On Sunday, April 22, Rabbi Irwin Wiener and Pastor Vernon Meyer will bring together their Jewish and Christian congregations to celebrate Earth Day 2018. Close to 48 years ago, on 22, April 1970, millions of people took to the streets to protest the negative impacts of 150 years of industrial development.
In the U.S. and around the world, smog was becoming deadly, and evidence was growing that pollution led to developmental delays in children. Biodiversity was in decline as a result of the heavy use of pesticides and other pollutants.
The global ecological awareness was growing, and the U.S. Congress and President Nixon responded quickly. In July of the same year, they created the Environmental Protection Agency, and robust environmental laws such as the Clear Water Act and the Endangered Species Act, among many.
One billion people
Earth Day is now a global event each year, and we believe that more than one billion people in 192 countries now take part in what is the largest civic-focused day of action in the world.
It is a day of political action and civic participation. People march, sign petitions, meet with their elected officials, plant trees and clean up their towns and roads. Corporations and governments use it to make pledges and announce sustainability measures. Faith leaders, including Pope Francis, connect Earth Day with protecting God’s greatest creations, humans, biodiversity and the planet that we all live on.
In the spirit of Tikkun Olam, Rabbi Wiener and Pastor Meyer will celebrate in prayer and song ways we can heal the brokenness of the earth and the human community. The phrase “tikkun olam” was first used to refer to social action work in the 1950s. In subsequent decades, many other organizations and thinkers have used the term to refer to social action programs; tzedakah (charitable giving) and gemilut hasadim (acts of kindness); and progressive Jewish approaches to social issues.
The service will be at 11:15 a.m. at the Sun Lakes Chapel, 9240 E. Sun Lakes Blvd. N. Music will be with the joint choirs of both congregations with Erica Glenn from Sun Lakes UCC and Lana Oyer from Sun Lakes Jewish Congregation. Come and join us for the celebration of Earth Day 2018. Call Pastor Vernon Meyer at 480-895-6317 for more information.