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. Here are some timely tips in these areas:
- Worship: World Water Day is March 22. Include prayers for our stewardship of this precious resource and for those without access to clean water at worship on Sunday, March 20. Consider a Greening of the Cross during Easter. Use eco-palms for Palm/Passion Sunday. Creation-focused commentaries on the lectionary can help with weekly sermon preparation. Use these creation-focused prayers for Easter in year C.
- Education: Consider these audio recordings from A Rocha for adult education. Free children’s education resources are available from the same source. A Rocha also offers free materials for small group study. A video series on climate change is available as well. The next session of the ongoing monthly webinar series Sunday Evening Conversations on Creation is on February 28.
- Discipleship: Make use of the “Bulletin blurb” eco-tips (+ Bible verses & creation-care quotes) on the synod leaders Facebook group each week. Consider observing Water Month in March. Offer a weekly link to an environmental reflection for your members to use in their personal devotions. These seven reflections can get you started. These three blog entries for young adults could also be used. Another blog, Crown of Thorns, has a wealth of devotional material.
- Building & Grounds: In keeping with the Water Month proposed above, concentrate on reducing water use in your building/grounds. These tips on how to save water, although not specific to houses of worship, can still be helpful. The same site has energy saving tips as well. Have some available land – consider a garden. Be inspired by the story of the garden at St. Paul & the Redeemer Episcopal Church. And, don’t forget the compost for the garden.
- Public Ministry/Advocacy: Make use of the upcoming Opportunities to Care for, Learn About, and Enjoy God’s Good Creation that is updated weekly. Now that the weather will soon be getting warmer, it’s time to plan an outdoor environmental stewardship activity. One idea is to improve energy efficiency in buildings by caulking around windows (such as these youth did). Another is to participate in the Spring Interfaith Environmental Stewardship event (date TBD). To advocate for all of God’s good creation, urge our state government to ensure equity in their implementation of the Clean Power Plan. Or, ask President Obama to make wildlife conservation a priority in 2016.
Please contact Lisa Brenskelle should you need additional assistance and information on the synod’s Lutherans Restoring Creation Team.