Enviro Prayer Diary

The purpose of this Prayer Diary is to provide subjects for your reflection and prayer as the Spirit moves you.

 

January 2021 Environmental Prayer Diary


 

Friday

 

1

A New Year Prayer

God of life, God of grace, God of love!
Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
We come to you in thanksgiving, and in prayer,
God our Creator, for this past year that you gave us to live together –
as your creation and with your all creation,
as your beloved human beings, as one human family –
we thank you for all who have seen and received true signs of your love,
through the splendour of your creation and through the generosity of other human beings,
but also, through signs of justice and peace becoming true signs of the presence of your Kingdom among us.
At this time we come to you with our prayers for all those who have experienced that their lives have been filled with sorrows, fear, violence and death,
for all those who have lost their expectations for the better day of tomorrow, for the happy new year that comes.
God in your mercy,
You hear our prayers for those who thirst and long for justice and peace:
give them all your grace, your signs of love, give them your righteousness, your joy!
Kyrie Eleison!
Give us, O Jesus Christ, the courage to convey the embrace and presence
you have offered to all through your suffering, death and resurrection.
Christe Eleison!
Let us begin the new year in Your Holy name, O Jesus Christ.
You are there in what comes to give us your love.
You are there and ask us to love you and all those you care for.
Give us, O Holy Spirit, that each one of us, and the one, Holy Church, and the one and whole world can be united in hope, moved by Christ’s love.
Amen

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
General Secretary of the World Council of Churches


 

Saturday

 

2

Encyclical Letter Fratelli Tutti Of Pope Francis on the Fraternity and Social Friendship

Dark Clouds Over a Closed World

Shattered Dreams

“Opening up to the world” is an expression that has been co-opted by the economic and financial sector and is now used exclusively of openness to foreign interests or to the freedom of economic powers to invest without obstacles or complications in all countries. Local conflicts and disregard for the common good are exploited by the global economy in order to impose a single cultural model. This culture unifies the world, but divides persons and nations, for “as society becomes ever more globalized, it makes us neighbours, but does not make us brothers”.[9] We are more alone than ever in an increasingly massified world that promotes individual interests and weakens the communitarian dimension of life. Indeed, there are markets where individuals become mere consumers or bystanders. As a rule, the advance of this kind of globalism strengthens the identity of the more powerful, who can protect themselves, but it tends to diminish the identity of the weaker and poorer regions, making them more vulnerable and dependent. In this way, political life becomes increasingly fragile in the face of transnational economic powers that operate with the principle of “divide and conquer”.

The end of historical consciousness

12.    As a result, there is a growing loss of the sense of history, which leads to even further breakup. A kind of “deconstructionism”, whereby human freedom claims to create everything starting from zero, is making headway in today’s culture. The one thing it leaves in its wake is the drive to limitless consumption and expressions of empty individualism. Concern about this led me to offer the young some advice. “If someone tells young people to ignore their history, to reject the experiences of their elders, to look down on the past and to look forward to a future that he himself holds out, doesn’t it then become easy to draw them along so that they only do what he tells them? He needs the young to be shallow, uprooted and distrustful, so that they can trust only in his promises and act according to his plans. That is how various ideologies operate: they destroy (or deconstruct) all differences so that they can reign unopposed. To do so, however, they need young people who have no use for history, who spurn the spiritual and human riches inherited from past generations, and are ignorant of everything that came before them”.[10]

13.    These are the new forms of cultural colonization. Let us not forget that “peoples that abandon their tradition and, either from a craze to mimic others or to foment violence, or from unpardonable negligence or apathy, allow others to rob their very soul, end up losing not only their spiritual identity but also their moral consistency and, in the end, their intellectual, economic and political independence”.[11] One effective way to weaken historical consciousness, critical thinking, the struggle for justice and the processes of integration is to empty great words of their meaning or to manipulate them. Nowadays, what do certain words like democracy, freedom, justice or unity really mean? They have been bent and shaped to serve as tools for domination, as meaningless tags that can be used to justify any action.

Prayerfully consider how this is affecting our own Country


 

Sunday

 

3

Lord God, who has made this planet to sustain a myriad forms of life, give us the wisdom and perseverance to stand up publicly against all abuse of your earth for wrongful gain, all exploitation for selfish greed and all casual indifference to the dangers now so clearly visible. Make us responsible, caring guardians of our inheritance and give us wisdom to find the right means to protect it in the face of what, humanly speaking, is a desperate situation. This we ask in the Name of your dear Son, who gave his life to redeem your world.
Amen


 

Monday

 

4

 


 

Tuesday

 

5

According to an article in the Mail & Guardian, nearly half of South Africa’s Protea flowering plant species face extinction, with some wild populations having dwindled to a single individual, such as the Kraaifontein spiderhead, and others, like the Swartland sugarbush, hanging on by a thread. 

