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Episcopal Bishop Offers Prayer of "Earth and Cosmos" at Climate March

Episcopal Bishop Offers Prayer of "Earth and Cosmos" at Climate March

By Jeff Walton
Sept. 25, 2014

Bloggers have been busy over the past week documenting various eccentricities and alleged excesses of the People's Climate March recently held in New York City. Among my favorites is this little-noticed invocation given by California Episcopal Church Bishop Marc Andrus at the conclusion of the "People of Faith" service held in conjunction with the march on Sunday, September 21.

From Bishop Andrus' blog:

"Who calls the clouds of Monarch Butterflies to their annual 4,000-mile migration?"
"The Earth!"
"Who prompts the Arctic Tern in the air, and the Blue Whale in the Ocean to make their 12,000-mile migration?"
"The Earth!"
"Who starts the 500-mile Serengeti Migration, beginning with 250,000 Zebras, then 1.7 million Wildebeasts, and 400,000 Gazelles?"
"The Earth!"
"And who called you to make your journeys, from Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine, California, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island and Everywhere to come to the People's Climate March?"
"The Earth!"
"Then you are the prayer of the Earth, you are her invocation to God! The Earth and the Cosmos have reached out and called you to make your life a prayer for healing, peace, justice and integrity!"

Seemingly inspired by the language of the Psalmist, Andrus imagines a sentient Earth -- rather than the divine creator -- calling to animals and activists alike.

Andrus has a history of advocacy, arrested early on in his episcopacy for blocking the front door of the San Francisco federal building to protest the Iraq war. The top official of the San Francisco-based diocese also complained bitterly in 2012 through a press statement that he was denied seating at San Francisco Roman Catholic Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone's installation, something that officials with the Archdiocese contested.

Both Cordileone and Andrus quickly found themselves on opposite sides of the same-sex marriage debate. The Roman Catholic archbishop lead the national March for Marriage in Washington, D.C. and Andrus convened press conferences at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral in support of the Supreme Court decisions overturning the Defense of Marriage Act and declining to hear an appeal on the overturn of California's Proposition 8 by a lower court.

The Episcopal Diocese of California has lost 3,400 members and attendance has declined 15 percent since Andrus was installed as bishop in 2006.

Jeff walton writes on Anglican issues for the Institute of Religion and Democracy

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