(see also resources on Earth Day)
New: World Council of Churches ‘Roadmap for congregations, communities and churches for an economy of life and ecological justice‘: An invitation to congregations, communities and churches to discuss a 5-step programme to change the way we deal with the economy and our ecological surroundings.
Beneath the continents the great artesian
seas are suffering. Replenishment
is overtaken by the works of human
hands. Anthropocene – no precedent
in time. A metaphor – these aquifers
transformed to deserts. Once the numinous
was near – essential things possessed our words,
and life was drawn without incurring loss.
Through common use, the holiness of things
descends much deeper in the ground beneath
our knees. To pray is difficult. Our wings
are clipped. Our soul is forfeit to the thief.
A thunderstorm? The sky above is clear.
A downpour in unseasonable years?
(Facebook post May 2019 by Australian Religious Response to Climate Change ARRCC)
Ark-jacking, our new mortal sin
On May 6, 2019 a Global Assessment released by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) announced that nearly one million species are at risk of extinction.
God looked out over the climate
and called for humans to build a great ark
so that the creatures, all creatures,
would be saved
from the danger to come.
In our day we invent grandiose arks
in hope to preserve
the human ways of life
of those who are most comfortable,
with the most access to power —
fracking, pesticides, genetic modification,
mountain-top removal coal mining,
overharvesting, overhunting, overfishing,
introduction of invasive species,
pollution of land, air, water, space.
It is a great carbon butt-swath
mooning scientific reality,
but also faith,
and as the storm approaches,
I hear the hammers,
but they are not working day and night
river dolphins, mountain gorillas,
the fragile flying of bees.
(Source: Maren C. Tirabassi, Gifts in Open Hands)
Word of life,
God and sower of the seeds of the Kingdom,
Come and wreck the perfect lawn of our religion and life.
So the seeds of diversity,
That the deep faith ecology of the Kingdom,
Might take root and grow in us as individuals and community.
May we ever live out the messy and tangled, but thoroughly alive, faith ecosystem of your call to
That we might be like a forest floor,
Teaming with life,
Breaking down what is dead,
And nurturing growth.
Help us let go of our concepts of perfect religion,
And embrace the wildness of your way of faith and discipleship.
This we try to pray.
(Source: Jon Humphries, Prayers that Unite)
Water and Wind – We weep with the earth…
Wild waters ranging beyond banks and beaches,
Arid and thirsting tessellated clay pans,
Torrents, forging erratic rivers and
Empty billabongs, dusty with desire.
Relentless havoc or neglecting habitations,
A call of passion and a cry of poverty.
Now, God, we hear and feel and know and grieve
Desperate cries and calls we must not ignore,
Willing us to listen and respond
In a compassionate embrace of all creation.
Now, God, we listen and respond and think and understand,
Divesting ourselves of ignorance while opening ourselves to the pain.
We weep with the earth.
(posted on a weekly email from South Australian Council of Churches)
Prayer – Climate Change
breath and source of life,
in love you called the world into being
and in grace you made us and call us your children.
We stand in awe of the wonder of your creation:
its beauty and wildness;
complexity and power;
resilience and fragility.
God of life,
you call us to be participants in the web and wellspring of life:
to be nurtured by the planet;
to be nurturing of the planet;
to cherish the world and all that lives.
But we have failed and creation groans under our weight.
God of grace,
forgive us in our brokenness:
when we have taken too much from the earth;
when we have not spoken out against greed and destruction;
when we have allowed our most vulnerable neighbours to be harmed.
We seek courage and forgiveness to be made whole.
God of love,
we pray for those people, communities and nations already suffering the devastating effects of climate change; and we pray for the diversity of life on earth, so much of it already threatened by our actions.
God of hope,
we pray for political leaders.
Bless them with wisdom and creativity,
and a shared vision of hope for all creation.
May they find the determination
to take strong action to halt the destructive effects of climate change, and the political will to act together for the common good
we pray for us all,
that we might restore our relationships with each other and work together to heal the earth.
Renew us in your grace
for the sake of your creation. Amen.
(Source: Uniting Justice)
Prayer of praise and awe – Celebrating life
We respond in awe to our life in God’s realm.