The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species, which is the world’s indicator of the health of species biodiversity, has released its first comprehensive assessment of the Protea family, finding at least 637 of the 1 464 known species are vulnerable or endangered. 

The outlook for the plants is bleak, particularly in the country’s fynbos regions. The assessment, carried out by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and  fynbos experts, revealed that 47% (165 of 353 species) of local species face extinction.

Read full article ….

The sad reality is that our Proteas are not the only species that are in this predicament and this is a serious reflection on our apathy to Gods glorious Creation!  As we enter into the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, spend some time to consider our personal actions to assist in halting the loss of precious species.


 

Wednesday

 

6

Read Matthew 22:34-40

“You must love your neighbour as yourself.”

To love God ranks supreme as the greatest commandment and love of neighbour, our global family, is bound to it.

At this critical time of climate change, should we not also include love of all creation inhabiting our common home? How can we show real love for our neighbour, especially the poorest and most vulnerable, without also caring for our earth? We love God and are bound to love, care for and steward all that God has created.

Many of us have been re-assessing our approach to life in the last six months and it is important that we place the central message of this commandment at the heart of our prayer and actions.

In Pope Francis’s new encyclical, Fratelli Tutti. The pope draws on the example of Saint Francis of Assisi who “felt himself a brother to the sun, the sea and the wind, yet he knew that he was even closer to those of his own flesh” and who showed “a love that transcends the barriers of geography and distance”.

May we do the same.

Prayer:
Lord, help us to follow the example of Saint Francis, showing our love for you as we walk alongside the least of our brothers and sisters and care for Creation and all life within it. Amen.

Trevor Stockton,
CAFOD volunteer from St Anthony of Padua parish in Wolverhampton.
https://cafod.org.uk/


 

Thursday

7

2021–2030 – United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration

10 years to restore our planet. 10 actions that count. Every single day.

Against a backdrop of environmental crisis, the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is a chance to revive the natural world that supports us all. A decade may sound like a long time. But it is these next ten years that scientists say will count most in the fight to avert climate change and the loss of millions of species. Ten actions in the strategy of the UN Decade have been identified and the first is “Empower a global movement

The UN Decade’s overarching goal is to stop and reverse the destruction and degradation of billions of hectares of ecosystems. It is a daunting task. It gets even more complicated given the immense diversity of ecosystems and the threats they are facing: from lush forests threatened by land-grabbers and wildfires to agricultural soils so eroded that they may only carry a few more years of harvests. No single entity can steer the course in this endeavour.

In light of this, JAEI (and indeed ALL Green Anglicans) have an important part to play. 

Take some time to prayerfully consider how we can all be involved in this important movement.


 

Friday

 

8

“The world is not a problem to be solved; it is a living being to which we belong. The world is part of our own self and we are a part of its suffering wholeness. Until we go to the root of our image of separateness, there can be no healing. And the deepest part of our separateness from creation lies in our forgetfulness of its sacred nature, which is also our own sacred nature.”

Richard Rohr


 

Saturday

 

9

2021-2030 – United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development

The United Nations has proclaimed a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) to support efforts to reverse the cycle of decline in ocean health and gather ocean stakeholders worldwide behind a common framework that will ensure ocean science can fully support countries in creating improved conditions for sustainable development of the Ocean.

The marine realm is the largest component of the Earth’s system that stabilizes climate and support life on Earth and human well-being. However, the First World Ocean Assessment released in 2016 found that much of the ocean is now seriously degraded, with changes and losses in the structure, function and benefits from marine systems.

In addition, the impact of multiple stressors on the ocean is projected to increase as the human population grows towards the expected 9 billion by 2050.

Adaptation strategies and science-informed policy responses to global change are urgently needed.

Scientific understanding of the ocean’s responses to pressures and management action is fundamental for sustainable development. Ocean observations and research are also essential to predict the consequences of change, design mitigation and guide adaptation.

As mandated by the UN General Assembly, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO will coordinate the Decade’s preparatory process, inviting the global ocean community to plan for the next ten years in ocean science and technology to deliver, together, the ocean we need for the future we want!

Prayerfully consider how you and your Community can play a significant part in this important work.


 

Sunday

 

10

Father, we pray for a vision of your world as your love would make it:
A world where the weak are protected and none go hungry or poor;
A world where the benefits of life are fairly shared;
A world where nations, races, cultures and religions live with mutual respect;
A world where peace is built with justice, and justice is guided by love, and that we may have the courage and inspiration to play our part in building it


 

Monday

 

11

Did you know?

The Anglican Communion Representative to the United Nations works in Geneva and New York to bring Anglican voices to the global stage. The role is vital in building strong relationships so that work at the grass roots is more effective.

Among the priorities for Anglican Communion team at the UN is the Environment

Current objectives:
  • To advocate for environmental issues at the United Nations and to raise awareness of those issues within the Anglican Communion
  • To focus on urgent problems relating to water, food and climate change
  • To promote a better understanding of environmental stewardship and sustainable community development
  • To marshal support for corporate responsibility as it relates to human rights, the environment, and sustainable development

Pray for strength and guidance for the Anglican Communion Team – especially in respect of their vital work in the environmental arena.


 

Tuesday

 

12

Earth Verse

“Wide enough to keep you looking
Open enough to keep you moving
Dry enough to keep you honest
Prickly enough to make you tough
Green enough to go on living
Old enough to give you dreams

Gary Snyder
www.spiritualityandpractice.com


 

Wednesday

 

13

 


 

Thursday

 

14

The International Year of Fruits and Vegetables.

The International Year of Fruits and Vegetables 2021 (approved by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) seeks to advocate for the importance of healthy diets and lifestyles through sustainable food systems. It also seeks to strengthen the role of smallholder and family farmers in sustainable farming and production practices, accountable for the livelihoods of millions of rural families within the framework of the UN Decade of Family Farming (2019-2028), and raise awareness about the nutritional and health benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption as well as the high levels of food loss and waste in fruit and vegetable supply/value chains.

A Food Systems Summit will be held to maximize the benefits of a food systems approach across the entire 2030 Agenda and will be a critical part of the decade of action and delivery towards the SDGs.  Given the importance of sustainable agriculture in fruit and vegetable production, this initiative is linked to several Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda, including, in particular, SDG2: “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture”, SDG 3: “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”, and the SDG 12, “Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns” and SDG8 “Decent work and economic growth”.

In the context of responding to and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is urgent to assess the effects of the pandemic on food security and nutrition, including the importance of fruits and vegetables in boosting immunity, and to identify urgent and coordinated actions to avoid the most adverse consequences. Hence, food security and nutrition must be a central element of international action and national policies and a specific focus of partnerships. It is essential that safe, nutritious, affordable foods, including fruits and vegetables, continue to get to all people, particularly the most food insecure and nutritionally vulnerable when they need it.

Now is a good time to encourage the establishment of food gardens in your Parish and Community …..


 

Friday

 

15

“If there were no internal propensity to unite, even at a prodigiously rudimentary level – indeed in the molecule itself – it would be physically impossible for love to appear higher up, with us, in hominized form. . . . Driven by the forces of love, the fragments of the world seek each other so that the world may come into being.”

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin


 

Saturday

 

16

Practice: What Happens When You Plant a Tree?

While we may continue to practice physical distancing from other humans, most of us can still safely spend time in nature. The Journal of Health Psychology confirms what Franciscans and mystics have long known: interacting with nature is a great stress reliever. Just thirty minutes of gardening lowers the cortisol released during stress-induced fight-or-flight responses. Today’s practice, written by poet, writer, and educator Trevien Stanger for the book Order of the Sacred Earth, invites us to make a very specific contemplative contribution by planting trees.

Ethnobotanist, author, and Potawatami elder Robin Kimmerer asserts, “We need acts of restoration, not only for polluted waters and degraded lands, but also for our relationship to the world. We need to restore honour to the way we live, so that when we walk through the world we don’t have to avert our eyes with shame, so that we can hold our heads high and receive the respectful acknowledgment of the rest of [the] earth’s beings.”  . . .

I contend that every individual can participate in [the] Great Turning, and that one of the great challenges of our time is for each of us to figure out how and where we plug into this psycho-spiritual current. . . . I, for one, plant trees. . . . In my more recent work as an environmental studies professor at a community college in Vermont, I’ve had a hand in planting just shy of 100,000 trees over the past 12 years. . . .

What happens when you plant a tree? What happens when you wield a shovel in one hand (a human artifact) and a tree (a provisional mystery) in the other? What happens when you dig a hole (a Kali-like destruction) and plant a tree within it (an act of creativity)? What happens when you learn about your local ecology not just as an observer, but also as a participant? What happens when you embrace the wildness of a tree-being and integrate it into the semi-wild streets and streams of your local community? What happens when you crack open your isolated sense of self and plant within your heart this symbol of our ever-branching inter-being? What happens when you consider your actions in terms of your ecological and cultural legacy? What happens when you move beyond your concerns of today and inquire as to what type of ancestor you will be? Nelson Henderson posits that “. . . one true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” Under whose shade do you sit beneath today? Whose shade shall you help gift for tomorrow?

asserts, “We need acts of restoration, not only for polluted waters and degraded lands, but also for our relationship to the world. We need to restore honour to the way we live, so that when we walk through the world we don’t have to avert our eyes with shame, so that we can hold our heads high and receive the respectful acknowledgment of the rest of [the] earth’s beings.”  . . .

