Category Archives: Personal Discipleship

Oceans: Vast & Fragile

This past fall,  Lutherans Restoring Creation helped facilitate an Ocean Leadership Training event at the New England Aquarium along with the aquarium’s educators and Creation Justice Ministries.  We started as a group of strangers coming together with a common concern for the ocean.  We spent the day together exploring the miraculous diversity of life as we explored exhibits, awestruck at images from unknown worlds amoungst seamounts just a few miles from the coast we stood on, and lifting our voices about the significance this all has from faith perspective.  Tools were shared with each other: personal experiences, data from social behavioral research, techniques for reaching out to the public sphere, and the prophetic information gathered by the world-renowned marine researchers.  For more information about how to talk about the significance of oceans to climate (and for the immediate well-being of the soul), explore the Creation Justice Ministries site (here). 

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Lenten Resource: Carbon Fast Calendar

This year, the Central  States Synod Lutherans Restoring Creation Mission Table encourages you to skip the fasting from chocolate or soda, and instead, give up one thing every day that contributes to unnecessary waste and pollution in our environment. Thanks to the creativity of Pastor Christyn Koschmann*, we have a “Carbon Fast Calendar,” with ideas for each day of Lent.

Download the Calendar (click here) and reproduce to share within your congregations and/or synod!

In addition, creative posts for social media are available on the shared Google Drive (below) to help keep members of your congregation engaged each day:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1BSTpY5qTz6xsb3Ncj0G9nwG-8fCkDszo

As we recall Jesus’ 40 days of fasting in the desert, may this “Carbon Fast” not only strengthen our faith, but also prove that taking little steps toward environmental stewardship can have a big impact. You can get started now by calculating your carbon footprint at https://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx and then calculate your energy savings throughout the season of Lent. Share your results with other members of your congregation (and share on a report to Lutherans Restoring Creation!) to see how, together as a community of faith and action, we are caring for God’s Creation in measurable ways.

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Thanks to Christyn for all her creative and spiritual talents – the Central States Synod office is lucky to have her and we appreciate them sharing her talents with other Lutherans Restoring Creation across the country!

Ways to Integrate Creation Care in your Lenten Practices

As we prepare for the season of Lent, share these resources with your Bible Study group, Worship committee , Church Council or just for your own personal Lenten journey:

Gifts of restoration for YOU too!

On a recent Connections Call we asked folks to share some readings and resources that give them strength. Here are some links and downloads per their suggestions. Thanks to all the Green Shepherds on the call and bless your work!

“. . . the political spectrum is not a spectrum at all. It is a Spirograph, with Earth Firsters and home-schooled Christians overlapping here and diverging there.  You never knew who might own a gun or believe in God.”

 

Bibliography of Ecology and Faith

Biblical

Bauckham, Richard. The Bible and Ecology: Rediscovering the Community of Creation (Waco: Baylor University Press, 2010).

Bauckham, Richard. Living with Other Creatures: Green Exegesis and Theology (Waco: Baylor University Press, 2011).

Bredin, Mark. The Ecology of the New Testament: Creation, Re-Creation, and the Environment (Colorado Spring: Biblical, 2010).

Davis, Ellen. Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009).

Earth Bible Series edited by Norman Habel and Vicki Balabanski for Sheffield Academic Press.

Fretheim, Terence. God and World in the Old Testament: A Relational Theology of Creation (Nashville: Abingdon, 2005).

The Green Bible (New York: HarperCollins, 2008).

Habel, Norman and Peter Trudinger, editors. Exploring Ecological Hermeneutics (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2008).

Hiebert, Ted. The Yahwist’s Landscape: Nature and Religion in Early Israel (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2009).

Horell, David G. The Bible and the Environment: Towards a Critical Ecological Biblical Theology (London: Equinox, 2010).

Horell, David, Cherryl Hunt, and Christopher Southgate. Greening Paul: Reading the Apostle in a Time of Ecological Crisis (Waco: Baylor University Press, 2009).

Marlow, Hillary. Biblical Prophets and Contemporary Environmental Ethics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009).

Rhoads, David. “Who Will Speak for the Sparrow: Eco-Justice Criticism of the New Testament” in Literary Encounters with the Kingdom of God: Essays in Honor of Robert Tannehill, edited by Sharon Ringe and Hyun Chul Paul Kim (New York: T & T Clark, 2004) 64-89.

Rossing, Barbara. “River of Life in God’s New Jerusalem: An Ecological Vision for Earth’s Future” in Rosemary Radford    Ruether, and Dieter Hessel, editors. Christianity and Ecology (Cambridge: Harvard University Press Center for World Religions, 1999) 205-224.

Simkins, Ronald.  Creator and Creation: Nature in the Worldview of Ancient Israel.  (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994)

Walker-Jones, Arthur. The Green Psalter: Resources for an Ecological Spirituality (Minneapolis: Fortress, 209).

Theological

Boff, Leonardo. Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1997).

Boff, Leonardo. Ecology and Liberation: A New Paradigm (Maryknoll: Orbis1995).

Bouma-Prediger, Steven. The Greening of Theology: The Ecological Models of Rosemary Radford Reuther, Joseph Sittler, and Jurgen Moltmann (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1995).

Cone, James. “Whose Earth is It Anyway?” in Earth and Word: Classic Sermons on Saving the Planet, edited by David Rhoads (New York: Continuum, 2007) 113-126.

Edwards, Dennis. Breath of Life: A Theology of the Creator Spirit (Maryknoll: Orbis, 2004).

Hessel, Dieter, editor. Theology for Earth Community: A Field Guide (Maryknoll: Orbis Press, 1996)

Kidwell, Clara Sue, Homer Noley, George E. “Tink” Tinker. A Native American Theology (Maryknoll: Orbis, 2002)

McFague, Sallie. A New Climate for Theology: God, the World, and Global Warming (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2008).

Mortensen, Viggo. editor. Concern for Creation: Voices on the Theology of Creation (Uppsala: Tro & Tanke, 1995).

Nash, James. Loving Nature: Ecological Integrity and Christian Responsibility (Nashville: Abingdon, 1991).

Nash, James A. “Toward an Ecological Reformation of Christianity?” Interpretation 50:1 (1996) 5-15.

Rasmussen, Larry. “Waiting for the Lutherans,” Currents in Theology and Mission 2009 (37) 86-98.

Ruether, Rosemary. Gaia and God: An Ecofeminist Theology of Earth Healing (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1992).

