“Remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature—every mortal being that is on Earth.” – Genesis 9:16
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) created Ark of Hope as a way to get communities engaged in a fun and creative way. Relating to the hope and promise from the story of Noah’s Ark, the CRS Ark of Hope program allows communities to donate symbolic animals to people in need as they “build an ark.” As communities work towards their goal, they can color in animals and place them on an arc. The materials included with this program are lesson plans, a prayer service, coloring pages, and a bulletin-board Ark to show the progress communities are making towards reaching their goals and building their ark. To read more or begin an Ark of Hope, click here.
How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy, is the subtitle of Joanna Macy’s book Active Hope, which was the inspiration for Sisters of Earth gathering that took place July 12-15 at Mount Saint Joseph, home of the Sisters of Charity in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati was chosen as the location partly because of the ancestral inspiration of Sister of Charity Paula Gonzalez, who promoted solar power and sustainability projects and teachings throughout the Catholic world. This year, nearly 100 women from the United States and Canada began by remembering Sister Paula and discussing questions like: Who are we? Where are we? How did we get here and what is possible? And — where do we go from here? To read more on the Sisters of Earth and the Cincinnati gathering, click here.
Beyond the Steeple: New Life in Texas is a video on New Life Lutheran Church in Dripping Springs, Texas. Every Sunday, rain or shine, they hold their worship outdoors under the live oaks on their property. The short video shows an average Sunday at the church and also talks to members about their experience attending a church with no building. Pastor Kara Stewart stated, “I love that in order to come to worship I need to know what’s going on in the world, like the actual creation world not just world events; that we pay attention to what the land will be experiencing when we’re here.” To watch the video on New Life Lutheran Church, click here.
Grounding for Action (Beyond Fossil Fuels) is an initiative from EcoFatih Recovery that focuses on moving beyond fossil fuels. This project hopes to engage faith communities in courageous, creative public action toward a sustainable future. They have monthly meetings to discuss coaching and upcoming projects. The current project is focused in Portland with the Portland Just Energy Transition initiative, which is a city-wide faith-based strategy. To read more on Grounding for Action and the ongoing project, click here.
Catholic Climate Covenant has created a bulletin inserts resource. The bulletin insert collection is free to download and offers 75 weekly tips including seasonal and holiday tips. To read more or download the bulletin inserts, click here.
Agricultural Ethics for a Global Generation is a series of one-page sheets discussing different agricultural topics. They were created by Catholic Rural Life for the purpose of being used as bulletin inserts, handouts, or even letters to elected officials. They cover topics such as stewardship of the land, the churches role in agriculture, food security for the poor and vulnerable, and more. To read more or download the sheets, click here.
Earth Ministries Care More, Car Less Program is a way to experiment with sustainable modes of transportation, engage the topic as a faith community, and celebrate the ways people can protect the goodness of God’s creation. The program consists of two primary components: encouraging congregants to travel to and from church in an alternative, sustainable way, and inviting each congregant to complete a pledge card stating their commitments to traveling conscientiously in the future. Earth Ministries also provides a workbook with worship aids such as relevant scripture, sermon ideas, and a blessing of travelers. To read more on this program, click here.
Green Churches Network plans to expand their organization, and to help them do so, they have created a Three Year Plan. The Three Year Plan, 2017 to 2020, includes expanding green churches, increasing education activities, and more. The plan lays out Green Churches goals year by year and includes what actions they will take to reach them. The plan also describes the positive impacts these actions will have. To view the entire plan, click here.
The Exeter Diocese, which is a part of the Church of England, is promoting electric vehicles for its clergy, staff and readers with a discount on Hyundai Ioniq cars (hybrids and full electric vehicles). The Diocese also promotes electric bikes as an easy way to get to church. They purchased a few to allow clergy members to trial the e-bikes and have been continuously promoting the use of bikes or electric transportation in their parish. To read more, click here.
Canada’s two largest churches, which represent two-thirds of Canadian Christians, have come together and declared that climate change and ecological degradation are central concerns for Christians. The declaration is found in, “The Hope Within Us,” a document released on July 23rd from the Roman Catholic-United Church of Canada Dialogue in Canada.
“We claim that the divine presence permeates all creation, holds all together in a dynamic relationship and calls us beyond our human-centered perspective into a consciousness that affirms and respects all life and all creation,” it said. “The acceleration of our technology, the rapacious ethic of progress and the greed of our economic and political systems are today wreaking havoc upon the environment and humanity.”