Created to Be a Steward Second Quarter

Second Quarter Resources

Meet Carol Devine and Scott Hardin-Nieri

Rev. Carol L. Devine is the Interim Director of Admissions at Lexington Theological Seminary. An ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), she has served two Kentucky congregations. Carol is the co-founder and minister for Green Chalice, the creation care ministry for the denomination. Carol  is an LTS Alumnae, is a member of the LTS Green Task Force, and previously served as the LTS Communications Director and is the Interim Director of Admissions at Lexington Theological Seminary.

Before ministry, Carol was an educator, first teaching preschool and kindergarten and later educating future teachers at the University of Kentucky. While in the U.S. Peace Corps (1992-94) she started a kindergarten program in Costa Rica that continues to this day. Carol lives out her faith by working for peace through justice. She volunteered for years in jail ministry and mentoring returning citizens. She helped start a Farmer’s Market and volunteers in food pantries and homeless ministries. She is a partner of the Black Clergy network in Lexington and is a member of the Race Working group at Transylvania University.

Carol has written op-eds, spoken out and marched and led workshops on racism. She serves on the Justice Table of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and serves on several boards. She leads workshops and retreats, writes, teaches, and preaches on climate and its intersectionality with other justice issues. Carol has three young adult children and she loves to do yoga, garden, hike, cycle, cook, dance, and read. 

Scott Hardin-Nieri is a dad, a partner to Becca and cares deeply about people and God’s planet.  He is an ordained pastor with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He has a Master of Divinity and a Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction from San Francisco Theological Seminary. Scott estimates he has spend over 365 nights on church floors, bunk beds or other weird locations as he accompanied youth and young adults at camp, mission experiences and service learning trips. He currently serves as the Associate Minister for Green Chalice, the Disciples’ stewardship of creation by supporting and encouraging congregational leadership as well as as the Director of the Creation Care Alliance of Western North Carolina.

Prior to living in Asheville, Scott and his family served in the vulnerable cloud forest of Monteverde, Costa Rica. There he learned to how to climb Fig Strangler trees, spot Two-toed Sloths, distinguish the call of a Three-wattle Bell Bird from a Black Face Solitaire and listen to people and nature in a new way. Scott continues to become aware of the deep connections among pollution, poverty, violence, racism, oppression, climate change and the spiritual brokenness in the world.  He hopes to foster curiosity, listen deeply and tell stories of hope and is grateful for opportunities to hear and share Good News in the midst of great challenges.  

April 2021

Stewardship of Creation

Contributed by Green Chalice (

Additional Resource: 

Creation Justice Ministries (, 2015 Earth Day Resource: Have you anything here to eat? Sustainable Food in a Changing Climate. Authors: Rev. Carol Devine and Rebecca Barnes

Text for Earth Sunday: Luke 24.36b-48 

While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, ‘Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.’ And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence.

Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.

Background for Preaching/Teaching:

Food, drink, and meals of one kind and another are prevalent in the Gospel of Luke. There is a banquet at Levi’s house, dinner at Simon’s, the feeding of the 5,000, dinner at Mary and Martha’s, dinner at a Pharisee’s house, a Sabbath meal at a Pharisee’s house, dinner at Zaccheus’ house, the Last Supper, the meal with Cleopas and friend in Emmaus, and here in our passage, the risen Christ asks for something to eat.

Jesus ate the food served to him by the rich and the poor. If Jesus had an important lesson to teach – he did it over a meal. If he wanted to gain the trust of people, he said come eat with me. If he wanted to show what the kingdom of God looks like, he said let us eat together. Through meals Jesus brought outsiders into the family of God, taking away shame, and restoring honor. He connected with his family and friends, as well as those who were considered “enemies.” Foods were critical to Jesus’ ministry and life. He taught us that eating the same foods at the same time at the same table brings diverse people together in equality. 

Eating was something that connected the disciples to Jesus and his ministry. They would have remembered the healing of Jarius’ daughter when Jesus told her parents to give her something to eat. The ones who encountered Christ on the road to Emmaus recalled recognizing him when he broke the bread. The last time the disciples were with Jesus before his crucifixion, they celebrated the Passover and were told to eat bread and drink wine in his remembrance. 

The Table is central because it reflects societal structures and the justice and injustice surrounding them. In the ancient world, most people could not afford to each meat. Vegetarianism was the lifestyle of the majority—a lifestyle of necessity. People of wealth would have been able to afford to eat meat, perhaps on a regular basis; for the rest, however, the Sabbath, religious festivals or special occasions of hospitality may have provided the rare opportunities to eat meat. Today, Americans addiction to meat is destroying natural biodiverse habitats, increases risk of pandemics, and contributes more emissions than transportation. 

Because fish was valuable in Jesus’ time, most was exported. When it was eaten, every part was used. It was consumed in many forms and fashions – fresh and dried, salted and pickled, raw and cooked. They would eat fish soup, use fish brine as a seasoning, fish oil as a fuel, and fish skins as a writing surface. Even fish bones were fashioned into writing implements, hooks, needles, and hair ornaments. Just like in Jesus’ time, today we do not all have equal access to the same food and not everyone is welcome at every table. 

Today food security worldwide is declining rapidly due to global climate change which leads to political instability and violence. Food scarcity displaces peoples from their homelands as they leave in search of food and water, and the most vulnerable peoples, especially women and children, are still the first to feel the effects of food apartheid.