Santmire, Paul. The Travail of Nature: The Ambiguous Ecological Promise of Christian Theology (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1985)

Santmire, Paul. Nature Reborn: The Ecological and Cosmological Promise of Christian Theology (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2009).

Sittler, Joseph. Evocations of Grace: The Writings of Joseph Sittler on Ecology, Theology, and Ethics, edited by Peter Bakken and Steven Bouma-Prediger (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000).

Southgate, Christopher. The Groaning of Creation: God, Evolution, and the Problem of Evil (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2008).

Tillich, Paul. “Nature and Sacrament,” in The Protestant Era. Translated by James Luther Adams (Chicago: Chicago University press, 1948).

Wallace, Mark. Green Christianity: Five Ways to a Sustainable Future (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2010).

Wallace, Mark. Finding God in the Singing River by Mark Wallace (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2005).

Welker, Michael. Creation and Reality (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1999).

Ethics

Berry, R. J. editor. Environmental Stewardship: Critical Perspectives—Past and Present (New York: T & T Clark, 2006).

Bullard, Robert, editor. The Quest for Environmental Justice: Human Rights and the Politics of Pollution (San Francisco: Sierra Club, 2005).

Graham, Mark. Sustainable Agriculture: A Christian Ethic of Gratitude (Cleveland: The Pilgrim Press, 2005).

Hessel, Dieter and Rosemary Ruether, editors. Christianity and Ecology: Seeking the Well-Being of Earth and Community (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000).

Jenkins, Willis. Ecologies of Grace: Environmental Ethics and Christian Theology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008).

Martin-Schramm, James. Christian Environmental Ethics: A Case Study Approach (Maryknoll: Orbis, 2003).

Martin-Schramm, James. Climate Justice: Ethics, Energy, and Public Policy (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2010).

Moe-Lobeda, Cynthia. Healing a Broken World: Globalization and God (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2002).

Moe-Lobeda, Cynthia. Resisting Systemic Evil: Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2013).

Northcott, Michael. Environment and Christian Ethics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996).

Northcott, Michael. A Moral Climate: The Ethics of Global Warming (Maryknoll: Orbis, 2007)

O’Brien, Kevin J. An Ethics of Biodiversity: Christianity, Ecology, and the Variety of Life (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2010).

Rasmussen, Larry. Earth Community, Earth Ethics (Maryknoll: Orbis, 1996).

Ruether, Rosemary. Women Healing Earth: Third World Women on Ecology, Feminism and Religion (Maryknoll: Orbis, 1996).

Weaver, Jace, editor, Defending Mother Earth: Native American Perspectives on Environmental Justice (Maryknoll: Orbis, 1996).

Wirzba, Norman. Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011).

Worship and Spirituality

Bingham, Sally, editor. Love God, Heal Earth (Pittsburgh: St. Lynn’s Press, 2009)

Clinebell, Howard. Ecotherapy: Healing Ourselves, Healing the Earth (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1996).

Cosmic Grace, Humble Prayer: The Ecological Vision of the Green Patriarch Bartholomew I. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2003).

Frohlich, Mary. “Under the Sign of Jonah: Studying Spirituality in a Time of Eco-Systemic Crisis,” Spiritus 9 (2009) 27-45.

Habel, Norman, Paul Santmire, and David Rhoads, editors. The Season of Creation: A Preaching Commentary (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2011).

Holbert, John. Preaching Creation: The Environment and the Pulpit (Eugene: Cascade Books, 2011).

Hamilton-Poore, Sam. Earth Gospel: A Guide to Prayer for God’s Creation (Nashville: Upper Room Books, 2008).

Lathrop, Gordon. Holy Ground: A Liturgical Cosmology (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2003).

Maathai, Wangari. Replenishing the Earth: Spiritual Values for Healing Ourselves and the World. New York: Doubleday, 2010.

McDuff, Mallory, editor. Sacred Acts: How Churches are Working to Protect Earth’s Environment (Gabriola Island, BC: New Society, 2012).

Moseley, Lindsay, editor. Holy Ground: A Gathering of Voices on Caring for Creation, edited by Lindsay Moseley (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 2008).

Rhoads, David, editor. Earth and Word: Classic Sermons on Saving the Planet (New York: Continuum, 2007).

Roberts, Elizabeth and Elias Amidon, editors. Earth Prayers From Around the World (San Francisco: HarperSan Francisco, 1991).

Santmire, Paul. Ritualizing Nature: Renewing Christian Liturgy in a Time of Crisis (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2008).

Simpler Life, Compassionate Life: A Christians Perspective (Denver, CO: The Morehouse Group, 1999).

Speerstra, Karen. The Green Devotional: Active Prayers for a Healthy Planet. (San Francisco: Canari Press, 2010).

Stewart, Ben. A Watered Garden: Christian Worship and Earth’s Ecology (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2011).

Taylor, Sarah McFarland, Green Sisters: A Spiritual Ecology (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007).

Torgersen, Mark. Greening Spaces for Worship and Ministry: Congregations, Their Buildings and Creation Care (Herndon, VA: The Alban Institute, 2012).

Wild, Jeff and Peter Bakken. Church on Earth: Grounding Your Ministry in a Sense of Place (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2009).

Wirzba, Norman. The Paradise of God: Renewing Religion in an Ecological Age (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003).

The poetry of Wendell Berry, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Mary Oliver, and Gary Snyder.

 

Environment

Abram, David. The Spell of the Sensuous (New York: Random House, 1996).

Berry, Thomas. The Great Work: Our Way into the Future (New York: Bell Tower, 1999).

Berry, Thomas. The Sacred Universe: Earth, Spirituality, and Religion in the Twenty-first Century (New York: Columbia University, 2009).

Berry, Thomas and Brian Schwimme, The Universe Story: From the Primordial Flaring Forth to the Ecozoic Era—A Celebration of the Unfolding of the Cosmos (New York: HarperCollins, 1992)

Brown, Lester. Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization (New York: W. W. Norton, 2008);

Coleman, Daniel. Emotional Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything (New York: Broadway Books, 2009)

Diamond, Jared. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. (New York: Penguin Books, 2005).

Hawken, Paul. Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Social Movement in History is Restoring Grace, Justice and Beauty to the World (New York: Penguin Books, 2007).

Goodenough, Usala. The Sacred Depths of Nature (New York: Oxford, 1998).

Jones, Van The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems (New York: HarperCollins, 2008).

