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Lights out? Earth Hour, and other times to take action

by Michael Ford last modified 23 Mar, 2022 05:23 PM

David Morgan (St John’s Wimborne) chairs the Diocesan Environment Group, and has written the next in a series about caring for God’s wonderful creation.

This coming Saturday is the annually designated Earth Hour, organised by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and scheduled for 8:30–9:30pm on Saturday 26 March. People and organisations all across the world switch their lights off for one hour, making a public statement of concern about the ways our lifestyles and behaviour threaten the well-being of God’s earth. Why not ask friends and neighbours round for candlelit drinks and nibbles, and talk together about how to have a positive environmental impact? More details here 

As we look to highlight the climate crisis and the need to care for creation, there are a number of key dates and events which provide us with great opportunities.  

We can show our concern for God’s creation and the impact of global warming and climate change at this time of the year by marking Lent (runs until 17 April) with a Carbon Fast more details here. 

International Earth Day takes place on 22 April each year. This extends the aims of Earth Hour much wider, inspiring ‘a billion acts of green’ around the world, and encouraging us to  commit to sustained action all through the year, not just during one hour or one day. More details here 

Rogation Sunday this year is May 22. Rogation is a time of asking God’s blessings on emerging crops. Which makes this still a good time to pray for farmers. This is also a good time to ask God’s blessing on our communities many of whom have been hit hard by recent events. Walking around our community and praying at various points is a positive way of supporting those communities. As we emerge from lockdown what better way to celebrate than going for a walk together, giving thanks to God for the countryside and green spaces that have helped us so much during these last years? 

World Environment Day is celebrated on 5 June every year and this year falls on a Sunday. It is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of our environment. More details here 

Each year, Creationtide (or Creation Time, or the Season of Creation) is celebrated from 1 September4 October (St Francis Day), with prayers for the protection of creation and the promotion of sustainable lifestyles. Several Christian denominations in the UK, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) and denominations around the world share in this annual event. Your church could pick one Sunday during Creationtide to focus specifically on environmental themes. More Anglican resource details here 

Doxecology is a collection of 13 contemporary, congregational worship songs on themes of creation, ecology and Christian hope, and is a very helpful resource for a Creationtide or other eco-themed service. Details here. 

The Church of England is a member of the Climate Coalition, the UK’s largest group of people dedicated to action against climate change. They’re encouraging us to run events during this year’s nationwide Great Big Green Week (GBGW) which runs from 24 September–2 October, and offer training, on-line events listing via their website, and small grants. You’ll notice that GBGW coincides with Creationtide (above), so if your church is already planning an event which could come under this umbrella, you may be able to secure some additional funding – enabling you to be more ambitious! 

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