Thursday, October 22, 2009

350 Prayers for the Earth Update

The International Day of Climate Action, October 24, will begin in Nebraska in 27 hours. Since yesterday's post about our planned action to offer collectively 350 prayers for the Earth, there has been a very good and encouraging response by e-mail and through our Facebook event site. Twenty people have responded; eight of them have promised to offer a total of 168 prayers, and the others will be praying for the Earth but haven't attached a number to those prayers. In all, the people who have responded plan to offer at least 180 prayers for the Earth on Saturday.

Three participants are planning to offer a prayer each waking hour during the day; another will pray at each meal. Someone who prays with Anglican prayer beads is planning to pray an entire prayer bead cycle -- 100 prayers! Fr. Peek reports that each person at the youth confirmation retreat at our parish, St. Stephen's, will offer a prayer, for a total of fifteen.

Meanwhile, Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote a column in USA Today in strong support of and Climate Action Day. He compares this unified global effort to address the issue of climate change to the unified struggle that finally brought an end to apartheid in South Africa.

Photos wanted
As of 9:00 this evening, reports that 4,548 actions are being planned in a total of 174 countries around the world. As these actions take place, photos will be posted on the 350 website and in other media outlets. If you are praying with other people and can have a photo taken of the group, or if you have another photo to share that somehow illustrates the act of praying for the Earth, please send it along to me to include in the report of our action. All the photos should include the number 350; some possibilities are a poster in the background that says '350', the three numerals taped onto people or objects in the photos, or created with votive candles on a table.

Power of prayer
Jesus said that when two or three are gathered together, he is there among us. Even though our Saturday prayer group will be scattered geographically, we will be together in spirt, and there is power in several people praying with the same intention. The task of addressing global climate change is huge and urgent, and can be daunting. It is essential that people of faith continue to pray for our Earth and for those who can lead us through a solution. If you haven't signed up to participate in 350 Prayers for the Earth and would like to join us, read yesterday's post in this blog or send a message to

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.