Kingsolver, Barbara. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (New York: HarperCollins, 2007).

Korten, David. The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community (San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2006).

Louv, Richard. Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder (Chapel Hill: Algonquin Press, 2008).

McKibben, Bill. Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future (New York: Henry Holt, 2007).

McKibben, Bill. Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough Planet (New York: Henry Holt, 2010).

Orcutt, Andrea. Restoring Earth, Community, and Soul: Creating the Social, Economic, and Relgious Transformations Required by Global Warming (Evanston: Earth Community Press, 2011).

Suzuki, David. The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature (Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre: 2007).

Swimme, Brian. The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos: Humanity and the New Story (Maryknoll: Orbis, 2004).

Tallamy, Douglas. Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain the Wildlife with Native Plants (Portland: Timber Press, 2011).

Wessels, Cletus. Jesus in the New Universe Story (Maryknoll: Orbis, 2006).

Weston, Anthony. Back to Earth: Tomorrow’s Environmentalism (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1994).

Weston, Anthony. Mobilizing the Green Imagination: An Exuberant Manifest (Gabriola Islands, BC: New Society Publishers, 2012).

Wilson, E.O. The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth (New York: W. W. Norton, 2006).

 

Ecological Primers

Golley, Frank. A Primer for Environmental Literacy (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998).

Orr, David. Ecological Literacy: Education and the Transition to a Postmodern World (Albany: Srtate University of New York Press, 1992).

Slobodkin, Lawrence. A Citizen’s Guide to Ecology (New York: Oxford, 2003).

Dashefski, Steven. Environmental Literacy: Everything You Need to Know about Saving Our Planet, The A-to-Z Guide (New York: Random House, 1993).

Fortey, Richard. Earth: An Intimate History (New York: Random House, 2004).

So We Can Restore Creation

While caring for the environment can feel overwhelming, it’s when we stand together, each doing our part, that we find hope, gain strength, and make a difference. Find a tool below to help celebrate God’s gifts to us!

Download (Click Here) the information shared from Portico and Lutherans Restoring Creation at Churchwide Assembly 2019 to celebrate our progress and map the long way we still need to go to restore creation.

Join Up

Adults, start by taking the LRC Personal Covenant.  In 5 – 10 minutes, complete your covenant with creation. You’ll start to receive LRC’s monthly Good Green e-News linking you to other Lutheran earth-keepers and helpful resources.

ELCA Retirement Plan members, invest consciously using Portico’s ELCA social purpose funds. Call a Portico Financial Planner at 800.922.4896 to learn whether you’re in the social purpose funds and how to make that choice.

Children, take the Child’s Pledge With Creation.  Print out this out and discuss with your family. Tip: Frame your completed pledge using a larger piece of cardboard like a cereal box and decorate it with magazine photos that are important to you.

Teens, take the Youth Pledge. Then, walk through the Your Day experience, reflecting on how your daily decisions can impact others with whom we share this planet.

Inspire Others

Rally your congregation to take the Congregational Covenant with CreationThen, use LRC resources to create an action plan with support from LRC mentors.

Active Earth-keepers, become a Green Shepherd in your synodAs your synod’s point person for LRC and ELCA Advocacy and Stewardship outreach, learn to identify, connect and motivate other “green sheep” in your synod.

 

YOUTH: How can YOUR decisions impact your global neighbor?

While the following pledge form was originally poised to the hundreds of Lutheran youth attending the 2018 Gathering in Houston, these questions help people of any age recognize their impact and how many tools their are to make changes of habit that offer fulfilling prayerful actions to every step of their day.  To put the questions in context check out the walk through presentation: Your Day – Your Global Neighborhood.

As you consider the unintended impacts of our daily actions,  commit with hundreds of other youth to try a few things differently. Our collective prayers are being listened to – our collective actions are being felt:

Lenten Devotions with a Creation Care Lens

There are a various times throughout the year these materials can be used, in part or in whole.  However,  Lent is a unique time we look for tools to help us connect with each other or introspectively to consider how we live out our faith.  Take these on as a Bible Study group, with a group of friends, or just for yourself:

30 Days Of Creation Discipleship

Awakening_To_Gods_Call_To_Earthkeeping

A variety of Lenten Carbon Fast Opportunities are shared by Interfaith Power and Light (Click here). 

My Daughter’s Inheritance

Reflections on “Public Witnessing” with your children

by Phoebe Morad, Lutherans Restoring Creation

As someone who has worked in some facet of environmental action for over 20 years, you’d think that fear, guilt, and longing would consume my anticipation of what world I leave for my children. Fortunately, since I found my place among faith-based communities looking for solutions through eco-justice minefields, I’ve been able to see past the numbness of daunting objectives. I’ve also been able to bring my kids along for the journey.

Earth Day 2016, my daughter was 8, armed with her stuffed animal tree frog and outfitted in her hand-written “end plastic pollution” t-shirt and in silent (yet fervent) agreement with the small cohort who gathered at Senator Ed Markey’s office. We came as representatives from area houses of worship who wanted to emphasize the moral imperative to protect a special part of the Atlantic Ocean habitat. Months later, these advocates, and thousands of their peers, were grateful to hear that the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts area was declared a Marine National Monument by President Obama as part of the Antiquities Act.

Thea’s patience was tried when waiting from April to September to hear the results from the petition she took part in – but what a result! The first marine monument on our eastern shores made into a sanctuary to act as a nursery for more fish to feed people and an undisturbed ocean bed as researchers only just began to explore the gifts in this underwater Eden. I wanted to grab this 4th grader by the shoulders before she went into school shouting triumph and warn her: “It isn’t that simple: just because we talked with our representatives, stated our case, and joined others in laying out the importance of this matter – that doesn’t usually result in seeing anything actually changing.” But I bit my tongue and hoped that this would mean exactly that.

Then 2017 happened. The Antiquities Act being used as a tool for upholding Theodore Roosevelt’s intentions to preserve natural treasures is up for debate as the tide of leadership shifts. Was Thea paying attention to my one-way conversation with the news on the radio as Sec. Zinke re-assessed the validity of “our victory”? I decided to keep her on the roller coaster for the rest of the ride. Off we went again to the JFK Federal Building in October to Senator Elizabeth Warren’s office to speak with her staff alongside the Creation Justice Ministries team and others who had worked with local fishing coalitions and marine biologists.  Our appeal was to hold firm to conserving the area:  an investment in the future of our fishing industry and the collective impact of ocean care as a climate change mitigation had to trump the short-term worry over economic impacts.

