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 Get inspired by the Orthodox tradition with this Epiphany reflection or this blog. Having a New Year’s observance? Consider this New Year’s liturgy. Creation-focused commentaries on the lectionary are available. A creation-focused prayer is posted weekly on the synod leaders Facebook.
Education The Interfaith Environmental Network of Houston 2018 Kick-off Event on Jan. 7 will include the top ten free environmental stewardship resources for houses of worship. The ELCA advocacy office makes educational materials available on environmental topics. The online Sunday Evening Conversations on Creation on Jan. 28 addresses Stewardship: Caring for the Plants. Creation Justice Ministries offers material, including education ideas, on Environmental Justice with Indigenous Peoples. This lecture by Larry Rasmussen could serve as an adult study/discussion.
Discipleship: Make use of the “Bulletin blurb” eco-tips (+ verses & quotes) on the synod leaders Facebook page each week. Mindful eating can be a spiritual discipline. Offer this guide to local foods to members. These Green New Year’s Resolutions can encourage discipleship. The personal covenant with creation, or the brief personal covenant asks members to commit to care for creation.
Building & Grounds Landscape your property with native plants to conserve water and provide wildlife habitat. Use batteries? Invest in a re-charger and use rechargeable batteries to reduce waste & save money. You don’t have to throw out coffee grounds. Place them directly on soil as fertilizer. Speaking of coffee, if you have a dishwasher, unless it is very old, it is more efficient than hand-washing. So, go ahead and use washable mugs for your coffee hour. Don’t have mugs? Ask members to donate. Everyone has extra coffee mugs at home. Have more than one worship service? If practical, use a single bulletin for all services & re-use them to reduce paper usage.
Public Ministry/Advocacy: The weekly Opportunities to Care for, Learn About, and Enjoy God’s Good Creation features volunteer events in the greater Houston area (see upcoming opportunities link). Plan an activity for National Bird Day on/near Jan. 5. Look for an environmental stewardship activity for the National Day of Service on Jan. 15. Sign a petition for trash-free seas or petition the governor of Texas to support policies to make it easy to go solar.
For more information on any of the above, or for creation care assistance/information, contact the synod Lutherans Restoring Creation Team by writing to Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org. The team is seeking additional members. If you would be willing to serve, please contact us.