Pledge to Care for Creation taking off across Church
Episcopalians and friends concerned about all of God’s creation are joining Presiding Bishop Michael Curry in pledging to take action to protect and renew God’s world and all who call it home. The goal is to gather at least 1,000 pledges with concrete, personal commitments by Earth Day, April 22.
Building from the Episcopal Vision for Care of Creation statement developed by the Presiding Bishop’s Office and the Advisory Council on Stewardship of Creation for the 79th General Convention, this pledge, and the accompanying Reflection Guide, is a tangible and practical way to show love for God’s world.
As Bishop Curry noted, “Many of us are ready to pledge and help to care for God’s creation. Like the Bible said, God so loved the world that he gave his only son. That means the real world: all of us and all of it. And this is one way we can participate in helping to care for God’s creation. This is dear and near to my heart and the heart of God.”
“We hope people understand this is more than adding your signature to a petition,” said the Rev. Melanie Mullen, director of reconciliation, justice and creation care. “Pray with the pledge and the Reflection Guide during Lent. Think about what you love in God’s Creation, where your heart breaks over environmental injustice, and how you’d like to simplify your life – consume less, share more. Then, by Easter Monday – Earth Day – let’s celebrate our shared commitment.”
Dioceses everywhere are lifting up the commitment. At her March 2 ordination and consecration as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas, the Rt. Rev. Cathleen Chittenden Bascom and Presiding Bishop Michael Curry encouraged the congregation to take the Creation Care pledge.
The three overarching elements of both the vision and the pledge - loving, liberating, and life-giving - arise directly from the call to live as the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement and as people who live the Way of Love:
We long to grow loving, liberating and life-giving relationship with God’s Creation. In this urgent moment, we pledge to protect and renew this good Earth and all who call it home. Together, we commit to specific actions, trusting we can do more as a body than any person could alone.
LOVING: We will share our stories of love and concern for the Earth and link with others who care about protecting the sacred web of life.
LIBERATING: We will stand with those most vulnerable to the harmful effects of environmental degradation and climate change – women, children, poor people and communities of color, refugees, migrants.
LIFE-GIVING: We will change our habits and choices in order to live more simply, humbly and gently on the Earth.
The accompanying Reflection Guide was created in partnership with the Episcopal Diocese of California and includes meditations, prayers, scripture and action steps related to each element of the Pledge. The same diocese is launching a related creation care opportunity: a Carbon Tracker that helps individuals, congregations and entire dioceses to assess and reduce energy use and climate impact. Discover more about the tracker and other resources at http://www.diocal.org/climate.
“This isn’t a new curriculum you need to jam into an already busy Lent,” said Amy Cook, head of the Episcopal Diocese of California’s faith formation working group. “For lots of us, Lent is naturally a time for reflection and simplicity. We hope the pledge and the reflection process around it will lead people to deep discernment and commitment to new life this Easter and beyond.”
Learn more about the ministry of Creation Care in The Episcopal Church at www.episcopalchurch.org/creation.