Enter this text by remembering how shared foods have connected us to loved ones, strangers and enemies. Imagine with the congregation the meal we would serve if Christ showed up asking for something to eat. Explore the fishing industry and over-fishing, and plastics in our waterways. How does food connect us to each other and who is excluded from our food systems? Expand the table to include creatures. Explore how our food purchases impact God’s good earth. 

Worship Resources for April

Call to Worship

Leader: Awaken!

The new day reveals itself in every moment,

And by the grace of God all things are made possible

Come, let us give thanks.

All: We give thanks to you, blessed, mysterious Life-giver,

For one more day to experience the miracle of creation.

One side: With every breath we remember that life is a gift

from you, O God, and we give thanks.

Second side: With every bite of healthy food, we know

the wonder of your diverse and fruitful Earth, and we give


Leader: With every word, we affirm your transforming love

for each of us, and we give thanks.

All: Holy Beloved, through you all things are made new.

Creation is full of your glory. All praise be yours!


Creator, all the earth is full of your glory. Yet, we have taken the abundance of the earth for granted. We have uttered prayers of thanksgiving without true gratitude. Have mercy on us. 

Help us to see the suffering of the earth and of the people who have produced our food. Let us feel a connection to all of creation and to you. Give us courage to work for justice that all may know you and be fed body and spirit. Move your spirit powerfully among us as we pray for daily bread as Jesus taught us saying… Our Father …. Amen

Children’s Sermon

Show the kids a container of dirt and allow them to touch it (if in-person). Ask them what it is and where it comes from. Ask them how is dirt made? 

Tell them that as food scraps decompose and leaves and flowers and trees decompose, they make dirt. 

Did you know that we are made of the same stuff as the dirt? We are people of the dirt. Human means just that – man of the humus or soil, dirt. 

And without dirt, we would not have food. Our food grows in the earth. Our fruits and vegetables, grain that becomes our bread are all grown in the ground. Dirt is really important and without it, we could not live. 

Talk about a garden – if your church has a garden, talk about what the seeds require to grow.  

Pray with me.

Creator God, we thank you for dirt which grows our food and gives us life. Help us to learn to take care of your sacred dirt. Amen

Communion Meditation

We come to this table every time we worship. It is our theological lens. It connects us to all people and all creatures because we all require food to live. It connects us to the earth, to the dirt of which we are also made. It connects us to God, Creator of all. It connects us to Christ who told us that each time we break bread and drink from the cup to remember. 

(Say words of institution. Partake of Communion.)

Let us pray…

Creator God, 

We take this bread, a symbol of your body broken for us. We drink from this cup, symbol of your blood shed for us. And we remember. We remember that you were fully human, a person of the dirt, who came to show us how to love and care for each other and for all that God created. Bless the bread and cup that we might be transformed body and spirit to build up and care for the soil that all people, creatures and plants might be nourished. 

In the powerful name of Jesus we pray, Amen

Youth and Adult Study Options

Book Study

Read part or all of any of these books and discuss in class. They are all excellent. 

Food and Faith: Justice, Joy, and Daily Bread by Michael Schut 

The Green Good News: Christ’s Path to Sustainable and Joyful Life by Dr. T. Wilson Dickinson

Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating by Norman Wirzba

Food and Faith Discussion

Read Luke 24.36b-48 and then slowly work through some or all of the following ideas and questions during your class time. 

Go around the room and name one food that reminds you of a beloved person (ex. Green beans – my grandmother – she grew them, canned them and cooked them). 

Through eating, Jesus shows his humanity – his dependence on the earth and Jesus teaches community building and sustaining. He broke bread with friends, family, wealthy people, community and faith leaders, poor, marginalized and sick people in order to bring them all into the community of God, into relationship. We do the same thing. If we are interested in someone, we ask them on a date or to eat. In college we order pizza together, as adults we “do lunch,” to build business relationships, we have people over for dinner

Think about and then share stories about when you ate with someone who might be considered an enemy or someone undesirable.

When we eat, we are physically connected to each other – to those we are eating with and to those who planted, harvested, trucked and prepared our food. When we eat we are connected to creation through the plants and animals we eat and the soil, sun and water that nourished them. We are connected to God

Talk through and draw out a chain of how many people were involved in getting food to us, from the ones who plant the seeds to the ones who bag our groceries. Compare and contrast buying tomatoes from a farmer’s market to buying frozen pizza (or other processed food). Discuss the impact on the earth and the people. 

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to till it and keep it.” The human was made for the garden. The first job was to care for the garden, to care for the soil and the plants, to care for creation and to keep it. Many congregations have started community gardens to feed themselves, their neighbors and support food pantries and feeding programs. 

A shift in thinking about justice- 

Justice is not just about inclusion of others into our broken system but changing the system. 

Not clothing the poor with materials made in sweatshops, feeding the hungry with food that degrades the land and exploits laborers, but starting and supporting food systems that build relationships of love and care. 

In what ways do we or can we follow Jesus by helping to create a new food system?  

God said, enjoy yourself, eat anything you want – just don’t eat from that one tree. But they did eat, and at the end of chapter three, Adam and Eve suffered the consequences of their decision. 

What consequences are we experiencing because of what and how we eat? Think of the impacts to the earth, bio diversity, water, soil, air, human health, animals, forests. 

Jesus said, As you do to the least of these, you do it to me.” 