I’m so glad Thea brought her sketchpad to take notes as we spoke with the voice on the speaker from Warren’s DC office; “…fisher people did not feel invited,” she notes alongside drawings of happy fish. That particular point was certainly contended, but the feelings remain. Everyone knows how it feels to not be invited to something, not to be heard. The conversation emerged from our hour in Warren’s office that faith-based groups are uniquely situated to bring together disparate factions and help foster healing interactions. Our next twist on this roller coaster is going to be a long climb: encouraging relationship building between a broader faction of the fishing economy and the faith leaders in their midst to consider how to provide for their loved ones while acting as stewards of the natural gifts meant to share with other generations.

 

As we left Warren’s office Thea and I were excited to see some of her “adornments” on the shelves. She has a rock collection too! There are a few stuffed animals among her books. Being able to relate to Senator Warren’s gender and interests may be the first hook to my daughter’s aspirations, but I hope that isn’t the part that lasts longest. I’m grateful that she gets to see that progress is no straight road. She’s just had a glimpse as to all the diverse interests we need to consider in discovering “justice”. The Elizabeth Warren she will see on campaign ads soon, is not the one and only person to look for all our answers. That is not a true leader’s role. So many, many people are part of the efforts to make a better common home for all. I pray that we can all find a unique role in serving our neighbors needs as St. Paul refers to in his letter to the Corinthians:

 

If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.  If all were a single member, where would the body be?  As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.   (1 Corinthians 17-20)

 

 

Church Bulletin and Newsletter Input

There is plenty of information “out there” on how we can make steps to live a life with less of a negative impact on our neighbors and bring the Outside in… but that’s only if you happen to go looking for it. Perhaps adding a few simple pieces of inspiration that can work for your fellow worshipers in the material the read periodically can start new habits and open closed minds.  Below are some links that you can copy and paste shared by folks throughout the Lutherans Restoring Creation community. (Please acknowledge source when sharing!)

E – news “blurbs” for Winter 2020: 

Lutherans Restoring Creation

Never heard of us? Find out more below!

Our Mission

Lutherans Restoring Creation exists to inform, encourage, and uplift the discipleship practice of caring for the environment throughout the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.This is accomplished by cultivating a network of dedicated stewards of earth and neighbor who proclaim God’s promise of hope and healing for all.

Who We Are

Lutherans Restoring Creation is a grassroots movement of Lutherans, driven by laity, pastors, lay professionals, synodical leadership, and others who hold positions in the ELCA and its institutions. This movement grows out of a long history of Lutheran concern (the 1993 social statement Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope, and Justice).

Search “Congregations” for more resources at www.LutheransRestoringCreation.org.

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Looking for a Lenten Discipline?

Every little thing can make a big difference when it comes to care for creation! If you are looking for ways to conserve energy and be a good steward to our earth, Lutherans Restoring Creation can help! They have developed a whole checklist for energy savings in your home and congregation! Visit www.LutheransRestoringCreation.org to discover what you may need for Personal Discipleship. Maybe each day of Lent, we can take some time to better care for God’s creation!

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Lutherans Restoring Creation Devotionals

We are facing a critical time in our world when we need to put extra focus on the environment and God’s creation. If you’d like to focus on care for creation during this season of reflection, you can find great devotional materials on www.LutheransRestoringCreation.org.

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Lutherans Restoring Creation Commentaries

Preachers: Are you looking for resources and commentaries about care-for-creation during this season? Lutherans Restoring creation has created a wonderful database of commentaries for the entire lectionary cycle. You can find them all by season and narrative sermons at http://www.LutheransRestoringCreation.org

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Care for Creation Congregational Covenant

Interested in taking the next step with Lutherans Restoring Creation in your congregation? Our congregational self-organizing kit — available for download at: LutheransRestoringCreation.org.   This is a step-by-step guide to help you function as a creation-care congregation as well as how to access to the resources needed to carry out this program on an ongoing basis. Whether or not you are already active in greening your congregation, this kit will enable you to identify yourself with Lutherans Restoring Creation, provide an overall plan for your efforts, and help you to further your congregational commitment to ecology and justice.

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Lutherans Restoring Creation: Going a step further

We care for creation on more than just the individual or congregational level! ELCA members have the opportunity to be public witnesses through the process of submitting, educating fellow members, and eventually passing synod resolutions. Some of these public statements and declarations of change also move along to be a Memorial to be passed by the entire Church-wide body which meets every three years. For details about your local submission requirements contact your synod office. You can see examples of synod resolutions on the Lutherans Restoring Creation website.

 

 

 

Living the Change: A Tool Connected to Many Faiths

GreenFaith has helped pull together leaders from various religions across the globe to recognize our common concern for the planet and life on it. In doing this they have created a tool that can be customized to each tradition and helps us focus on the major activities which we can alter to mitigate a changing climate. Please use this link to sign up (either solo or as a whole team… youth group, Bible Study Class, family, etc.) we want to know of your efforts and celebrate together!

Living the Change as Lutherans Restoring Creation 

Growing a garden church from food scraps and compost

We turned an empty lot in L.A. into an edible sanctuary.

by Anna Woofenden (shared from Christian Century magazine)

When I moved to Los Angeles in 2014 to start a church that connected people with food, the earth, each other, and God, I envisioned a sanctuary created around the table. It would not be built out of stones and stained glass and wood but would be circled by vegetable beds and fruit trees, with sky for ceiling and earth for floor. The vision was to create an urban farm and outdoor sanctuary feeding people in body, mind, and spirit.

In the early months, the Garden Church wandered from public park to downtown street corner. We walked the neighborhood and listened to our neighbors, finding out which grocery stores had fresh vegetables and noticing the homeless encampments, the schools, the clinics, and the empty lots. [Read more here…]

 

 

 

Consider Caring for Creation Coaching

What is ELCA Coaching? Click here for a Ministry Description

Interested in upcoming trainings?  click here.

What happens when Trained Coaches focus on helping those in Caring for Creation Ministries? All the action plans, resolutions, pledges, etc. that have emerged over years of active concern and deliberation are transformed into active progress by accompanying individuals leading these efforts to ensure goals are realized.

