Earth Sunday, 2012

On Earth Sunday, 2012 (April 22), at Newtonbrook United Church, we remembered that we are not alone – humanity is inter-connected with all of creation. Matthew Fox tells us that: “Science today is teaching what creation mystics have always taught: the interdependence of all.”

We heard about God’s first covenant, and remembered that it was with ALL living creatures. In the ninth chapter of Genesis, verses 8 and 9, we read that: ” Then God spoke to Noah and his sons: “I’m setting up my covenant with you including your children who will come after you, along with everything alive around you.”

Part of the sermon referred to the fact that, through the work of “geologian” Thomas Berry, the Christian church is learning that:

“In earlier Christian ages the tradition considered that there were two revelatory sources, one the manifestation of the Divine in the natural world and the other the manifestation of the Divine in the biblical world. These needed to be interpreted in and through each other.”

That is to say, God can be found in the “scriptures” of nature, as well as in the pages of the Bible.

We also heard the words of American aboriginal leader, Chief Seattle:

Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore,

every mist in the dark woods, every clearing and humming insect

is holy in the memory and experience of my people.

Teach your children what we have taught our children,

that the Earth is our mother.

The rivers are our siblings, they quench our thirst and feed our children.

The air is precious to my people, for all things share the same breath;

the beast, the tree, humankind, they all share the same breath.

And what is humankind without the beasts?

If all the beasts were gone, we would die

from a great loneliness of spirit.


This we know. The Earth does not belong to us;

we belong to the Earth. Humankind did not weave the web of life,

we are merely a strand in it.

Whatever humankind does to the web, we do to ourselves.

All things are connected like the blood which unites one family.

All things are connected.”

Adapted from Sealth (Chief Seattle), 1854

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