April 12, 2018
Good Shepherd Sunday
You are the Good Shepherd, guide us with tender care;
help us to see others and all things as you see them.
The Care for Our Common Home Committee is drawing your attention to Sunday April 22 which is Good Shepherd Sunday. It also marks the yearly recognition of our common home known as EARTH DAY.
The foci of this Sunday are interwoven as our Pope Francis wrote in his encyclical letter, Laudato Si, since shepherding our brothers and sisters necessarily includes caring for our common environment. The care for or neglect of our common home effects everyone at home and abroad, today and future generations.
“…Christians in their turn realize that their responsibility within creation, and their duty towards nature and the Creator, are an essential part of their faith. It is good for humanity and the world at large when believers better recognize the ecological commitments which stem from our convictions.” (#64)
“The pace of consumption, waste and environmental change has so stretched the planet’s capacity that our contemporary lifestyle, unsustainable as it is, can only precipitate catastrophes… The effects of the present imbalance can only be reduced by our decisive action, here and now.”(#161)
The committee urges endorsing and promoting the efforts of Earth Day Network as we all do our part to help our planet recover. And also, we invite pastors to include this issue, in whole or in part, either verbally or in print, as part of the Sunday’s reflections.
Take Personal Responsibility to End
Currently about 300 million tons of plastic are produced each year to make bags, bottles, packages, and other commodities for people all over the world. Unfortunately, only about 10% of this plastic is properly recycled and reused. The rest ends up as waste in landfills or as litter in our natural environment, where it leaches dangerous chemicals into the nearby soil and water, endangering humans and wildlife alike.
Elimination of single use plastic.
Earth Day Network is asking governments, businesses, and individuals to End Plastic Pollution. Plastic pollution is not only impacting our waters and marine life, but also the food chain and our overall health. Earth Day Network is mobilizing key actors and institutions and citizens across the globe to bring about a new level of consciousness about plastics pollution and a paradigm shift.
From poisoning and injuring marine life to the ubiquitous presence of plastics in our food to disrupting human hormones and causing major life-threatening diseases and early puberty, the exponential growth of plastics is threatening our planet’s survival.
The world must perceive plastics not only as the environmental challenge of global proportions but a symbol of the values that need to change to build a more sustainable and just world.
With over 300 million tons of plastic now produced each year, it is obvious that humans are addicted to plastic. While some plastic products are essential in our day-to-day lives, others, such as single-use or disposable plastic products, are not essential and are placing an enormous strain on our environment.
The environmental impacts resulting from the accumulation of plastic waste are increasing every day. Each year over 100,000 marine animals and one million birds die from ingesting and choking on plastic. Plastics are also responsible for leaching harmful chemicals such as DDT into our soil and groundwater that are then consumed by humans and wildlife, causing illnesses and in some cases, death. Additionally, plastic products emit millions of tons of greenhouse gases during their production phase, accelerating climate change and polluting the local air.
How Can You Help? Stop the plastic bags! Plastic shopping bags are more of a habit than a necessity. They are wasteful (and require the use of petroleum to make the plastic, which means they produce GHG’s)! Here are some ways you can stop the plastic bags!
- If you’re getting multiple items at different stores on one trip, either bring your own bag, or try to get the largest item first.
- For grocery bags, purchase or make your own sturdy canvas or mesh bags.
Make Companies Accountable for their Waste! Have you ever noticed how much packaging is on many of the products we buy?
Encourage your families or even your church itself, to become carbon neutral – by planting trees to help remove the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide that will be
produced by your home or your company.
Freecycle: Freecycling is the new recycling. It’s essentially a ‘swap’ system.
Youth groups: If you would like to do a smaller scale model of the same idea, do a swap day of your own! Everyone brings items that are in good shape but you no longer want (clothes, games, toys, whatever you can think of!),
Finally, Earth Day Network has built a multi-year campaign to End Plastic Pollution. Our goals include: ending single use plastics; promoting alternatives to fossil fuel-based materials; promoting 100% recycling of plastics; corporate and government accountability; and changing human behavior concerning plastics.
“When we feel God is calling us to intervene with others in these social dynamics, we should realize that this too is part of our spirituality, which is an exercise of charity and, as such, matures and sanctifies us”. Laudato Si, #231
In the Risen Lord,
Committee for The Care Of Our Common Home