The Mother Church

of  The Dakotas

  517 Douglas  Avenue,  Yankton, SD 57078



Evolution Weekend, February 9-11 (Charles Darwin’s birthday is Feb. 12) is not really about Darwin or evolution. It is about the relation between religion and science.


Congregations and clergy who participate in Evolution Weekend discuss the idea that religion and science are not adversaries. Some 13,000 clergy nationwide, including Fr Ort, have joined the Clergy Letter Project. This means that they have signed an open, simple, one-page letter stating…


“Religious truth is of a different order from scientific truth. Its purpose is not to convey scientific information but to transform hearts. We the undersigned, Christian clergy from many different traditions, believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist.”


This is the 13-year that Evolution Sunday has been observed. St Paul’s is the only church listed in South Dakota on the Clergy Letter Project home page stating that we will observe Evolution Weekend this year (see list on the web site above). I usually justify interest in this subject because of the roles of both religion and science in Creation Care. Religion tells us why we should tend God’s Garden; science tells us how.


However, this year, congregations have been invited to embrace another theme, Our Shared Humanity. Religion and science, each working through their specific lens, have come to the same conclusion: racial divisions are neither meaningful nor productive.


Religion teaches us that we are of one family and that we need to care for each other while science (evolutionary biology and genetics) teaches us that race is a human rather than a natural construct. As members of a single species, we can move past the superficial differences that have divided us and create a healthier, more equitable environment for all.


Episcopalians can find guidance on this subject in the Catechism of Creation. It has three parts: 1) Theology of Creation, 2) Creation and Science, and 3) Caring for Creation. The second section of the Catechism agrees with the sentiments in the Clergy letter - “science tells us how the world is; the Bible tells us how the world ought to be.”


Download your copy of this 36 page Episcopal document at



Christ Episcopal Church         517 Douglas Avenue        Yankton, SD 57078          605.665.2456