If feeding hungry people is feeding Christ, how do our feeding programs and food pantries measure up? Discuss how are we called to feed ourselves and each other as we would feed Christ? Should our diets and food purchases look different as Christians? What would we not want to feed Christ? (ex. Fast food, junk food, highly processed food, fish from polluted waters, meat from factory farms). What would the impacts be, on the planet, relationships, animals, health, etc. if we ate as if we were feeding Christ?

Food Journey Through the Gospel of Luke

21 Days, Spiritual Discipline of Scripture and Journaling

This can be an individual experience or can be done independently and then discussed in class. 

Food, drink, and meals of one kind and another are prevalent in the Gospel of Luke. The Table is central because it reflects societal structures and the justice and injustice of them. We do not all have equal access to food. Not everyone is welcome at every table, meal or banquet. Jesus ate with sinners and tax collectors and with Pharisees, women, strangers and disciples. 

Read the Gospel of Luke, paying attention to justice themes, particularly those surrounding food, drink and meals. The goal should be to read the entire gospel, but please at least read the selected text. Keep a journal and write down all words, phrases, images or ideas that speaks to your heart. Record all food references. Try not to sensor yourself. Stay open to the Holy Spirit. 

Reading Schedule

Day One

Read Chapter One – Focus on Mary’s Song, verse 53 

Day Two

Read Chapter Two – Focus on Message to Shepherds from Angel, verse 12

Day Three 

Read Chapter 3 – 4.13 – Focus on Chapter 3.11 and 4.1-4

Day Four

Read Chapter 4.14 – 5.32 – Focus on 4.38-39 and 5.29-32

Day Five

Read Chapter 5.33 – Chapter 6 – Focus on 5.33-35, 6.1-5, 6.21, and 6.43-45

Day Six

Read Chapter 7 – Focus on 7.33-35, 7.36-39

Day Seven

Read Chapter 8 – Focus on 8.4-8 and 8.32-33

Day Eight

Read Chapter 9 – Focus on 9.3 and 9.12-17

Day Nine 

Read Chapter 10 – 11.4 – Focus on 10.7-8 and 11.3

Day Ten 

Read Chapter 11.5-12.21 – Focus on 11.37-42

Day Eleven 

Read Chapter 12.22- 13.21 – Focus on 12.22-24, 13.6-9, and 13.18-19

Day Twelve 

Read Chapter 13.22 – 14.24 – Focus on 14.1-4, 14.10-13, and 14.15-24

Day Thirteen 

Read Chapter 14.25 – 15 – Focus on 14.34-45, 15.14-16, and 15.23-24

Day Fourteen 

Read Chapter 16 and 17 – Focus on 16.19-21 and 17. 7-8

Day Fifteen 

Read Chapter 18 and 19 – Focus on 19.5-7

Day Sixteen 

Read Chapter 20   – Focus on 20.9-10 and 20. 46

Day Seventeen 

Read Chapter 21 – Focus on 21.11, 21. 23-24 and 21.29-30

Day Eighteen 

Read Chapter 22.1-34 – Focus on 22. 16-20

Day Nineteen 

Read Chapter 22.35 – 23.43 – Focus on 23.36

Day Twenty 

Read Chapter 23.44 – 24.35 – Focus on 24.30-32

Day Twenty-One 

Read Chapter 24.36 – 53 – Focus on 24.41-41


1. Start a garden of any size. 

2. Eat food that is grown close to where you live. Support local growers.

3. Be intentional when choosing to eat meat. Eat less meat. Support local farmers who are committed to sustainably raising their animals.

4. Start a compost bin.

5. Support restaurants who support local growers and use less single-use dinnerware. 

6. Support hunger programs.

7. Start a pollinator garden for the birds and bees.

Stewardship of Creation

Resources for May

May 2021 – Energy

Additional Resource: Creation Justice Ministries Earth Day 2012 Resource: A life of Abundance: Energy and Ethics,

Text for Pentecost Sunday: Acts 2.1-21

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” 12 All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”

Peter Addresses the Crowd

14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15 Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16 No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:

17 ‘In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
    and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
    and your old men shall dream dreams.
18 Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
    in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
        and they shall prophesy.
19 And I will show portents in the heaven above
    and signs on the earth below,
        blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
20 The sun shall be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood,
        before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.
21 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

Text for Pentecost Sunday 2021: Ezekiel 37.1-14

The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath[a] to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath[b] in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath:[c] Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath,[d] and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” 10 I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.

11 Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ 12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. 14 I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.”


Pentecost is the day we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit, the birthday of the church. The church was started on the Jewish festival called the Feast of Weeks which was when the first fruits of the harvest were dedicated to God. Over time it became the celebration of when God gave Moses the Ten Commandments. It was renamed Pentecost because Jewish tradition says that Moses received the Ten Commandments 50 days after being led out of Egypt. Pente means five. Jews came to Jerusalem, to the Temple, from all over the Greco-Roman world to celebrate Pentecost.

There were two groups affected by the coming of the Holy Spirit on that long ago Pentecost celebration. The first group is described in the first chapter of Acts. “They went to the upstairs room where they were staying. Peter, John, James, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James, Alphaeus’s son; Simon the zealot; and Judas, James’ son—all were united in their devotion to prayer, along with some women, including Mary the mother of Jesus and his brother. At this time, the family of believers was a company of about 120 persons.”

