14 Earth Day events you can join from your screen

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by Jesse Remedios

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In some ways, celebrating Earth Day might be easier than ever this year. 

In the face of social distancing restrictions and stay-at-home orders, activists and organizers around the world have adjusted their plans to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22 by moving things online. 

This year's theme is climate action. 

The focal point of the day will be Earth Day Live: a three-day live stream that will feature activists, musicians, celebrities and more. The event will air live from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at www.earthdaylive2020.org on April 22, 23 and 24, with each day focusing on a different theme: Strike, Divest and Vote.

Dozens of faith-based organizations will also be hosting their own digital events all week, from webinars to interfaith town halls to happy hours to prayer services. So if you're looking to celebrate the Earth through a faith lens, here are some Earth Day activities worth checking out. 

Live Webinars

Called to Act and Adapt: Faith-Based Climate Adaptation Town Hall

When: Wednesday, April 22, 2 p.m. EDT

What: Multi-faith leaders will discuss ways communities around the world can adapt to climate change, paying close attention to those who are most vulnerable, and offer concrete actions that listeners can take to address climate impacts.

Solidarity on Tap

When: Wednesday, April 22, 9 p.m. EDT

What: The Ignatian Solidarity Network invites you to sit down with a beverage of your choice for an Earth Day conversation with Molly Burhans, founder and executive director of GoodLands – a nonprofit that provides tools for the Catholic Church to use its land to help the environment.

Catholic-Buddhist Dialogue: Solidarity and Engagement on Climate Change

When: Thursday, April 23, 10 a.m. EDT

What: "As we confront the climate crisis, it is critical to explore what it means to be Catholic and Buddhist. What aspects of these traditions contribute to factors that imperil life on the planet? Just as important, how might these traditions enable us to realize our highest human potential, the deep expression of compassion and love for each other, especially the most vulnerable among us — human and non-human — who bear the brunt of the suffering?" 

This event is sponsored by the Parliament of the World's Religions in partnership with the Catholic Climate Covenant, the Catholic Association of Diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Officers, the Earth Day Network and the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies.

Rooted and Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis

When: Thursday, April 23, Noon EDT

What: This webinar, hosted by Wisconsin Green Muslims, will be an interfaith conversation between Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley, a board member of Interfaith Power and Light, and Huda Alkaff, the founder and director of Wisconsin Green Muslims and member of the Islamic Society of North America Green Initiative Team. 

Imagine, God's Earth and People Restored

When: Friday, April 24th, 2 p.m. EDT

What: To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the Franciscan Action Network will host this zoom call with guest speaker Franciscan Sr. Joan Brown, executive director of New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light.

Higher Education: Complicit or Leaders in Climate?

When: Thursday, April 23, 8 p.m. EDT

Where: www.earthdaylive2020.org 

What: Hosted by the Climate College Coalition, this segment of Earth Day Live will explore the role universities play in climate destruction and opportunities they have for leadership. "Prospective students, alumni, faculty, and the entire world need to know what our universities are doing and, more importantly, how they can act as true leaders in climate justice," said Kyle Rosenthal, a junior at Boston College with the Catholic Divestment Network.

Conversation with The Nation and Rev. William Barber

When: Wednesday, April 22, Noon EDT

What: Katrina vanden Heuvel, editorial director and publisher of The Nation will be joined by Rev. William Barber, one of the United States' preeminent civil rights leaders, about how coronavirus is affecting communities of color and what people can do about it. Note: This event costs ten dollars to register.

Prayer and Worship Services

Multi-Faith Earth Day Service

When: Sunday, April 19, 2020, 2 p.m. EDT

What: "Washington National Cathedral and Interfaith Power & Light co-host this online service focused on our shared call to climate action. Join us in prayer and song in honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

Our traditions are beautiful in their diversity. Each offers a unique gift to our collective effort to protect our Earth with all her living communities. Leaders from Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Latter-Day Saints, Muslim, Sikh, Unitarian Universalist and other spiritual communities share their traditions' gifts through sacred text, commentary, and song, and call us to collective action."

Nationwide Climate Prayer

When: Noon local, April 20 – 25

What: As part of Interfaith Power and Light's "Faith Climate Action Week," you can join people of all faiths around the country by raising your voice with a different climate prayer at noon local time every day during the week.

Programs you can do on your own time

Catholic Climate Covenant's 2020 Earth Day Program

What: This free one-hour educational program is designed to complement Earth Day Network's 50th anniversary theme of "Climate Action." The program includes prayers, readings, reflection and discussion questions, a short video and suggested actions.

Take 10 for the Planet

What: This initiative from the University of Notre Dame invites visitors to the webpage to take 10 minutes this week to consider your relationship with the earth. The website contains a host of interesting audio and video clips – ranging from 2 minutes to 30 – to spark ideas. 

Catholic Health Association's 2020 Earth Day webinar: "How to Talk about Climate Change"

What: This webinar features Dr. Edward Maibach, a communication scientist and expert on strategic communication, who shares some insightful research on language to help professionals talk about climate solutions as health solutions.

Mercy Earth Challenge

What: Commit to a year of change with the Sisters of Mercy by taking personal, communal and systemic actions throughout six distinct seasons: 

  • Earth Day – Laudato Si’ Anniversary

  • Summer

  • Season of Creation (September 1 – October 4)

  • Advent (November 29 – December 24)

  • New Year’s Resolution 2021

  • Lent 2021 (February 17 – April 1)

Hope for Creation: A Virtual Celebration of Earth Day and Laudato Si'

What: The Catholic Climate Covenant is calling on you to submit prayers, meditations, reflections, essays, stories, statements, art, poems, songs, videos, etc. With in-person events canceled, the CCC writes that "we need creative outlets where we can express and share our fears and anxiety, and where we can come together to pave the road with hope and light." People are free to share original work or things they've found, and students in particular are encouraged to participate.

This story appears in the 50 Years of Earth Day feature series. View the full series.

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