PWRDF Worship Resource 2020
…and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
(The Revelation to John)
By Suzanne Rumsey, Public Engagement Coordinator
As I was working on the sample sermon for this worship resource, the media was filled with news and images about the wildfires in Australia. And so, as you will read, I began the sermon this way:
The images were apocalyptic. Australia burning; burning for months. In the state of New South Wales 72,000 volunteer firefighters – the largest volunteer firefighting force in the world – were under siege as they attempted to save people, animals and forests. In a January 7, 2020 CBC interview one “Firie,” as they are nicknamed, said, “Yeah mate, I’m an arborist… I’m usually up there climbing around in [trees] actually.”
On the wall of my cubicle at the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) there is another image, a photo, taken about twenty years ago on Haida Gwaii, the traditional and unceded territory of the Haida First Nation off the west coast of British Columbia. In it I am standing in an old growth forest at the foot of a very tall and very ancient cedar, gazing up into its canopy. Only the first 20 feet or so of that giant tree can be seen in the photo. I remember the quiet wonder I felt at being in its sacred, wise and ancient presence. That tree was likely there before settlers “discovered” Canada. I pray that it is still there and that it will be there long after I pass from this earth.
Two images of God’s Creation; of the Tree of Life. Two calls to “keep covenant” with God for climate justice.