Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission
Liturgy in a Time of Climate Crisis: The Collegeville Statement
In the hottest summer on record on our planet, the Council of the Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission (APLM) met from July 17 to 21 to launch a year-long program accompanying six congregations in the US and Canada as they develop new resources and practices for worship and mission in response to the urgency of the climate crisis.
Gathering at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, MN, and making creative use of the beautiful oak groves, lakeshore, and wooded paths of the grounds, about two dozen participants deepened their understanding of the climate crisis, explored how existing resources for prayer, theological reflection, liturgy, and ministry can be brought to life in ways that respond to the climate crisis, and tried on new practices of liturgical planning, and community action.
The conference featured addresses by Amy McCreath, on the project and the work of the conference; Juan M.C. Oliver and Peter Nunnally on methodologies for planning worship; Andrew Doss on the urgency of the climate crisis; Timothy Brunk on liturgy and the land; Samuel Torvend on liturgy and the climate crisis; Kerri Meyer on the ministry of Good Courage Farm, and John W.B. Hill on the practice of mystagogy, with Celeste Geldreich and Maylanne Maybee on participation in the project during the coming year.
The gathering and launch of the year-long parish partnerships are made possible through a Vital Worship Grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Grand Rapids, Michigan, with funds provided by the Lilly Endowment Inc. In the months ahead, APLM Council members will accompany worship committees at each of the six partner parishes as they develop, offer, and reflect on contextually-responsive worship and develop missional partnerships that respond to the climate crisis.
The congregations involved in the project are:
St. Andrew’s Church, Ayer, MA – Diocese of Massachusetts; Christ Episcopal Church, Tacoma, WA – Diocese of Olympia; St. Columba’s, Inverness, CA – Diocese of California; St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church, St. Paul, MN; Salal + Cedar, lower Fraser Watershed, metro Vancouver, BC – Diocese of New Westminster; and Sunshine Coast Anglican Collaborative, Sechelt, BC – Diocese of New Westminster.
Participants were reminded of the warning from scientists that unless the wealthier nations can reduce carbon emissions to net zero in the next seventeen years, our planet will continue to get hotter until all human life is extinguished.
In light of this grave crisis, and grounded in our conviction that worship forms God’s people for mission, APLM calls the Anglican Church of Canada and the Episcopal Church to respond vigorously and immediately by developing new resources and practices in worship. APLM also calls all dioceses and congregations to develop action-oriented mission programs at the local and national level to respond to the crisis.
These actions are in keeping with General Convention resolution A057, “Liturgical experimentation and the creation of alternative texts,” and with General Synod resolutions A203 and A204, which encourage members of the Anglican Church of Canada to live out the Fifth Mark of Mission and baptismal covenant, to “strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth”; and all parts of the church, among other things, to reduce the carbon impact of travel for all meetings and undertake actions that demonstrate the church’s commitment to address the climate crisis.
Finally, APLM also calls on the General Convention, the Synod of The Anglican Church of Canada and their bishops to actively promote serious, responsible liturgical creativity in this time of crisis.
More information about APLM and our resources for robust and contextualized liturgical planning can be found at our website, liturgyandmission.org