People everywhere are becoming more and more urgently aware of the perilous state of much of creation, and our responsibility as stewards of the earth which we inhabit.
Earlier this month Pope Francis called the 1.25-billion members of the Catholic Church to annually observe on September 1 a World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. Since 1989 many Eastern Orthodox Christians have observed that same date as a Day of Prayer for the Environment.
The worldwide Anglican Communion’s fifth Mark of Mission calls us “to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.” Canadian Anglicans are especially conscious of our obligations as caretakers of (in the words of one of our eucharistic prayers) “this fragile earth, our island home.” We are now reminded of it when we renew our baptismal vows. The recent meeting of the Sacred Circle further called to mind the special relationship Indigenous people have with the land, and the often damaging effect settlers continue to have.
I therefore invite all members of the Anglican Church of Canada to join with me on September 1 and pray in an especially intentional way for the integrity of God’s creation, and for the will and the means to confront and resolve the ecological crisis our planet is facing.
Your prayer that day can be as simple as confessing (as we do on Ash Wednesday) our waste and pollution of God’s creation, and our lack of concern for those who come after us, then recommitting yourself to your baptismal vow to help safeguard the earth. You can also find prayer resources on the Creation Matters section of anglican.ca. You may even want to join the many other people of faith who have committed to Fast for the Climate.
Our prayers for creation that day will be joined by those of hundreds of millions of other Christians across the planet we all share.
True prayer leads to action. So please join with me in prayer on September 1 for God’s good creation so that our prayers might lead us to act in ways that will help sustain and renew the life of the earth.
Archbishop Fred Hiltz
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