Sermon: Earth Day

Sunday, April 25, 2010, 10:15am to 11:15am
Rev. David Robins


  Today we celebrate the 7th anniversary of our vote to become a Welcoming Congregation, and our recent accreditation as a Green Sanctuary.
            Both required several years of self-study, discussion and goal setting. Welcoming congregation means that the congregation actively accepts and affirms the dignity of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons.
Green Sanctuary means that we have made significant efforts in working together to restore Earth and renew Spirit. The congregation is proud of its recycling program, attention to energy saving measures, education programs on food policy and practice, and support of local foods.
            Both Welcoming congregation and Green Sanctuary grow out of our mission to nurture a loving, inclusive, spiritual community where all ages celebrate together.
This week, on April 22, is the 40th anniversary of the First Earth Day celebration. Forty years ago, in 1970, I was living on a commune in southern New Jersey with a bunch of college drop outs, myself included and societal drop outs. We had our own pottery shop. We raised vegetables. We had a baby pig. We knew next to nothing about self-sufficiency, energy conservation, recycling. We drove VW bugs, and were, for the most part, vegetarians.  
            When we learned about the upcoming 1st Earth Day celebration, we decided to attend the nearest public event which was in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. So, we car-pooled to the first Earth Day event and listened to numerous rock and roll bands suck up huge amounts of electricity from the nearby coal fired power plant.
            The year 1970 was prior to the Middle East oil embargo when America discovered that we did not have enough oil to drive our vehicles or heat our homes, without Middle East oil. We were learning that oil was not endless and economic development is not sustainable without causing severe environmental damage. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas asked of Americans and of the legal system,