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: Offer this Christian Prayer in Union with Creation on September 1, the World Day of Prayer for Creation. Observe the commemoration of Francis of Assisi with a Blessing of the Animals. Reformation is not that far off. Consider an Eco-Reformation. Creation-focused commentaries on the lectionary can help with weekly sermon preparation. Use these creation-focused prayers for the Sundays after Pentecost in year C.
- Education: The Sunday Evening Conversations on Creation continue on August 28, with a presentation on Reducing Toxins in the Yard/Garden. Plan now to attend the Creation Care Retreat – What about Justice? in Galveston on October 28 – 30. The Lutheran World Federation offers eco-justice activities & studies for young people. For adults, they have studies for the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, including the Creation: Not for Sale sub-theme. Here is a resource to help you develop an action plan for creation education.
- Discipleship: Make use of the “Bulletin blurb” eco-tips (+ Bible verses & creation-care quotes) on the synod leaders Facebook group each week. Great ways to encourage discipleship include: lead by example; publicize the efforts taken at your church to care for creation; include articles in your newsletter/bulletin on how to care for creation. Or invite speakers to your adult Sunday school that can educate on care for creation. If you need help, the Lutherans Restoring Creation Team can assist.
- Building & Grounds: Consider installing a rain barrel on your grounds to conserve water. This organization offers periodic rain barrel workshops. Look into Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design certification for your building operations. Check out these energy-saving tips from Energy Star. There are state incentives for energy efficiency and renewables. The Lutherans Restoring Creation Team is happy to distribute the Sunday Evening Conversations materials on energy and water conservation.
- Public Ministry/Advocacy: Use the Opportunities to Care for, Learn About, and Enjoy God’s Good Creation that is updated weekly (see upcoming opportunities link). In this 100th anniversary year of the National Parks, advocate for their preservation by Congress. A matching grant is available for planting of trees. Consider holding/hosting a fundraiser for a local environmental non-profit. Or, connect your youth group up with them for volunteer days.
To contact the synod Lutherans Restoring Creation Team for creation care assistance/information, write to Lisa Brenskelle.