Need help getting started with your environmental ministries and stewardship? Looking for liturgical resources, theological information, parish education curricula, ideas for building stewardship, or opportunities for systematic advocacy? These links can help!
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Books about Faith and the Environment – perfect for book groups!
Faith-Based Environmental Organizations
Scientific and Communications Resources
- A Life of Grace for the Whole World: A Study Course on the House of Bishops’ Pastoral Teaching on the Environment, by the Rev. Jerry Cappel and the Rev. Stephanie Johnson. In 2011, the Episcopal Church House of Bishops issued a pastoral letter on the environment, the church’s largest teaching on climate change and environmental stewardship to date. In response, Cappel and Johnson created this five-week study course, following the five sections of the bishops’ letter. A leader guide, adult book, and youth book are each available.
- Free: The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Laudato Si Discussion Guide [PDF]: Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home is Pope Francis’ groundbreaking work on Christianity, climate change, and global interconnection. This is the official group discussion guide for U.S. audiences. Note that it is intended for Roman Catholic audiences, so you may wish to do some editing for your own context.
- Free: Season of Creation discussion materials: The Church of England has curated a wide variety of readings for each day during the Season of Creation — including popular and theological articles, book excerpts, and Scripture — which is celebrated from September 1 to October 4.
- Free: National Council of Churches Educational Resources: The NCC’s ecumenical Creation Justice Ministries has published dozens of different curriculums on a wide variety of topics for all ages. A small sampling of titles includes:
- Climate and Church: How Global Climate Change Will Impact Core Church Ministries
- It’s God’s World: Christians, Care for Creation and Global Warming
- Bottom Line Ministries that Matter: Congregational Stewardship with Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Technologies
- Just Climate: Study Guide for Adult Christian Education
- Cry of Creation: A Call for Climate Justice
- Environmental Justice with Indigenous Peoples
- Sustainable Food in a Changing Climate
- Water, Holy Water
- And many more!
Books about Faith and the Environment
Perfect for either book groups or individual reading!
- Climate Church, Climate World: How People of Faith Must Work for Change, by the Rev. Jim Antal. The United Church of Christ’s leading voice on climate change explores climate science, worship, personal discipleship and action, and much more.
- Sisters of Dust, Sisters of Spirit, by Karen Baker-Fletcher, Professor of Systematic Theology at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology. A defining text in the field of eco-womanism. Baker-Fletcher “combines a keen awareness of environmental racism with reflection on her own journey and a keen constructive theological vision.”
- Dream of the Earth by Thomas Berry, the Catholic “geo-logian” who helped start the academic field of religion and ecology.
- The Great Work: Our Way Into the Future by Thomas Berry
- Love God, Heal Earth: 21 Leading Religious Voices Speak Out on Our Sacred Duty to Protect the Environment, edited by the Rev. Sally Bingham, co-founder of Interfaith Power & Light and Canon for the Environment in the Episcopal Diocese of California. From all parts of the religious and political spectrum, these diverse authors come together to tell why caring for the earth is a spiritual mandate, offering plans of action that go beyond the walls of religious congregations and out into the broader community.
- Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor by Leonardo Boff, the noted liberation theologian. This book was a major influence on Pope Francis’s encyclical, “Laudato Si.”
- Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home by Pope Francis. Perhaps the definitive work on Christianity, climate change, and global interconnection, from a Roman Catholic perspective. Great for a parish book group. Also available: The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Laudato Si PDF Discussion Guide.
- Loving Creation: Christian Spirituality, Earth-Centered and Just, by Kathleen Fischer. “Draws from ancient and contemporary sources to fashion a holistic Christian spirituality that unites ecological concerns with social justice [and] personal struggles with those of the planet.”
- Ecology and Religion by John Grim and Mary Evelyn Tucker, pioneers of the academic field of religion and ecology, and students of the aforementioned Thomas Berry (as well as mentors of the ECN editor). A good introductory book that looks at what multiple world religions, including Christianity, can offer to ecological efforts.
- GreenFaith: Mobilizing God’s People to Save the Earth, by Fletcher Harper. Concrete examples and tips that will help people of faith and worshiping communities engage in Earth care—in bold, life-giving ways. Each chapter has questions to guide personal study and group conversation.
