Endangered Species Day, 17 May

Endangered Species and Christian Faith

When God called on Noah to protect all creatures, Noah had no choice which creatures to load on board. All of creation belongs to God, and Noah was merely caretaker. Like Noah, we have a moral responsibility to safeguard God’s creatures from irreparable harm from the dangers they face today.

Too many parts of God’s creation teeter on the verge of extinction, and one in five species are threatened.

Ecclesiastes 3:19 says that the fate of the animals and the fate of humans are intertwined and we both share the same breath.

We know not what we do when we allow species to disappear from the earth forever. Let us not undo God’s handiwork.

What is Endangered Species Day?

While this special day was instituted in the USA its purpose adn resources are applicable around the globe.

Endangered Species Day is:

  • a day to expand awareness of the importance of protecting endangered species
  • a day to promote habitat conservation
  • a day to share success stories of species recovery
  • a day to highlight the everyday actions people can take.

On May 17 and throughout May, churches, conservation organizations, schools, zoos and aquariums, parks, wildlife refuges, botanic gardens, and other groups will participate in events and activities to celebrate this day of recognition.

Worship Resources

Help your congregation plan for Endangered Species Day. Consider using these worship resources from Creation Justice USA.

Call to Worship (adapted) – responsive

How many are your works, Creator! In wisdom you made them all. The earth is full of your creatures.  You call your creation ‘very good.’

 It is good, and we rejoice!

Come Leviathan who frolics, beasts that prowl, and every creeping thing that creeps! When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground. Every creature gives you praise.

 It is good, and we rejoice!

Let us celebrate the harmony of all God’s creatures that sing in the choir of our watershed. Let us embrace our roles as caretakers of God’s majestic creation.

It is good, and we rejoice!

Prayers of the Faithful  (adapted) – responsive

Creator, we pray for your creatures that have been endangered for the sake of profit, for creatures killed by environmental disasters wrought by human carelessness, and for animals that have lost their habitat.

Creator God, hear our prayers.

We lift up our wonder at your diverse creatures which teach us profound lessons in science, as well as in our faith journeys.

Creator God, hear our prayers.

In gratitude we lift up all caretakers of your creation, and public policies which follow your call to protect the web of life.

Creator God, hear our prayers.


Prayer of Confession

Compassionate God, we too often ignore the cries and suffering of your creatures.

With great sorrow we acknowledge that one in five species are threatened or endangered with extinction.

We lament what we have done, or what we have failed to do,

for threatened and endangered species that are struggling to survive.

Help us remember that we, too, are your creation:

vulnerable and interdependent. Amen.

Assurance

God has declared all creation is very good. We are honoured that God calls on us to till and keep the earth, as well as watch over all of creation. With hope and inspiration to answer that call, we place our trust in God to show us the way. Amen.

Potentially helpful links:

Creation Justice Ministries educates, equips, and mobilizes its member communions and denominations, congregations, and individuals to do justice for God’s planet and God’s people.

The Endangered Species Coalition’s mission is to stop the human-caused extinction of risk species in the Americas, to protect and restore their habitats, and to guide these fragile populations along the road to recovery.