Category Archives: Devotional Materials

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.

*

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!

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).

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). 

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.

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.

 

 

Companion Sites

Lutherans Restoring Creation greatly appreciates the volunteers who keep the following resources updated. We are also blessed to have a ELCA Stewardship and Advocacy teams who manage a standing library of resources ranging from public policy how-to’s to every social statement in entirety to study guides to talk about holistic stewardship practices in your church:

LetAllCreationPraise.org
Lutherans Restoring Creation Blog
ELCA Care for Creation
ELCA Advocacy

The following sites are great for referencing material and tracing the history of this work. However, there are many broken links and out-dated contact information. Please use these resources with that in mind and ask info@lutheransrestoringcreation.org for any updates.

www.webofcreation.org
www.bibleandecology.org

Sacraments and Creation

The sacraments are occasions to reflect on human relationships with the rest of creation. Different Christian communities recognize different sacraments. We will reflect here on the two most common sacraments: baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The presence of an element of nature and the pronouncement of a word in relation to the offer of the element of nature assure us that the reality of Christ/God will be present in, with, and under the elements and the whole event, so that they are sacramental—capable of bearing the holiness and grace of God into our lives so as to transform us.

We often focus on the symbolic meaning of the elements used in sacraments: water, bread, and wine. But in the context of our concern for the environment, we can focus on the elements themselves.

Notice how the status of grapes and grain and water as vehicles of the divine can in turn serve to give meaning to and to enhance our experience of these tangible realities of life for their own sake. For example, as a Eucharist or “thanksgiving,” Holy Communion can be an opportunity to express gratitude for all the natural order that sustains life at a material (and a spiritual) level, leading us to delight anew in the creation. To see the natural elements of both sacraments—water, grain, and grapes—as vehicles of grace is to realize that the finite can indeed bear of the infinite to us. This in itself elevates the goodness of nature as worthy and capable of being the means by which we establish a relationship with God and by which God establishes a relationship with us.

Baptism. Traditionally, baptism involves water for cleansing and for judgment or it symbolizes death and resurrection. However, what about also exploring the richness of the symbol of water in new ways in light of our contemporary knowledge and experience of water? We now know that water is the primordial context out of which life emerged and evolved to its present state. Why not connect this with the new creation at baptism? If baptism symbolizes a new beginning to life, then we can reflect on the new beginning to humanity that comes by immersing ourselves in water—so that we can, in a sense, re-emerge from water as a renewed humanity or as renewed life in all its manifestations—and in solidarity with all the life forms that led to human evolution.

Or could we not emphasize how vital water is to life—how our bodies are 90% water and we cannot live long without it? In this way, the water of life in baptism reinforces our gratitude for the water upon which we depend for life and health. Or baptism may remind us of how tragic it is to consider being baptized by water that is polluted rather than the pure living water that God created. Such a connection could lead us to see anew our vocation as baptized people to preserve clean water on the Earth. Or by baptism in water, we may acknowledge how much of the whole earth is comprised of water. In this way, the very fact that we are declared a child of God by immersion into nature itself can serve to get us in touch with our em-beddedness in nature as human beings. In all these ways we may re-connect the water of baptism to the water around us in nature.

The Lord’s Supper. The sacrament of Holy Communion is another opportunity to realize how integral is our human em-beddedness in nature. In the Eucharist, we are using natural fruits of Earth as a vehicle for God’s presence: wine from grapes and bread from grain. But it is more than that. Grapes grow from the vine that brings it forth, the ingredients of the soil, the water that nourishes the soil, the beetles that aerate the soil, the sun that shines on the plants, the air that surrounds the plant—and the composition and the combination of these elements is unique to the particular area or region where the grapes are being raised. Add to these factors the wood from the trees used to make the barrels in which the wine was stored and the ingredients employed as fermenting agents. We can reflect in a similar way on the bread used for communion. Some congregations use organically-grown, whole grain bread. Some congregations use bread made of multiple grains originating from several continents. In these ways, the elements of the Eucharist get us in touch with all of nature.

In addition, the Eucharist is connected to all of life in another way. It is a reminder of the death of Jesus, a recollection that all of life is a cycle of living and dying and resurrection. This is not to reduce the particularity of Christ’s death or the efficacy of it for salvation to the processes of nature. Rather, it is simply to recognize that the death of Jesus is an analog to the natural order in which death gives birth to life. The deaths of trees and other plants and the death of animals over the life span of the planet have made the earth into a great store of energy and one great compost heap that is the source of life and energy today.

