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: Consider this excellent resource for Wednesday evening worship in Lent, beginning with Ash Wednesday. See these thoughts on Ash Wednesday worship for an interesting perspective. This Eco-Sermon for Ash Wednesday could be inspirational. Creation-focused commentaries on the lectionary can help with weekly sermon preparation. Use these creation-focused prayers for Lent in year A.
- Education: Given that many observe a Lenten fast, the book Food for Life by L. Shannon Jung is suitable for a Lenten adult study. Another Lenten study option is Lent 4.5, a seven-session study on Christian simplicity from the Passionist Center. These beautiful videos of the Earth, with accompanying text from a variety of Christian sources, lend themselves to a discussion group. The next session of the ongoing monthly webinar series Sunday Evening Conversations on Creation is on January 31. The Universe Story Trilogy, books for children written in the form of letters from the universe, are to educate on natural history.
- Discipleship: Make use of the “Bulletin blurb” eco-tips (+ Bible verses & creation-care quotes) on the synod leaders Facebook group each week. Encourage your members to observe Meatless Mondays as a Lenten fast. For a different take on a Lenten fast, consider a Carbon Fast. The USDA’s Food Waste Challenge offers tips on reducing food waste in the home. Other online tips on how to reduce food waste and a book on the topic can help members become better stewards.
- Building & Grounds: Green Faith has a wealth of stewardship information on their website, including slide decks from an energy conservation webinar series. A video highlighting sustainable practices for building & grounds may be inspirational. This handy checklist for greening building & grounds is a quick read. Strategies for engaging the congregation in earthkeeping can kick start your efforts to steward building and grounds.
- Public Ministry/Advocacy: Consider these upcoming Opportunities to Care for, Learn About, and Enjoy God’s Good Creation. Keep an eye out for the upcoming spring 2016 interfaith environmental stewardship event in Houston; date is still TBD. Winter is the time to plan a community garden for spring planting. Get inspired by the story of St. Andrew Lutheran’s garden in WI. To advocate for creation, petition Congress to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
To contact the synod Lutherans Restoring Creation Team for creation care assistance and information, please email Lisa Brenskelle.