In 2021, General Brian Peddle approved a new international positional statement on “Caring for the Environment,” which calls for immediate action to be taken to address and combat environmental degradation, and pledges to foster a culture of sustainability.

How can we foster this culture in our corps? Here are some ideas from A Rocha Canada, an international Christian organization that, inspired by God’s love, engages in scientific research, environmental education, community-based conservation projects and sustainable agriculture.

  1. Pray to Creator God. On the Sunday closest to Earth Day (April 22), ask a pastor, worship leader or someone else praying in the service to address God as Creator. You could even take it a step further and thank God for creation, pray for a specific environmental issue facing your community or pray for the reconciliation of all creation. 
  2. Sing about creation. Does your church sing about creation? If you are on a music team, suggest a song or two that praises God for creation. If your church sings hymns, this list can help. If you sing contemporary worship music, consider something from this new album by The Porter’s Gate. You can also look at this playlist for some inspiration.
  3. Read about creation. For your church’s next book study, choose a book that combines creation care and spirituality. Here are a few recommendations:
    • When the Trees Say Nothing: Writings on Nature, by Thomas Merton
    • This Sacred Life: Humanity’s Place in a Wounded World, by Norman Wirzba
    • A Christian’s Guide to Planet Earth: Why It Matters and How to Care for It, by Betsy Painter
    • God of All Things: Rediscovering the Sacred in an Everyday World, by Andrew Wilson
    • Watershed Discipleship: Reinhabiting Bioregional Faith and Practice, edited by Ched Myers
    • Planted: A Story of Creation, Calling, and Community, by Leah Kostamo
    • For the Beauty of the Earth: A Christian Vision for Creation Care, by Steven Bouma-Prediger
    • Christ of the Celts: The Healing of Creation, by J. Philip Newell

  4. Move your event or worship service outside. If you have an event that you’ve already planned (such as a potluck, young adults gathering, small group
    An outdoor worship service at Burlington CC, Ont.
    or meeting), try moving it outside. Use your church yard if you have one, a local park, or even somebody’s porch or yard. The more time we spend outside, especially in prayer and worship, the more connected we are to creation.

  5. Clean up your neighbourhood. Grab a couple church friends, some garbage bags, work gloves and a sharps disposal kit and hit the streets. You can pick up trash for half an hour or scour for three hours—whatever you have capacity for. Not only will you help clear out local pollution, but you’ll probably meet some neighbours, too.

  6. Recycle your bulletins. Collect paper bulletins after church and toss them in the blue bin. If your church doesn’t have a recycling program yet, bring a stack home to be recycled. Paper is the most successfully recycled material in Canada, so every little bit really does help.
    Amber Kakiishiway (Indigenous Cree, White Bear First Nations Treaty 4) performs at a local Celebration of Culture held by Burlington CC, Ont., in 2022
  7. Participate in the Season of Creation. Season of Creation is “a time to renew our relationship with our Creator and all creation through celebration, conversion and commitment together.” It runs from September 1 to October 5, and there are plenty of opportunities and resources for your congregation to tap into.

We hope this list helps you imagine a starting point for creation care at your church.

Marnie Klassen was a communications and administrative assistant for A Rocha Manitoba. Reprinted with permission.



Caring for Creation

Major Karen Puddicombe, corps officer at Burlington Community Church, Ont., shares how they integrate creation care in their ministry unit:

  • We are intentional about taking practical steps to reduce our environmental footprint— we don’t use any products in the building that can’t be recycled; we use environmentally friendly cleaning products and refillable soap dispensers; instead of using plastic water bottles, we have a filling
    Learning to walk gently together
    station for personal water bottles or recyclable cups.
  • We created a prayer garden, where the community is welcome to come and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation—to rest on a bench, share lunch with a friend, take pictures, or just be still. If they like, they can write a prayer on a stone and leave it in the garden.
  • We also have a community garden, where people can get their hands dirty, grow food and meet others. Most of the people who have a garden plot live in the apartments surrounding the church.
  • We are intentional about having outdoor events, giving our congregation and community the opportunity to get to know each other. For the past three years, we have held an outdoor concert with local artists in September. In 2022, we had an Indigenous performer and a storyteller as our special guests, in a local Celebration of Culture.
  • We have also held our worship services outside and experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit blowing through the sacred space of our community garden, blessing those whocame and those who joined from their apartment balconies.

It’s all about following Jesus’ example of living in the Spirit, of participating in God’s mission to renew and restore all of creation.


On Thursday, April 20, 2023, william blackburn said:

I do not like the idea of earth day. it sure sounds like political correctness

Leave a Comment