The second group, Jews from every nationwas out on the streets of Jerusalem. Some translations say that they were “staying” in Jerusalem and some say they were “living” in Jerusalem. It was quite a crowd because this celebration was one of the most important Jewish holidays of the year. It was a joyous occasion that brought a diverse crowd of people together from all over the Roman world.

God took advantage of the great crowd and sent the Holy Spirit in a dramatic way. This passage reminds us that the Spirit does not always arrive as a still, small voice or a faint stirring in the heart. God sometimes comes in a roar and in fire. Wind is powerful! It cannot be stopped or contained. It has no boundaries. The prophet Ezekiel said, God “brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley.” We remember that the Hebrew word for spirit, ruah, can also be translated as wind or breath. Ezekiel repeats the words from God saying, “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.

just as we cannot stop the wind, we cannot stop the Holy Spirit. 

Moses was on the minds of all the Jews, and as they witnessed the tongues of flames, they would have remembered Moses at Mt. Horeb, when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush. They would have remembered that after Moses freed the Hebrew people from slavery at Mt. Sinai there was thunder and lightning, a thick cloud, and a blast of a trumpet so loud that all the people trembled….and the mountain was wrapped in smoke, because the Lord had descended upon it in fire while the whole mountain shook violently.

As they carried these stories of Moses in their memories, they experienced God as violent wind and tongues of fire.

These texts are about God’s power, God’s energy. One way to enter these texts is about thinking about natural and renewable sources of energy. Conversations about energy often revolve around the concept of scarcity, but the truth is that God who comes to us as wind and fire has given us energy sources in abundance. Energy is a gift from God, whether it takes the form of food that fuels our bodies or electricity that lights our homes. Renewable energy sources such solar, wind, and geothermal are infinite. In addition, renewable energy offers the potential for local energy development and new economic opportunities for struggling rural communities, which are often the best locations for solar and wind farms. In less developed countries renewable energy renewable energy is much less expensive and complex For example, William Kamkwamba a teenager from rural Malawi “harnessed the wind” and built an electricity generating windmill out of an old bike and pieces of plastic piping.

devastating, on God’s Creation and on the health and well-being of our neighbors.

Call to Worship

L: Come, Holy Spirit! Ignite our hearts with courage that leads to action!
P: That all the world may know the Living God.
L: Come, Holy Spirit! Fill us with the power of the rushing wind that we may faithfully serve you in all that we do.
P: That all the world may know the Living God. 
L: Come, Holy Spirit! Move among us and empower us with love.
P: That all the world may know the Living God.


Creator God, help us to be wise caretakers of the gifts you have given us. Help us to use energy in a way that benefits all people and treads lightly on your creation. 

Creator, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Compassionate God, we pray for those in the world who are most vulnerable to the effects of our unwise use of energy, that they may have safe homes and daily bread, and that you would grace them with your presence in times of crisis, displacement, and famine. 

Creator, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of peace, we pray that the nations will work peacefully to find solutions to our common energy needs, that we may avoid bitter conflict over limited energy sources. We pray that you would lift up leaders for peaceful cooperation and give strength and your blessing to the peacemakers. 

Creator, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Loving God, we pray for those who depend most on your gifts of energy for vital aspects of their daily lives, for the sick, the aging, the poor, and the children. Help us to achieve a sustainable and just energy future that will guarantee these vulnerable groups the services they need, especially as our changing climate makes our weather more erratic and more dangerous. Creator, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Holy God, we stand in awe of the wonders of your Creation. Embolden us to protect these wonders and find the energy we need from sources that do not tear down your mountains and poison your rivers. 

Creator, in your mercy, hear our prayer, Amen.

(From: A life of Abundance: Energy and Ethics,

Children’s Moment

(Have a fan plugged in and blowing on the children. Have paper fans to show the children or paper for children to make their own fans. Have a photo of a Wind Turbine.)

Some of us did not have Air Conditioning in our homes and churches when we were your age. In the summer, we opened the windows at night and used fans. If we did not have fans, we used hand fans and made our own wind. We also enjoyed sitting outside in the breeze. 

Wind is useful and fun. The wind can cool us off. It can help us fly a kite. Sometimes birds have fun just riding the wind. Wind can also make electricity. Here is a picture of a wind turbine. The wind turns the arms of the turbine and that generates electricity that powers lights and heat and air conditioning!

Our story in the Bible today is about how God’s Spirit came in the wind to bless people and to bring energy and new life. We give great thanks today for the wind – because it cools us off, it is fun and it is useful.  

Let us pray…

Thank you, God, for creating the wind that is useful and fun. We thank you that you come to us in the wind so that we might know your power and love. Amen.

Communion Meditation

Just as God provides sources of energy and power that are infinite, each Sunday in worship we come to this infinite table of love.  These days the table may look a little different, a dining room table, a card table, or even a rickety tv tray set up in front of the couch. There may be some extra flexibility in your practice regarding the elements of the Lord’s Supper during this time- as grape juice or wine, wavers or bread may not always be on hand.  The look and feel, even the taste of our common experience may have changed a bit, but what it represents has not changed. This is a table of abundance – all are welcome, all are included in Christ’s love and grace. Things may seem different, yet we still hear the words spoken by Jesus, we Remember God’s love for us and the revelation of grace in this simple meal. 

