Below is a simple, celebratory lessons and carols style worship service meant to help your congregation celebrate creation on the Sunday after Easter! It would also make a wonderful preview or kick-off for our six-week Creation care worship series and bible study, Holy Ground. We’d love to know if you use this service or the Holy Ground series and what other ways your church celebrates creation through the year!
Welcome & Announcements
Prepare: Easter People, Raise Your Voices UMH #304
The season of Easter continues! I can’t think of a better way to continue celebrating the resurrection of Christ than to celebrate God’s other great gift to us, our planet. Through the Earth, God has provides us with everything we need!
Kenneth McIntosh says in his book, Water from an Ancient Well: Celtic Spirituality for Modern Life, “There are countless ways to get involved in efforts to restore the environment. … Do all these as conscious acts of worship. Remind yourself you are tending to God, the very flesh of your Maker.” So our worship today will be a celebration of God’s Creation through a series of lessons and creation carols!
THE CALL adapted from Psalm 8 in The Message
God, brilliant Lord,
yours is a household name.
Nursing infants gurgle choruses about you;
toddlers shout the songs
I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous,
your handmade sky-jewelry,
Moon and stars mounted in their settings.
Then I look at my micro-self and wonder,
Why do you bother with us?
Why take a second look our way?
Yet we’ve so narrowly missed being gods,
bright with Eden’s dawn light.
You put us in charge of your handcrafted world,
repeated to us your Genesis-charge,
Made us stewards of sheep and cattle,
even animals out in the wild,
Birds flying and fish swimming,
whales singing in the ocean deeps.
God, brilliant Lord,
your name echoes around the world.
SING: How Majestic Is Your Name FWS #2023
PRAY: Creator of all, thank for giving us life. Thank you creating us as part of a planet that sustains our lives and for entrusting this sacred gift to our care. Help us in our various roles to be good stewards of all you’ve made. Unite us who dwell on the earth as your beloved creatures that we might share your gifts and mutually thrive. Open us to your wisdom not just here but in every bird song, dancing leaf, and flowing wave. May we see you everywhere we look and may we follow the ways of Jesus, living in communion with your Creation. AMEN
Scripture: Genesis 1:26-31 (CEB)
*SING: For the Beauty of the Earth UMH #92 vs 1-4
Prayer over the offering
Scriptures: Romans 1:20-21 (CEB) and Job 12:7-10 (The Message)
SING: All Creatures of Our God and King UMH #62
Reading from Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, “until we can grieve for our planet we cannot love it—grieving is a sign of spiritual health. But it is not enough to weep for our lost landscapes; we have to put our hands in the earth to make ourselves whole again. Even a wounded world is feeding us. Even a wounded world holds us, giving us moments of wonder and joy. I choose joy over despair. Not because I have my head in the sand, but because joy is what the earth gives me daily and I must return the gift.”
Sharing Joys & Concerns
Pastoral Prayer ending with the Lord’s Prayer
*SING: Let All Things Now Living FWS #2008
Remember, all creation waits breathless with anticipation for the revelation of God’s children. (Romans 8:19) Let’s act like it! In all we do may we strengthen our care and connection with the earth.
*Benediction (Gaelic Blessing adapted)Deep peace of running wave to you. Deep peace of flowing air to you. Deep peace of quiet earth to you. Deep peace of shining stars to you. Deep peace of the Source of peace to you.
Deep peace of running wave to you. Deep peace of flowing air to you. Deep peace of quiet earth to you. Deep peace of shining stars to you. Deep peace of the Source of peace to you.
UMH = United Methodist Hymnal
FWS = The Faith We Sing hymnal