Worship Resources

Climate Justice Month was a month-long spiritual journey for climate justice from March 22 through April 22, 2015, that moved through four elements and four stages on the way to making new commitments to climate justice. These worship resources were collected to help facilitate that journey, and can be used at any time. 

Add your own favorite worship resources at the bottom of the page or via the share forum.

 

Water: Rejoicing

World Water Day, Climate Justice Sunday

Water signifies immersion, our connection with the natural world and its gifts, basic human rights, and grief at the potential for loss due to climate change.

General Resources 

Climate Justice Sunday resources, including worship resources, from the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC)

Communities throughout the world are facing threats to their water access as a result of climate change. UUSC's Climate Justice Sunday program invites us to learn more about water issues in our own communities, while also helping families near Kenya's Kakamega rain forest and elsewhere protect their water supplies. Individuals, families, groups, and congregations are all encouraged to participate!

Readings 

Water Flows” by Thich Nhat Hahn
The Negro Speaks of Rivers” by Langston Hughes
Let Justice Roll Down Like Waters,” Bible verse
“Pine Tree Tops” by Gary Snyder from his book Turtle Island
Excerpt from Lighthousekeeping by Jeanette Winterson
Birches” by Robert Frost
“Returning to the Sea” by Mark Nepo
The Swan” by Mary Oliver
"Suppose" by Stephen M. Shick
"Live amid the Play of Infinite Thought" by Thomas Starr King

Inspiration 

Love, Nature: A Reunion” by Doug Demeo

Prayer 

Beatitudes for Earth Sunday” by Richard Gilbert

Stories for All Ages

Earth Mother by Ellen Jackson
John Muir: America's Naturalist by Thomas Locker 

Songs 

Wade in the Water (#210)*
By the Rivers of Babylon
Down to the River to Pray
Come You Longing Thirsty Souls (#209)
We Celebrate the Web of Life (#175)

*Hymn numbers refer to the hymnal Singing the Living Tradition

Rituals 

Water Communion Ritual for Justice-Making
Water Justice Ritual
Children’s Water Communion

 

Fire: Reckoning

Fire signifies transformation, righteous anger and passion, and reckoning with the injustices and impacts of climate change, including our grief. 

Readings

Why Not Be Changed Into Fire?
Breathing Space (Fire)” by Judy Brown
Questo Muro” by Anita Barrows
More than 1,000 Dead Birds Fall from the Sky in Arkansas” by Leah Browning
On Killing a Tree” by Giev Patel
Blessing When the World is Ending” by Jan Richardson
The Peace of Wild Things” by Wendell Berry
“The Return of Earth / She” (video) (text) by Christopher Sims
"Between the Fires" by Arthur Waskow
"Earthquake" by Marta I. Valentin
"Poem in a Time of Peril" by Barbara Rohde
UU Worship Resources for the Climate March from GreenFaith
Fossil Fuel” by John Dickson
"Earth" by Mark Belletini
"Vanishing Song Birds" by Stephen M. Shick

Inspiration 

God’s Earth is a Wild and Difficult Place” by Peggy Clarke
"The Miraculous Pitcher" by Barbara Rohde

Prayers

Interfaith prayer for Earth Day 1990 (page 3 of Interfaith Prayers resource from GreenFaith)
"Lamentation (Lamentación)" by Peter Morales

Stories for All Ages 

The Earth Has Caught a Cold by Roxane Marie Galliez
How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate by Lynne Cherry and Gary Braasch

Songs

Fire of Commitment
Tho I May Speak With Bravest Fire (#31)
Come Come Whoever You Are

*Hymn numbers refer to the hymnal Singing the Living Tradition

 

Air: Reconnecting 

Air signifies connectedness, mobilization, breath, spirit, exploring who is impacted by our energy sources and reconnecting with hope through relationship.

Readings 

Blessed Be the Wind” by Lyall Watson
Listen to the air…” by John (Fire) Lame Deer
A Thirsty Fish” by Rumi
"Communion Circle" by Mark Belletini
When I Am Among the Trees” by Mary Oliver
“Next Time” by Jack Gilbert
Margaret Wheatley on the Interconnectedness of Aspen Trees
“Seeds” by Rabindranath Tagore
“The Unknown is the Path” by Wendell Berry
When the Heart” by Michael Leunig
My Sanctuary” by Meng Shu Ch’ing

Inspiration 

Breath of the Universe” by Peggy Clarke
"Environmental Justice: The Air We Breathe" by Jeanne Lloyd (plus the text from entire worship service)
"Peace Like a River, Strength Like a Mountain" by Stephen M. Shick

Prayers 

"Entwined" by Stephen M. Shick
Make Us Fearless” by Arthara Veda XIX
"Prayer in Winter" by Deborah Weiner

Stories for All Ages

Wangari's Trees of Peace by Jeanette Winter
The Mangrove Tree: Planting Trees to Feed Families by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore

Songs 

The Wind of Change Forever Blown (#183)*
Meditation on Breathing (#1009)**

*From the hymnal Singing the Living Tradition
**From the hymnal Singing the Journey

 

Earth: Committing

Earth Day

Earth signifies realization, bringing our vision into reality, fruition, culmination, committing to long-term actions that will create a paradigm shift and grow the climate justice movement.

General Resources 

Earth Day resources, including worship resources, from the Unitarian Universalist Association's Worship Web
Earth Day resources
, including worship resources, from UU Ministry for the Earth (UUMFE)

For Earth Day 2015, UUMFE invites congregations to connect to one or more issues that relate to realizing economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable communities. This year's theme is attention to the critical role energy plays in today’s world and a sustainable future. UUMFE's Earth Day resources will help us discern how we will commit and take action through Commit2Respond. 

Readings 

"Committed to Respond" by Lynn Harrison
This is Our Earth” by Mark Belletini
Song of the Earth Spirit, Origin Legend
Teach your Children” attributed to Chief Seattle
Vespers [In your extended absence, you permit me]” by Louise Glück
Earth” by Mark Belletini
Active Hope by Joanna Macy
“In This Green Hour” by Constance Crossen

Inspiration 

The New Paradigm” by Galen Guengerich
"The Most Important Number on Earth" by Fred Small

Prayers & Responsive Readings

"History's Road" by Marjorie Bowens-Wheatley and Clyde Grubbs
"Re-Creation" by Stephen M. Shick
"Earth Day Prayer: In the Spirit of Indigenous Traditions" by Vern Barnet
"Green Sanctuary Kick-off Responsive Reading" by Molly Housh

Stories for All Ages

The Brave Little Parrot by Rafe Martin and Susan Gaber
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

Songs

For the Earth Forever Turning (#163)
For the Beauty of the Earth (#21)
O Earth You Are Surpassing Fair (#174)

*Hymn numbers refer to the hymnal Singing the Living Tradition


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  • commented 2015-03-24 17:48:02 -0400
    Hymns for March 29: any other ideas out there?
  • published this page in Tools 2015-02-23 15:46:20 -0500

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