In times of trouble, the Table must be more welcoming,  more creative, and include more and more people. It was in the face of imminent trouble that Jesus was gathered with his Disciples for his last supper. There he invited them to remember him and all he stands for everytime we break bread and drink from the cup.  Words of institution and Prayer. 

Adult/Youth Education

Videos about renewable energy and climate change with Dr. Katharine Hayhoe.

Midway Christian Church- Green Chalice Video-

Adult Study Guides-From Interfaith Power and Light:

Scientific and Spiritual Dimensions of Climate Change – The purpose of this course by the International Environment Forum is to facilitate the study of climate change from both a scientific and spiritual perspective. It was written from a Baha’i’s perspective, but with interfaith participants in mind. Any faith group can use these materials. The group study is set up for 9 classes of about 2 hours each. However, the materials can easily be adapted for specific situations such as a weekend course by incorporating the optional power-point presentations, or be used as general resources.

The Cry of Creation: A Call for Climate Justice. An Interfaith Study Guide on Global Warming. Prepared by Earth Ministry, this ecumenical, interfaith study guide is structed into 3 or 4 weeks and can be easily adapted to your congregations needs. It contains an introductory sermon by Bill McKibbon, FAQs on global warming, and weekly meeting guides complete with opening meditation, prayer, group reading, discussion, focused actions, and closing prayer. The readings are short and relevant.

One God, One Family, One Earth: Responding to the Gifts of God’s Creation. Using this six session adult education curriculum, small discussion groups can rediscover our relationship with God’s creation. This is a packet.

Awakening to God’s Call to Earthkeeping: A four-session small group study to encourage, empower and equip Lutherans in their calling to care for creation. This 50-page resource (pdf), which is free on the ELCA website, includes both a Leader Guide and participant materials for use in faith-based small group context: adult or older youth Sunday school, Christian Education classes, women’s circles, men’s groups, congregational “Green Team,” or in a retreat setting. Members of any Christian denomination would be able to use it, with only slight modification (if desired) to incorporate materials from their own faith tradition.

It’s God’s World: Christians, Care for Creation and Global Warming. A Five session study for congregations by Vera White is a study is published by the NCC”s Eco-Justice Working Group and contains session plans with background information, an activity and something liturgical. Excellent, short, relevant guide.

For Children and Youth- From Interfaith Power and Light:

Lessons and Activities

Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) Climate and energy lessons plans for high school students. ACE offers a range of climate science and energy lesson plans beyond the ACE Assembly. Check out our Ocean Acidifcation short animation, take our Climate Quiz and browse ACE’s Science Reports, written at a perfect level to engage high school students.

Climate Change Lessons for Middle School Students Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI) is California’s groundbreaking, first-in-the nation K-12 environmental education curriculum. It’s California State Board of Education-approved, teaches select California science and history/social science standards and helps support Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. Search for climate lessons across a wide range of environmental topics and grade levels.

The Story of Creation: A Sunday School Resource on Caring for Creation (Age 5-12) An educational resource developed by the Environmental Network of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (Green Anglicans) to provide a resource for Sunday Schools for children aged 5-12. Some of the activities can also be used with older or younger children. The aim of the manual is to build healthy relationships with God, each other and all creation. Also, to help children understand and appreciate the inter-relationships and mutual interdependence of all life on earth, that we are part of a ‘web of life’.

Climate Change Lessons for High School Students Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI) has engaging lessons plans and free teacher training that delivers an exciting way to support an exploration of climate change from a wide-range of perspectives, including: people and places, natural systems, food production, energy production, the environment, extinction past and present, history, etc.


Arctic Tale With breathtaking footage of life on the arctic tundra, the directors spin a highly emotional tale of the melting ice caps and the effect of their disappearance on every species in the ecosystem. Since the film is essentially aimed at children, the cuteness factor is off the charts, aided by the slightly grating use of sound effects, a slangy voiceover by Queen Latifah, and a kid-friendly pop/folk soundtrack. And, as in a National Geographic special, viewers learn some interesting and neutral facts about polar bears, walruses, narwhals, foxes, and other northern creatures. The narrative, however, returns repeatedly to the grim conditions that are killing off our planet’s wildlife, one family at a time. The directors take pains to create a hopeful ending, with a sweet pair of life-goes-on epilogues and a closing credit sequence featuring conservation tips, but the message of the film is sobering and hits its mark with kids and adults alike.


Caring for God’s World: Creative Ecology Ideas For Your Church, edited by Kristin Kemper. This 100-page guide is divided into children and youth sections, each containing several games, activities, crafts, songs, plays, and youth liturgies. An older resource, but still relevant.

Free: Operation Creation, by Barb Holtz with Jody Gunn and David Radcliff is a five-session care for creation curriculum for elementary children provided by the New Community Project. This 14-page PDF resource contains lesson plans for children. Each includes an introduction, scripture, prayer, craft, activity/snack, story, mission, closing, and take-home assignment.

Keepers of the Earth: Native American Stories and Environmental Activities for Children, by Michael Caduto and Joseph Bruchac helps children connect with the natural world while telling important environmental concepts. Each section contains a Native American story, discussion ideas, interesting questions, and related indoor and outdoor activities.

FREE:Traditional Tree Tales from the Auerbach Central Agency for Jewish Education contains three short tales adapted from the Talmud or traditional Jewish fairy tales. These short and simple stories can be told to young children or acted out.

