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Churches across the country
April 22, 2008, Washington – Using Earth Day resources developed by the National Council of Churches, hundreds of congregations and communities around the country are celebrating Earth Day this year, recognizing their faithful call to protect God’s creation. From sermons on climate change to toxic audits, people of faith around the country are finding ways to further their understanding of and involvement in creation care.
The religious Earth Day events epitomize the Christian community’s interest in protecting God’s creation. “Praising the beauty of God’s creation is an essential part of our ongoing faith journey and worship experience,” said Jordan Blevins, assistant director of the National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Program. “Each year the NCC provides worship suggestions and concrete ideas so that congregations can celebrate and protect God's creation.”
With the assistance of the National Council of Churches’ Eco-Justice Program, Zion’s United Church of Christ of Taborton, New York hosted its 2008 Go Green festival, which featured practical steps to take to protect and conserve the Earth. Similar events are being held around the country including an Interfaith Celebration of Earth Day event at St. Marks Episcopal Cathedral in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Earth Day services focusing on the relationship of climate and poverty at St. Marks Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, California.
State ecumenical agencies are also taking part in celebrating Earth Day. The Arizona Ecumenical Council Earth Care Commission is working to support wilderness in their area by inviting people to pray and play in the Sonoran Desert. “Each Sunday in worship we tell stories of how faith grew out of the desert,” says Doug Bland, chair of the Earth Care Commission, “but there is no substitute for experiencing the beauty of the land first hand.”
“We are challenged to see the urgency and the full reality which (our Christian) callings place upon us,” noted Peg Chamberlin, executive director of the Minnesota Council of Churches during her Earth Day remarks.
A sample of some of the faith-based Earth Day events and worship activities are available online at: http://www.nccecojustice.org.
The National Council of Churches is the ecumenical voice of America's Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican, historic African American and traditional peace churches. These 35 communions have 45 million faithful members in 100,000 congregations in all 50 states.
NCC News contact: Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228, NCCnews@ncccusa.org
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