approach our relationship to the earth is with the understanding that the earth is the body of God. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda adds that Christianity proclaims a God who dwells in Creation, is not then the earth in some sense the body of Christ which we are continuing to crucify?

An Earth Day message from Fred Hiltz and Susan Johnson

From here:

Let us remember our first calling as human beings is caring for the Earth. So sacred is this calling that as Lutherans worldwide mark the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation in 2017 with an overall theme “Liberated by God’s Grace,” one of the subthemes is “Creation—not for sale.” So sacred is this calling to Anglicans worldwide that they hold among their Marks of Mission a commitment “to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and to sustain and renew the life of the earth.” This mark of mission is now reflected in the vows made in baptism.

I don’t dislike pollution any less than Fred Hiltz but, surely, “our first calling as human beings” – or, at least as Christians – is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the unsaved, not to “care for the earth.” The earth is not a sentient living thing made in God’s image, possessing a soul whose eternal destiny rests on whether or not it has received Christ’s free gift of salvation. It is just like the rest of the universe, a system which is subject to entropy; it is running down, degenerating gradually into disorder until God remakes it as part of the New Heavens and New Earth.

That is, unless, as appears to be the case for the purveyors of this Earth Day Statement, your god is Gaia.

Fond memories of the first Earth Day

As church leaders go through their annual propitiatory Gaia rituals, it is worth recalling the first Earth Day event hosted by Ira Einhorn. Such was Ira’s eco-fervour that after murdering his girlfriend, he composted her body in a trunk. Alas, he was arrested before being able to spread the contents on his vegetable patch. Compared to Ira, the faith of Anglican greenies is positively Laodicean.

From here:

Ira Einhorn was on stage hosting the first Earth Day event at the Fairmount Park in Philadelphia on April 22, 1970. Seven years later, police raided his closet and found the “composted” body of his ex-girlfriend inside a trunk.

An Earth Day message from Primate Fred Hiltz

Having Easter with its embarrassingly fundamentalist insistence that Jesus rose bodily from the dead safely behind us, Primate Fred Hiltz has moved on to events of more cosmic significance. Easter is, after all, but a pale foreshadowing of – wait for it – Earth Day.

This year’s observance of Earth Day follows immediately on the events of Good Friday and Easter Sunday.  In them we see movements from enmity to reconciliation, suffering to hope, and death to new life. They speak not only to humanity but also to the interconnectedness of all of creation.

The Scriptures tell us that our first vocation as human beings is to tend God’s creation.  An honest assessment of our diligence in that call inevitably leads us to confess “our waste and pollution of creation and our lack of concern for those who come after us.” (Ash Wednesday Liturgy)

Hiltz draws his inspiration from the IPCC, a fitting source since the IPCC is as lacking in credibility on climate science as the ACoC is on its corresponding neurosis, human sexuality.

Reports on the state of the environment as documented by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are increasingly alarming.

Hiltz wishes to learn from “global partners” – except, that is, the Global South whose views on human sexuality he studiously ignores.

We learn from global partners.  A call from the Anglican Communion Environmental Network to a deeper commitment to the fifth Mark of Mission shared by Anglicans worldwide influenced the Anglican church’s recent decision to have candidates for baptism make an additional vow “to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and respect, sustain, and renew the life of the earth.” (An Act of General Synod, 2013).

Emissions must be reduced:

Our churches commend the UN effort to reach a global treaty in 2015 to secure a global agreement on a net zero emissions goal. Canada, with the second highest greenhouse gas emissions intensity per capita of the G8 countries, is expected to announce an emission-reduction target for 2030 that would be significantly lower than 2020 levels. While progress is being made, without new measures, absolute emissions in 2030 would be projected to reach 815 megatonnes — 81 megatonnes more than projected for 2020.

China, one the largest consumers of fossil fuels, will ignore any global emissions treaty; ironically, it is also one of the places where Christianity is flourishing most vigorously: 10,000 people per day are being saved – from hell, not pollution.