Response after Inaugural Creation Care Coach Training (NV- 2/6/19):

“… My most profound feeling is gratitude. THANK YOU to all of you for not only the training, but the preparation that went into it, your expertise, the vision that you invited me into, the people to whom you connected me, and the coming time of transformation. I could never have imagined what these three days would mean for me…and I am just beginning to realize it. Thank you for your partnership, your inspiration, your wisdom, and the HOPE that you have opened up for me! I carry you all with me today and in the days to come, and I look forward to connecting with you through our continued training.”

– Noni Strand, Kansas City – Central States LRC Mission Table Chair

Mark Carlson (CA), Noni Strand (KS), Dan Smith (CA), Solveig Nilsen-Goodin (CA), Keith Mundy (IL), Jane Affonso (CA), Janice Hawley (KS)

Introduced in 2019, Caring for Creation Coaching is another area of specialty coaching being offered by the ELCA in collaboration with Lutherans Restoring Creation and ecoAmerica.  Using a format similar to what has been successful with Stewardship and Discipleship Level II Coaching, this specialty will focus on developing coaching skills and competencies around five pillars (Personal Discipleship, Education, Building & Grounds, Public Witness & Advocacy) of caring for creation in the congregation and local community.  Through a series of seven session, participants will be equipped as coaches to accompany individuals and small groups in achieving their dreams through actions that create change related to caring for creation and climate solutions.

In each session special attention is given to sharpening coaching skills and engaging coaching competencies as outlined by the International Coach Federation (ICF).  These will help coaches journey alongside leaders involved in God’s work, both loving and serving the world.  (Note: ICF is the leading global organization dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high standards, providing independent certification and building a worldwide network of trained coaching professionals.).

Level One Coach Training involves a great deal of interactive training and laughter.

The Green Pledge at Carthage College

“I pledge to preserve, conserve, and protect the world’s natural resources to the best of my ability. Specifically, I will follow the three R’s of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle in my local environment by doing as many of the following as I can, and I will encourage others to do so…”

This pledge began at Carthage College, Kenosha, WI, in October 2010. It is intended to serve as a model for college and university students and everyone else. Please feel free modify the text to fit your group or community and pass it along.

To view the rest of the pledge, visit Carthage Sustainability.

Know trash? No trash! Try this youth program!

Put on a youth program about Trash!
How well do you know your trash? How can your youth group become more eco-friendly on the congregational level?
Lutherans Restoring Creation and Lutheran Community Foundation (now InFaith Community Foundation) worked together to provide an exhibit about Trash at the National Youth Gathering. 
Would you like to host a similar exhibit in your home congregation? 
Use our Know No Trash Manual as a launching off point (this PDF can also be downloaded from the bottom of this page). 
                                           
Movies about Trash
Additional Resources to explore your human footprint

 

Litany for our Personal Covenant with Creation

L: For the marvelous grace of your Creation, we pour out our thanks to You, our God.

C: We praise you, O Lord
for plants growing in earth and water,
for life inhabiting lakes and seas,
for life creeping in soils and land,
for creatures living in wetlands and waters,
for life flying above earth and sea,
for animals dwelling in woods and fields.

L: How many and wonderful are your works, our God! In wisdom you have made them all!

C: But we confess, dear Lord,
As creatures privileged with care and keeping of Your Creation that we have abused Your Creation gifts through arrogance, ignorance, and greed.
We confess, Lord, that we often are unaware of how deeply we have hurt Your good earth and its marvelous gifts.
We confess that we are often unaware of how our abuse of creation has also been an abuse of ourselves.
For our wrongs, Lord, we ask forgiveness. We offer our repentance. We promise to reverence Your Creation as a gracious gift entrusted to us by You, our God. We promise anew to be stewards and not pillagers of what You have entrusted to us. We offer our covenant with creation to pledge our commitment to care for Your good Earth.

L: Creator God,
You have given us every reason to learn and promote this wisdom of lives lived in harmony with Creation. May You daily be present with us, gracing our service, our loving, our striving, through Christ Jesus, our Lord.

C: Amen

 

 

Resources for Creation Care Congregations

The goal of the LRC program is to incorporate creation care into the full identity and mission of your congregation and to foster an ethos in which everyone considers creation care to be part of your life together and your witness to their community. Therefore, choose actions and programs that contribute to this goal.

As you work your creation care congregational program, you may want to expand the choices for the action plan to make bolder plans, to draw upon particular assets, and to address local needs and opportunities. Consult the many additional resources on the websites sponsored by LRC.

LRC Self-Organizing Kit. This manual, available here on this site, or as a download, has many ideas for eliciting the full participation of the congregation as well as some principles for pursuing creation-care. There is also an excellent manual for congregations developed by students at Luther College, with many ideas and resources.

An Expanded Action Plan. The congregational self-organizing kit includes a much fuller action plan following the same categories as in your action plan: worship, education, building and grounds, personal discipleship, and public witness/policy advocacy. You will find there more choices and links to more resources. Explore the site for additional ideas.

Renewing your program and taking advanced steps. The manual includes many ideas for maintaining a vital creation care program and for taking it to the next level. If you find that the actions in the action plan have been exhausted by your efforts or you want more choices, consult the ideas in these sections, which come at the end of the manual.

Stories. For ideas and inspiration from others, spend some time on this site to see what programs and projects have been carried out by other Lutheran congregations.

Theological foundations. There are reflections for each of the five areas (advocacy, building/grounds, education, personal discipleship worship), identifying the biblical, theological, and ethical foundations for choosing programs and taking actions in each area of the action plan. These are helpful for study sessions or adult forums.

Special LRC Congregational programs. Consider joining the GreenFaith certification program for Lutheran Congregations. The program includes mentoring to complete a set of actions and events. LRC also sponsors Energy Stewards Initiative, a program that features online tracking of energy use, an action plan, and bi-monthly webinars that guide you through a process designed to lower energy use and carbon footprint and to free up funds for other ministries.

Professional coaching support. As the ELCA has offered coaching support for years as members work on stewardship programs, a Caring for Creation specialty program is in development. If your green team is at a point that they have some goals, but don’t know how to put it anything into action, you are likely in need of some coaching sessions to set some mile-markers along the way.

Be creative. We encourage you to develop your own resources for this program. And we hope you will share them with us! so that we can energize and inspire other congregations to join this effort to restore creation.

