On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans stood up for clean air and clean water at the first Earth Day, sparking the larger environmental movement. Now, more than one billion people in 192 countries around the globe participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.
Earth Day is also a truly interfaith event. Every major faith tradition has a statement on caring for creation and we all rejoice in the coming of spring and the renewal of life.
This year, Earth Ministry/WAIPL joined with Seattle University to host Many Faiths, One World, an interfaith Earth Day gathering. Nearly 100 attendees heard how faith puts us in touch with the natural world in a unique “round robin” small group format.
In these small groups, Muslim scholar Tarek Dawoud, Orthodox Rabbi Avi Rosenfeld, Earth Ministry/WAIPL staff member and Roman Catholic Jessie Dye, Zen Buddhist Jason Wirth, and Swinomish tribal leader Ray Williams each shared what their religion teaches about caring for the Earth. We found that all of our faiths, in unique ways, challenge us to live out a healthy relationship with our larger world.