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From Our Bishops

Letter to the Diocese from Bishop Andrew

Dear Friends,

Happy Easter! And, not unrelated, happy Earth Day!

Today, April 22, is recognized around the world as Earth Day. As always, I encourage parishes to celebrate God’s gift of creation this coming Sunday, on Rogation Sunday (May 22) or at any time, through appropriate hymns and prayers, and perhaps even an outdoor worship service. (The forecast looks amazing for this Sunday!) Resources are available on our website at

In this Easter season, as we celebrate that God will “reconcile all things in Christ and make them new,” we must also acknowledge our need for action for the sake of our planet. From biblical times to now, humankind has failed repeatedly to honour the earth and its creatures as God intended. While the early Earth Day protests of the 1970s did lead to the introduction of many environmental protection measures, the pressures facing our planet continue to mount. Climate scientists warn us that climate change is now “widespread, rapid and intensifying,” and that our opportunity to limit the worst of its impacts – already being felt around the world, especially by Indigenous peoples and the global poor – is fast disappearing. The time to act is now.

The good thing is that action is an antidote to frustration or despair. There are many ways for parishes to act together, from engaging in a community clean-up, planting a tree or a community garden, or hosting a repair café. Many parishes around our Diocese are already involved in such initiatives. Or you could join local community events, such as those taking place this weekend under the banner of “Yours to Protect” ( or There are so many ways we can work together with our neighbours to help take care of our common home.

To be sure, the environmental challenges we face go beyond what any one person or even local community can do. Widespread action is also necessary. As we approach a provincial election later this spring and anticipate municipal elections this fall, ask those who are seeking your vote what they will do to take climate action and protect our lands, waters and fellow creatures. Talk with others in your parish, neighbourhood, school or workplace about your concerns. ClimateFast Ontario and For the Love of Creation offer resources to help you create a forum for such conversations. Or your parish could host a candidates’ debate on environmental issues in the upcoming elections. These and other ways to get involved can be found on our Creation Care page.

All of us are called to care for the earth, both for its own sake as a precious gift from the Creator and for the sake of ourselves and our fellow human beings who depend on it for all the necessities of life. While none of us can do everything, each of us can do something. Let us honour the One who created and redeemed all things by worshipping and working together for the good of all creation.

Yours in Christ,

The Rt. Rev. Andrew Asbil
Bishop of Toronto