I contend that every individual can participate in [the] Great Turning, and that one of the great challenges of our time is for each of us to figure out how and where we plug into this psycho-spiritual current. . . . I, for one, plant trees. . . . In my more recent work as an environmental studies professor at a community college in Vermont, I’ve had a hand in planting just shy of 100,000 trees over the past 12 years. . . .

What happens when you plant a tree? What happens when you wield a shovel in one hand (a human artifact) and a tree (a provisional mystery) in the other? What happens when you dig a hole (a Kali-like destruction) and plant a tree within it (an act of creativity)? What happens when you learn about your local ecology not just as an observer, but also as a participant? What happens when you embrace the wildness of a tree-being and integrate it into the semi-wild streets and streams of your local community? What happens when you crack open your isolated sense of self and plant within your heart this symbol of our ever-branching inter-being? What happens when you consider your actions in terms of your ecological and cultural legacy? What happens when you move beyond your concerns of today and inquire as to what type of ancestor you will be? Nelson Henderson posits that “. . . one true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” Under whose shade do you sit beneath today? Whose shade shall you help gift for tomorrow?

From Richard Rohr’s daily meditations
www.cac.org


 

Sunday

 

17

Lord God, we pray that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move the hearts of the men and women who govern the nations that the barriers of fear, suspicion and hatred which separate us may crumble, and the body of humankind may be healed of its divisions and be united in addressing the serious problems of resource depletion, overpopulation and climate change. This we ask in the name of your dear Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.


 

Monday

 

18

 


 

Tuesday

 

19

Creator God

You put the stars in outer space
You popped the freckles on my face
And all the fish that swim
And all the birds that fly
Were made from your
Incredible imagination.

Creator God, we’re singing to the
Creator God of all the world
Creator God, we celebrate you
We celebrate you!

You spread the ripples through the sea
You painted stripes on every bee
And all the grass that grows
And all the leaves that fall
Are part of your amazing plans
For this creation.

Creator God, we’re singing to the
Creator God of all the world
Creator God, we celebrate you
We celebrate you!

You put the heat into the sun
You placed a heart in everyone
And all the music played
And all the dancing done
Reminds us that we’re made
To be creative like:

Creator God, we’re singing to the
Creator God of all the world
Creator God, we celebrate you

Creator God, we’re singing to the
Creator God of all the world
Creator God, we celebrate you
We celebrate you!
We celebrate you!
We celebrate you!

Nick & Becky Drake // Worship For Everyone

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GM4IVZuljEI


 

Wednesday

 

20

May this eternal truth be always on our hearts
That the God who breathed this world into being
Placed stars into the heavens
And designed a butterfly’s wing
Is the God who entrusted his son
to the care of ordinary people
became vulnerable that we might know
how strong is the wonder of Love
A mystery so deep it is impossible to grasp
A mystery so beautiful it is impossible to ignore


 

Thursday

 

21

 


 

Friday

 

22

“Believe me, you will find more lessons in the woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you what you cannot learn from masters.”

St. Bernard of Clairvaux

 


 

Saturday

 

23

Genesis 2:1-17 (The Message)

2 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

a4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.

Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush 14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”


 

Sunday

 

24

Father, we pray that when the interests and aspirations of nations conflict with one another over the natural resources that you have provided for us, their leaders may not turn to war, but together seek a just and acceptable way forward, so that suspicions may be allayed, misunderstandings clarified, violence averted and peace preserved. We ask this in the name of Christ our Lord

L. Cumings

 

Monday

 

25

 


 

Tuesday

 

26

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Wendell Berry


 

Wednesday

 

27

Every creature, every plant; every rock and grain of sand
proclaims the glory of its Creator;
worships through colour, shape scent and form.
A multi-sensory song of praise.
Creator God, may we join with the whole of your creation
in praising you, our Creator
through the fragrance and melody of our lives.


 

Thursday

 

28

“I dream of our vast deserts, of our forests, of all our great wildernesses. We must never forget that it is our duty to protect this environment.”

Nelson Mandela

 


 

Friday

 

29

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”

Antoine de Saint-Exuper

 


 

Saturday

 

30

Loving Father, you have given humankind matchless gifts of skill and ingenuity. Help us now, in this time of crisis, to pool all our resources and work together, in your Name, to save your world from the dire consequences of our ignorance, greed and folly.


 

Sunday

 

31

 


2021 Enviro Prayer Diaries in PDF

2020 Enviro Prayer Diaries in PDF

2019 Enviro Prayer Diaries in PDF

2018 Enviro Prayer Diaries in PDF

2017 Enviro Prayer Diaries in PDF

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