Earth Day 2021 #RestoreOurEarth
Written by Rev Dr Ji Zhang 张骥, Assembly Theologian-in-Residence
Earth Day 2021: linking environmental stewardship and the Easter faith
April 22, 1970 was the first Earth Day. 20 million Americans took to the streets and demonstrated for a sustainable environment. It was the time that large industry belched out smoke, Americans and Australians loved to drive V8 cars, and air pollution was accepted. But it was also in 1970, that the New York Times bestseller Silent Spring raised public awareness about the unfolding environmental crisis, and drew a link between unmanaged waste and public health.
Since then, the world has achieved many incredible goals to protect the environment, particularly the Paris Accord. Modern science has made much progress in developing renewable technologies, including generating electricity from wind and solar. World religions have participated in and contributed to the development of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including the relationship between stewardship of nature and our common good.
This year as we mark Earth Day, the Uniting Church in Australia joins the World Council of Churches to acknowledge the contribution made by the people of world’s religions.
The theme for Earth Day 2021 is Restore Our Earth. It has a practical focus on environmental stewardship and emerging green technologies. World religions and people of faith have a role to play in restoring harmony with the Earth’s ecosystems.
The Uniting Church Assembly encourages our faith communities to join Earth Day 2021, because we not only care about the natural world, but also, we are part of the mother Earth as well.
We cannot simply wait for carbon neutrality. We can take climate action now to make a change. Today, the global faith community offers a public voice that puts care for the environment into political, economic, and church agendas.
On Earth Day 2021, inspired by our faith in Christ's resurrection, we can join in actions to restore the Earth.
Prayer of the People on Earth Day
Written by Rev Dr Apwee Ting, National Consultant, in Indonesian and English.
Ibu ku adalah ibu pertiwi
Dari mu datanglah kehidupan
Aku adalah bagian dari mu
Nafas ku adalah pemberian mu
Akupun bercanda ria dengan burung di udara
Ternakpun bersahabat dengan hewan bertaring
Semua terlelap dalam dekapan bumi
Engkau menaungi aku dengan kabut pegunungan
Engkau membelai aku dengan usapan angin laut
Engkau memangku aku dengan kelembutan hutan belantara
Aku bukanlah anak yang berbakti
Telah ku buat kabut hitam pegunungan
Telah kunodai kesucian lautan biru
Telah ku cabut hijau nya hutan belantara
Aku telah terkapar oleh kerakusan kekuasaan
Aku telah terlena oleh gemilang kekayaan
Aku telah mengkhianati ibu ku sendiri
Ibu ku pertiwi
Kurindu hangatnya matahari pagi
Yang membawa kesejukan udara
Yang memberi kehidupan bagi semesta
Pada mu kutemukan jati diri
Pada mu ku berjanji
Pada mu ku bernasar
Kan ku jaga hijau nya hutan belantara
Kan ku rawat jernih nya sungai dan laut
Kan ku lestarikan alam semesta
My mother is mother earth
You are the source of life
I am part of you
My breath is your gift
I sing freely with the birds
Cattle and wild animals are friends
All of us fell asleep in the arm of the earth
You shade me in the mist of the mountains
You caress me with the sea breeze
You hold me in the tenderness of the wilderness
I am not a devoted child
I have created the black mist of the mountains
I have stained the sanctity of the blue sea
I have destroyed the green wilderness
I have fallen by the greed for power
I have been lulled by resplendent wealth
I have betrayed my own mother
I miss the warmth of the morning sun
which brings fresh air
that gives life to the universe
In you I have found my own being
Here is my promise
Here is my commitment
I will keep the green wilderness
I will take care of the clearness of the river and sea
I will preserve the universe