Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day and the Anglican Community

Celebrated every April 22nd, Earth Day is a global event that focuses attention on environmental issues. The event is celebrated by hundreds of millions of people in almost every country around the world. The Earth Day Network recognizes that faith leaders have been a driving force behind the most important and successful social movements. They encourage all people of faith across the globe to join them.

According to the Montreal Gazette, on Sunday April 21, a "good natured" crowd of 50,000 people walked through downtown Montreal to commemorate Earth Day and as I discovered, there were a number of people present representing faith based communities.

As reviewed by the Anglican Church of Canada in a featured series called The Community, Earth Day, "is a good time to think about our place in God’s creation and consider how we can live in ways that heal, rather than exploit our planet." The article goes on to explain that "In the very first chapter of Genesis, God gave us humans the job of caring for creation, charging us with the stewardship of the earth."

In 2012 St. Philip's Church engaged the topic of the environment last fall in a weekly forum titled "Ecology and Spirituality." Not only did this group provide some very timely discussions about the relationship between our faith and our responsibilities to the Earth, thanks to the efforts of some of those who participated in the group it also yielded some tangible actions.

The Community article specifically addresses the issue of "Greening Sunday Schools" and states that "As Christian Educators it is our responsibility to help the children make the connection between faith, stewardship, and environmental awareness." In this context, they suggest some way that we can act to reduce our environmental footprints:
  • Do you use white or chalk boards instead of writing on newsprint?
  • Do you use rubber stamps and inkpads instead of stickers?
  • When doing arts and crafts do you encourage (and model) using the least amount of a product to complete the task? Use recycled materials wherever possible?
  • Avoid using food products?
  • Do age groups share resources, so fewer supplies need to be bought and they can be used up before they become unusable?
  • Whenever possible do you choose activities that use recycled materials, or no materials at all?
  • Do you have recycle bins in your learning area?
  • Do you have a checklist to remind you to do things like turn off the lights, turn thermostats down etc. each week? 
  • Do you use environmentally friendly cleaning supplies to clean furniture and toys?
  • Do you use supplies made from recycled materials?
  • Do you use washable cups and plates instead of disposable?
  • Do you use energy saving light bulbs?
  • Do you use curriculum that can be downloaded, so that you only print what you need?
  • When printing session outlines, do you print on both sides of the paper?

No comments:

Post a Comment