Earth Day was April 22 but Cobourg celebrated it at its Ecology Garden on April 23. A ceremony attended by around 80 people brought together a diverse group of people who felt a spiritual connection to the Earth.
First to make a statement were indigenous people but also represented were Christians, a Jewish representative and an interfaith group covering probably all religions.
I did not hear the word “God” mentioned but instead “creator” – no one seemed offended.
Young children (from the S.O.N.G. group) participated with a couple of songs and Council was represented by Mayor John Henderson and Councillor Adam Bureau.
After the initial “song”, the indigenous representative (Susan Siwick) allowed all present to participate in a ritual smudging ceremony so that they could be cleansed of all their negativity.
Obviously all participants expressed a connection with the Earth and a spiritual oneness with nature.
The featured speaker was Rev. Michelle Singh from the “Faith and Common Good” organization. This is a “national, interfaith charitable network dedicated to assisting and inspiring religious congregations and spiritual groups of all backgrounds to take collective action in creating more sustainable communities.” Their “Green Rule” is “Do unto the Earth as you would have it do unto you”.
Overall, the ceremony integrated environmentalism, spiritualism and religion – the good news is that irrespective of religious dogmas, everyone agreed that we need to look after our planet.
The event was held in the Ecology garden with the weather uncooperative (it was raining) and although it was a fitting venue, I did not hear the garden mentioned.
(This article is reprinted with the permission of the Cobourg News Blog)