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 simple ways to incorporate care for creation into worship, see suggestions here and here. Creation-focused commentaries on the lectionary can help with sermon preparation. For Easter & Pentecost in year B, creation-focused prayers have been created. Consider including Mother Earth in your Mothers’ Day observance. Some thoughts on creation and the season of Pentecost are given here.
- Education: Free, downloadable studies related to care for creation are available for your use from the ELCA. A study guide to accompany the social statement: Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope, and Justice, is also available. As a reminder, the synod Lutherans Restoring Creation Team has some DVD-based study materials that can be loaned out, as well as single copies of certain text studies for your review.
- Discipleship: “Bulletin blurb” eco-tips (and Bible verses and creation-care quotes) are published on Facebook by the synod Lutherans Restoring Creation Team each week and the team also has newsletter articles available upon request. Given the serious water issues in Texas, you may want to consider observing Water Month to encourage discipleship in this area. Creation Justice Ministries has water resource materials as well.
- Building & Grounds: The federal government has a program to aid houses of worship in reducing their energy consumption, Energy Star for Congregations, which may be beneficial for your congregation. Creation Justice Ministries offers a building guide for churches, as well as a number of other materials. An article, Tracking Our Carbon Footprint, highlighting actions taken by various ELCA congregations, may prove inspirational.
- Public Ministry/Advocacy: A listing of Opportunities to Care for, Learn About, and Enjoy God’s Good Creation is found at the upcoming opportunities link, updated each week by the synod Lutherans Restoring Creation Team. Looking toward June, National Trails Day is June 6. There may be activities scheduled in your area.
Some environmental justice advocacy opportunities available online now are to petition: (a) the TX legislature to ban the sale/possession of shark fins (b) Burger King to purchase palm oil only from deforestation-free sources, and (c) Congress to protect clean water.
To contact the synod Lutherans Restoring Creation Team for creation care assistance/information, please write to Lisa Brenskele.