Enviro Prayer Diary

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

September 2019 Environmental Prayer Diary
Season of Creation

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Sunday

 

1

World Day of Prayer for Creation

The Season of Creation is our special time for the Creator and each other.

The Season of Creation, from September 1 to October 4, is celebrated by Christian churches around the globe who are united with one purpose: to steward the earth.

We all protect creation. It’s powerfully good work that’s urgently needed.

The momentum continues long after the season ends through ongoing prayer, changes in lifestyle, and advocacy.

The season begins September 1, the Day of Prayer for Creation, and runs through October 4, the Feast of St. Francis, who is the patron saint of ecology in many traditions. The theme of this year’s celebration is “the web of life”. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we are on a pilgrimage to better care of creation.

The World Day of Prayer for the Season of Creation (held on 1 September annually) was inspired by Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ Encyclical. 

Here are some ideas to promote and celebrate this important day.

  • Celebrate the World Day of Payer for Creation in your services.
  • Have an environmental focus to your Services during the Season of Creation.
  • Hold a Service outdoors and invite other Faith Groups in your neighbourhood.
  • In preparing this service choose hymns and songs that express the goodness of creation, the threats to its future and the vocation of human beings to cherish all of life and to ensure its flourishing.
  • Highlight environmental challenges that require prayer and further action on your notice board, newsletters and websites.
  • Develop prayers and other liturgy that is environmentally friendly and which can become part of your regular services. Pray regularly for creation in your services.
  • Make connections between the sacraments and nature; for example for baptism we use water; for the Lord’s Supper/Mass we use bread and wine.
  • Work at establishing and strengthening ties with other churches in your neighbourhood, not just among the pastors or clergy but among the people too.
  • Begin an environment group within your congregation.
  • Begin planning for the World Day of Prayer for Creation next year.

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Monday

 

2

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhESYHHbzsc

“The earth isn’t dying it’s being killed, and the people killing it have names and addresses.” – Utah Phillips

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Tuesday

 

3

National Arbor Week

 To help increase public awareness of just a few of the 2,000 indigenous tree species in South Africa, every Arbor Week celebration highlights two specific trees; one common and one rare species

The trees of 2019 are:

Common Tree of the Year: Sclerocarya birrea (Marula, Maroela)

Rare (Uncommon) Tree of the Year: Philenoptera violacea (Apple-leaf, Appelblaar)

  • Give thanks for the awesome beauty, variety and diversity of plants in our Country.
  • Pray for forgiveness when we have taken this beauty for granted and pray that each one of us will utilize and care for this resource wisely.
  • Action – Plant a tree this week! ….. show you care!

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Wednesday

 

4

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Thursday

 

5

The Natural World: Living Peacefully on Earth

To live non-violently—both toward humans and nature—requires that we recognize God’s image in each living thing. We cannot be violent toward someone or something when we see the divine in them. My friend and nonviolent activist John Dear recently published a new book, They Will Inherit the Earth, from which I’d like to share today.

Over the decades, I have witnessed the destruction we humans have done to Mother Earth and her creatures. I’ve read about catastrophic climate change and experienced the changes—the droughts, the strange weather, the extreme fires and tornadoes and rainfall. . . . I grieve for Mother Earth and the creatures who die because of our systemic greed, violence, and destructive habits. But I never made or felt the connection between my vision of nonviolence and the ongoing destruction of Mother Earth. Until now. . . .

“Blessed are the meek,” Jesus says in the Beatitudes. Thomas Merton wrote that “meekness” is the biblical word for nonviolence. “Blessed are the nonviolent,” Jesus is saying. . . . “They will inherit the earth.” . . . A life of nonviolence leads to oneness with creation and her creatures.

A life of violence, of course, leads to an abrupt discord with creation. In a time of permanent warfare, nuclear weapons, and catastrophic climate change, the message couldn’t be clearer. The God of peace, the nonviolent Jesus, and his Holy Spirit call us to practice nonviolence. In that way, we’ll renounce and stop our environmental destruction, tend our Garden of Eden together, and restore creation to its rightful peace. In the process, we will discover peace with one another and all the creatures. . . .

