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Our island home and Earth Day | INTERFAITH
BY REV. RAY SHELDON
In the Episcopal liturgy, we have a several choices for the prayers which can be used at our main services. One option, which some have, either fondly or otherwise, named “Star Wars” includes the following words:
God of all power, Ruler of the Universe, you are worthy of
glory and praise.
At your command all things came to be: the vast expanse of
interstellar space, galaxies, suns, the planets in their courses,
and this fragile earth, our island home.
The prayer goes on and the service concludes with a gathering at the altar where bread and wine, infused with the Holy Spirit, are distributed and shared.
At the end of the service, we ask God to:
Send us now into the world in peace,
and grant us strength and courage
to love and serve you
with gladness and singleness of heart;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.
So, as we go forward (on our big island and on our little one) each week, we ask for the strength and courage to, as Jesus instructed us: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Is our guidance on how we are to treat either our big island, Earth, or our little island, Bainbridge, different? Of course not. The effects are usually more immediate and visible when we focus on the environment close to home; taking care of our Earth island is equally important.
There are so many ways that we can and do nurture both islands and the people who live on them - ways which strike a chord with us or which show up on our doorsteps demanding our attention.
May we continue to be to open to, and actively search for, the things which we can do to nurture our island homes and our families, friends and neighbors who share it with us.
Rev. Ray Sheldon is the Episcopal priest and vicar at Faith Church, Kingston, and a Bainbridge Island resident since 1991.