Our good friend and ally Pat Hudson of LEAF has very kindly allowed us to republish her words from Tennessee’s “40 Days of Prayer for the Mountains.” I really wanted to share these with everyone. Please take action to support our efforts to end mountaintop removal in Tennessee here. – jw
For the past 40 Days, Christians across Tennessee have been praying for creation. From Mountain City to Murfreesboro, Red Bank to Rugby, Clarksville to Cleveland, people of faith are raising their voices, calling for a renewed respect for the gifts God has given us and expressing special concern for the fate of Tennessee’s endangered mountains.
This has truly been an inter-denominational vigil. During these 40 days, prayers have been offered by pastors and lay leaders from Baptist, Catholic, Church of Christ, Evangelical, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Nazarene, Presbyterian, Quaker, and United Church of Christ congregations.
Tonight, as we worship together, we should be mindful of the many faith communities and individuals who have shared this 40 Day journey with us. Although many of them could not be here tonight, they are with us in spirit.
LEAF is deeply grateful to Rev. Manning and Joyce Wilding for welcoming us into this beautiful and sacred space [Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral in Nashville] and to Kim Mclean for leading us in song. Kim is not only a successful singer/songwriter with a heart for creation, she’s also the pastor of Nashville’s downtown Tuesday Night Prayer Group.
From the day of its founding six years ago, LEAF’s mission has been to awaken Tennessee’s congregations to the Scriptural call to care for the earth. The Holy Scriptures, as well as the writings of the early church fathers, are filled with admonitions to care for creation out of respect for the Creator.
Indeed, it was Martin Luther who declared: “God writes the Gospel, not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.”
Sadly, overtime this view of creation has been lost, replaced with the belief that the earth is merely a resource to be exploited, rather than a revelation of the Divine.
The goal of the Creation Care movement is to revive this ancient wisdom, which the modern church has neglected for far too long.
Tonight, we gather with a sense of gratitude for the Divine gifts that surround us, and with a sense of hope for the ways in which this gathered community can help shape the fate of Tennessee’s mountains and frame the future for the generations that will come after us. We pray that tonight offers inspiration and courage to all of us for the journey ahead.