Tuesday, April 13, 2021

PA Council Of Churches To Join Interfaith Partners In Special April 20 Observance Of Earth Day

In recognition of our call to be faithful stewards of our environment and our understanding that we cannot do this alone, the
Pennsylvania Council of Churches is joining with our partners from multiple faith traditions in a special online service in observance of Earth Day at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 20. 

The Rev. Dr. Leah D. Schade, Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship at Lexington Theological Seminary in Kentucky, will be the featured preacher.  

According to EarthDay.org, this year’s Earth Day theme is Restore Our Earth.

The theme “focuses on natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative thinking that can restore the world’s ecosystems. 

“In this way, the theme rejects the notion that mitigation or adaptation are the only ways to address climate change. 

“It is up to each and every one of us to Restore Our Earth not just because we care about the natural world, but because we live on it. 

“We all need a healthy Earth to support our jobs, livelihoods, health & survival, and happiness. 

“A healthy planet is not an option — it is a necessity.” 

We recognize that great damage has already been done, and that restoring our environment to a place where all of creation is able to survive and thrive is not an easy-to-reach goal. We know that this work will take long term commitment. 

It will require significant education within our congregations across the faith spectrum, and sustained challenges to our elected officials and government policymakers to make personal and political decisions today that honor tomorrow. 

The Council’s Director of Advocacy and Ecumenical Outreach, the Rev. Sandra Strauss, said, “We are honored to join with our neighbors in recognizing that we are all dependent on this fragile and intricate web of creation, and that others may suffer when we violate its integrity. We believe we are called as people of faith to move quickly toward restoring the environment in a way that ensures the integrity of every portion of the web and the ability of our neighbors everywhere to thrive.” 

An ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America since 2000, Rev. Dr. Schade has served congregations in rural, urban, and suburban settings.  

She earned both her MDiv and PhD degrees from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (now United Lutheran Seminary).  

Her publications include: Creation-Crisis Preaching: Ecology, Theology, and the Pulpit (Chalice Press, 2015); Preaching in the Purple Zone: Ministry in the Red-Blue Divide (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019); and Rooted and Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis, co-edited with Margaret Bullitt-Jonas with essays from a cross-section of faith leaders and activists offering their spiritual wisdom and energy for facing the difficult days ahead (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019).  

She has also written a Creation-centered Lenten devotional, For the Beauty of the Earth (Chalice Press, 2019).  

Originally from Pennsylvania, Leah has served as an anti-fracking and climate activist, community organizer, and advocate for environmental justice issues and is the “EcoPreacher” blogger for Patheos.com

Open To Public

The service is open to the public on Zoom, though registration is required. Click Here to register. 

The service will also be streamed on Facebook Live. Click Here to access the Council’s Facebook Live page

The service will also be recorded and uploaded to the Council’s YouTube channel

For more information, contact the Rev. Sandra Strauss at s.strauss@pachurches.org  or 717-350-0165. 

[Posted: April 13, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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