 

 

Checklist for Energy Savings Room by Room

Overall Home Energy Saving Measures

Efficiency

  • Heat/ AC: Install high efficiency ENERGY STAR-rated furnace and air conditioner, at least at level of 94% efficiency. Place furnace where it can provide the greatest distribution of forced air flow throughout the house.
  • Heat/AC: Have duct settings adjusted for maximum spread/flow of heat and cool air throughout the house.
  • Heat/AC: Install ceiling fans to bring heat to floor levels in winter and to circulate cool air in summer.
  • Heat/AC: Seal heat ducts to prevent leaking hot air into basement.
  • Heat/AC: Shut off rooms not in use. Use magnetic mats to cover heat vents in closed off room.
  • Windows: install high efficiency energy star double-or triple-paned windows and storm windows. Close/lock tightly and seal in winter. Seal window sash at top and bottom with self-adhesive foam.
  • Windows: Use honeycomb shades with double or triple cell construction. Put up drapes with thermal liners, measured to cover window frame.
  • Windows: Use window insulation kits (clear, easily removable caulk or plastic covers) for extra protection from cold.
  • Windows: On south side, open curtains and lower shades for sun to heat in winter. Shift from east to west from morning to night. Open windows for outside air to cool in summer.
  • Insulation: Request of energy company or hire energy expert to do complete evaluation (incentives from government and energy company on the changes you make will pay for the expert advice). EE will do blower test to identify leaks, use “X-ray” to find places in walls that are not insulated, and find nooks and crannies throughout the house where air is escaping or entering.
  • Insulation: The biggest benefit comes from installing heavy insulation in attic, including under attic floors.
  • Insulation: Insulate electrical outlets on outside walls. Install small pads that go inside outlet covers.
  • Insulation: Insulate and weather strip outside doors, including a door to the garage. Paint and seal wood doors to the outside, or put on insulation.
  • Insulation: Put door sweeps (or snakes) at bottom of outside doors or doors to rooms that have been shut off from heat. Make sure doors close tightly.
  • Lights: install CFLs or LEDs in every outlet and lamp. Where needed retrofit for the most efficient fluorescent tubes.
  • Lights: Install motion sensors for rooms where lights are used often and prone to be left on.
  • Water: Put aerators on all sink faucets throughout the house. Install low-flow shower heads.
  • Water: Check regularly for leaks in all faucets (inside and out), toilets, and pipes throughout the house. Repair leaks immediately.

Conservation:

  • Heat/ AC: Have furnace/ air conditioner tuned and serviced once a year.
  • Furnace: Change furnace filters each month or every three months, depending on the longevity of the filter.
  • Heat/AC: make sure forced-air vents are unobstructed. Make sure air return vents are unobstructed.
  • Heat/AC: Have air ducts cleaned every ten years.
  • Heat: Seal heat ducts to prevent leaking hot air.
  • Heat/AC: Clear and clean cold air returns and registers.
  • Thermostat: Set 24/7 thermostat. Lower heat at night and when absent. Wear warm clothes rather than high heat.  Turn heat down in winter for the night. Set automatic thermostat in house for 60 to begin one-half hour before bed and to end one-half hour before rising.
  • Heat: Turn down heat when away from the house.
  • Lights: Turn off lights in rooms not in use. Use minimal light when in use.
  • Lights: Position lamps/ furniture for optimum lighting.
  • Lights: Open thermal curtains and shades for sun to provide natural heat in winter. Use outside air to cool in summer. Block windows from sun to preserve inside cool in summer.
  • Windows: On south side, open curtains and lower shades for sun to heat in winter. Shift from east to west from morning to night. Open windows for outside air to cool in summer.
  • Lights: Depend on outside natural light. Turn off lights/ overhead fan when not in use. Turn off oven fan and light when not in use.
  • Heat: Turn down heat when away from the house.
  • Insulation: Fill openings into the basement from water spigots, gas lines, electric service outlets, cable TV, and data lines.
  • Heat: Seal heat ducts to prevent leaking hot air.
  • Heat/AC: Clear and clean cold air returns and registers.
  •  Lights: When away from house for days, put lamp on timer to come on at night.

KITCHEN

Efficiency

  • Appliances: (Energy Star): Replace appliances after ten years or sooner. Purchase top to bottom refrigerator. Side by side refrigerator-freezer uses 7-13% more energy than when freezer is at top or bottom.  Do not position refrigerator near heat. Leave two inches on either side of refrigerator.
  • Refrigerator/ Freezer: Set at medium for refrigerator (37-40 degrees F) and freezer (0 to 5 degrees F). A freezer that is filled with food is more efficient.
  • Dish washing: Get ENERGY STAR high efficiency. Use dishwasher rather than hand washing. Run on energy saving/shorter cycle. Turn off “heat drying.” Clean filter; open door to air dry.
  • Compost food: Avoid use of disposal. If you use disposal, run cold water. Compost food scraps.
  • Water: Install aerator on faucets. Fix leaks immediately.
  • Water: Use effective sink stoppers.
  • Cooking: Use microwave or toaster oven for less energy. Use pressure cookers and crock pots.
  • Stove: use lids to heat. Clean burner bowls to retain heat. Use burners smaller than the pan. Have oven on only when pre-heating or in use. Make sure gaskets on oven door seal properly. Don’t open oven when cooking.
  • Small appliances: Avoid unnecessary electric appliances such as electric peelers, can openers, or carving knives. Unplug unused refrigerators and freezers.
  • Clock. Avoid electric clock. Use clock with recycled batteries. Use solar clock.
  • Pantry: Turn off light in pantry or put on motion sensor.

Conservation:

  • Refrigerator: Make sure the rubber gaskets on the doors seal fully (clean or replace).
  • Refrigerator: Clean coils, under refrigerator, behind front panel, evaporator pan, and motor every six months. Use “feet” to make refrigerator level front to back and side to side.
  • Refrigerator: Do not leave refrigerator or freezer door open when doing tasks.
  • Water: Do not let the water run unnecessarily. Use cold water for most tasks. Post reminders.
  • Cooking: Use microwave rather than oven. Use smaller appliances. Save energy with slow cookers (crock pot).
  • Cooking: Lower the heat after boiling. Use lids. Do not check food in oven. Seal oven door.
  • Lights: Depend on outside natural light. Turn off lights/ overhead fan when not in use. Turn off oven fan and light when not in use.
  • Dish washing: Scrape but do not rinse dishes before putting them in the dish washer. If you scrape, use cold water. Do dishwasher only when it is full. Run on energy saving cycle. Turn off heated drying.
  • Cooking: Use microwave or toaster oven for less energy. Use pressure cookers and crock pots.
  • Stove: use lids to heat. Clean burner bowls to retain heat. Use burners smaller than the pan. Have oven on only when pre-heating or in use. Make sure gaskets on oven door seal properly. Don’t peak in oven.
  • Compost: Avoid disposals by composting all food. If you use the disposal, use cold water.
  • Appliances: Unplug unused refrigerators and freezers.
  • Electricity: Turn off at the source toasters, coffee pots, and microwaves when not in use.
  • Avoid paper: Re-use cloth napkins by designating a napkin for each person with napkin holder. Use cloth towels rather than paper towels.
  • Re-use: Re-use personal drinking glasses during the day.
  • Re-use: Avoid disposable paper or plastic plates, cups, utensils, containers.
  • Electricity: Use smart plug to turn off microwave when not in use (phantom electricity)
  • Electricity: Use smart strip to turn off radios and TVs when not in use.

