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"Earth Day/Festival of God's Creation"
With Earth Day (April 22nd) just around you and your church may be preparing a special worship service, educational opportunity, and/or hands-on experience. If you are, you're in good company. Like you, many United Methodist churches will be doing just what the UMC Book of Resolutions
suggests:"As disciples of Christ, we are called to be good stewards ofGod's creation. Accordingly, we call upon The United Methodist Church to adopt fresh ways to respond to the perils that now threaten the integrity of God's creation and the future of God's children. Specifically, The UnitedMethodist Church: designates one Sunday each year,preferably the Sunday closest to Earth Day, as a Festival of God's Creation, celebrating God's gracious work in creating the earth and all living things, incorporating it into the church's liturgical calendar, and developing appropriate ways for congregations to celebrate it. ..."
(Resolution #1027, "God's Creation & the Church
This issue of Creation-Care, 365
is for those of you who (like me!) still may be planning this "festival." And, please do not hesitate to contact me
if I can be of any help in your planning. Have a most blessed festival!
Grace and Peace be with you,
Creation-Care Projects Coordinator
PNW Office of Connectional Ministries
From Taylor Burton-Edwards
Director of Worship Resources, The UMC General Board of Discipleship, excerpted from "A Great Thanksgiving for Festival of God's Creation" liturgy.
"We are yours, all yours, blessed Triune God...
Yours the blessing, yours the praise,
from the unimaginable silence before the big bang,
beyond the farthest reaches of time and space
our instruments may ever find,
from infinity to infinity, everlasting to everlasting,
you are God, boundless in love and power."
| Small Steps... for Greater Good|
|"Sunday Morning Sustainability:
Eco-Justice Impacts and Opportunities"
We have excerpted the following tips (a few among many!) directly from the National Council of Churches' 2013 Earth Day resource, "Sunday Morning Sustainability" (please read below for more information on this resource):
|Tools for Renewal|
|Festival of God's Creation/Earth Day Resources
From The United Methodist Church (UMC) & National Council of Churches (NCC)
If you're looking for worship resources for your congregation's Festival of God's Creation (FGC)/Earth Day, here are but a few designed by and for United Methodists: I. NCC/UMC Earth Day 2013 Resource
: "Sunday Morning Sustainability: Eco-Justice Impacts and Opportunities" -- a comprehensive, congregational resource for Earth Day Sunday, which includes a bulletin insert (with an entire order of worship), sermon starters, and very practical "Eco-Justice Impacts and Opportunities" related to transportation, electricity, clothing, food, water, and other choices that one might make on any given Sunday. The PNW UMC's very own Rev. Jenny Phillips
authored this excellent resource, which is FREE to download through the NCC Eco-Justice Programs' website
New liturgy for 2013 from The UMC General Board of Discipleship (GBOD): "A Great Thanksgiving for Festival of God's Creation
," by Taylor W. Burton-EdwardsIII. Archived FGC/Earth Day resources from The UMC GBODs
include: "Propers for a Great Thanksgiving for the Festival of Creation Sunday,"
"Music for Earth Day and the Festival of God's Creation," "Prayer of Confession for Earth Day and the Festival of God's Creation," and many more.IV. Earth Day Sunday Resources from the NCC
-- dating back to 2004, you'll find an extensive archive of free resource packets (similar to #I above) around themes like: "Ethics of Energy," "Eco-Justice as Community," "Our Daily Bread," and many others.
|Some excellent, on-line sermon helps -- most of which coincide with the Revised Common Lectionary:|
|Events & Actions|
|Spring-Summer 2013 |
- April 6 (Seattle, WA): Prospect Congregational UCC's "Climate Change Blues: A Jazz/Blues Benefit Concert for Environmental Justice"
- April 10 (Seattle, WA): Queen Anne UMC's The Well - Mike Wallace on Climate Change: Myths, Facts, & Us
- April 14 (Eugene, OR): First UMC Eugene hosts Ched Myers, speaking on "Responding in Faith to Climate Change & Ecojustice"
- April 19 (Seattle, WA): Faith, Hope, and 20 Years: Earth Ministry's Anniversary Celebration
- April 26 (Beaverton, OR): EcoFaith Recovery's Ecology of Grace & Justice series - "Organizing the Biocommons: Where do we go from here?"
- April 28 (Seattle, WA): Queen Anne UMC's The Well - Bill McKibben on Coal, Climate Change, and the PNW
- April 29 & May 6 (Seattle, WA): University Temple UMC's 2-part discussion of the book The Great Disruption: How the Climate Crisis will Transform the Global Economy, led by Mike Wallace
- May 6 (Seattle, WA): "In the Fullness of Time" with Joanna Macy
- May 8 (Seattle, WA): Queen Anne UMC's The Well - Charles Montgomery on Urban Design and Happiness
- May 11 (Seattle, WA): St. James' Cathedral's "Reflecting on the Earth as a Sacred Community" event
- May 15 (Seattle, WA): Queen Anne UMC's The Well - Norman Wirzba on Food, Faith, & Creation
- May 18 (Seattle, WA): Mustard Seed Associates' "The Spirituality of Gardening" seminar
- May 28 (Seattle, WA): Queen Anne UMC's The Well - Robert Paarlberg on the Politics of Food, Food Policy, Nutrition, and Feeding the World
- June 18 (Seattle, WA): Queen Anne UMC's The Well - Marion Nestle on Public Policy, Nutrition, and SNAP
Wesley UMC's Green Team*
Wesley UMC (Yakima) to Install Its First Solar Panels on "Earth Sunday"
After many years of planning and work, members of Wesley UMC in Yakima, WA will witness and bless the instillation of their first -- of 42 -- solar panels on April 21, 2013. Here is a bit of background on their energy-efficiency work:
"In the last ten years our Trustees have been working with Pacific Power and Light to increase our energy efficiency.
We have installed energy efficient lighting in many places and thermal pane windows in the offices and classrooms. We have upgraded our heating and cooling system from equipment that was 65% efficient to its present 95%! Our utility bills have been greatly reduced.
Trustees have identified further energy saving projects that would cost $30,000 to $40,000.
"For about three years our Green Team has been investigating solar panels as a way to bear witness to a sustainable future of renewable energy sources
on a planet experiencing the limits of fossil fuel supplies and limited capacity of the atmosphere to absorb more carbon dioxide without drastic changes in the global climate." (From Pastor Ron Hines' congregational letter, "Hope for Energy Futures
There's great support at Wesley UMC for the solar panels -- as indicated in a recent congregational survey:
"65 of 75 worshippers responding to a recent survey think that solar panels are a great idea. Here are a few of their comments:
- 'We need to be an example to the community.
- 'It would pay on so many levels.'
- 'We are serving God's Creation.'
- 'Someone has to be a leader. If it works, others will follow.'
- 'Our children will be inspired by our faith and investment in a green future.'"
|UMC Creation-Care News|