We have traditionally done worship focusing on our human relationship with God and our human relationships with each other. Now we need to fill our worship also with elements of God’s relationship with all of creation and with our human relationship with creation (and with God in creation). Here are some suggestions for how to integrate creation fully into your worship–all worship services. The idea is to include appropriate references to creation at the beginning, middle, and end of each service, along with other references throughout. Incorporate some of these changes on a regular basis, and those who worship will be much more aware of their relationship with God the creator and of their own relationship with nature.
Key moments for every worship service
Develop standard openings or vary it each week. Include it as a formal or an informal component of worship
Invoke the presence of the God of all creation. “We call upon the God of all creation to be present this day.” “We invoke the presence of God who created . . [ here you may list diverse domains of creation such as mountains, rivers, sky, forest or you may list specific creatures and places].
Invitation: Invite all creation to worship or invite humans to join the choir of all creation in praise of God. You may be concrete by inviting domains or even the plants and animals on your church grounds or in your geographical region.
Include at least one statement of confession that addresses our degradation and misuse of creation.
Introduction to scripture readings and the Psalm:
In the preface to scripture, encourage people to note the elements of the lessons that relate to nature as a whole.
Indicate in the preface to the prayers that you are including prayers “for all creation.”
Include at least one prayer of Thanksgiving for creation and a petition on behalf of the natural world (recent disaster, endangered species, people at risk from environment). Be specific about land and waterways in your area.
Commission people to “Go in peace. Serve the Lord, Remember the poor. Care for creation.” Or “Tend the Earth.”
Introduction: If there is an introduction to the focus of the season and the Sunday at the beginning of the service, connect this to creation.
Keep in mind hymns with reference to the natural world.
Take the opportunity to note references to God the creator and to the presence of the nature in the biblical world.
Often the psalm is a source of celebration of God the creator and the natural world.
Proclaim the good news of God’s creation. Give examples and challenges that include our relationship with nature.
Make connections for people to the natural elements of grapes, grain, and water bearing the presence of Christ.