Wednesday, October 21, 2009

350 Prayers for the Earth

International Day of Climate Action

This Saturday, October 24, is the International Day of Climate Action organized by . As of today, over 4,000 events are planned in 170 countries around the world. The idea is to increase awareness. The upper limit of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for life as we have known it to continue on the Earth is 350 parts per million (ppm). Right now we have about 387 ppm of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. To care for humankind and our planet, we need to change the way we live so that we can decrease the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Events for the Day of Climate Action are planned in Omaha and Lincoln, and more events are being added daily. You can search for an event near you at .

If we had an event for the entire Diocese of Nebraska that brought us together in one physical location, we would have people driving great distances and sending more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. However, it’s important for people of faith to add our voices to this call to right action on the part of our leaders and right living on the part of everyone, and those of us who live some distance from any other events need some other way to participate.

What can we do on October 24? We can pray, wherever we are. Pray the prayer on p. 827 of The Book of Common Prayer “For the Conservation of Natural Resources”, or the prayer on p. 828 “For the Future of the Human Race”. Pray for the people who will meet in Copenhagen in December to work toward a world climate treaty. Pray for the people who stand in the way of immediate harm from floods and disease and hunger related to climate change. Pray for the birds or the sea creatures or land animals. Pray for trees. Or pray a simple prayer: “Thank you, God, for the Earth” or “Holy One, give us wisdom and courage to be good stewards”.

Let’s pray at least 350 prayers for the Earth this Saturday. If you plan to participate, leave a comment at the end of this post, or send a message to . You might indicate how many prayers you expect to pray. (I know some folks in our diocese use Anglican prayer beads; these could help us keep count.) We might have ten of us praying 35 prayers or 35 of us praying ten prayers!

Our prayers for the Earth will be listed as an event for Climate Action Day. Since we need to give a location, I’ll list it as Grand Island, but I hope we have lots of folks from all over Nebraska joining us. And if you follow the Green Sprouts blog from somewhere else and want to be part of this, prayers know no geographical boundaries. Just let us know you plan to participate so we can have some idea of how many prayers are being prayed!

In this critical time for the environment, prayers every day for those making decisions that will affect all of our lives for generations to come are more important than ever. It’s one of the best contributions we can make as people who know and trust in God, and who value the good creation that God created through love.

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