While Earth Day 2018 has passed, GIPL still wants to know what your community of faith did to celebrate Creation the week of April 22! Tell us about your festivities.
Use these resources to plan a meaningful event for your faith community.
- Preach and teach about it! April 22nd is Earth Day Sunday! Commit to preaching in your congregation about Creation care and environmental stewardship in your service between April 20 – 22! Need ideas? Visit GIPL’s Prayers & Liturgy webpage.
- Offer a liturgy, prayer for Creation, or a blessing from your tradition that points out God’s work in Creation and calls us to commit ourselves to protecting it. For resources on liturgy, prayers, blessings, and sermon ideas particular to your tradition, visit the Earth Day Resources on GIPL’s website!
- Art! Do you have a poet, dancer, musician, or artist who could create or perform a piece during the service? Have a congregant craft a piece that explores the connection between God and Creation! Have them open the service, or open a time of reflection after the sermon.
- Hold a panel, Sunday school class, or an open conversation after the service dedicated to the topic of environmental stewardship as a faithful practice!
- Consider dedicating your offering to GIPL or another environmental organization! Also consider dedicating those funds to your own congregation’s Green Team!
- Have a garden you partner with? Bring in 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! Recycle and compost all refuse from the weekend’s activities and make plans to conduct aGIPL waste audit of your house of worship!
- 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.
- Make a pledge as a congregation to use less energy and water. Get a professional energy audit scheduled through GIPL!
- Do you have a Green Team? Has your congregation incorporated practices of environmental stewardship or Creation care? Use this as an opportunity to tell the larger congregational body what you have been doing, and invite them into the process!
- Host a vegetarian meal after worship! Use the time to discuss prompts about Creation and the environment at each table or have a panel discussion as people eat.
- Get outside! Worship outside! Have a communal walk as a class or before offering the final benediction. This could take several forms, so feel free to make it your own! 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?”
- Show a video or screen a documentary! 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!
- 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!
- Be creative in your context! You know your space best and your people best! God is calling all of us to explore the intersection between faith and Creation, so trust your own ideas when they come to you!
Earth Day and Eco-Dharma