- Christianity and Ecology: Seeking the Well-being of Earth and Humans, a series of articles and essays edited by Dieter T. Hessel and Rosemary Radford Ruether.
- The Future of Ethics: Sustainability, Social Justice, and Religious Creativity by Willis Jenkins. A little on the academic side, but practical and thoughtful.
- Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants, by Robin Kimmerer. The Potawatomi woman and Professor of Environmental and Forest Biology explores different ways of knowing, examining both indigenous approaches and western science, and looking at why we should express gratitude to the earth for the things it gives us.
- Resurrection Matters: Church Renewal for Creation’s Sake, by the Rev. Nurya Love Parish. Parish, an Episcopal priest, is the founder of Plainsong Farm and a leading voice in the Christian food movement. Resurrection Matters is Plainsong’s story, as well as “a fruitful study and action guide for any church that owns property and in which groups gather together to grow as disciples of Jesus Christ. It helps groups connect their faith and the assets that they steward for God’s mission, recognizing these assets as gifts for ministry with their wider community.”
- Just Water: Theology, Ethics, and the Global Water Crisis, by Christiana Peppard. A powerful look at justice and water.
- Anything by the ethicist Larry L. Rasmussen:
- Bible and Ethics in the Christian Life: A New Conversation with Bruce C. Birch, Jacqueline E. Lapsley, and Cynthia D. Moe-Lobeda
- Earth Community, Earth Ethics
- Earth-honoring Faith: Religious Ethics in a New Key
- God’s Good Earth: Praise and Prayer for Creation, by Dr. Anne and Bishop Jeffery Rowthorn. A collection of 52 beautiful, ready-made environmental prayer services, drawing from a rich variety of ecumenical resources and authors.
- Creation-Crisis Preaching: Ecology, Theology, and the Pulpit, by the Rev. Leah D. Schade, providing both theoretical grounding and practical tips for preachers to create environmental sermons that are relevant, courageous, creative, pastoral, and inspiring.
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Faith-Based Environmental Organizations
These organizations will have additional resources, information on best practices for stewardship and greening your facilities, and opportunities for systemic advocacy.
- Catholic Climate Covenant
- Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary
- Creation Justice Ministries of the National Council of Churches
- Earth Ministry
- Episcopal Eco-Justice Ministries (official)
- Episcopal Public Policy Network and Office of Government Relations (official)
- Evangelical Environmental Network
- The Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale
- Interfaith Power and Light
- For helpful worship materials, including Eucharistic liturgies and other prayers, visit the Church of England’s Creationtide resources page.
- Green Anglicans, the Anglican Church of Southern African Environmental Network, has created a series of liturgies for the Season of Creation as well as for Earth Day, World Water Day, and World Environment Day.
- Dr. Anne and Bishop Jeffery Rowthorne have compiled the book God’s Good Earth: Praise and Prayer for Creation, a collection of 52 beautiful, ready-made environmental prayer services, drawing from a rich variety of ecumenical resources and authors.
Scientific and Communications Resources
- InsideClimate News – Pulitzer Prize winning coverage
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — the world’s leading scientific authority on climate change
- NASA: Climate Change
- Yale Program on Climate Change Communication
- Recommended DVD: RENEWAL: Stories from America’s Religious-Environmental Movement
- Recommended DVD: Journey of the Universe: An Epic Story of Cosmic, Earth, and Human Transformation (available online with Amazon Prime viewing)
- Sermons, Lectures, and Interviews Available Online:
- Videos from the March 2017 Trinity Institute conference on “Water Justice” in New York City. Includes moving worship, theatrical storytelling, and addresses from the Most Rev. Winston Halapua (Archbishop of Polynesia), activist and author Maude Barlow, ethicist Christiana Zenner Peppard, the Most Rev. Thabo Makgoba (Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa), and scientist Katharine Hayhoe.
- Individual Salvation vs. Cosmic Balance: An American Indian Perspective. A powerful spring 2018 presentation given at Yale Divinity School by the Osage scholar George “Tink” Tinker.
- Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, Sermon on Creation Care, July 2017:
- Yale University interview with the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, oceanographer and former Presiding Bishop (the interviewer on the right, Nathan Empsall, is the founder and editor of Episcopal Climate News):
- 1984 lecture from Catholic “geo-logian” Thomas Berry, a historian of world religions and founding pioneer of the academic field of religion and ecology: