Earth Day Worship Resources 2011

Call to Worship (adapted from Psalm 96)

O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.

Sing to the Lord, bless God’s name.

Declare God’s marvelous works among all the peoples.

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it.

Let the field exult and everything in it; let the trees of the forest sing for joy.

O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord all the earth.

Call to Worship (adapted from Psalm 147)

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make melody to our God with the lyre.

God covers the heavens with clouds, prepares rain for the earth, makes grass grow on the hills.

God gives to the animals their food, and to the young ravens when they cry.

God’s delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner;

but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.

Call to Worship (adapted from Psalm 148)

Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise the Lord in the heights.

Praise God all the heavenly hosts!

Praise the creator of sun and moon, praise God, all you shining stars!

Praise the Lord, you highest heavens, and you waters above the skies.

Let all praise the name of the Lord, for the Lord commanded and all was created.

Praise the Lord from the earth, all creatures great and small. We praise the name of God!

Prayer/Passing of the Peace/Benediction

(A Scottish prayer taken from A World of Prayers) Peace of the running waves to you, deep peace of the flowing air to you,

Deep peace of the quiet earth to you, deep peace of the shining stars to you, Deep peace of the shades of night to you, moon and stars always giving light to you, Deep peace of Christ, the Son of Peace, to you.

“The power of God is present at all places, even in the tiniest tree leaf.” –Martin Luther

Prayer of Confession (written by Dr. William P. Brown, professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary & ECM steering committee member)

Merciful God, we are without excuse. Both Scripture and creation bear witness to your power and wisdom. But we remain blind. We have not honored you as our creator or honored the world as your creation. We have exchanged your immortal glory for worthless, destructive idols. We have replaced your goodness with our greed. As your hands have held the world together, our hands are tearing it apart. By living lives of voracious luxury, we ravage your creation. Creation groans in travail. Forgive us, O Lord. Teach us, O God. Renew within us a right and willing spirit. Restore to us the joy of your salvation and the delight of your sustaining care.

Assurance of Pardon

If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation.

Everything old has passed away. See, everything has become new!

All this is from God, who in Christ has reconciled us to each other, to God, and to creation. God has given us the ministry of reconciliation.

Thanks be to God for the sustaining grace and reconciling work that we are to share!

Prayer of Confession (adapted from from

Gracious God, Creator of the earth and all living things. Maker of the sky and the air and the breath of life. God of all that is: we are your servant people, created out of the clay of the earth itself. We forget that we are your creatures and we play at being gods.

We neglect the work of stewardship that you have provided for our occupation and our joy. We have used, abused, and abandoned those things that you have created for your delight. You have created a fragile world in a perfect and delicate balance. Thinking too much of our own importance we have upset the balance.

We ask your forgiveness, Holy and Righteous God. We yearn to join with the mountains and valleys, the rocks and the trees and all creatures great and small in singing your praises. Amen

Assurance of Pardon

“Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.” (Jeremiah 6:16)

We are standing at a crossroads. Together let us seek the good way and find rest for all of God’s creation.

Litany for Creation (adapted from Praise to you, O God, source of all waters. For vast oceans, flowing rivers,

and gentle rains we give you thanks.

Help us to cleanse, conserve, and share; teach us to care for the gift of water.

Praise to you, O God, creator of the dry land. For mighty mountains, rolling hills, and fertile land we give you thanks.

Help us to sow, till, and harvest with care; teach us to live gently on the land.

Praise to you, O God, breath of life and maker of air. For wind and wave, breath and breeze, light and life we give you thanks.

Help us to live justly, simply, and wisely; teach us to care for the gift of air.

Praise to you, O God, Lord and Giver of Life. Your love sustains your earth and by your hand all things living are fed. Help us to serve, protect and restore your creation. Help us care for your people.

Help us care for the earth. Litany of Thanksgiving (adapted from St. Francis’ Canticle of Creatures)

We give you thanks and praise O God, for Brother Sun, who brings the day.

Thank you for giving us light through him. We praise you.

We give you thanks and praise O God, for Sister Moon and the Stars.

In heaven you have formed them, bright, and precious, and beautiful. We praise you.

We give you thanks and praise O God, for Brother Wind, and for Air.

For Cloud, and Clear, and all the weather, by which you give your creatures nourishment. We praise you. We give you thanks and praise O God, for Sister Water. She is useful, and humble, and precious, and pure. We praise you.

We give you thanks and praise O God for Brother Fire, by whom you light up the night.

How handsome he is, how happy, how powerful and strong! We praise you.

We give you thanks and praise O God, for our Sister, Mother Earth.

Who nourishes and governs us, and produces wonderful fruits, flowers and herbs. With all the creatures of your Creation, we praise you!