Efficiency

  • Heat/air: make sure forced-air vents are unobstructed.
  • Heat/air: install high efficiency windows and storm windows. Close tightly and seal in winter. Install insulating shades. Put up thermal curtains.
  • Heat/air: Install ceiling fan for heat in winter and cooling in summer.
  • Lights: Use CFLs or LEDs in overhead, lamps, closet. Install motion sensors for overhead lights and closet.
  • Lights: When away from house for days, put lamp on timer to come on at night only.
  • Electricity: Use smart strip to turn off TV and DVD automatically at the source when not in use (phantom electricity).

Conservation

  • Lights: Open thermal curtains and shades for sun to heat in winter. Use outside air to cool in summer.
  • Lights: Place furniture to optimize natural lighting. Position lamps for maximum effect.
  • Lights: turn off when not in use. Use only the lights/lamps needed. Use small LED night lights.
  • Heat: Turn heat down in winter for the night. Set automatic thermostat in house for 60 to begin one-half hour before bed and to end one-half hour before rising, health permitting. Add clothing and bedding for warmth.
  • Heat: Turn down heat when away from the house.
  • Electricity: Turn off TV and radio when not in use. Use smart strip.
  • Clock: Use renewable battery-driven wall or table clock.

BEDROOM

Efficiency

  • Heat/air: make sure forced-air vents are unobstructed. Check need for insulation in walls and ceiling.
  • Heat/air: install high efficiency windows and storm windows. Close tightly and seal in winter. Install insulating shades. Put up thermal curtains.
  • Lights: Install motion sensors overhead lights. Use CFLs or LEDs in overhead and lamps.
  • Lights: Use natural light during the day. Use small LED night light for nighttime.
  • Electricity: Turn off TV and radio when not in use. Use smart strip to turn off TV, DVD, and radio automatically at the source when not in use (phantom electricity).

Conservation

  • Lights: Open thermal curtains and shades for sun to heat in winter. Use outside air to cool in summer.
  • Lights: turn off when not in use. Use only the lights/lamp needed. Use LED night lights.
  • Heat: Turn heat down in winter for the night. Set automatic thermostat in house for 60 to begin one-half hour before bed and to end one-half hour before rising. Use clothing and extra bedding for warmth.
  • Energy: Turn off TVs and radios when not in use.
  • Energy: Use alarm clock powered by renewable battery.

BATHROOM

Efficiency:

  • Heat/air: Make sure heat vents are unobstructed.
  • Heat/air: Attend to windows (see above)
  • Lights: Use CFLs or LEDs. Install motion sensors on lights. If you have multiple lights over sink, use only what is needed.
  • Lights: Use natural light during the day. Use small LED night light for nighttime.
  • Water: Use aerators on sink faucets. Use low-flow shower heads. Repair leaks immediately.
  • Water: Use low water toilets. Or deposit tank balloon or brick to displace water. Flush less often. Repair running toilets immediately. Advanced: self-composting toilet.
  • Paper: Use post-consumer waste toilet paper.

Conservation:

  • Water: Do not run water while brushing teeth, shaving, scrubbing hands, combing hair, etc. Post reminders. Use cold water for washing hands, shaving, etc.
  • Water: Take a shower rather than a bath. Take fewer showers. Get a “shower coach” (small plastic hour-glass to be put in shower area with suction cup) and limit your showers to five minutes.
  • Water: flush less often.
  • Water: Fill bucket with cold water when getting a hot shower and use it for watering plants.
  • Lights: Turn off lights when not in use, even motion sensor lights. Post reminders.
  • Electricity: Turn off curling irons, electric tooth brushes, and other electric devices when not in use.
  • Laundry: Designate personal towels and wash cloths for re-use to limit need for unnecessary laundry. Avoid plush towels so as to provide more space in washing machine.

LAUNDRY ROOM

Efficiency

  • Appliances: Purchase high efficiency energy star washers and dryers. Front load washers use half the energy and water as top loading washers.
  • Lights: Use CFLs or LEDs. Turn off when not in use—between loads. Install motion sensors lights.
  • Heat/air: make sure air vents are unobstructed.
  • Heat/air: install high efficiency windows and storm windows. Close tightly and seal in winter. Put up thermal curtains. Open for sun to heat in winter. Use outside air to cool in summer.

Conservation

  • Washer and Dryer: Run washer and dryer only on full loads.
  • Washer and Dryer: Adjust water level and cycle length to maximize savings. Wash clothes in warm or cold. Rinse in cold.
  • Washer and Dryer Pre-soak only the dirtiest clothes.
  • Washer and Dryer Dry clothes on lines in basement or outside.
  • Washer and Dryer Do not over-dry clothes. Clean the dryer lint filter after each load.
  • Washer and Dryer Clean dryer exhaust duct and outside vents.
  • Washer and Dryer Grab and fold/hang from dryer to avoid the need for ironing.
  • Washer and Dryer Run appliances at night.

ATTIC

  • Lights: Use CFLs or LEDs. Turn off when not in use. Install motion sensor lights.
  • Insulation: Put extensive insulation between floor joists and under floor. Seal floor spaces. R-50 at least.
  • Insulation: Locate hidden spaces around attic edges and insulate well. Insulate stairway to attic.
  • Insulation: If heating ducts or return air ducts go through attic, cover them with insulation.
  • Insulation: Put insulation on inside of attic door and put seals around the door.
  • Air flow: Provide adequate airflow to avoid heat settling on floor of attic in summer.
  • Air flow: Install solar fan on roof for air movement in attic.