This is the journey we are all called to live, to make the connection between active nonviolence and oneness with creation, so that we all might dwell peacefully in this paradise. . . . I [see] not just the vision of peace and nonviolence, but the vision of a new creation, where we all live as one in peace with one another, Mother Earth and her glorious creatures. It’s that vision of peace, nonviolence, and the new creation, the vision of the promised land before us, the practice of proactive nonviolence, that offers a way out of environmental destruction, as well as permanent war, corporate greed, systemic racism, and extreme poverty.

All we have to do is open our eyes to the reality of creation before us, to be present to it, to take it in and honor it, and welcome its gift of peace—and do so within the boundaries of nonviolence. In that present moment of peace, a new creation is offered to us once again.

Reference:
John Dear, They Will Inherit the Earth: Peace and Nonviolence in a Time of Climate Change (Orbis Books: 2018), 2-3.

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

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Friday

 

6

Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

  •  By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature

Prayerfully reflect your own part in achieving this goal.

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Saturday

7

International Vulture Day

Vultures are an ecologically vital group of birds that face a range of threats in many areas that they occur. Populations of many species are under pressure and some species are facing extinction.

We urgently need to reduce the imminent and real risk of extinction in African vultures through effective intervention and focus on the most significant threat facing these birds, which is wildlife poisoning.

A critical component of the Vultures for Africa Programme’s work is the partnership with the Hawk Conservancy Trust and the University of Reading. In addition to providing substantial funding in terms of Poisoning Response Training and the issue of equipment to trainees for effective deployment in the field during incidents, these partners also work with us to determine the impact of our training on the ground and the assess the benefit of successful intervention on vulture populations in the areas we are working. Another aspect of our work which they support is the filling of knowledge gaps about vultures in east and southern Africa by means of research and monitoring in areas where little is currently known about the population status and trends of the vultures that occur there.

We achieve our goals through the following projects:

  • Wildlife Poisoning Intervention
  • Vulture Monitoring and Research in Gap Areas
  • MsAP Action Implementation

 (Source – https://www.ewt.org.za/what-we-do/what-we-do-species/vultures-for-africa/ )

  • Give thanks for the beauty of these iconic birds and the important part that these majestic birds play in our eco-systems
  • Pray for blessing on all those who work tirelessly to conserve these magnificent birds

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Sunday

 

8

We breathe in what the trees breathe out, and they breathe in what we breathe out.  Forever overwhelmed by the beauty of God’s design

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Monday

 

9

Prayers of the People

All-powerful God, you are present in the whole
universe and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
O God of the poor, help us to rescue the abandoned
and forgotten of this earth, so precious in your
eyes.

Bring healing to our lives, that we may protect the
world and not prey on it, that we may sow beauty,
not pollution and destruction.

Touch the hearts
of those who look only for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognize that we are profoundly united
with every creature as we journey towards your
infinite light.

We thank you for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle for justice, love and peace.

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Tuesday

 

10

How wonderful, O Lord, are the works of your hands!
The heavens declare your glory;
the arch of sky displays your handiwork.
In your love you have given us the power to behold
the beauty of your world robed in all its splendour.
The sun and the stars, the valleys and hills,
the rivers and lakes all disclose your presence.
The roaring breakers of the seas tell of your
awesome might; the beasts of the field and the
birds of the air speak of your wondrous will.
In your goodness you have made us
able to hear the music of the world.
You are in our midst. A divine voice sings
through all creation.

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Wednesday

 

11

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Thursday

 

12

This we know: the earth does not belong to us.
The earth is the Lord’s and so are all its people
This we know: we did not weave the web of life.
The earth is the Lord’s and so is all that breathes on it.
This we know: we are called to till and work the earth.
The earth is the Lord’s and so are all who work the land.
This we know: that we are called to take care of creation.
The earth is the Lord’s yet we have polluted and abused it.
This we know; that whatever befalls the earth
Befalls the sons and daughters of the earth
This we know: that the earth is the Lord’s
And so we will serve Him in it
Amen.

