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Earth Day Sunday

Celebrate Earth Day in worship!
Praising the beauty of God's creation is an essential part of our ongoing faith journey and worship experience.  

Each year it makes sense to dedicate at least  one Sunday to lift up creation stewardship as a focus.

One appropriate time is a Sunday celebration near Earth Day (April 22). 

In 2016, Earth Sunday was celebrated April 17 or 24.

Earth Day worship services and ideas

Here is a link to video from a chapel service of Luther Seminary held just after Earth Day 2015. 

It includes litanies and prayers around the cross "for the healing of creation."

Faith Climate Action Week is an interfaith focus on the weekends around Earth Day, replacing what had been Interfaith Power & Light's "National Preach-In on Global Warming" in February. The 2016 theme was "Paris And Beyond," on what we need to do to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. The website includes a sign-up and has many worship resources for the observance, particularly for preaching, but also for prayers and blessings and available music.

Creation Justice Ministries -- formerly the National Council of Churches' Eco-Justice Program -- has

Earth Sunday resources that each year focus on a particular environmental theme and highlight a number of ways individuals and congregations can celebrate and protect God's creation. 

Their 2016 focus was on "Care for God's Creatures," particularly for this moment when 20% of species are facing the threat of extinction and what that means with our calling to "have dominion." 

    Click here for the downloadable resource, with information including a litany, prayer of confession, and more.  For this

    year's materials on that website, they also include some sermon preparation suggestions, hymn resources, and more.

The 2015 theme was "Have you anything here to eat? Sustainable Food in a Changing Climate, found if you follow this link

The 2014 theme was Water, Holy Water.  You can click here to visit the website and download the resource packet. 

GreenFaith also had a special focus day on water for last year's observance, with resources for prayer and action.  Click here to find the download.

Rutlen Lecture on Faith and Creation at Luther Seminary, a bi-annual lecture series focused on faith and creation The 2015 lecture, “Creation, Sin and Sacrament in the Anthropocene,” was given by Larry Rasmussen. He is the Reinhold Niebuhr Professor Emeritus of Social Ethics at Union Seminary. To find recordings, visit here.

Earth Day Liturgy from the Anglican Church of Canada. 

The Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale has in depth conversations on background issues, as well as connections to other resources.

Greening of the Cross A joint worship service of the congregations of Capitol Drive, Divine Word, Good Shepherd and Pentecost Lutheran Churches. Sunday, April 26, 1998, in Milwaukee, Wis.

Worship in Celebration of Creation  (McCormick Theological Seminary) A complete service in recognition of Earth Day.

On April 21, 2013, the congregation of United in Christ Lutheran in rural Lewisburg, PA, held a service with hymns, readings, prayers and preaching focusing on the beauty and sanctity of God’s created Earth, as well as our responsibility for being good caretakers of God’s gifts.  Here is a link to the sermon for the day:  Falling off the Bike.  http://ecopreacher.blogspot.com/2013/04/earth-day-sermon-falling-off-bike.html

In preparation for the service, the Confirmation students spent several class sessions creating three “trees”:  Creation, Eco-crucifixion, and Eco-Resurrection.  The project was part of their unit on the Apostle’s Creed, focusing on God as Creator (a collage of images of Creation); Earth as being

“crucified” (a collage of images of environmental devastation); and humans working with the Holy Spirit to restore and heal Earth (images of renewable energy, restoration projects, children planting gardens, etc.). The trees were explained by the students during the Children’s Sermon.

At the end of the service, parishioners processed outside for a special blessing of soil, water and seeds for the planting season.  Congregants were invited to bring gardening or farming tools and equipment for a blessing (such as hoes, shovels, garden gloves, and even wheelbarrows!).  Many wore their gardening or farming clothes (overalls, hats, and boots).  Some parishioners even drove in their tractors for a blessing.  Worshipers were given free seed packets to take home and plant.  It was a wonderful celebration of God’s Creation and our farming heritage!