BASEMENT

  • Lights: Use CFLs or LEDs. Install motion sensors for some rooms. Turn off when not in use.
  • Heat/AC: Get high efficiency Energy Star furnace/ air conditioner. Have furnace serviced each year. Change filters regularly.
  • Heat: Seal heat ducts to prevent leaking hot air into basement area.
  • Insulation: Weather strip, insulate, and cover small basement windows often overlooked. Install glass block windows.
  • Insulation: Insulate portion of outside walls above the foundation.
  • Insulation: Insulate on ceiling above crawl spaces.
  • Insulation: Insulate basement ceiling if cold, especially along cracks and separations.
  • Insulation Insulate along the rim joists where the foundation meets the walls. R-19.
  • Insulation Insulate hot water pipes.
  • Insulation Fill openings into the basement around water spigots, gas lines, electric service outlets, cable TV, and internet lines.
  • Insulation Seal basement for winter and use air vents in glass-block windows for summer to avoid high humidity.
  • Water: Put aerators on sink faucets. Repair leaks immediately.
  • Water: Use low water toilets. If not a low water-use toilet, deposit tank balloon or brick to displace water. Repair running toilets immediately. Advanced: self-composting toilet.
  • Water heater: Set temperature at 120. Drain overflow occasionally. Put a blanket on water heater (3 inches).
  • Water heater: Advanced: Install on-demand water heater. Or install solar panel panels for energy to heat water.
  • Humidity appliances: Dehumidifier/ humidifier: If use dehumidifier is used in summer, set level and timer to save money. Purchase ENERGY STAR appliance. Same for humidifiers in winter.
  • Appliances: Avoid second refrigerator or freezer in basement.

OUTSIDE

Efficiency

  • Lights: Use CFLs or LEDs for porch lighting and area flood lights.
  • Lights: Put outside safety lights on motion sensor.
  • Lights: If needed regularly, put porch or area lights on timer.
  • Lights: Use solar garden lights.
  • Lights: Put in motion sensor garage lights.
  • Trees: Plant trees, shrubs, vines on trellises to provide protection from wind in winter and sun in summer. Evergreen trees on north and northwest sides of house.
  • Awnings: Put up awnings to cool the house in summer.
  • Insulation: Caulk around the outside dryer and furnace vents.
  • Mowing: Use hand mower or battery or electric mower. Or rotary mower. Keep clean (from grass caking) and serviced.
  • Leaves: Hand rake or sweep rather than leaf/ grass blower. Avoid electric trimmer and grass liner.
  • Snow: Shovel snow, when feasible, rather than snow blower.
  • Shade: Provide shade for air conditioning unit but with plenty of clear space around unit.

Conservation

  • Lights: Use only the lighting needed for use or safety.
  • Lights: Change setting of timed lighting by the season.
  • Lights: Clean outdoor light fixtures.
  • Lights: Put night window lamps on timers.
  • Garage: Limit use of automatic garage opener.

TRANSPORTATION

  • Car/ truck: Purchase electric or hybrid car or one with high fuel efficiency.
  • Alternate transportation: Walk. Ride a bicycle. Take a bus. Car pool. Avoid heavy traffic.
  • Car tip: Keep engine tuned, change regularly oil, replace air filter, have car serviced on schedule.
  • Car tip: Keep tires inflated at recommended levels.
  • Car tip: Avoid jack rabbit starts. Accelerate slowly.
  • Car tip: On highway, approximate 55 miles per hour where safe to do so.
  • Car tip: Avoid engine idling. Coast in gear. Anticipate so you do not need to come to full stop at traffic lights.
  • Car tip: Open windows to limit use of air conditioning. At 60 mph, use air conditioning, because open windows create drag.
  • Car tip: Avoid unnecessary heavy items in the trunk or car.
  • Car tip: Switch to eco-focused tires, which reduce rolling resistance.

 

 

Devotional resources for use with the Bible and nature

The Green Bible (Harper Bibles, 2008). New Revised Standard Version that highlights in green print all passages related to nature throughout the Bible. Wonderful for personal devotion. Excellent introductory articles on Bible and Ecology by N.T. Wright, Barbara Brown Taylor, Brian McLaren, Matthew Sleeth, Pope John Paul II, and Wendell Berry.

Green Bible Devotional: A Book of Daily Readings (Harper Collins, 2009) A book of sixty daily readings, each of which is based on a “green-letter” passage in the Bible. Meditations and prayers follow the themes of water, air, land use, animal protection, human health, and responsible stewardship.

Stewardship of Creation: 30 Days with Nature (Prepared by students at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago) With daily Bible passages and reflections for personal use. Download, copy, and fold as a booklet to be distributed to congregations as shared devotional material.

Earth Gospel: A Guide to Prayer with God’s Creation Edited by Sam Hamilton-Poore (Upper Room Books, 2008) An excellent collection of scripture passages, hymns, prayers, blessings, and quotations for forty days of devotions for personal use. Good resource also for opening and closing meetings.

 

 

Creation Care Congregation: Public Witness/Policy Advocacy Ideas

Public Witness/Policy Advocacy: “Church exists to serve the world”

Hands-on project. Learn what environmental projects are happening in your area and what organizations are sponsoring them. Recruit members of your congregation to partner with them in the effort. Restore a habitat, clean up trash, plant trees.

Informational forums. Learn what environmental organizations are in your community and invite a representative of one or more to present a forum on their program. Promote the ways that your congregation can support their efforts. If you feel called to speak on climate change, there are tools available to help you communicate about the issue effectively according to behavioral science studies. Go to ecoAmerica’s Blessed Tomorrow site for a Moving Forward guide and consider taking their course to train others ineffective climate communication.

Legislative forum. Invite the head of the Lutheran Public Policy office in your area to preach and present a forum at your congregation. Or invite a local official familiar with local state and regional issues around the environment. If there is a critical issue in your area, plan a forum for information and conversation about it.

Action alerts: Invite members to sign up to receive action alerts via e-mail from ELCA e-Advocacy Network: http://www.elca.org/en/Our-Work/Publicly-Engaged-Church/Advocacy/Get-Involved. The process for contacting legislators is made very simple.

Partner with other faith communities. Join with others seeking to green their congregations. If no such organization exists, start one by asking the green team of one or more other congregations to meet with you and share ideas. Or, if you have been active for several years, offer to mentor another congregation in becoming a creation-care community.

These ideas are also shared in our congregational self-organizing kit. For more details, visit this page.