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Worship resource supports covenant to care for the earth

August 25, 2020

By Suzanne Rumsey

In the time before COVID-19 (remember then?) I developed “A Covenant for Climate Justice,” a worship resource for PWRDF focussing on climate justice and creation care. Using the two “trees of life” that frame the biblical text – in Genesis and Revelation – I invited worshippers to consider what it means to “keep covenant” with God and with God’s creation as we witness the growing impacts of climate change: “fires, floods, storms and devastating destruction.” 

While COVID-19 has swept climate change off the front pages, it is still very much with us. And some are arguing that COVID-19 is itself a result of humankind’s impacts on God’s created order. In downtown Toronto where I live, the “pause” that resulted from lockdown brought quiet to the city, cleaner air and wild animals. An enormous falcon appeared one morning on a courtyard tree, right next to my balcony. My son spotted a fox while out running. NASA satellite imagery showed significant reductions in pollution above major cities. 

We CAN keep covenant. There IS hope.

Whether celebrated online or in-person, PWRDF’s worship resource is an opportunity to consider the ways in which we and our development partners are called to keep covenant, to have hope. A Eucharistic order of service and a Service of the Word are accompanied by prayers, readings, PWRDF partner stories and a sample sermon. A recorded version of the sermon is also available for use in your parish. To download an MP4 of this sermon, please contact Christine Hills, our Public Engagement Program officer.

Share a recorded version of Suzanne Rumsey’s sermon with your congregation.

As we enter what has come to be observed in many churches as the Season of Creation, (September 1 to October 4) we invite parishes to dip into this worship resource and discover how it can be used. If not during this September window, it can also be used for a “PWRDF Sunday” that your parish designates, including the Sunday before or after Earth Day (April 22) on Rogation Sunday (May 9, 2021). As ever we invite such a service to be an opportunity to take up a special offering for the work of PWRDF’s partners throughout the world who are keeping covenant in many important ways with and for their communities and God’s creation.  

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