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Earth Overshoot day 2020

Bells toll for the future of the Earth

Saturday 22 August marks the day that we have collectively used up the Earth’s resources for the remainder of this year. Across Australia, Churches are invited to come together to toll their bells and hold prayer services to mark Earth Overshoot Day.

The tolling bells will warn demise for God’s Creation as we know it on Earth – if we do not repent but instead continue down the destructive path that we have been following. 

What is Earth Overshoot Day?

Earth Overshoot Day is the day when humanity’s demands for ecological resources (fresh water, fish, forests, etc), exceeds what the Earth can renew in a year. 

Earth Overshoot simply marks a calculation of our voracious consumption, that date at which humankind have notionally “consumed” the amount of ecological resources that the Earth would take a year to renew. Last year it was the 29th July, this year, due to Covid19, it falls on August 22nd. 

Saturday 22 August marks the day that we have effectively exceeded what the Earth can renew in a year. 

Be an advocate:

Churches are invited to mark this significant day in various ways including: liturgy, prayer, reflection and ring their bells at midday to raise awareness of the urgency of re-evaluating our excessive lifestyles. 

Your participation in this campaign gives the opportunity to highlight to secular media the idea of the Earth being a gift and God’s call for us to be good stewards. It is a way to bring the church community’s awareness back to the bigger story that surrounds climate change, biodiversity loss or environmental degradation -  that of our consumer culture -  and how this addiction (gluttony) seduces us into acts of competition, scarcity and acquisition, which in short, lead to an exhausted planet. It is into this bigger story that the Christian vision can offer a hopeful alternative.  

What can I do to help on Earth Overshoot Day?

Commit to mark Earth Overshoot Day by joining together with other Christians to toll our bells and hold prayer services:

  1. Sign up online to join in and receive support such as a short liturgy, images and further inspiration.  https://doingjustice.nationbuilder.com/earth_overshoot_day 
  2. Toll your church bells shortly before midday on Friday 21 August as an alert to Earth Overshoot Day. 
  3. Pray for people to see the ecological crises in our midst and for “ecological conversion.”
  4. Light candles or other symbolic action. Conduct a liturgy or make time for silent reflection. 
  5. Reach out to your local communities to tell this story and share it through news media and other channels of communication.
  6. Tell others in your church and online communities about this day, and why you are marking it.




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