22 April 2022
Earth Day
This notice sent to Churches, Priests and Deacons (active), Diocesan Council, Standing Committee and Chancellor, Wardens, Treasurers, Parish Administrators, Jubilee Center and Camp Leadership, Trustees, Summer Chapel Leadership, and Diocesan Staff
Dear Friends in Christ,

At our diocesan convention last October, we made a substantial promise to care for creation.

As Christians, we believe that God exists in perfect relationship, and we believe that each of us is invited to share in that relationship. The biblical concept of right-relatedness tells us that not only are we to be in conscious relationship to our Creator but also to each other and to all of Creation. However, our relationship to God’s earth is not as God would have it; it is far from “perfect”. And now we are all – every human, every creature, every part of the earth itself – at a point where God’s beloved planet is in peril. Climate change is a crisis of unprecedented proportion in which we hear God’s call to each of us to respond as individuals and as members of his holy Church.

With the passage of “Declaration of a Climate Emergency and Observation of the Season of Creation”, we commit ourselves to immediate and sustained action. I am writing to encourage and guide our communities to:

  • Our faith communities are encouraged to observe the Season of Creation each year from 1 September through 4 October, use liturgical resources available from the National Advisory Committee of the Season of Creation.
  • Please consider the ways your faith community could host or participate in at least one ecumenical or interfaith event to highlight the connection between earth and the spiritual lives of our people.

A copy of The Episcopal Church’s Creation Care Covenant is linked here. We have also included some additional information here, including a way for your parish to signify your commitment to creation care. I encourage parish members of all ages to sign it and display it as a sign of our diocese-wide commitment.

TURN, and ACT:
  • All faith communities should consider appointing an individual to serve as an Earth Keeper, a person who will connect your congregation to care-of-creation efforts in your community.
  • The Earth Keeper will also be your congregation’s liaison with the Climate Justice Council of the Diocese.
  • Support and educational events for the Earth Keepers will be planned and led on a regular schedule by the Climate Justice Council.
  • The Climate Justice Council will provide the Diocese, through the Earth Keepers, with resources and guides for sustainable living practices in parish and family contexts. Climate Justice Council will in turn gather and share the best ideas and practices for creation care.

It is God’s call, given to us in Genesis, “to till the earth and to keep it” (2:15), and we accept this call with gladness and singleness of heart.

Faithfully in Christ,

The Rt. Rev. Thomas J. Brown
The Right Reverend Thomas J. Brown
Bishop of Maine
The Climate Justice Council encourages congregations to read this message to those gathered in worship this Sunday or at your earliest suitable meeting. Each parish will be receiving a package in the mail containing the Covenant of Creation Care for you to consider, discuss, and sign.