Blog Action Day blog post
There is increasing realisation (or probably better said re-realisation) that the pendulum had swung too far towards bringing earth into heaven, and we are (thankfully) swinging back more towards drawing heaven into earth. From a tendency to be so heavenly minded that we are of no earthly use – or worse: devastating this planet in order to encourage Christ’s return (!) churches, and Christian individuals are increasingly realising our responsibility towards God’s creation. In this we can join in positive partnership with people of other faiths, and people of goodwill of no faith, and even anti-faith (an increasing, fascinating phenomenon, in my opinion).

Christians can understand the activity of God’s Spirit to be present in this movement. Christians can and need to repent of our neglect of our responsibility and our blindness to it. It was relatively late, only at the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in 1990 that a fifth mark of mission was added to the other four: “To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.”

In the context of this being a liturgical site, I will list off some of the prayers in relation to creation from the New Zealand Prayer Book (1989). These highlight the shift I am talking about in the formally recognised prayers of NZ Anglicans (officially understood as binding formularies). You might like to add official prayers from your tradition in the comments section below.

Awaken in us a sense of wonder for the earth and all that is in it.
Teach us to care creatively for its resources.

We remember with gratitude your many gifts to us in creation and the rich heritage of these islands. Help us and people everywhere to share with justice and peace the resources of the earth. Give wisdom to those in authority among us and to all leaders of the nations.

Caring God,
we thank you for your gifts in creation:
for our world,
the heavens tell of your glory;
for our land, its beauty and its resources,
for the rich heritage we enjoy.
We pray:
for those who make decisions about the resources of the earth,
that we may use your gifts responsibly;
for those who work on the land and sea, in city and in industry,
that all may enjoy the fruits of their labours
and marvel at your creation;

for artists, scientists and visionaries,
that through their work we may see creation afresh.

1 O give thanks to our God who is good:
whose love endures for ever.
2 You sun and moon, you stars of the southern sky:
give to our God your thanks and praise.
3 Sunrise and sunset, night and day:
give to our God your thanks and praise.
4 All mountains and valleys, grassland and scree,
glacier, avalanche, mist and snow:
give to our God your thanks and praise.
5 You kauri and pine, rata and kowhai, mosses and ferns:
give to our God your thanks and praise.
6 Dolphins and kahawai, sealion and crab,
coral, anemone, pipi and shrimp:
give to our God your thanks and praise.
7 Rabbits and cattle, moths and dogs,
kiwi and sparrow and tui and hawk:
give to our God your thanks and praise.
8 You māori and pākehā, women and men,
all who inhabit the long white cloud:
give to our God your thanks and praise.
9 All you saints and martyrs of the South Pacific:
give to our God your thanks and praise.

[10 All prophets and priests, all cleaners and clerks,
professors, shop workers, typists and teachers,
job-seekers, invalids, ‘ drivers • and ‘ doctors:
give to our ‘ God your ‘ thanks and ‘ praise.
11 All sweepers and diplomats, writers and artists,
grocers, carpenters, students and stock-agents,
seafarers, farmers, ‘ bakers • and ‘ mystics:
give to our ‘ God your ‘ thanks and ‘ praise.
12 All children and infants, all ‘ people • who ‘ play:
give to our ‘ God your ‘ thanks and ‘ praise.]

Please feel free to add below other prayers and responses that relate to climate change and our ecological responsibility, particularly indicating if they are part of the formally agreed liturgy of your church.
Link to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s recent address on ecological responsibility

Similar Posts: