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.
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.