Young people, aged 15 to 19 years old, from the Episcopal Church around the world, gathered at the University of Maryland from July 4th to 8th 2023, to learn, laugh and worship together. This Episcopal Youth Event was attended by close to 1,500 delegates including youth, their adult mentors, clergy and bishops.

At this event, the Creation Care Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, shared the good news about the Communion Forest by hosting an interactive booth for the participants to visit. They invited the delegates to add a prayer leaf to a prayer tree and to mark on a U.S. map any hands-on creation care projects in their respective parishes or dioceses.

Members of Creation Care Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington at Communion Forest booth

Abbott McCartney, a member of the creation care committee staffing the booth said, “It was a good launching pad to begin a conversation about creation care.  We collected over 100 prayers leaves for the tree and identified over 60 projects on the map.”

The Communion Forest Prayer Tree at EYE

Besides the prayer leaves and the mapping exercise, they also chatted with a wide range of young people about the call to action found in the Communion Forest initiative, highlighting that “churches around the world are already engaged in transformative acts to protect and restore habitats in their own communities.”

The young people attending the event showed substantial energy for creation care, environmental justice, and concern for climate change.  We are hopeful that that energy and of many other young Anglicans around the world, will translate into concrete action.