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On Earth Day Sunday We Embrace Our Calling to Embrace All Our Fellow-Creatures with God’s Love

April 28, 2016

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In our Baptismal vows, we’re asked: “Will you strive to safeguard the integrity of God’s creation, and respect, sustain and renew the life of the Earth?” And we’re invited to respond: “I will, with God’s help.” This vow reminds us that God calls us to care for the Earth as stewards of creation. It’s why we celebrate Earth Day Sunday each year at St. Paul’s.

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One of the main areas of focus for Earth Day 2016 is the world’s forests, which have witnessed massive deterioration and deforestation over the past two decades (at an estimated rate of 50 soccer fields of forest lost every minute, every day, over the last 20 years). Why does this matter? Trees absorb excess and harmful CO2 from our atmosphere, nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulphur dioxide and ozone, and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark. They’re also relied upon for food and homes, by countless of our fellow creatures – both human and non-human. 

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The year 2016 marks the beginning of a global Earth Day movement to plant 7.8 billion trees – one for every person on the planet. Earth Day Canada’s 2016 #Rooting4Trees campaign supports the beginning of Canada’s contribution to this ambitious goal.  

Here’s a video about it. 

So far, only 3,375 trees have been planted, with a mere 2 days left to reach the goal of 25,000! I invite us all to prayerfully consider adding to this number. You can do this by clicking here to go to Earth Day Canada’s website. 

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In John 13 and 15, Jesus invites us to love one another as he has loved us, and says that by this all will know we’re his disciples. So let’s commit ourselves to reach out with arms open wide enough to embrace all the earth and its inhabitants. Let’s expand the “one another” we love to be all our fellow creatures. In this way, we’ll show ourselves to be disciples of our Lord Jesus, as, like him and by him, the love of God is poured out through us.

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(This is adapted from the conclusion of the sermon-time reflection at our April 24 Services.)

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Embedded below are the 4 videos we watched before the 10 a.m. Service, and the video we watched during the Services at 8:30 and 10 while reflecting on God’s love for us, and God’s call for us to love one another.

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