Sammy Spider’s First Tu B’Shevat by Sylvia Rouss is a delightful, vibrantly illustrated book about a spider who years to join in the Jewish festival of trees. If the children in your life like Eric Carle’s books, they’ll like this one, too.

Let’s Explore God’s World by Debby Anderson is an energetic romp across God’s wide, wonderful planet prompts kids to join in the experience of nature while cheerfully guiding them in the adventure of caring for his world. Combining an instructional focus on the five senses with a spiritual focus on God’s gift of life, the book encourages kids and caring adults to have a blast exploring–and learning to protect–our earthly home.

The North Pole is Sinking! A Tale about Global Warming by Ethan Khiem Matasuda and Michael Matasuda is written by a schoolteacher and his son. This engaging children’s book helps children understand their roles as global citizens, the big picture of global warming, and the importance of making a contribution.

Wicked Cool Sustainable Solutions for the Earth Coloring Book by Becky Johnson is an engaging, creative tool to get kids thinking about their impact on the Earth. This terrific classroom or home-schooling resource includes sections on Local Environment, Food, Conscious Consuming, Energy, Transportation, and Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Ecology Crafts for Kids: 50 Great Ways to Make Friends with Planet Earth by Bobbie Needham is a colorful, user-friendly book full of large photographs and easy step-by-step instructions to make crafts from recycled or reused materials (and bits of nature). Projects include gift wrap, planters, envelopes, bird feeders, mosaics, puppets, and candles.

Play Lightly on the Earth: Nature Activites for Children 3 to 9 Years Old by Jacqueline Horsfall provides ideas for outdoor activities with an emphasis on learning and exploring while minimizing one’s impact. Each activity contains an objective, preperations, options and discussion questions well-suited for young children.

Journey for the Planet: A Kid’s Five Week Adventure to Create and Earth-Friendly Life by David Gershon is another useful guidebook full of earth-actions for kids, complete with reasons behind each action, materials needed, time, and fun illustrations.

Recycling with Arnie and Bing by Ann Wagner A children’s book for elementary-aged students (primarily for 2nd and 3rd graders) Arnie (a pickle jar) and Bing (a lemonade can) meet in a grocery cart. Their friendship grows when they’re placed side by side in the refrigerator and discover they share a love of singing. But after a picnic, and they’ve been emptied, they’re tossed into a recycling bin, picked up by a truck, and lose each other among all the other recyclables! Will they ever see each other again.


Become a Green Chalice Congregation-

Disciples Extension Fund- Sustainable Planning Guide.

*Conserve- Do an energy audit in your home or congregation.  

Energy Audit for congregations from Interfaith Power and Light-

Energy Audits for homes

Or find a professional to help you. 

*Explore Renewable Energy-  Find a local solar company and invite them to provide an estimate for your building

Utilize Church Extension Green Building Loans

Try Arcadia Power- Arcadia connects individuals and churches to local community solar and wind projects and purchases renewable energy certificates from wind farms on your behalf. 

*Participate in Carbon Offsets

Cool Effects helps offset your carbon footprint by purchasing clean cook stoves for those in need or through other carbon offsetting solutions 

* Going Carbon Neutral 

Moving Forward Guide- Helping your Congregation move toward Carbon Neutrality-

Moving Forward Guide in Spanish


June 2021 

Father’s Day


Additional Resource: Creation Justice Ministries Earth Day 2018 Resource.

Mark 4.35-41

 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. 37 A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”


In teaching and preaching, one can link water, fear, faith and call to action to this text. Explore these themes in new ways. 

Due to the climate crisis, hurricanes are becoming more powerful, unleash higher amounts of rainfall (which increases flooding), move more slowly, have an expanding range, and are more intense. (  Water is both necessary for life and dangerous. 

For Jesus and his Disciples, it had been a good if long day of preaching and teaching (faith the size of a mustard seed).  Jesus suggested to his disciples, “Let’s go to the other side of the lake.” Some of the disciples were experienced with boats, they fished for a living. Jesus was tired, everything was under control so he went to sleep. And while he was sleeping a great windstorm suddenly came upon them and the boat began to take on a lot of water. The Disciples knew what to do in a storm, but this was no ordinary storm, and all their attempts to save the boat from sinking were failing. 

This is not the first big storm, a sinking boat, and a lot of fear in Scripture. God called Jonah to go to Nineveh to save the people. But Jonah jumped on a boat to run away from God. Like Jesus, Jonah was asleep when the huge storm overtook the boat. Scripture says the sailors were very afraid. The captain went to where Jonah was sleeping and said, “What are you doing sound asleep? Get up, call on your god! Perhaps the god will spare us a thought so that we do not perish.”  God oftentimes calls us to places that we do not want to go and to situations that we fear. 

Walking with God, in the footsteps of Christ, means being willing to step into the storms and challenges of life in faith. The English Language can make understanding the kind of faith Jesus was talking about difficult. In English faith is a noun and cannot be a verb.  But the kind of faith Jesus was talking about was a verb.  Faith is not a possession but a capacity – a capacity for trust. It is ever changing, not fixed or permanent, it is stronger some days than other days but it is never completely gone because it is a gift from God. We all have the capacity for faith and the gift of faith. 

Call to Worship

Leader: We have come here seeking to worship the God of all Creation.

People: We have come to stand on holy ground!

Leader: We have come to sing God’s praises, as trees and plants sing God’s praise with their blooming. (Name local spring flowers or budding trees.)

