Religious teachings invite people of all faiths to care for the Earth every day. Consider these ideas as you find ways to incorporate earth care into your faith community’s work and in your personal daily journey.
- Preach and teach about it! Commit to preaching in your congregation about Creation care and environmental stewardship. Connect your faith leader or clergy with GIPL to learn how to preach and teach on climate justice and environmental issues. Need sermon ideas? Contact the GIPL office at email@example.com.
- Include prayers for the Earth in weekly services! Offer a liturgy, prayer for the Earth, or a blessing from your tradition that points out the Divine presence in Creation and calls us to commit ourselves to protecting the Earth. For resources on liturgy, prayers, blessings, and sermon ideas particular to your tradition, scroll to the bottom of this page.
- Embrace Art! Do you have a poet, dancer, musician, or artist who could create or perform a piece during the service? Have a congregant craft artwork that explores the connection between the Divine and Creation. Have them open the service, or open a time of reflection during a worship or prayer service.
- Hold an educational forum, panel, Sunday school class, or an open conversation after the service dedicated to the topic of environmental stewardship as a faithful practice.
- Pass-the-Plate for the Earth! Consider dedicating your congregation’s offering to GIPL or another environmental cause. Also consider allocating those funds to your own congregation’s Green Team or sustainability commitments.
- Grow a garden ! Consider edible landscapes for your faith community’s outdoor spaces or partner with a local community garden. Bring in those flowers or other bounty from the garden for the altar as an offering. Place bowls at the entrances of your sacred space for people to cleanse their hands before service. Have a way for people to use their sense of touch to encounter Creation as an aspect of the service.
- Commit to zero-waste worship and congregational events! Recycle and compost all refuse from the weekend’s activities and make plans to conduct a GIPL Waste Audit of your house of worship. Contact Codi Norred, Program Director at firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate a Waste Audit for your faith community.
- Pray for the Earth! Create a prayer labyrinth or series of meditation stations (preferably outdoors). Encourage people to think about their connection with God and the Earth. This could be done as an aspect of worship but is probably done easiest as a Sunday School activity, or an activity after worship. Or, participate in GIPL’s Climate Prayer activity through November 1, 2019.
- Make a pledge as a congregation to use less energy and water. Get a professional energy audit scheduled through GIPL.
- Host a vegetarian meal in your faith community! Use the time to discuss issues about food waste, sustainability and environmental stewardship. Share resources about reducing meat in daily diets and the positive impact that has on our bodies and our planet.
- Get outside! Worship outside. Take a hike. Enjoy the outdoors together as a faith community. Have a communal walk as a class or before offering the final benediction. Look around your grounds, or the sidewalks. Center with questions like: What do you see? What do you hear? What is missing? Where is God? Engage all senses to engage the wonders of Creation all around.
- Show a video or screen a documentary about an environmental issue. You could do this in the context of a class or as a mid-week service. You could also show a clip in your primary worship service. The GIPL team has many suggestions.
- Invite someone, or several people, from the congregation to give a testimony about why they care about environmental stewardship and Creation and why they got involved. Allow people from your congregation to reflect on their own experiences of Creation.
God is calling all of us to explore the intersection between faith and Creation, so trust your own ideas when they come to you!