by Mat Lortie
On September 27, 2019, before joining the Winnipeg Climate Strike, members from different faiths gathered for an inter-faith service called ‘Prayers for the Earth: Lament & Hope in a Climate Crisis’. During the service, Pastor Mat Lortie shared the following prayer
One of the songs in our sacred text starts this way:
Psalm 24: 1-2
“The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. For he laid the earth’s foundation on the seas and built it on the ocean depths.”
God, I stand here recognizing that everything that is, comes from you and is yours.
I confess that I have not always been mindful of this in action and thought and acknowledge that the faith tradition of which I am a part of has been amongst the worst offenders.
In your mercy, grant us forgiveness.
You invited us to care and tend for this place you called your own, yet we used it for our own advantage.
You provided good air, freshwater, and fertile soil and we have corrupted it.
Your creativity provided us a cacophony of creatures, birds, mammals, flowers, plants, fish – yet we have erased so many from the canvas.
You called us to care for the most vulnerable among us, the least of these, yet we have trampled on them to get ahead, to get more for ourselves.
You called us to be just and fair, to respect the land, it’s history, and legacy, yet we also disregarded that because we wanted more.
God, we lament that greed, profit and power have led the way in place of sustainable concern.
We lament the exploitation of land and people in place of tender care.
We lament the abuse of resources, animals, and people.
We lament the loss of any species that you created.
We lament the hurt and pain we caused to peoples and cultures through cultural genocide.
But God, we know that the story does not have to end like this.
Grant us hope as we work for restoration and justice!
Grant us the courage to stand up for righteousness and peace!
Grant us the strength to resist ideologies of exploitation and abuse.
Restore us and make us agents of restoration for your World and all that is within it.
Set things to rights.
Through the cruciform power of Christ, I pray,
Mat Lortie is Lead Pastor at Willowlake Church in Winnipeg.
Banner Image: Protesters on Parliament Hill in Ottawa during the Climate Strike on September 27, 2019. (MCC Photo/Anna Vogt)