It was a U.S. senator named Gaylord Nelson who came up with the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Hoping to mobilize the politically active student community, he chose April 22nd (falling between Spring Break and final exams) as the official date. On that day in 1970, more than 20 million Americans took to the streets—as well as campuses, parks and other public spaces—to demonstrate in support of a healthy, sustainable environment. By the end of the year, the United States Environmental Protection Agency had been created and the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts had all passed.
Two decades later, in 1990, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage, including Canada.
Honouring the Earth
This year, let us come together in community to honour and celebrate the Earth—whether we find an environmental cause to act on together or find fellowship to pray in gratitude together.
Together let us worship
the One who is already at work among us
in mystery and in joy.
Let us worship God!
The Presbyterian Church in Canada has developed a liturgical resource written by the Rev. Kristine O’Brien, available on the Worship web page and to download here.