The religious community has a particular care for God's creatures. As stewards of Creation, we follow the example of Noah, who was commanded to save two animals of every species during the flood. Aside from the benefits that animals and plants can provide to us in medicine and companionship, every species is part of a fragile web of life that is necessary for sustaining our own survival, and the loss of a species is an irreparable blow to the balance of an entire ecosystem. As such, the religious community supports the protection and care of endangered species under the Endangered Species Act and through other forms of conservation.
Faith in Action
Monarch Butterfly Way Station
In 2019 the Franciscan Renewal Center of Arizona accomplished the certification of their Monarch Butterfly Way station in partnership with the Great Milkweed Grow Out program at the Desert Botanical Gardens. This way station provides a much needed pit stop for Monarch Butterflies during their yearly migration. With Monarch butterflies being endangered, there is a great nee for them to have food along their journey. In addition to getting certification of their way station, the Franciscan Renewal Center also sold 250 milkweed plants to members of the community effectually expanding the bounds of the monarch feeding in Arizona.
Endangered Species Day
First approved by the U.S Senate in 2006, Endangered Species Day is celebrated each year on the third Friday of May and is an opportunity for faith communities to gather, learn, and act to support endangered species.
Creation Justice Ministries provides liturgy and advocacy resources for faith communities in honor of the day.
Blessing of the Animals
In 2015, the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, with Creation Justice Ministries, co-hosted two inter-religious animal blessing ceremonies at the United Methodist Building and the Rayburn House of Representatives Office Building. These powerful events witnessed to Members of Congress and their staff and provided an opportunity to reflect on the intrinsic worth of God's creatures, especially endangered species.
Endangered Species Support Act
Religious leaders from Michigan, Colorado, Maine, and Minnesota joined together to urge the U.S. Congress to take action to protect endangered species and to counter attempts to undermine the Endangered Species Act. The letters followed a Blessing of the Animals event on Capitol Hill in October 2019.