Sunday, April 17, 2011

Confabulation: Good Friearth Day

"Too much hope for Earth had led men to try to make it Eden..."- Walter M. Miller Jr. A Canticle for Leibowitz 1959.

Because Earth Day and Good Friday fall upon the same date this year, there is a buzz out there about finding ways to incorporate the two into worship services. The Episcopal church's web page for this conjunction begins with the following,
"Earth Day 2011
This year, Earth Day falls on Good Friday--a profound coincidence. On the day we mark the crucifixion of Christ, let us remember that when Earth is degraded and species go extinct, a part of God's body experiences a different type of crucifixion, and another way of seeing and experiencing God is diminished.

To fully honor Earth Day, we need to reclaim the theology that knows Earth is 'very good' and holy. When we fully recognize this, our actions will create a more sustainable, compassionate economy and way of life."
The Episcopal church web site contains additional resources for Gaia worshippers, and a link to a certain religion with which the Episcopal church is not in full communion (but might as well be). I found the following after clicking on the link. But first, let's see if you can guess the religion.

10 points if you have guessed it already.
5 points if you guess it half way through.
1 point for being a good sport and reading the whole thing, clicking on the link, and using your low flow toilet only once this Friday.
Responsive Reading: A Declaration of Interdependence

Leader: We believe it is imperative to care for the Earth, its vital ecosystems and all living beings who inhabit it.
Congregation: We are relational creatures, capable of both good and evil.

Leader: We have experienced enough brokenness, within and beyond ourselves, to seek the power of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Congregation: We are called to make choices that help to heal and transform the world, and ourselves, and to move toward solidarity with all beings.

Leader: Why? Because we believe it is our responsibility to be stewards of the Earth and mindful of the impacts of our choices on communities around us.
Congregation: We believe in the beauty and renewing power of nature.

Leader: In response, we become more willing to replace the desire to consume with the responsibility to sustain. In this way,
Congregation: We recognize the need for discipline as we build a world that is both just and sustainable.

Leader: We are called to be stewards, working cooperatively with dignity and humility to make whole the parts of our interdependent web that have been broken or damaged.
All: As we manifest this vision, may we cast ever widening circles of compassion.

Leader: Take a moment to consider the 40/40Pledge on the insert in your order of service [Silence]. I will take this pledge; will you join me? If you are so moved, say with me:

40/40 for Earth Pledge
Congregation: As an expression of our (if you haven't guessed the religion click here) values, we pledge to change aspects of our lives and behaviors for 40 days, for the sake of the Earth and all who live on it.

Leader: May it be so.
Congregation: Amen.

In addition to the above, links eventually wind their way back to TEc where members of the Diocese of Minnesota (where our bishop hails from), have started their own form of druidization of the calendar:
The membership of MEESC (Minnesota Episcopal Environmental Stewardship Commission) across the Diocese of Minnesota meets quarterly on a weekend close to the quarters of the solar year (solstice and equinox) and usually include an overnight at a church or other local facility. The meeting dates and locations for 2011 are as noted below:

Vernal Equinox (March 22): March 25-26, 2011 at St. Andrew's By-the-Lake Episcopal Church, Duluth, MN

Summer Solstice (June 21): June 10-11, 2011 at the Mary Brown Environmental Center, Ely, MN (come a day early to help with Spring Clean-up)

Autumnal Equinox (September 22): September 23-24, 2011 in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area (location to be determined).

Winter Solstice (December 21): January 6-7, 2012 in the Duluth area (location to be determined). (Link found on these pages)
Everywhere I turn I see the beauty of spring. I have to pray long and hard lest that beauty divert my eyes and heart from the Lord, nailed to the tree.

Have a Holy week and a Good Friday.


  1. A contemplative Holy Week to you as well, my friend.


  2. ToilNotSpin1:52 PM

    I am deeply saddened that our church should attempt to "combine" ecological matters with the events of Good Friday; is Christ suffering and dying on the cross not enough for them to contemplate? We can save the rain forests every other day of the year. Surely we can spend one day in total mindfulness of the One who sacrificed Himself that we might have eternal life.
    UP, may you and all of us continue to keep our hearts this Friday on the Figure on the cross.

  3. Thanks Randall,

    Dittos to you, the Emblos, and all.

  4. TNS,


    Keeping my eyes on the prize.