Faith Voices: Happy Earth Day! Blessed Arbor Day! – Rev. Jessica Abell

In the Green community, the week surrounding April 22nd has become a long celebration of Creation. Many of us now call it Earth Week. This year from Friday to Friday, we mark both Earth Day, a 50+ year old focus on all of Planet Earth and her health, and Arbor Day on the 29th, a much older anniversary set aside for the planting of trees.

Both of these days mark important times for those of us who follow spiritual disciplines, and the entire season touches all of our traditions in some way.  This year, Passover, Lent and Easter, and Ramadan overlap in a way that can focus these Abrahamic faiths towards the Care of Creation. The Green Ramadan movement comes to mind, as does the local work of  Colorado Jewish Climate Action. But there are many other faiths that hold this time of year as sacred as well.

Both last week’s Earth Day and this week’s Arbor Day compel those of us who are people of faith to action. It is part of the sacred story of all people to tend Creation, and trees are often an icon of new life, renewal, steadfastness. There are Buddhists who ordained trees, seeing them as holy.

Paul Hawken’s “Drawdown” advises two things that can radically impact the outcome of the coming climate crisis. The first is to educate women and girls. The second is to plant trees. Both are long-term endeavors perfect for our Houses of Worship, for our hearts and our rituals to embrace. May we heed this call, and turn our hearts, our prayers, our time towards this work, for it is indeed holy.

– Rev. Jessica Abell

Together Colorado Climate Justice Committee

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