[Episcopal News Service] A big Earth Day push paid off for the Episcopal Church’s Creation Care Pledge, which met its goal of 1,000 pledges – and counting.
“It’s thrilling to see more than 1,000 Episcopalians made concrete pledges to grow loving, liberating, life-giving relationship with God’s creation,” the Rev. Stephanie Spellers, the presiding bishop’s canon for evangelism, reconciliation and creation care, told Episcopal News Service in an email. “Together, we’ll find new ways to support each other, live what we’ve promised, and tend our fragile and beautiful home. That’s what it means to be the Jesus Movement.”
(Update: By midday April 24, the total had risen to 1,064 with more pledges still coming in.)
“It’s not too late to share the ways you’re foster loving, liberating, and life-giving relationships with the Earth,” a post on the church’s Facebook page said on April 23 in announcing the church had met its pledge goal. The total had steadily climbed all day April 22, Earth Day, as the church posted updates on social media and encouraged participation.
A celebration is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. ET April 28 at Washington National Cathedral. The Interfaith Celebration of Creation will include a blessing of all the pledges submitted during the recent campaign. Details, including how to watch the event online, can be found here.
The pledge campaign launched March 29 with the message that even small steps can make a difference in caring for God’s creation. Episcopalians were invited to use the church’s online form to identify the ways they planned to be better caretakers of the Earth. That form is still active, and those who haven’t take the pledge yet can do so here.
General Convention in 2015 identified creation care as one of the church’s three top priorities, along with racial reconciliation and evangelism. In 2018, General Convention passed 19 environmental resolutions, including support for a national carbon tax, carbon offsets for church-related travel, ocean health and Episcopalians’ continued participation in the Paris Agreement.
The online Pledge to Care for Creation features three parts, representing the Christian call to develop a “loving, liberating, life-giving relationship with God.”
Participants are asked to submit one example under “Loving” for sharing the love of God’s creation, a second example under “Liberating” for standing with people being harmed by environmental injustice, and a final example under “Life-Giving” of individual actions they intend to take. Some examples include changing eating habits, increasing use of renewable energy and sharing related information with one’s congregation.
Those making pledges also were encouraged to learn about the Diocese of California’s new “Carbon Tracker,” which allows users to measure and track their carbon footprint. And they can share videos, photos or messages about taking the pledge to social media and tag the posts with the hashtag #creationpledge. The Episcopal Church’s reflection guide has been posted here as an additional resource.
– David Paulsen is an editor and reporter for the Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.