Earth Day Gathering

"The Earth is the Lord's and the Fullness thereof"
- (Psalm 24: 1)

"In a cacophonous world, we're losing our capacity for deep
listening, and with it, our sensory connection to the natural world"
- Katie O'Reilly (Sierra, May/June 2017)

Begin therefore with a moment of silence

Song: “For the Beauty of the Earth” (Folliott S. Pierpoint)

For the beauty of the earth, for the splendor of the skies
For the love which from our birth over and around us lies:
God of all, to thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise
For the wonder of each hour of the day and of the night

Hill and vale and tree and flower, sun and moon and stars of light:
God of all, to thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise.
For the joy of human care, sister, brother, parent, child,
For the kinship we all share, for all gentle thoughts and mild.
God of all, to thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise.

Welcome and Sharing of Joys from Nature
Interfaith Reading:
Interfaith Responsive Reading
(adapted from the Palo Alto, CA Interfaith Community)

Reader: We gather here as an Interfaith Community to share and celebrate the gift of life together.
All: Some of us gather as the Children of Israel, some of us gather in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, or Mohamed, Buddha, Krishna, or other sages. Some of us gather influenced by many.
Reader: However we come, and whoever we are, may we be moved in our time together to experience that sense of Divine presence in each of us, evoked by our worship together.
All: And to know in the wisdom of our hearts that deeper unity in which all are one.

Prayer of the Little Bird ("Prayers from the Ark" these are by Carmen Bernos De Gaztold, a French poet who resided in a Benedictine convent)
Distribute these to various people in the community and pass the mic

Dear God,
I don't know how to pray by myself
very well
but will You protect my little nest from wind and rain?
Put a great deal of dew on the flowers,
many seeds my way.
Make Your blue very high,
Your branches lissom:
let Your light stay late in the sky
and set my heart brimming with such music
that I must sing, sing, sing,,,
Please Lord,

Mother Earth Song:

Prayer of the Little Ducks

Dear God,
give us a flood of water.
Let it rain tomorrow and always. Give us plenty of little slugs
and other luscious things to eat,
Protect all folk who quack
and everyone who knows how to swim.

First Reading: (Midrash Kohelt Rabbah 7:13)

Look at God's work - for who can straighten what He has twisted? (Ecclesiastes 7:13). When the Blessed Holy One created the first human, He took him and led him round all the trees of the Garden of Eden and said to him: “Look at My works, how beautiful and praiseworthy they are! And all that I have created; it was for you that I created it. Pay attention that you do not corrupt and destroy my world: if you corrupt it, there is no one to repair it after you

Song: Promise to Save the Earth:

The Prayer of the Cricket

O God,
I am little and very black,
but I thank You
for having shed
Your warm sun
and the quivering of Your golden corn
on my humble life.
Then take-but be forebearing, Lord-
this little impulse of my love:
this note of music
You have set thrilling in my heart

Prayer of the Tree

Dear God
Please don't let me
be cut down
just because
my branch
landed on someone's car
or knocked out
 their electricity for a day.
Let me give shade in summer
housing for birds and squirrels
flowers in spring
brilliance in fall
stark outlines in winter

- Rabbi Rain Zohav

Reading: Daniel Arnold (Sierra, May/June 2017)

A river is some spooky magic. Apparently out of nowhere, water rises from solid earth and falls toward a distant sea. The water flows ceaselessly, never running dry, because another, parallel river passes through the sky. The massive force of water
rubbing by every inch of riverbank each second- enough weight to carve the Grand Canyon and slice the Columbia River Gorge- is lifted out of the ocean by the sun and floated back into the mountains through the air. It is such a fantastical cycle that no one would believe it if it weren't ordinary.

The Prayer of the River

Dear God
Please cleanse me
from pollutants
Let me run
wild, free and clean!

- Rabbi Rain Zohav

Song: I am the Earth:

A Few Words from our Environmental Working group OR guest speaker(s)

Let us give thanks for the world around us.
Thanks for all the creatures, stones and plants
Let us learn their lessons and seek their truths,
So that their path might be ours,
And we might live in harmony, a better life.

May the Earth continue to live,
May the heavens above continue to live,
May the rains continue to dampen the land,
May the wet forests continue to grow,
Then the flowers shall bloom
And we people shall live again.

- Hawaiian indigenous prayer

Benediction and Charge: (from the Palo Alto, CA Interfaith Community)

All: May we go out into the world carrying with each of us the love and blessing of this Interfaith Community.
Reader: May we continue to hold on to what is goodand to stand as beacons of light and understanding for all people.
All: May God’s spirit and peace be with us each now and forever.
Reader: May the Lord bless you and keep you and bring you peace. Amen.

Song/Chant: Ma Gadlu:
- (Shefa Gold chant from Psalm 92)

Ma Gadlu ma'ase'echa Yah
Me'od Amchu Mashevote'eacha

How goodly are your works, God
Your thought are very deep

Breaking Bread together: Hamotzi or Johnny Appleseed’s prayer

Baruch atah adonai elohaynu melech ha-olam, hamotzi lechem min ha-aretz,

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth. Amen

Johnny Appleseed’s song:

Oh, the Lord's been good to me.
And so I thank the Lord
For giving me the things I need:
The sun, the rain and the apple seed;
Oh, the Lord's been good to me.