Earth Day, March 20, 2003, 8:00 p.m. EST

John C. Munday Jr.

From the dawn of history man looked up to the heavens, pondering the wonders of the starry night. Food and shelter, his concerns of the day, were bathed in the perspective of heavenís vault above him. His spirit was touched by the Spirit of the Ages, from whence he knew what he should do.

The stunning achievements of space flight have given to us a new perspective, that of earth from outer space. The jewel of life is seen in its oneness. Manís common habitat is appreciated for its integrity, the diversity of life it supports, its resilience and simultaneously its fragility.

As we view our home from the vistas of space, we understand our need to be stewards of earth. Our joint responsibility to care for the environment is starkly clear.

In celebrating the richness of life on earth, those with faith in God the Creator and those with other viewpoints walk together in common purpose to preserve and protect our global home.

Natureís timekeepers in the sun, moon, stars and planets provide order to the work of life. The cycle of seasons takes its cue from the steady revolution of earth around the sun, marked particularly by the onset of spring, when new life springs forth on the land. The equinox resets the terrestrial clock -- Springtime in the North on March 20-21, and in the South on September 21-22.

Earth Day 1 began in 1970 on March 20, the northern Vernal Equinox, and is celebrated worldwide each year to draw all people together in common thought, prayer and action to preserve the earth. John McConnell was the founder; he continues to promote environmental stewardship through Earth Day 1 celebrations and other activities.

An environmental teach-in was also celebrated in 1970 on April 22, an "Earth Day 2," initiated by Senator Gaylord Nelson, and it continues annually in the United States of America and other countries. Other environmental days of celebration and reminder, including Arbor Day in late April and the UN World Environment Day on June 5, contribute to a widespread commitment to being good stewards of our habitat.

On the websites EarthSite and Earth Day One, John McConnell and others seek to stimulate and encourage activities all around the world in support of good environmental stewardship. The second website is being constructed to catalogue and publicize those activities communicated by you which contribute to this goal. Send your news to John McConnell so that we can help you spread examples of helpful environmental actions, to encourage others with creative and successful ideas. Our hope is to provoke a wide appreciation of what it means to be an effective Earth Trustee.

** Join this effort by becoming an Earth Trustee. Sign up at Earth Trustee. **

** See there the history of Earth Day and its founder. **
** Celebrate Thursday, March 20, 2003, the original Earth Day -- multinational ceremonies at the United Nations, including the ringing of the UN Peace Bell. Join in a minute of prayer for wise environmental stewardship. 8:00 pm (Eastern time) at the Peace Bell and then continuing at the UN Church Center. **
** Join the Earth Society. **
** Participate in other environmental events -- April 22 Earth Day-2, Arbor Day (late April),
and UN World Environment Day (June 5) activities. **