Earth Day, first observed in 1970. Largely inspired by Rachel Carson’s work, among others, the original Earth Day was a widespread, bipartisan response to the negative impacts of industrial development - and President Nixon, along with Congress, responded quickly to the popular pressure, establishing the Environmental Protection Agency that same year, and landmark environmental legislation followed close behind.
Earth Day is April 22nd.
Use this one page resource to talk about
intersections of life and faith.
A Prayer From Lutheran Disaster Response:
Prepare us, Lord, for what lies ahead. Give us the strength and dedication that we will need in order to serve others unselfishly. Give us the energy we will need to follow through with the task. Give us strength to face our assignment, and put before us people who will support us. Open our ears and eyes and heart, so that we can sustain others and [help creation to recover from this crisis]. Bless those who are suffering and give them hope, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Kids Yoga Stories - provides recommendations and resources for Earth Day Yoga and Books
Earth Day.org - Earth Day Network’s mission is to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide. Growing out of the first Earth Day in 1970, Earth Day Network is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, working with more than 75,000 partners in over 190 countries to drive positive action for our planet.
Pastor Jen from Lutherhill Lutheran Camp is here to tell our next Wonder Story called "Wonderful World". Join her at the Tree Chapel as she talks about the Psalms in the Bible, in particular - Psalm 104, which is about our wonderful world and all of God's creation.
"Creation Care for Lent, Creation Care for Life: ELCA" - Young Adults Bring it!
As Earth Day partners and stewards of creation, we have many ways to lovingly serve the earth:
With a lyrical story and vibrant art, Apple and Magnolia unveils the extraordinary connections between trees and the wondrous bonds between all living things. The book includes an author’s note offering facts about how trees communicate with one another. A downloadable discussion and activity guide is available. Written by Laura Gehl Illustrated by Patricia Metola
This charming, low-tech tale reveals that a small adventure can open up big possibilities—for seeing new places, meeting new friends, and coming home to share all about it. A free, downloadable coloring page. Written & Illustrated by Denise Turu
“Through the friendship of a lighthouse keeper with a whale named Blue, readers are introduced to the impact of plastic waste on the ocean and ocean life. . . . Simple text and charming watercolor illustrations gently depict the damage humans can do to the environment. While the story is simple, readers learn about the importance of caring for the ocean.”
Inspired by the parable of the Barren Fig Tree, The Good for Nothing Tree reminds us that the sweetest figs, like many other things, are worth waiting for. Not every tree—and not every child—grows at the same pace. Yet patience, care, and love can change everything, making what may appear “good for nothing” very good. A note about the parable’s New Testament origins and a recipe are included. Illustrated by Annie Bowler Written by Amy-Jill Levine & Sandy Eisenberg Sasso
"Humans, in service to God, have special roles on behalf of the whole of creation. Made in the image of God, we are called to care for the earth as God cares for the earth. God’s command to have dominion and subdue the earth is not a license to dominate and exploit. …" (Caring for Creation, pp. 2-3).
10 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day at Home by Leah D. Schade
1. Observe and wonder. Begin a weekly ritual of settling into a circle of nature for a few minutes of observation, contemplation, and appreciation. Maybe your yard, or a green space during your lunch break at work, or just a crack in the sidewalk where weeds and grass have pushed through. Cultivate the habit of noticing. What lives here? What passes through? Learn the names of the trees and plants – they are your neighbors in God’s Creation! Let this time center you in prayer, wonder, and gratitude.
2. Plant and grow. Make a plan for your garden. Even if it’s just some pots on your porch or windowsill, think about what vegetables and flowers you would like to grow this season and determine when you’ll plant them.
3. Share your green space on social media. Find interesting angles to take pictures of the plants and trees in your living space. When you post your pics, share that caring for God’s Creation is part of your faith and encourage others to post their photos in the thread.
4. Play Earth Day bingo! This is a great activity to do with children. Make up a card with things in nature they might find in a walk around your neighborhood or in the backyard. Include dogs, birds, trees, grass, flowers, and insects. As they find each one, stop and say a prayer of thanks that God has created this beautiful discovery.
5. Advocate online. Find out what environmental legislation is currently under consideration in Congress. Call your representative and senators and encourage them to support the strongest protections for our planet. Tell them you are a Christian who votes on climate issues and ask them to support climate legislation. Call your local mayor’s office and ask if there is a task force for addressing climate preparedness. If there is, thank them and ask how you can help. If not, ask why. Share with them what you’ve learned about how climate change will likely affect your community.
6. Read and educate. Download a copy of Pope Francis’s Encyclical Laudato Si’ from your local library or listen to it as an audio book. If you’re a pastor, download a copy of Creation-Crisis Preaching: Ecology, Theology, and the Pulpit (by yours truly) and plan a sermon where you’ll address caring for God’s Creation.
7. Plan a worship service celebrating God’s Creation. If you are a clergyperson or worship leader, Earth Month and the season of Easter is a great time to lift up the beauty and fragility of God’s Creation. Plan time in the service for folks to share about their favorite place in nature. Ask how this place has a spiritual connection for them.
8. Pray for Earth and vulnerable communities. Write a prayer of lament, confession, thanks, or intercession regarding Creation. Share it on social media along with a favorite nature picture. Consider sharing it with your pastor and ask if it could be read at the service on Sunday.
9. Honor Native legacy. Visit Native Land Digital, type in your address, and see what indigenous peoples lived in the land before European conquest https://native-land.ca/. Do some research about the history of Indigenous peoples in the place where you live. What disturbs you? What humbles you? What surprises you? How might you reconsider your relationship with the natural world in light of Native American practices of honoring our relationships with all our relatives – human and other-than-human?
10. Thank those who nurtured your love of nature. Think about the person who has taught you the most about environmental concerns and cultivated your love of nature. Write them a letter thanking them for what they have taught you. If the person is no longer living, read the letter to someone close to you in order to honor that person’s memory.
Leah D. Schade is the assistant professor of Preaching and Worship at Lexington Theological Seminary in Kentucky, and an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She has served as an anti-fracking and climate activist, community organizer, and advocate for numerous environmental and social justice issues, and is the author of several books including Creation-Crisis Preaching: Ecology, Theology, and the Pulpit and For the Beauty of the Earth: A Lenten Devotional.