People: We have come to sing praises to our Creator!

Leader: We have come to experience the mighty rush of the Spirit like our surrounding flowing waters. (Name local creek(s), river(s) or body of water.)

People: We have come to open ourselves to the Holy Spirit!

All: We have come to experience the God of Creation is this sacred space.

Call to Worship     (from: “A desert faith in a desert time”, Ghost Ranch, 2013—PEC Ferncliff Conference)

We gather to worship God, Giver of Life,

God, give us the waters of new life.

In the deserts of our lives, in the wilderness within,

God, give us the waters of new life.

To give us hope when our lives run dry, to give us strength when our world seems barren,

God, gives us the waters of new life.

To let peace flow like a river and love spring forth like a fountain,

God, give us the waters of new life.

To make justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a living stream,

God, give us the waters of new life.

To give us- and our world- a second chance and a new beginning,

God, give us the waters of new life.

Come, people of God, open your lives to receive God’s new life. Open your hearts to sing God’s praise.

Prayer A 

Litany prayer for Water. Mercy International Reflection Group at Mercy Center, St. Louis

Leader: Let us pray. Creator God, whose Spirit moved over the face of the waters, who gathers the seas into their places and directs the courses of the rivers; who sends rain upon the earth that it should bring forth life: we praise you for the gift of water. We remember with thanksgiving the many manifestations of your grace through the gift of water… 

Litany of Repentance Water is both gift and right…yet so many of our brothers and sisters lack access to it and suffer and die from its scarcity. Response: O God of mercy, forgive us, we pray; For failing to honor the sacredness of water… For taking for granted its abundance… For forgetting its essential nature for the sustenance of life… For thoughtlessly polluting our waterways… For not calling others to awareness… For ignoring the desperate need of our brothers and sisters around the globe… For failing to take concrete action to change ourselves and our behaviors… 

O Compassionate God, we seek forgiveness for our mindless use of water… we beg for wisdom to know how to conserve and cherish it… we ask for healing for ourselves and our sister Earth.

Prayer B

Praying for Water– (From Creation Justice Ministries)

Creator God,

We give you thanks for your creation and everything in it. Teach us to love and care for our communities and neighbors, near and far.  Please help us to remember you and your gift of water now and always. May we recognize the sacredness and holiness in all the earth’s water and strive for care and protection.  Amen

Children’s Moment

Option A

Show a plant that is lacking water, that is wilting or brown. 

Ask the children what they think the problem is. Ask them what plants need to live. 

Have a child water the plant for you. 

Discuss what/who else requires water to live (pets, animals, trees, plants, people)

Show a glass of dirty water. Since people require water for life, you have a glass of water to drink. Ask who is thirsty and would like a drink. 

Ask them why no one wants to drink this (dirty) water. Discuss the fact that all people, plants and animals need clean water. Tell them about Living Waters for the World – a program that helps people have access to good, clean water to drink and bathe. (

Pray: God, thank you for water so that all may live. We pray that every person, plant and animal has access to clean, fresh water as you intended. Amen

Option B– (From Global Ministries)

Even when clean water is available, it often has to be carried a long way sometimes many miles!  This activity introduces children and youth to the realities of water accessibility for many children around the world.

Communion Meditation

Option A– share a personal story from your experience of being near a body of water and experiencing joy, awe or peace.  As an option you can invite others in the congregation to remember a moment they were near a natural body of water; an ocean, creek, river, or lake.  If you have time you can invite them to share a word or sentence with people seated with them (or in the zoom chat) about that moment.  Close by connecting these moments of the sacred to the sacred water moments in the life of Jesus.  From womb, wave, and wounds Jesus was near water, created by water and has been described as the Living Water.   

… Words of institution  

Option B– Share a baptismal story (your own or one you have witnessed)- What was the water like?  How did the actual water impact your experience of this sacred moment?  … Words of institution 

Option C- Take a look at your hands, notice your breathing, the ways your body is sitting or standing.  You are made up of at least 50% water.  We are invited to this Table by the one who offered everlasting water that quenches all thirst.   … Words of institution 

Adult/Youth Education

Option A– (A Global Water Lesson from Global Ministries )

Together Watch “Flint the Poisoning of an American City”- Created by the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

Study Guide is here-



May you remember your baptism into love and blessing. May you know the flow of Red Sea parted, the Jordan River Splashed so close that you are drenched in the truth that you are beloved and liberated.  May each raindrop draw you closer to the sender of rain and each river call you to move powerfully toward justice. Drop and Wave, stream and cloud: our God is as close as the life flowing in our veins.  May you leave knowing that you are drenched in God’s Grace inside and out.  


  1. It is a modern spiritual challenge to be truly present in our unique places. What do you know about your home watershed, and what do you want to find out? Check out and explore.
  2. Visit and Protect Our Public Lands and Waters. The United States conserves a rich system of public lands, waters, monuments, and historic sites that profoundly contribute to sense of place. Gather and enjoy the cultural, historical, natural, and spiritual heritage of the areas. Two powerful public policies that protect places are the Antiquities Act of 1906 and the Land and Water Conservation Fund. 
  3. Consider writing to Congress to express support for continued use these policies, for the sake of future generations.
  4. Consider organizing a waterway trash cleanup, or posting signs near drains that encourage reverence for God’s gift of water.
  5. Get to know your watershed in your region
  6. Find water prayer and action resources
  7. Water Resources-—water-holy-water.html

[1] U.S. Geological Survey’s Water Science School, “What is a watershed?”