“The initial step for a soul to come to knowledge of God is contemplation of nature.” –Irenaeus

Earth Care Scriptures:

Genesis 1-2 Genesis 9:8-17 Exodus 16:12-30 Exodus 20:8-11 Exodus 23:10-13 Exodus 31: 12-17 Psalms: 8, 24, 65, 96, 104, 145, 146, 147, 148 Proverbs 8:22-31

Isaiah 24, 35, 40, 55 Isaiah 58:13-14 Isaiah 65:17-25 Presbyterian Hymnal Suggestions: #134 Creating God, Your Fingers Trace #200 To Bless the Earth

#201 Praise Is you Right, O God, in Zion #215 Come Sing With Joy to God #220 All People That on Earth Do Dwell #256 Let the Whole Creation Cry

#266 Thank You, God, for Water, Soil, and Air #267 All Things Bright and Beautiful #271 Many and Great, O God are Thy Things #272 God of the Sparrow

#273 O God the Creator #274 O God of Earth and Space #285 God, You Spin the Whirling Planets #287 God Folds the Mountains Out of Rock #290 God Created Heaven and Earth #291 O God of Earth and Altar Sing The Faith Suggestions: #2059 I Am Your Mother (Earth Prayer) #2060 God the Sculptor of the Mountains #2061 Creator of Mountains

Ezekiel 34:2-4 Ezekiel 36 Matthew 6:1-3 (Lord’s Prayer) Matthew 6:25-34 John 1:1-5 Romans 1:18-25 Romans 8:18-39 Phillippians 4:4-13 Colossians 1:15-20 Hebrews 11:3 Revelation 21:1-4

#293 This is My Father’s World #297 O Lord of Every Shining Constellation #455 All Creatures of Our God and King #458 Earth and All Stars #464 Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee #467 How Great Thou Art #469 Morning Has Broken #473 For the Beauty of the Earth #480 Praise Our God Above #494 Out of Deep, Unordered Water #551 Come, Ye Thankful People, Come #553 For the Fruit of All Creation #554 Let All Things Now Living #556 The World Abounds with God’s Free Grace #558 Come, Sing a Song of Harvest #560 We Plow the Fields and Scatter

#2217 My Help, I Lift My Eyes to the Hills #2248 We Believe in God Our Creator #2279 The Trees of the Field

PCUSA Book of Order W-7.500

5. Caring for Creation and Life

W-7.5001 God’s Mandate: God calls the Church in the power of the Holy Spirit to participate in God’s work of creation and preservation. God has given humankind awesome power and perilous responsibility to rule and tame the earth, to sustain and reshape it, to replenish and renew it. W-7.5002 Worship and the Use of Creation: In worship Christians rejoice and give thanks to God, who gives and sustains the created universe, the earth, all life, and all goods. They acknowledge God’s command to be stewards. They confess their own failures in caring for creation and life. They rejoice in the promise of the redemption and renewal of the creation in Jesus Christ, proclaimed in the Word and sealed in the Sacraments. They commit themselves to live as God’s stewards until the day when God will make all things new. (W-1.0000)

W-7.5003 Stewardship of Creation: As stewards of God’s creation who hold the earth in trust, the people of God are called to

a. use the earth’s resources responsibly without plundering, polluting, or destroying, b. develop technological methods and processes that work together with the earth’s environment to preserve and enhance life, c. produce and consume in ways that make available to all people what is sufficient for life, d. work for responsible attitudes and practices in procreation and reproduction, e. use and shape earth’s goods to create beauty, order, health, and peace in ways that reflect God’s love for all creatures.

In gratitude for the gifts of creation, the faithful bring material goods to God in worship as a means of expressing praise, as a symbol of their self-offering, and as a token of their commitment to share earth’s goods. (W-2.5000; W-3.3507; W-5.5005–.5006; W-5.6000)

Confession of 1967, PCUSA Book of Confessions “Adoration of God is acknowledgement of the Creator by creation.”

A Brief Statement of Faith, PCUSA Book of Confessions We trust in God, whom Jesus called Abba, Father. In sovereign love God created the world good

and makes everyone equally in God’s image male and female, of every race and people, to live as one community. But we rebel against God; we hide from our Creator. Ignoring God’s commandments,

we violate the image of God in others and ourselves, accept lies as truth, exploit neighbor and nature, and threaten death to the planet entrusted to our care. We deserve God’s condemnation.

Yet God acts with justice and mercy to redeem creation.

“For the little singing birds sang of God, the animals acclaimed him, the elements feared and the mountains resounded with him, the river and springs threw glances toward him, the grasses and the flowers smiled.” –John Calvin


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