With a weekend of environmental awareness and advocacy nearing for Episcopalians and the wider world community April 22-24, the National Council of Churches (NCC) is providing congregations with study resources exploring "Sacred Oceans and Seas."
The 35th anniversary observance of Earth Day is Friday, April 22 -- and year-round care for God's creation is the mission of the Environmental Stewardship ministries based at the Episcopal Church Center, New York. Among these efforts is on-going participation in the NCC Eco-justice Programs, outlined online at www.nccecojustice.org.
Through the NCC Eco-justice website, resources are offered for the use of congregations and individuals on Earth Day Sunday, April 24, or on another designated day.
"Thanking and praising God for the beauty of God's creation is an essential part of our ongoing faith journey and worship experience," the Eco-justice website states. "Each year we dedicate one Sunday for creation stewardship and the Earth Day celebration. The emphasis for 2005 is on God's sacred oceans and seas."
The 2005 resource packet offers:
- Basics on oceans and seas, sermon starter, adult study, and youth education ideas (pdf file)
- Sample liturgy/call to worship Bulletin Insert (pdf file)
- Ideas for personal, congregational, and community action
In addition to publishing its annual Earth Day resource, the Eco-Justice Working Group sponsors a bi-annual conference. The group also actively addresses issues of energy, stewardship and global warming, and works with seminaries and youth to raise the issues of environmental stewardship.
Participation in the NCC Eco-justice Working Group is part of the Episcopal Church's on-going Environmental Stewardship program coordinated through the Peace and Justice Ministries Office at the Episcopal Church Center in New York [http://www.episcopalchurch.org/peace-justice].
The goal of the Environmental Stewardship office is to provide to dioceses, congregations and individuals, educational, liturgical and action ideas to facilitate the Episcopal Church's commitment to stewardship of Creation. The office also works closely with the Episcopal Ecological Network.
Further information may be obtained from Environmental Stewardship staff consultant Martha Gardner by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or telephone (800.334.7626, ext. 6056).