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Friday

 

13

“Questionnaire”
(a poem by Wendell Berry)

1. How much poison are you willing
to eat for the success of the free
market and global trade? Please
name your preferred poisons.

2. For the sake of goodness, how much
evil are you willing to do?
Fill in the following blanks
with the names of your favourite
evils and acts of hatred.

3. What sacrifices are you prepared
to make for culture and civilization?
Please list the monuments, shrines,
and works of art you would
most willingly destroy.

4. In the name of patriotism and
the flag, how much of our beloved
land are you willing to desecrate?
List in the following spaces
the mountains, rivers, towns, farms
you could most readily do without.

5. State briefly the ideas, ideals, or hopes,
the energy sources, the kinds of security,
for which you would kill a child.
Name, please, the children whom
you would be willing to kill.

Submitted by Anne Wright

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Saturday

 

14

“Someday the Earth will weep. She will beg for her life. She will cry tears of blood. You will make a choice – if you will help her or let her die, and when she dies, you too will die.”

Hollow Horn Bear,
Oglala Lakota, 1932

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Sunday

 

15

Collect

Loving God
you formed us as part of the web of all Creation
make us mindful of the consequences of our lifestyle choices;
challenge us to a simpler lifestyle:
and fill us with compassion for those who are most vulnerable
For Jesus Christ’s sake
Amen

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Monday

 

16

International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer

The ozone layer helps to protect life from harmful ultraviolet radiation. Find out what caused the ozone hole, and how the 1989 Montreal Protocol sought to put an end to ozone depletion.

Over the past 30 years humans have made progress in stopping damage to the ozone layer by curbing the use of certain chemicals. But more remains to be done to protect and restore the atmospheric shield that sits in the stratosphere about 15 to 30 kilometres above the Earth’s surface.

More than 30 years after the Montreal Protocol, NASA scientists documented the first direct proof that Antarctic ozone is recovering because of the CFC phase-down.  At the end of 2018, the United Nations confirmed in a scientific assessment that the ozone layer is recovering.  However, monitoring of the ozone layer continues, and it’s finding that the recovery may not be as straightforward as hoped. Early in 2018 it was found that ozone in the lower stratosphere unexpectedly and inexplicably has dropped due to possible ongoing violations of the Montreal pact.

Scientists are working on climate-friendly alternatives to the damaging Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs – less damaging but a harmful greenhouse gas which contributes to climate change) including new coolants and technologies that reduce or eliminate dependence on chemicals.

Give thanks for the advances in the protection of the ozone layer, and pray that all governments will continue work together to find ways to protect our earth.

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Tuesday

 

17

The Lord’s my Shepherd

Tune: Lord’s my Shepherd
Norman Habel

The Lord’s my shepherd I’ll not want,
He gives me all I need
In plastic bags in super stores,
To satisfy my greed.

The Lord’s my shepherd I’ll not want
The food I like to taste,
But plastic bags that save my food
Are simply worthless waste.

The Lord’s my shepherd, does he know
We’re waging war on stuff
That now pollutes both land and sea;
Enough stuff is enough.

Now my good shepherd raise your staff
And lift your golden rod
To help us what’s good for Earth,
The real gift of our God.

https://seasonofcreation.com/creation-songs/

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Wednesday

 

18

Lord Jesus, Lord of life, you call us to follow,
And you warn us of the cost of discipleship.
We remember today those who cry out for peace
As they work in their communities and across the world to end conflict.
We pray today for those who speak up against systems of power,
As they seek to transform economics and politics for the good of all.
Your Kingdom come; Your will be done

Lord of life, we pray today for your creation, paying such a high price
For our development, greed and progress.
We remember today the land that is no longer flourishing,
As water floods or runs dry and seeds cannot grow or bear fruit.
We pray today for the seas and all that is in them,
Where rising temperatures and major changes bring death.
For all creation, groaning in adversity,
Your Kingdom come; Your will be done.

