Today's celebration of Earth Day is auspicious indeed. We celebrate the blessings from our Mother Earth, who nurtures us and all living beings in her extraordinary womb of abundance. And we ask for her forgiveness for the ways that we continue to desecrate her sacred ground and air and mistreat one another and our animal siblings.
As the coronavirus pandemic reminds us of our global connection in this time of struggle, we are also reminded of the interdependence of all life on this planet. Our Indigenous sisters and brothers have always known this and they continue to try and help the rest of the peoples of the world understand that the Earth is our teacher. The Earth teaches us that no one group or species is above or below another, and that we are interconnected and interdependent. URI was created on these same Earth-based principles. In this morning's Global Earth Day program, hosted by The Global Interfaith Wash Alliance, a URI member group, I shared the following prayer:
Answering the Call
A Prayer for Earth Day 2020
by The Rev. Victor Kazanjian, Executive Director, URI
Oh Mother Earth,
Your ground upon which we walk is the ground of our humanness,
a home we share with our plant and animal siblings.
Each step we take is an opportunity for powerful connection
to all that is, all that has been and all that will be.
Your air that we breathe is our connection to spirit,
each breath, each in-spiration,
a radical statement of our aliveness
and our independence on all life.
Earth and air…
Substance and spirit…
May we embrace you, our Mother,
who gives us life
who is the ground for our being together,
as one people,
one with all living beings,
May we care for your air that surrounds us and flows within us,
filling us with spirit and aliveness.
Let us “unite to use our combined resources
only for nonviolent, compassionate action,
to awaken to our deepest truths,
and to manifest love and justice
among all life in our Earth community.”
The Great Spirit of Life is calling us,
to embrace our interconnectedness,
with one another,
with all life,
and with you our Mother Earth,
who is our planetary island home.
May we answer the call.
From the URI Charter: “May peace, justice and healing prevail upon our beloved Mother Earth.”
The Rev. Victor H. Kazanjian Jr.
United Religions Initiative