Water Justice – Creation Time 2013

Searching for safe water

The Churches Together in Britain and Ireland have one again out together new resources for Creation Time 2013 – this year the theme is ‘water justice’.

The resource includes materials for a service, Bible notes (that use Amos 5.24 and John 4.15 (the woman at the well) as a starting point, as well as pointing to other biblical resources), and a Virtual water cube activity demonstrating how much water it takes to produce many of the foods we eat regularly.

Download the resource pack and find out more at: http://www.ctbi.org.uk/CJBF/653

Home – A Rocha’s Resource Pack

A Rocha’s 2013 Environment Resource Pack for churches is now available from arocha.org/resources. The pack contains a flexible service order (suitable for adult and all-age worship), sermon, group Bible study, prayers, children’s resources, songs, ideas for further activities, and a presentation on coral reefs as home to many marine species.

This is what A Rocha says about the theme:

Where is your home? Many Christians have been taught that our ‘real’ home is in heaven. Yet, the Bible actually says that God’s home will be with humanity (Revelation 21:3), and God calls us to put down roots and bear good fruit in the places where we’ve been planted. A Rocha’s 2013 Environment Resource Pack on Home provides resources for churches to celebrate their local area – the human and wildlife communities they share it with – and to seek ways to be involved in caring for their homes.

The pack is designed to be used on Environment Sunday (7 June 2013), at Harvest, Creation Time, or any other suitable occasion.

Download it for free at arocha.org/resources

The Life of Trees and the Tree of Life

A Rocha’s 2012 Environment Resource Pack, The Life of Trees and the Tree of Life, is freely available to churches worldwide.

Ideal for use during Time for Creation (1 September – 5 October) or any suitable date.

Why trees? Martin Luther said: “God writes the Gospel, not in the Bible alone but on trees, flowers, clouds and stars.” Today, human behaviour is leading to massive deforestation around the world. All of A Rocha’s national projects are involved with protecting and planting trees or forests, and A Rocha International’s Tropical Forests Programme links several of these. In fact our human lives are dependent on trees in multiple ways. The Bible also starts and finishes with trees – in the Garden of Eden and in the heavenly-earthly City. In between, Jesus’ death on a tree expresses our misuse of God’s creation as well as God’s wonderful saving plans for people and all creation.

The pack contains PowerPoint presentations, and a short downloadable video suitable for showing in a church service, as well as a Service Outline and Children’s Activities and more. Find out more at The Life of Trees and the Tree of Life | A Rocha.

Although the pack is free, churches are encouraged to support A Rocha’s work through a special collection or regular giving. More details can be found here.

 

Creation Time 2012

Creation Time this year will be from 1st September until 4th October 2012.

Churches Together in Britain and Ireland have produced a range of resources for churches to use in Creation Time on the theme of sustainable energy to mark the UN Year of Sustainable Energy for All in 2012. CTBI resources include sermon notes, prayers, a discussion group resource, and The Gift – an outdoor, midweek, celebration of harvest.

Download all the CTBI resources here

Operation Noah have also prepared sermon notes and prayers for use during Creation Time. The notes are based around the Lectionary readings and combine insights from the bible passages with themes from Operation Noah’s Ash Wednesday Declaration regarding climate change.

Download the Operation Noah resources here

You can find other resources aimed at Creation TIde from previous years at: www.earthingfaith.org/creation-tide

The wonder of creation in us

Creation Tide, which starts today on 1 September and runs for five weeks until 4 October, is a good opportunity for us to engage with creation in new ways. It’s good to engage with detail in creation. Contemplate, wonder, give thanks. It’s fascinating to watch a small child interact with a very small discovery in a garden path or a flower border. There’s enough miracle in that tiny patch of ground to keep a child entranced. Whatever happened to that quality of wonder in us? Here’s an example.

Annie Dillard is an American writer who is exquisitely aware of details. In her book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek she writes of encountering a butterfly:

‘It is easy to coax an exhausted butterfly onto your finger. I saw a monarch walking across a gas station lot; it was walking south. I placed my index finger in its path, and it clambered aboard and let me lift it to my face. Its wings were faded but unmarked by hazard; a veneer of velvet caught the light and hinted at the frailest depth of lapped scales. It was a male; his legs clutching my finger were short and atrophied; they clasped my finger with a spread fragility, a fineness as of some low note of emotion or pure strain of spirit, scarcely perceived. And I knew that those feet were actually tasting me, sipping with sensitive organs the vapour of my finger’s skin: butterflies taste with their feet. All the time he held me, he opened and closed his glorious wings, senselessly, as if sighing.’

