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“Earth Sunday” gaining prominence in churches


Phil Pries of Grace Mennonite Church designed an Earth Sunday poster he hopes will raise awareness of the church’s moral obligation to better care for creation.

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March 28, 2012
-Dan Dyck

Winnipeg, Man. — Isaac Newton suggested things will not move or change without the action of an external force. Creation care advocates in Manitoba are exerting that force through their Christian faith in small but creative ways—from designing a shareable “Earth Sunday” poster to initiating a Facebook campaign for alternative worship approaches to our consumption-filled lives.

Kyle Penner, Associate Pastor at Grace Mennonite Church in Steinbach, Man., asked congregant Phil Pries to design an Earth Sunday poster. Pries is a first year Kinesiology student at the University of Manitoba, with a side interest in graphic design. His poster encourages the faithful to walk, bike, or carpool to church on Earth Sunday, April 22. It is meant to be shared widely among congregations to raise awareness of creation care as a moral and ethical responsibility.

Pries believes the church needs to be more proactive. “Caring for creation means that we actually need to work. It takes effort, and I think that this effort is something that needs to be embraced by the church,” he wrote in an email interview.

“One Sunday will obviously have very little impact on climate change, but I hope that it can serve as a starting point for many people by allowing them to see that alternative modes of transportation are viable options in many situations.” Pries’ poster can be downloaded at

A trio of Winnipeg creation care advocates have taken advantage of Facebook’s networking capacity to invite people to a “Consumption Sabbath,” worship service and web site ( The web site created by an interdenominational group.

The web site states that “The purpose of this Consumption Sabbath is to reclaim this sign of God’s blessing on Sunday, April 22 - Earth Day, a Sabbath rest for Christians/people and for all creation.”