Key Moments in Every Worship Service

 

Creation-Care in Every Worship Service

Four Key Moments

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-carefully 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.

If you do only a few of these simple steps on a regular basis, it will have a powerful impact in the worshiping community. Care for creation will not be an add-on to the Christian faith. It will be integral to your identify and mission in the central communal event of worship. Those who worship will be more aware of their relationship with God the creator and of their own relationship with nature through the year.

Four key moments that help to structure every worship service.

These can be either a formal invocation that you repeat each service or an informal one that you vary or change by season of the church year.

 

Invocation/invitation:

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/ call to worship: Invite all creation to worship. “Today we join the choir of all creation in praise of God.” Remind the congregation that the Earth is the real sanctuary for their worship. You may be concrete by inviting domains or even the plants and animals on your church grounds or in your geographical region.


Confession:

Include at least one statement of confession that addresses our degradation and misuse of creation. If necessary, add a petition to the standard confession you are using for the season.


Prayer

Always include at least one petition on behalf of the natural world (this may be general or it may relate to a recent disaster or be given on behalf of endangered species, or seek mercy and ministry for people at risk from environment.). Be specific about land and waterways in your area. See on this site the prayers prepared for each Sunday of the Revised Common Lectionary.


Benediction/Commission

Blessing: Let your benediction be a blessing on all living things. “May the Lord bless you and all creation with you. . . .”

Commission people to "Go in peace. Serve the Lord, Remember the poor. Care for creation." Or “Tend the Earth.” Worshipers will quickly get used to this longer commission.

 

Simply make these elements a natural, integral, and consistent part of every worship service. With these elements, the congregation will be reminded every time they worship that they are part of creation, that they are thankful for creation, that they are concerned with creation, and that they are committed to care for creation.

 

 

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