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 a creation focus in the season of Pentecost using these examples. World Environment Day is coming up on Sunday, June 5, an excellent opportunity for creation-focused worship and/or prayers. Creation-focused commentaries on the lectionary can help with weekly sermon preparation. Use these creation-focused prayers for the season of Pentecost in year C.
- Education: The Sunday Evening Conversations on Creation web meeting series continues on May 29, with the first session in a series on practical creation care, Energy Conservation (see separate article). The April issue of Living Lutheran contained several articles that could serve as discussion materials for an adult group. Or consider this recent issue of Currents in Theology & Mission on Eco-Reformation. For kids, consider the Creation Care Camp VBS materials. Educational materials for kids & youth are found in Greening Churches Guide: Cultivating Hope from Luther College.
- Discipleship: Make use of the “Bulletin blurb” eco-tips (+ Bible verses & creation-care quotes) on the synod leaders Facebook group each week. Give families with Sunday School kids/youth a take home lesson from Greening Churches Guide: Cultivating Hope that encourages stewardship. On World Environment Day, consider “leafing the tree” at your congregation, where members pledge to switch to/use renewable energy. A bulletin insert on an environmental topic is another option to encourage discipleship. See some examples here. Or, consider using these pledge forms created by Green Faith.
- Building & Grounds: Determine your congregation’s carbon footprint using this calculator. Consider the seven simple steps to green your church explained in the book Green Church: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rejoice. Considering a ductless heating/cooling system? See information from Energy Star. Don’t have a recycling program at your church currently? Here’s a how-to article on starting a church recycling program. June 21 is the Solar Day of Action. Check out churches going solar at Interfaith Power & Light.
- Public Ministry/Advocacy: Make use of the upcoming Opportunities to Care for, Learn About, and Enjoy God’s Good Creation that is updated weekly. Some synods are trying to plant 500 trees in celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, so your congregation can get involved by holding a tree planting. Other habitat creation ideas include building a bat house or planting a pollinator garden. Use this handy pre-printed advocacy letter from the ELCA to support the Green Climate Fund.
To contact the synod Lutherans Restoring Creation Team for creation care assistance/information, write to Lisa Brenskelle.