The description of that encounter goes on for another full page. This was just an exhausted butterfly ‘walking south,’ but it evoked a depth of observation and attention that is enviable to those of us who would have wandered innocently by. When we engage with detail we’re taken into the profound value of every part of creation.

As we walk the dog or go to the local shops, can we try to walk more slowly (it’s hard). And as we walk, can we look, smell, touch, listen. A whole world of new sensory experiences opens up which is usually screened out by our distraction and haste. We need to be aware that this ability to attend to nature will easily fade unless encouraged. William Blake observed that, ‘The tree which moves some to tears of joy is, in the eyes of others, only a green thing which stands in the way.’ But faced with all this wonder, the next question for most of us has to be: ‘how then shall we live on this planet of miracles?’

Bishop of Oxford – the Rt Rev John Pritchard

For further resources around Creation Tide visit: www.earthingfaith.org/creation-tide

Photo Monarch (Butterfly) by Dave Govoni (Va bene!)

Creation Tide 2011 – Our Daily Bread Resource

Every year we encourage church communities to observe Creation Tide (aka a Time for Creation) and in 2011 it runs for the five weeks from 1 September to 4 October, which, with the downtime of summer holidays, may mean you need to start planning early.

Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) produce resources for Creation Tide each year, and this year the chosen focus is  ‘Food in God’s creation’ under the heading Our Daily Bread.

CTBI have produced a range of resources to equip churches and help planning  – and they are available now on their website to download. The Our Daily Bread resources include:

  • Sermon notes – include a series of themed sermons for each week of creation tide, plus two longer sermons
  • Re-imagining Harvest – a creative suggestion for a new form of Harvest Festival and community event
  • Ecumenical service outline – complete with PowerPoint presentation
  • Discussion group resource – through two case studies, and questions to aid discussion, a group is equipped to look at farming practices in the UK and ask what does sustainable farming in the UK mean for us?
  • Background paper – a three page background paper on food, agriculture and issues for consumers.

Download all the Our Daily Bread resources here.

Creation Tide resources from previous years can be found here. Also check out other resources mentioned on Earthing Faith.

Do you have resources that could be used in Creation Tide? Get in touch or leave a comment below.

‘What’s the food like?’, ‘Who is providing the food?’, ‘Is there enough food to go round?’ Our everyday talk constantly makes reference to food, which is no surprise, as food and drink are essentials for life and survival.When we pray “Give us our daily bread” we are both acknowledging our dependence on God’s generosity and our realisation that the answer to that prayer needs to include agriculture, commerce, sharing, trade-justice, animal welfare, diet and a host of other considerations.

Creation Tide 2010

“Let the heavens be glad and let Earth rejoice” Ps. 96.11

Each year Creation Tide is celebrated from the 1st September to the second Sunday in October (taking us through to 9th October in 2010 – and including St Francis of Assisi Day on 4th October). Churches and groups are invited to use this time of the year to focus on, and promote the preservation of, Creation.

Here on the Earthing Faith website we are marking Creation Tide with Inspired by Creation – a chance to share with others how creation inspires you through sharing the place where you connect with God and what that inspires. Elsewhere there are lots of resources to help you focus your thoughts, prayers and actions during Creation Tide. Here are a few…

Creation Flourishing - a time for celebration and careChurches Together in Britain & Ireland have produced new resources for Creation Tide this year on the theme of Creation Flourishing – a time for celebration and care, and linking into the United Nations International Year of Biodiversity.

Resources for Creation Time 2010 include lots of ideas and suggestions that can be used on one occasion or over the 5 weeks, including:

  • Sermon notes based on the Lectionary readings for the 5 Sundays
  • A keynote sermon on the theme, and other sermons
  • Prayers of intercession
  • Resources for children’s groups and schools
  • Group study ideas
  • Biodiversity FAQs – for churches
  • A range of other liturgical material

You may also find the CTBI resources from previous years useful – they can be found here.

The Season of Creation website also has a wealth of resources, including a Three-year Cycle of Readings for Creation Tide, as well as liturgies, sermon themes and childrens resources.

You might also find the following websites useful for more general resources to use during Creation Tide:  European Christian Environmental Network | Christian Ecology Link

If you know of other resources that might he helpful to people please share them in the comments section.

May the Spirit of God, who is above all and in all and through all,

fill you with the knowledge of God’s presence in Earth

and the pulsing of Christ within you.


Taken from The Season of Creation’sLiturgy – Planet Earth Sunday 1