The Sacramental Presence of God/Christ everywhere. Finally, it is important to observe that the elements of the sacraments are “common” elements of life—elements of food upon which we depend for life—assuring us that if God can be present in and through such common elements as bread and wine, then surely God is present to us everywhere in life. What difference does it make to our view of the daily food we eat and the daily drinks we drink knowing that bread and wine are sacramental? What difference does it make to our experience of water and soil and air, knowing that water is sacramental? The Eucharist is meant not only to lead us to experience the particularity of its symbolic meaning in the communion meal. It also leads us to think differently about all common elements of life—in such a way that our common experiences of them also become sacramental. That is, all elements of nature may convey for us the grace of God, that dearest freshness that lies deep down all things. As Martin Luther wrote, “God writes the Gospel, not in the Bible alone, but also on trees and in the flowers and clouds and stars.”

When we see all of life as sacramental, it changes our relationship to and our responsibility for creation—concern for pure water, our desire not to waste food, the problems with pesticides on grain and grapes, and a host of other ecological problems to which humans have contributed. We re-dedicate ourselves in worship to stop our actions that degrade nature and to find ways to restore God’s creation.

“A Shared Concern” (Poem) by Gerhard Fuerst

A Shared Concern

This is a collective obligation,
this is a collective effort
by humanity as a whole,
by all who really care
to preserve and to protect
this precious gift,
this global treasure,
this divine creation,
the vital source which sustains life,
the source which shelters,
nourishes, and nurtures all of us,
and
to resist, to counteract, to prevent
the greed and the grabbing,
the trampling, the ravaging, the raping,
the polluting, and the trashing,
the subduing, and the smashing,
of plutocrats
who are out and about
to plunder and pilfer,
to degrade and destroy,
and to enrich themselves
at the expense
of all forms of life
and the chances of survival
and continued living.

They are in in this
to enrich and aggrandize themselves.
They are in this
for the taking,
and not for the giving.
It is time to stand together.
to become and to remain as
collaborative shields of protection.
It is a deed and a duty
which most urgently needs to be done.
We cannot stand idly by
while this perpetual warring against the planet
by the narcissistically, selfishly, pointlessly palavering,
and incessantly plundering and profiteering plutocrats
continues unabated,
and in due course,
to our individual detriment
and our collective cost,
by them would be won.

Gerhard A. Fuerst, 1/26/2016

Gerhard A. Fuerst
(retired secondary & university educator)
701 Academy Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49007-4681
G1st@aol.com

Member of Trinity Lutheran Church
Kalamazoo, MI

Living Earth Reflections from the ELCA Advocacy Office

ELCA Advocacy Office Relections

Living Earth Reflections from ELCA Advocacy offers writing from staff and guest writers on a variety of issues. Search on the ELCA Advocacy site to download reflections and use for Adult Forums or Bible Studies or as a preaching resource.

Subscribe to receive these reflections by email.

Reflection for Good Friday

After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, Jesus said (in order to fulfill the scripture), “I am thirsty.”  — John 19:28
On Good Friday the youth of United in Christ, Lewisburg, PA, designed a service of darkness focused on the seven last words of Christ. The youth worked in pairs on their sermons which they preached in a dialogical style. This sermon was written by two middle school youth from an ecological perspective, focusing on the need for clean water.

Rev. H. Paul Santmire writes for the rest of us

Behold the Lilies: Jesus and the Contemplation of Nature:  A Primer  (2017)

Read a chapter: From Lake Wobegon to the Streets of Manhattan: Behold then Follow

Behold the Lilies, by the Rev. H. Paul Santmire, draws from the riches of the author’s long-standing work in the theology of nature and ecological spirituality, especially from his classic historical study, The Travail of Nature (1985), and from his Franciscan exploration in Christian spirituality, Before Nature (2014). In this new volume, Santmire maintains that those who would follow Jesus are mandated not just to care for the earth and all its creatures but also to contemplate the beauties of the whole creation, beginning with “the lilies of the field.” His first-person reflections range from “Scything with God” to “Rediscovering Saint Francis in Stone,” from “Taking a Plunge in the Niagara River” to “Pondering the Darkness of Nature.” Behold  the Lilies offers brief spiritual reflections that can be read in any order, over a period of time. This accessible primer will be welcomed not only by those who have already identified themselves with the way of Jesus but also by others who are searching for a contemplative spirituality attuned to global ecological and justice issues.