World Environment Day, June 5
World Environment Day exists to increase worldwide awareness of the environment and encourage political attention and action. The day was established by the United Nations Environment Program and the World Meteorological Association in 1972.
The theme for World Environment Day this year is “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care.” This year is also the International Year of Soils.
Soil as a critical issue for the sustainable future of the planet and because it needs to be a vital consideration in our patterns of sustainable production and consumption.
Many of the earth’s ecosystems are nearing critical tipping points of depletion or irreversible change, pushed by high population growth and economic development. By 2050, if current consumption and production patterns remain the same and with a rising population expected to reach 9.6 billion, we will need three planets to sustain our ways of living and consumption.
The wellbeing of humanity, the environment, and the functioning of the economy, ultimately depend upon the responsible management of the planet’s natural resources.
Living sustainably is about doing more and better with less. It is about knowing that rising rates of natural resource use and the environmental impacts that occur as a result are not a necessary by-product of economic growth.
To you, God who sang the universe into being
And cradles all creation within yourself
God who became flesh, born as one of us
Offering yourself for creation’s redemption
God who pours life and vision within our souls
And who is present in and through all creation
To you O God Be all praise and glory
And in this place where we are gathered.
Today we gather in celebration of soil
This complex part of our planet which we walk over, grow our food from
and yet so often take for granted
We celebrate the microbes, vegetable matter, clay and rock particles
And give thanks for soil which is so vital for life.
We come in lament and confession
For not only have we taken soil for granted
We have distanced ourselves from soil and covered it over
We’ve overused it and drained it of nutrients
And drained poisons upon it
Forgive us our negligence and destructive practices
Forgive us that while soil sustains us, we often disregard soil.
Guide us our God to paths of living
Which are attentive to the needs of all living creatures
And nurturing towards the planet. Amen.