By Chuck Berry


Natural Cathedral at Advent The blue skies – the altar color during Advent is blue to symbolize the sky from which came the announcement of the King’s coming. The white of the snow with its twinkling gold highlights are the liturgical colors of Christmas. A universal feature of Christmas is the use of evergreens – called evergreens because they never change color. They are ever – green, ever – alive, even in the midst of winter. They symbolize the everlasting life brought through Jesus. It is for you to step outside, not to worship nature but to see how nature points beyond itself to the Creator as the one to be praised and worshiped. “The lord speaks through two books – the written word and the masterpiece of creation.”

  • New Year’s Resolution: What good is it…if you say you have faith but do not have works?”
  • Valentine’s Day: Love the Earth
  • Catechism of Creation (This is a 36 page booklet discussing 1) Theology of Creation 2) Creation and Science 3) Caring for Creation)


Palm Sunday (March 20) is a time for a subtle Creation Care activity with an important Creation Care message. The activity? Wave Ecopalms on Palm Sunday. The message? Eco-palms are fair-trade palm fronds that are harvested in Guatemala and Mexico. The palms signify social and environmental justice because they are harvested by sustainable forestry practices by small businesses in impoverished communities. St Paul’s in Brookings has used Ecopalms for several years.

Earth Day Sunday (April 17; Earth Day is always April 22) is another time to bring the Creation Care message into church activities. There are dozens of possible actions from sermons to newsletter notes and bulletin inserts, and there are hundreds of Earth Day resources. One group that focuses on faith communities is Creation Justice Ministries. Creation Justice Ministries embodies the creation care and environmental justice policies of major Christian denominations as it promotes Earth Day Sunday.

Rogation Days (May 1-4) are another time that we are reminded about the moral obligation of stewardship of Creation. Unlike Earth Day, Rogation Days have an Episcopal tradition (BCP page 258), but you may have to resurrect the observance and tweak it to fit today’s thinking. Today we still pray for good weather and crops, but these days we think more broadly about our obligations to care for the Creation as well as our hope for abundant services from the Creation.

The Rogation observation is jokingly called “the gospel among the furrows” but information for faith communities that you could use on either Earth Day Sunday or Rogation Days comes from an unlikely source – your local Soil and Water Conservation District. The National Association of Conservation Districts celebrates Stewardship Week (April 26 to May 3) and has free materials for churches to use to inform members about conservation stewardship and wise use of natural resources (e.g., guide to faith-based programs, litany, bulletin insert).


Mass in the Grass
The surroundings have a diversity of colors and forms, like a tapestry. A tapestry has diversity and a tapestry is interwoven (appreciated the connectedness between the plants and animals, and ourselves as dependents and stewards).


The Green Bible: Below is a list of the six green themes in the Bible.
1. God made all things, declared them good, Creation covenant . Genesis 9:8; Job 38-39.
2. God is present in and through Creation. John 1:1-5 and Acts 17:24-28
3. Humanity has an interconnected with God and Creation. Rev 11:15-19 and Psalm 65.
4. Creation care is an act of social justice toward humanity. Isaiah 58:10; Matt. 25:31.
5. Creation harmed by human sin; disconnects us from God Numbers 35:33; Romans 8:18
6. Creation is to be restored in God’s plan for redemption. Isaiah 65:25 and Rev. 21:1.

Blessing of the Animals
Use the focus on the animal blessing service to extend the Parish’s thinking beyond pets to all animals, and to “biodiversity” (plants and animals and ecosystems).

Thanksgiving for Creation
St Francis Day: Endangered Species: The ESA holds us accountable for the survival of all parts of the Earth community, especially “the least of them” who are most endangered. When we discuss saving a rare species that seems to have no value, it gives us an opportunity to dig deeper into our values and motivations.