A message from Anglican, Lutheran leaders for Earth Day 2021

Perhaps more than at any time in our modern era, we are recognizing the moral urgency of the spiritual and living relationship between humanity, Creation, and Creator. Earth Day is a time to claim these insights, renew relationships and act on commitments to care for God’s world.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further revealed many of the inequities and systemic barriers in Canada and around the world. Stay-at-home orders and lockdowns to control the spread of COVID-19 have also resulted in an initial reduction of carbon emissions in many jurisdictions around the world. For a little while, air quality improved, urban wildlife flourished, and creation was offered a brief respite. Unfortunately, even with these reductions, the accumulated carbon in our atmosphere continues to grow¹. Truly addressing the climate crisis and keeping global temperature increases below 1.5˚ Celsius, as called for in the Paris agreements, requires us to make significant commitments at all levels to continue to reduce our carbon output and mitigate the devastating impacts of climate change.

In partnership with other churches and faith-based organizations, our churches are part of the For the Love of Creation initiative that provides resources for Canada-wide education, reflection, action and advocacy for climate justice. The ongoing 2021 campaign invites individuals to make personal commitments to reduce household greenhouse gas emissions and to call on the Government of Canada to pursue policies which enable Canada to live up to its global climate commitments. The personal pledge provides 27 ideas for next steps and room to name your own goals. The advocacy section provides templates for addressing just transition, rights of Indigenous peoples and climate change adaption in the Global South.

We believe this campaign is living out the values of protecting God’s creation, working towards right relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, and upholding the dignity of all people. We invite you to participate. We also encourage you to be in meaningful and discerning conversations as you meet locally as parishes, congregations, faith communities, ministries and collegial clusters. What next steps might you take together?

Addressing the climate crisis requires commitment and action from each of us. We give thanks for the ways that you carry love of creation and the needs of the earth into your worship, prayer, and study of scripture. Together we have the power to effect the real change necessary to preserve a future for generations to come.

As we undertake this reflection and commitment, let us pray:

God of Love, let there be greening. Renew our commitment, call us to life and send us to act for the love of creation and for the healing of the Earth; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.  

Yours in Christ,


[signed] +Susan C Johnson

The Rev. Susan Johnson
National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

[signed] +Linda Nicholls

The Most Reverend Linda Nicholls
Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church of Canada

[signed] +Mark MacDonald

The Most Rev. Mark MacDonald
National Indigenous Anglican Archbishop, Anglican Church of Canada

Matthew 10:40-42


40 “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous, 42 and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”

John 15:12-17

12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing, but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

John 21:15-19

Jesus and Peter

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” 19 (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Luke 11:33-36

The Light of the Body

33 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a bushel basket; rather, one puts it on the lampstand so that those who enter may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but if it is unhealthy, your body is full of darkness. 35 Therefore consider whether the light in you is not darkness. 36 But if your whole body is full of light, with no part of it in darkness, it will be as full of light as when a lamp gives you light with its rays.”

Matthew 8:1-4

Jesus Cleanses a Man

8 When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him, and there was a man with a skin disease who came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing. Be made clean!” Immediately his skin disease was cleansed. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”