It’s just as well that no-one has bothered to tell Chinese Christians that their first vocation is not “make[ing] disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”, but – gardening:

On this Earth Day, our hope is that we will rise up more conscious than ever of our first vocation as human beings caring for the Earth with the utmost respect for the Creator and the utmost regard for the generations of all those who come after us.

Earth Day condoms

Apparently, Earth Day is getting back to its roots: fertility management. Humanity is a blight on the face of the earth, so environmentalists are coming to the rescue with 44,000 free condoms. Naturally, they are environmentally friendly, Fair Trade condoms: you will be pleased to learn that eco condoms are made entirely from fair trade and FSC certified rubber.

From here:

In honor of Earth Day this year, groups are giving out 44,000 “Endangered Species Condoms.”

The environmentally friendly condoms will be distributed in an effort to refocus the green holiday back to why it was started: to campaign against “runaway human population growth and overconsumption.”

“April 22 is the 44th Earth Day, and this year we want to bring the holiday’s focus back to its origins: runaway human population growth and overconsumption, the root causes of our most pressing environmental crises,” the Center for Biological Diversity wrote in a pitch to its supporters.

None of this deters the Anglican Church of Canada from celebrating Earth Day, of course. Perhaps a packet of Fair Trade Condoms will be served along with a cup of the Primate’s Blend Fair Trade Coffee.

A couple of hymn suggestions for Earth Day

These come courtesy of links from the Diocese of Niagara:

The Earth is my mother
The earth is my mother
The earth is my mother
She’s good to me
She’s good to me
She gives me everything that I ever need
She gives me everything that I ever need

Food on the table
Food on the table
The clothes I wear
The clothes I wear
The sun and the water…..

The earth is my mother and my best friend, too
The great provider for me and you
The earth is my mother and my best friend, too
The great provider for me and you

Her ways are gentle, her life is strong…..

The earth is my mother and my best friend, too
The great provider for me and you

O Beautiful Gaia
O Beautiful Gaia, O Gaia calling us home,
O beautiful Gaia, calling us on.

Fraîche rosée du matin, O Gaia tu nous appelles
Fraîche rosée du matin, rentrons chez nous.

Soil yielding its harvest, O Gaia calling us home
Soil yielding its harvest, calling us on.

Waves crashing on granite, O Gaia calling us home
Pine bending in windstorm, calling us on.

Loon nesting in marshland, O Gaia calling us home,
Loon nesting in marshland, calling us on.

To consummate the celebration, please place a golden calf on the altar and cavort around the church in abandoned pagan revelry, preferably with no clothes on.

A little like this convulsive capering from Christ Anglican Church, London, Ontario. They still had their clothes on in this bit; God is merciful.

Pondering crimes against the planet

I’m not but the Anglican Journal is:

The almost magical confluence of Good Friday and Earth Day on Apr. 22 presents an opportunity for Christian environmentalists to ponder humankind’s crimes against the planet. And at this time of penitence, sacrifice and redemption, to reflect on ways to reverse our unremitting exploitation of the created world….

In his Good Friday reflection, Lind links our environmental trespasses to our role in the crucifixion. “In our indifference, in our callous disregard for the needs of all living beings, we have put the Earth upon the Cross,” he writes. “Today is the day for us to recognize our guilt in perpetuating injustice against our partners in Creation and confess it.”

A magical confluence of environmental hocus-pocus and redemptionless, Earth Day self-flagellation, brought to you by your partner in poppycock, the Anglican Church of Canada.

Anglicans celebrating Earth Day at Christ Church, London, Ontario

I can only assume that this is an attempt to convince curious passers-by that Anglicans are perfectly normal; and that the intrinsic comedy in overweight middle-aged Anglican ladies flinging aside inhibition to cavort on the grass to the beat of native drums wielded by ersatz Aboriginals is an essential component of Christian worship.

Looking on the bright side, we can at least be grateful that they kept their clothes on – this year at least.