The Bible is full of beautiful language and theology for celebrating God's Creation. Yet sometimes, in the rhythm of the liturgical year, it can be challenging to find a specific time to focus as a church community on the theme of Creation. Earth Sunday provides just such an opportunity. This year Earth Day is on April 22nd. Typically, Earth Sunday is celebrated on the date closest to Earth Day. For 2017, that would be Sunday, April 23rd, but you may also choose a different Sunday that works for your church.
This year, with the help of Creation Justice Ministries, we are exploring the theme “Environmental Justice with Indigenous People.” Christian communities living in the United States have a unique role to play in developing relationships of solidarity with indigenous peoples, especially on matters pertaining to the environment. Through the new materials provided, churches can explore the impact that the Doctrine of Discovery has had on U.S. history and theology as well as how we treat God's creation. Churches can equip themselves to further a just world for all by learning about tribal sovereignty, sacred places, and other considerations when advocating for responsible energy stewardship.
- Earth Day Sunday 2017 Toolkit from Creation Justice Ministries - This resource includes tools to assist congregations in engaging matters of environmental justice and solidarity with indigenous peoples. Find sermon preparation resources, hymn suggestions, Christian education ideas, action opportunities, and more. This resource will also be useful for the Sunday close to Indigenous Peoples Day/Columbus Day, which falls on Monday, October 9, 2017.
- The Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery: A Biblical Reflection – A helpful complement to the resources provided by Creation Justice Ministries is a study guide that was produced as part of the implementation of the General Synod 29 resolution on the Doctrine of Discovery. A joint working group of Council for American Indian Ministries (CAIM) and Justice and Witness Ministries (JWM) offers this resource that can be downloaded here.
- Standing Rock Resources - The struggle of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and its allied water protectors against the Dakota Access Pipeline has become one of the most significant causes of our time. The UCC offers prayer and worship resource specific to this struggle as well.
- Climate Action Week - Find events and access resources for Interfaith Power & Light’s Faith Climate Action Action Week, April 17-23.