Lord of life, we pray for ourselves that we would hear the call to discipleship.
We know that our choices can shape our children’s future
We remember today that we are all called to follow, you, choosing your way of life over all other things.
We pray today for those we influence, through our shopping, our travel, our voting and our speaking out.
For all of us, in our daily decisions,
Your Kingdom come; Your will be done.

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Thursday

 

19

“So let’s raise the tone of the debate. Too often at the moment we look like schoolchildren squabbling over a toy – our most precious toy, the Earth. And the danger is that as we pull in opposite directions in our global tug of war, the Earth will end up broken – or at least unable to sustain human life. That is the worst case scenario – or maybe, from the Earth’s point of view, the best.”

Roz Savage
Ocean Rower & Environmental Activist

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Friday

 

20

World Clean-up Day

World Clean-up Day is a global social action program aimed at combating the global solid waste problem.  Coinciding with the global event is the annual Clean-up and Recycle SA Week supported and endorsed by the local plastics industry, the various packaging and retail streams and retailers.

The aim of this week is to increase an awareness of the social, environmental and economic benefits of recycling.  During this time, communities are encouraged to clean-up the areas where they work, live and play by collecting the litter and ensuring that it gets recycled responsibly. 

So do your bit!

Jesus Christ, teach us to empathise with Earth.
Living God Where there is waste, let us bring recycling,
Where there is recycling, let us bring reuse,
Where there is reuse, let us bring sustainability,
Where there is sustainability, let us bring justice
Where there is justice, let us bring love

John Polhill
(from Eggs and Ashes published by Wildgoose)

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Saturday

 

21

International Peace Day

2019 Theme: “Climate Action for Peace”

“It is possible to achieve our goals, but we need decisions, political will and transformational policies to allow us to still live in peace with our own climate.” — Secretary-General António Guterres, 15 May 2019

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

The United Nations Member States adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 because they understood that it would not be possible to build a peaceful world if steps were not taken to achieve economic and social development for all people everywhere and ensure that their rights were protected.

Sustainable Development Goal 13 “Climate Action” is a call for immediate action by all to lower greenhouse emissions, build resilience and improve education on climate change. Affordable, scalable solutions such as renewable energy, clean technologies are available to enable countries to leapfrog to greener, more resilient economies.

Climate change causes clear threats to international peace and security. Natural disasters displace three times as many people as conflicts, forcing millions to leave their homes and seek safety elsewhere. The salinization of water and crops is endangering food security, and the impact on public health is escalating. The growing tensions over resources and mass movements of people are affecting every country on every continent.

Young people are stepping up to the challenge – close to half a million youth around the world have taken action on climate change in their homes, schools and communities. According to UNFCCC, they are key actors in raising awareness, running educational programmes, promoting sustainable lifestyles, conserving nature, supporting renewable energy, adopting environmentally-friendly practices and implementing adaptation and mitigation projects.

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Sunday

 

22

World Rhino Day

“Every debate is important because it keeps the issue alive, and right now that is critical if rhino’s are to survive”
– Dr Ian Player, Co-founder of Wilderness Foundation 

Heavenly Father, we beg you to prevent the extinction of rhinos in Southern Africa. Please raise up courageous men and women to protect them, strengthen those already involved in their protection, and grow people’s generosity in funding them so that the rhino population may once again reach sustainable levels. Please change the hearts of the corrupt, of all those involved in poaching syndicates, and of the consumers of ivory who care more for personal status than the flourishing of your creation. Let them remember that rhinos ultimately belong to you, and that we are your stewards, commissioned to serve and protect all of your creation for your glory. Let them be convicted by their actions, seek your forgiveness, and instead do good. Help us to share your gospel with others, because the world’s rejection of you is the root cause of poaching and all other human evils. Help us to trust that you are in still control and that you care for your creation, even when the situation looks so dire.
In Jesus name, Amen.