The Essence of Creation encompasses us,
And is displayed from galaxy clusters eons away
to minuscule DNA messages within every cell.
The Initiator of all Nature’s laws and beauty
enables every wonder and power in the cosmos,
every tragedy and triumph, every comfort and cringe.
This Source of all resources initiates the ancient heritage of our lives,
and blesses the conclusion of our existence.
This YHWH instigates everything.
Discovering that we are integral within this cosmos,
We build our lives on the wisdom and stories of forbearers and prophets:[here mention any personal guiding influences, such as
Samuel, Ruth, Yeshua, Miriam, Francis, Martin, Karen, Desmond,
Malala, family, Pastors.]
We strive to return gratitude for our life,
Encouraging children, visiting the lonely, feeding the hungry,
offering compassion and wellness for those at loss,
calming the agitated, forgiving and even loving miscreants;
enjoying good friends, ever adoring intimate partners,
enhancing earth’s natural provisions and our own talents.
Thus we hope to bear exemplary spiritual fruits: Patience, Gentleness,
Faithfulness, Humility, Beauty, Peace, Joy, and Love.
As God’s Universe swirls about us
We simply inhale, inspired,
exuding light and truth to the benefit of all neighbours,
in praise and honour of our Origin.
(Source: Dave Mesh, March 2019 and posted on Progressive Christianity)
“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognise: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child – our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”
(Source: Thích Nhất Hạnh, Vietnamese monk)
Let Us Bless the Earth
Let us bless the Earth,
And all that is steady and firm.
Let us bless the Sky,
And all that is open and filled with light.
Let us bless their union,
Holy and without ceasing.
Let us bless their children,
The bounty of field and forest,
Stones, plants, animals, and all living things.
May the gifts of the Earth and Sky
Strengthen, refresh, nourish, and heal the peoples of the Earth. Amen.
(Source: by Eric Williams)
Resources from NZ for Season of Creation
Prayer of confession: Weapons of Massive Consumption
God who conceived creation,
And breathed it into being with the Word,
You have observed the eons pass,
You have seen the cosmos evolve,
And give rise to our humanity.
We have come to know of you and even to know you
But we fall so short in who we could be in relationship to you.
We fall out of relationship with you and creation,
We fall out of relationship with each other and ourselves.
In our small-minded self-interest,
In our self-centred drive for ever-increasing comfort,
In our pursuit of our wants and the illusion of power over the earth,
We have become the outsiders,
setting ourselves beyond the natural order of creation.
We are the only living things whose waste cannot be broken down
and reintegrated in the living cycle.
We have unrelentingly taken from the resources of the planet with a domineering mindset and a disregard for impact on the world or the future.
We have been the cause of desecration, degradation and destruction,
In our obsession with more and better.
We have become ecological weapons of massive consumption,
Polluting the planet,
Decimating nature and its goodness an beauty,
Being responsible for death and extinction with little regard,
As we forge forward towards our own sinful death of this planet
and its ability for it to sustain us.
We, in the so-called developed world, have spread the cancer of our greed,
Failing to learn from indigenous cultures who live or have lived
in harmony with the planet.
We are responsible.
We have sinned against you, against creation,
against each other and against ourselves,
And for the most part we are unrepentant.
Forgive as you do,
But pierce us with your truth and grace,
Confront us with our sin, that we might repent and be transformed.
It almost seems that thigs are too late.
The cancer of our consumption is too advanced,
The damage has been done to a point of irreversibility.
Is there hope for redemption of what we have done,
Or all that can be done now is to wait for history to take its course
towards the final end of all things,
Where you will come and renew all of creation?
May this not be so.
May we be converted and transformed.
May we spread the gospel, not just for our salvation,
but for your call for the salvation of creation in this planet.
May we become agents of your healing.
May we work to change our ways through the inspiration of your Spirit,
Until we find our humble and responsible place once again in the natural order.
God of creation,
We pray for this world which we do not respect.
Heal our ignorance and apathy,
So that your will may be done.
This should be our prayer,
Not just now, but always.
(Source: Jon Humphries) Continue reading