Earth Day During Easter Season

by the Rev. Gwynn Crichton

We are blessed in the Northern Hemisphere that the Great Fifty Days of Easter coincide with springtime and Earth Day! This year, Earth Day is celebrated on Monday, April 22nd. 

Earth Day, inaugurated in 1970, is the largest worldwide event to safeguard our planet and fight for a brighter future. Episcopalians are commemorating this on Sunday, April 21, by praying, preaching, and taking action to care for God’s creation. Visit the Episcopal Earth Day 2024 webpage to learn more. As an Easter people, we all are called to be witnesses to hope and the resurrection for our beautiful island home Earth that is in crisis.  

The St. Paul’s community is taking part in this celebration by hosting our second annual Earth Day Eucharist and Potluck at Robious Landing Park (Shelter #1) on the James River in southside. Please join us for this intergenerational, family-friendly service where we come “down to the river to pray” for justice and restoration of God’s good creation. The fabulous musical duo Michaelle and Brian Justice will play bluegrass Gospel hymns during and after the service. Please register here!  

St. Paul’s Environmental Stewardship Team will provide mains from Sticks Kebab Shop along with water, compostable plates, utensils, and napkins. We ask that you bring a side or dessert to share. Please bring stadium chairs for the worship service. Contact me with any questions!  

Feel free to come early and stay late as there are many opportunities enjoy nature and play including canoeing/kayaking, volleyball, and hiking. We look forward to seeing you Sunday afternoon rain or shine!

In the meantime, please enjoy this beautiful Earth Day prayer written by the Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, Missioner for Creation Care for the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts:

O loving God, who spoke

and all things were created –

O eternal Word made flesh,

who became one with your creation –

O creator Spirit, who breathes in us,

who renews the face of the earth –

O holy and glorious Trinity,

we praise you and we pray to you

with all our heart!

Bless us with clarity and courage

for our mission to cherish and tend

earth and air, seas and rivers,

peoples and communities.

Guide your Church

to the patterns of prayer that will form us

to be loving kin of our fellow creatures and

good stewards

of all that you have entrusted to us.

O holy and glorious Trinity, Creator God,

we praise you and we pray to you

with all our heart. Amen.

Eastertide Blessings and Peace,