I am Rhino – Hear me weep
As my family fades around me
And my babies die in defeat
We are ancient children of this Earth
What did we ever do in our Wildness to deserve
This hell you serve us day by day
Nowhere to run to – No home to stay

We are strong and wild and free
Sometimes…
If you humans would just let us be
We have no argument with you.
We have to live here – it is our home too
When will you start to hear our voice?
You are humans, you rule
You always have a choice!

I am Rhino – Hear me cry
Choose to protect me
Do not let me die
I am strong
But without you I am weak
From the sharp tip
Of my precious worthless horn
To the soft soles
Of my flower-shaped feet
I am Rhino – And I bleed.

CJ Carrington 2016
www.Wildheartwildlifefoundation.org

  • Pray for all those involved in rhino conservation – for strength and endurance.
  • Pray for those involved in the heinous act of poaching – that their hearts may turn to love of these creatures and away from their illicit dealings.

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Monday

 

23

Car Free Day (22nd September)

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Tuesday

 

24

Collect

Loving God,
you created a world with enough for all our need, but not enough for all our greed.
Help us to challenge structures of injustice
to commit ourselves to stand in solidarity with the poor
and to bring hope to those who are sinking in despair,
through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour

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Wednesday

 

25

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Thursday

 

26

John 15:1-8

The Vine and the Branches

1“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit, he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

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Friday

 

27

“A solitary American monk named Thomas Berry writes that in our relationship to nature, we have been autistic for centuries.  Wrapped tightly in our own version of knowledge, we have been unreceptive to the wisdom of the natural world.  To tune in again, to have the “spontaneous environmental rapport” that characterized our ancestors, will take doing something that is perfectly delightful: immersing ourselves in the natural world.”

Janine M. Benyus

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Saturday

 

28

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Sunday

 

29

World Rivers Day

 Churning rapids into still deepness. Falling rains arrested and held in movement. Lymph and blood vessels of the Earth. Life and cleansing to the land.
Fish and crawdad. Willow and dragonfly. Frogs croaking a love song.
What beauty here sings in your heart and will?

World Rivers Day is a celebration of the world’s waterways. It highlights the many values of rivers and strives to increase public awareness and encourages the improved stewardship of rivers around the world.

“Rivers are the arteries of our planet; they are lifelines in the truest sense.” – Mark Angelo

 God, our Creator, whose glory fills our planet, help us to discern your vibrant presence among us and our kin in creation, especially in the rivers, the streams and waterways of Earth. Help us empathise with your creatures who are suffering. Lift our spirits to rejoice with the vibrant world of the rivers. In the name of Christ, who reconciles and restores all things in creation. Amen.

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Monday

 

30

Creed

 O God, the source of our being
and the goal of all our longing,
we believe and trust in you.
The whole earth is alive with your glory,
and all that has life is sustained by you.
We commit ourselves to cherish your world,
and to seek your face.
O God, embodied in a human life
we believe and trust in you.
Jesus our brother, born of the woman Mary,
you confronted the proud and the powerful,
and welcomed as your friends
those of no account.
Holy Wisdom of God, firstborn of creation,
you emptied yourself of power,
and became foolishness for our sake.
You laboured with us upon the cross,
and have brought us forth
to the hope of resurrection.
We commit ourselves to struggle against evil,
and to choose life.
O God, life-giving Spirit,
Spirit of healing and comfort,
of integrity and truth,
we believe and trust in you.
Warm-winged Spirit, brooding over creation,
rushing wind and Pentecostal fire,
we commit ourselves to work with you
and renew our world.

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** Prayers have been taken from Season of Creation Year C (2019)

2019 Enviro Prayer Diaries in PDF
2018 Enviro Prayer Diaries in PDF
2017 Enviro Prayer Diaries in PDF

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