The month of February is associated with love with Valentine’s Day on the 14th. Usually this is love for one another, but we would like to use this opportunity to express our love for the Earth and all of Creation. We will be celebrating the annual Earth Keeper Day on in the week of 13 -19 February, with a special emphasis on praying for a just energy future for South Africa, which does no damage to the Earth.
This February SAFCEI warmly invites all faith communities to join us in celebrating Earth Keeper Day in the week of 13 – 19 February.
Earth Keeper Day arose out of a response to the increasing commercialisation of Valentine’s Day; instead of celebrating individual love, we would like to invite you to mark one day in the week of the 13th– 19th February as a multi-faith Earth Keeper Day to celebrate our love for Creation.
If one looks back at the history of Valentine’s Day, one can see that it strongly connects to showing love for the Earth. In Slovenia, St Valentine, or Zdravko, was considered to be one of the saints of spring and good health, and the patron of beekeepers and pilgrims. A proverb says that St Valentine “brings the keys of roots”, with plants and flowers starting to grow on this day.
It is with this in mind that we would like to turn Valentine’s Day into a day that honours and shows love for the Earth, just like St Valentine did. So we invite you to unite in prayer, creative fun and play with faith communities across Southern Africa and celebrate all life around us.
We have created a multi-faith liturgy for a combined celebration of people of different faiths, gathered together in their common concern for the environment and community of life. Included are suggestions for possible outings and activities together with multi-faith prayers and devotions, for your community or family. You can also draw inspiration from the liturgy and sermon Rev. Glynis Goyns prepared for the St Marks Presbyterian Church in Pretoria to celebrate this occasion.
This year we would like to add a special emphasis on praying for an energy future that does no harm to the Earth. Nuclear does not honour a commitment we would like all of the world to take up: treading lightly on our common home.
At the moment, toxic nuclear waste is being buried underground for an interim solution. No final solution exists, yet the world is continuing to create more and more nuclear waste, and South Africa wants to embark even further down this path by building another 8 nuclear reactors.
A just energy future that has minimal impact on the Earth can be found everywhere around us. God gave us wind and sunshine, it is best we use them!
As faith communities we therefore invite you to take the opportunity of Earth Keeper Day to pray for our leadership to recognise that nuclear is not the solution we need. You can make use of Rev. Glynis Goyns’ prayer, written when we launched our court case, but which rings as true today as it did then: http://safcei.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/PrayerNukeOct15.pdf
Pledge to stand with us against nuclear power; today, and for as long as it takes to have it taken out of our energy plans.
As people of faith, we commit to care for life unreservedly, to protect all life, and to speak the truth and break down misleading myths about nuclear power and nuclear issues to our own communities and with one voice to all people. We do so while attentively and respectively listening to those who suffer most directly the consequences of nuclear accidents. Indeed, we commit to stand with those who suffer, wherever they may be, and act in unison with them to address the injustice done to them by denying their right to live in peace with justice. We further commit to monitor the movement of radioactive materials by governments and businesses and to sound the alarm against passing on the problem of nuclear waste disposal to marginalized communities, non-nuclear nations and future generations.
- Excerpt from the Statement that came out of the Inter-religious Conference on Nuclear Issues held in 2012 in Fukushima