By Lisa Brenskelle
The mission of Lutherans Restoring Creation is to promote incorporation of care for creation into the full life and mission of the church, working in five areas: worship, education, discipleship, building & grounds, and public ministry/advocacy. For some timely tips in these areas, see below:
- Worship: For Sundays in Easter in year B, creation-focused prayers have been created. Creation-focused commentaries on the lectionary can help with sermon development. A discussion of worship planning for Holy Week and Easter can be found here. World Water Day falls on March 22. Earth Day is April 22. A variety of Earth Day worship resources, which could be used as an observance on Sunday, 4/19 or 4/26, have been created. And, don’t forget the potential for a Rogation observance around April 25.
- Education: An ELCA resource to consider for adult education is the six-part DVD Earthbound. Other excellent adult study materials are available from Earthministry; for example the texts (which can be used for 4-12 weeks of study): Simpler Living, Compassionate Life, Money & Faith: the Search for Enough, or Food and Faith: Justice, Joy and Daily Bread, and the 4-session DVD resource And God Saw That It Was Good. Copies are available for loan from the synod Lutherans Restoring Creation Team.
- Discipleship: Materials for home devotions focused on creation and its care are readily available. Stewardship of Creation: A Thirty Day Discipline can be obtained online and is a free resource to offer to members. Some book options for home devotions focused on creation and its care are can be found here. Earthministry also has an extensive listing of resources for all ages, some of which are suitable for home study/devotions.
- Building & Grounds: Many free resources are available for “greening” the congregation. For example, materials at this site or on the Lutherans Restoring Creation Earthministry and Greenfaith both offer programs for congregations interested in improving their care of creation. Concerned about energy and water consumption in your facility? Consider using the EPA’s online tool Portfolio Manager to track your consumption and benchmark against others. You might also want to consider the Energy Stewards initiative.
- Public Ministry/Advocacy: The synod Lutherans Restoring Creation Team invites you to join with people of other faiths in caring for creation at the Interfaith Environmental Stewardship Event on World Water Day, Sunday, March 22nd, from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. We will engage in hands-on environmental stewardship by removing invasive species and planting native plants in wetlands areas at the Willow Waterhole Conservation Reserve in Houston. Please contact the synod Lutherans Restoring Creation for details about this event.
Two environmental justice advocacy opportunities available online now are to petition the government of Indonesia to prevent the sale of palm oil produced in a manner that harms people & the environment and to petition President Obama to update the Navy training exercise plan to protect marine life.
To contact the synod Lutherans Restoring Creation Team for creation care assistance/information, email Lisa Brenskelle.