Additional Resources

Seven Weeks for Water Series from The World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Water Network

World Water Day Images and Social Media from Creation Justice Ministries

Water Blessing Ideas from Creation Justice Ministries- 

The water blessing is an activity that can be used to generate public awareness and gain Christian torch bearer champions to light the way for others.  God has blessed us with clean healthy water.  In turn, we can bless the water with loving care. 


·           Holding an event at a body of water

·           Holding a church service with focus on water

·           A Water Blessing Ceremony

·           A Sacred Water Prayer circle

Other suggestions:

·           Baptismal

·           Placing a drop of Holy Water in another body of water

·           A Water Prayer Vigil

(all can include water theme songs)

                          Rivers of Living Water

                          As the Deer

                          Take me to the Water

                          I Will Give You Water

Stepping into the Water- Rob Bell Podcast about worry, judgmentalism and Jesus’ Baptism

Ryan the Rhino- a Robust Children’s curriculum from Green Anglicans

Walking Meditation – WATER

From your home or wherever you may be, go outside where you can be in contact with the earth. Open your eyes to see above, below and all around you.  

Look around the land that you are on. Breathe in the air that is always present for you and walk for a minute or two as you look for a green leaf.

Once you find it, take it in your hand and observe the colors, hues and textures that are unique to this particular subject.

Then break the leaf in half and press it into your hand. 

Feel the moisture and perhaps the spread of moist color on your hand.

Water is present


*Water came from this plant’s roots.

             *Roots were fed by rain. 

                            *Rain runs to the creeks,

                                        To the rivers, 

                                                  And eventually to the oceans.      

*Energy from the sun causes water to evaporate.  

                 *This invisible vapor rises to the atmosphere. 

                                 *The vapor condenses into clouds. 

*The clouds once again, shower Earth with water. 

*What a miraculous circle of life God offers.

*Close your eyes, breathe naturally and be in the presence of the Divine and say…

*Beloved Creator of water, which quenches the thirst of all species, let me be conscious of loving and protecting the water of life.   

Stand or Sit in this place for a few moments and sense what your mind, body, and spirit are experiencing at this time.  

In your own way give thanks to God for this time.  


 Maureen Linneman 2021

“At the River Clarion” by Mary Oliver

I don’t know who God is exactly.

But I’ll tell you this.

I was sitting in the river named Clarion, on a water splashed stone

and all afternoon I listened to the voices of the river talking.

Whenever the water struck a stone it had something to say,

and the water itself, and even the mosses trailing under the water.

And slowly, very slowly, it became clear to me what they were saying.

Said the river I am part of holiness.

And I too, said the stone. And I too, whispered the moss beneath the water.

I’d been to the river before, a few times.

Don’t blame the river that nothing happened quickly.

You don’t hear such voices in an hour or a day.

You don’t hear them at all if selfhood has stuffed your ears.

And it’s difficult to hear anything anyway, through all the traffic, the ambition.

If God exists he isn’t just butter and good luck.

He’s also the tick that killed my wonderful dog Luke.

Said the river: imagine everything you can imagine, then keep on going.

Imagine how the lily (who may also be a part of God) would sing to you if it could sing,

if you would pause to hear it.

And how are you so certain anyway that it doesn’t sing?

If God exists he isn’t just churches and mathematics.

He’s the forest, He’s the desert.

He’s the ice caps, that are dying.

He’s the ghetto and the Museum of Fine Arts.

He’s van Gogh and Allen Ginsberg and Robert Motherwell.

He’s the many desperate hands, cleaning and preparing their weapons.

He’s every one of us, potentially.

The leaf of grass, the genius, the politician, the poet.

And if this is true, isn’t it something very important?

Yes, it could be that I am a tiny piece of God, and each of you too, or at least

of his intention and his hope.

Which is a delight beyond measure.

I don’t know how you get to suspect such an idea.

I only know that the river kept singing.

It wasn’t a persuasion, it was all the river’s own constant joy

which was better by far than a lecture, which was comfortable, exciting, unforgettable.

Of course for each of us, there is the daily life.

Let us live it, gesture by gesture.

When we cut the ripe melon, should we not give it thanks?

And should we not thank the knife also?

We do not live in a simple world.

There was someone I loved who grew old and ill

One by one I watched the fires go out.

There was nothing I could do

except to remember

that we receive

then we give back.

My dog Luke lies in a grave in the forest, she is given back.

But the river Clarion still flows from wherever it comes from

to where it has been told to go.

I pray for the desperate earth.

I pray for the desperate world.

I do the little each person can do, it isn’t much.

Sometimes the river murmurs, sometimes it raves.

Along its shores were, may I say, very intense cardinal flowers.

And trees, and birds that have wings to uphold them, for heaven’s sakes–

the lucky ones: they have such deep natures,

they are so happily obedient.

While I sit here in a house filled with books,

ideas, doubts, hesitations.

And still, pressed deep into my mind, the river

keeps coming, touching me, passing by on its

long journey, its pale, infallible voice


“At the River Clarion” by Mary Oliver, from Evidence: Poems, Beacon Press.

Poem- The Negro Speaks of Rivers


I’ve known rivers:

I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.

I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.

I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.

I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset.

I’ve known rivers:

Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

Third Quarter Resources

Fourth Quarter Resources