Courses on Ecology for Congregations
A course on ecology can be done in many different ways - find a method that is the most interesting and helpful for you. In ecology, everything is related, so that starting anywhere will eventually lead to seeing how all the issues are connected.
You can use one of the prepared curriculum:
Focus on spirituality and ecology.
Create a course on simple living. The ecological crisis is about overproduction and overconsumption. There are two resources you could use:
Start a class on corporate power as a religious issue.
Resources by Denomination
National Black Church Environmental and Economic Justice Summit Report - Stories of people who have been affected by environmental racism are highlighted in this report of the Black Church Summit held in Washington, DC in December 1993, Also included are speeches by prominent Black pastors and community activists on the issue of environmental justice. Published by the Eco-Justice Working Group. Order from the Distribution Center.
Our Only Home: Planet Earth EJ8205 $3.00 - The ecology policy statement adopted by the American Baptist General Board in a Bible study framework featuring articles by prominent Baptist leaders. Order from the Distribution Center.
CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN
Creation in Crisis: Responding to God's Covenant EJ5300 $10.00 - This study and action resource helps congregations study environmental issues and develop plans for addressing these concerns. It was published by the Church of the Brethren. Order from the Distribution Center
Three issues of Between the Flood and the Rainbow: All three can be ordered from the Environmental Justice Resource Distribution Center with the item code given.
Biodiversity The February 1995 edition of Between the Flood and the Rainbow environmental education and action newsletter of the Church of the Brethren includes such topics as: "Biodiversity-a Life-Support System;" "Understanding Biodiversity;" "Christians, Bible, and Biodiversity;" "UN's convention on Biodiversity;" "Why Save Endangered Species?;" "What You Can Do;" and "Preserving Ecosystem & Earth's Bounty. EJ5330 $.75
Climate Change The December 1995 edition of Between the Flood and the Rainbow explains what is happening with the climate, the UN's Convention on Climate Change and reports on the Berlin Summit on Climate Change. It includes "The Top 10 Things You Can Do To Prevent Global Warming." - EJ5350 $.75.
Toxic Pollution The September 1996 edition of Between the Flood and the Rainbow explains the role of chemicals and the pollution they cause, describes the by-product dioxin and its health effects and gives resources and suggestions for action. EJ5375 $.75
Just and Sustainable Community: A Conference on Environmental Values (June, 1995) The proceedings of this conference, sponsored by a collaborative partnership of government, a university and an interfaith environmental network, include extensive remarks by Dieter Hessel, James Nash, Vernice Miller and several others. Published by the Episcopal Church. EJ89IO $1.50. Order from the Environmental Justice Resource Distribution Center
Creation Season Liturgy - EJ8905 $4.00 - This package of materials will enable a congregation to plan a liturgy or series of liturgies to honor creation. (e.g. Many Episcopal congregations begin the season on St. Francis of Assisi Day in early October and conclude the Sunday before Advent.) Published by the Episcopal Church. Order from the Environmental Justice Resource Distribution Center.Just and Proper Use: Issues in Environmental Stewardship by Judy Scherff. - EJ8920 $3.00 - How can we arrange our lives, our economics, and our social order to do a better job in relying upon and sustaining God's creation? Published by the Episcopal Church. Order from the Environmental Justice Resource Distribution Center. One God, One Family, One Earth: Responding to the Gifts of God's Creation. EJ8915 $15.00 - Using this six session adult education curriculum, small discussion groups can rediscover our relationship with God's creation. Sessions examine environmental stewardship's theological foundations, its connections with justice issues, and our need for advocacy and action. Includes a Leader's Guide, Participant's Guide and an audiotape with musical selections from the Paul Winter Consort. Published by the Episcopal Church. Order from the Environmental Justice Resource Distribution Center.
On the Care of Creation.The Evangelical Declaration on the Care of CreationIt, a carefully considered statement on earth stewardship, released four years ago. Hundreds of evangelical leaders in North America have expressed their agreement with the principles of theÜ declaration by signing on. The text of the declaration and a partial list of signatories is on their web site at http://www.creationcare.org/
Holy Ground: A Resource on Faith and the Environment. Sojourners, 1997.Ü A study Guide for a four session course covering: The Covenant with Creation, Systems of Environmental Degradation, Environmental Racism and Justice, and Living Rightly with the Earth. Write or call Sojourners Resource Center, 2401 15th NW, Washington, DC, 20009, 800-714-7474 or 202-328-8842. Or E-mail: Sojourners@sojourners.com. Price, 1-9 copies, $5 each; 10-49 copies, $4 each; 50+ copies $3 each. See http://www.sojourners.com/catalog.html.EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH OF AMERICA
To Till It and Keep It - EJ9505 $3.00 - This resource describes various congregational models for taking care of the land, from community gardening to alternative lawn care to rural-urban dialogues.Ü It was produced by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Order from the Environmental Justice Resource Distribution Center.
Care of the Earth: An Environmental Resource Manual for Church Leaders. Edited by Tina B. Krause, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Excellent basic text. Including articles on Green Theology, advocacy, worship (including a full liturgy, models and examples). Includes a Bibliography of books, periodicals and videos. . (Not from the Distribution Center- Available from LSTC Book Center, 1100 East 55th Street, Chicago Illinois 60615. 773-753-0753.)
For the Beauty of the EarthThe July-August 1996 issue ofÜ Church and Society explores environmental ethics and theology as well as public policy issues. Profiles of congregations involved in environmental justice are included. Published by the Presbyterian Church (USA). Order from the Environmental Justice Resource Distribution Center. EJ9650 $2.50 -
For God So Loves the World- Interactive resource focused on the Biblical mandate to cherish God's creation. User-friendly material for older youth and adults. Published by the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program. - EJ9020 $1.45. Order from the Environmental Justice Resource Distribution Center.
Healing and Defending God's Creation: Hands On! Practical Ideas for Congregations, VOL.II Concrete ideas and useful resources to help your congregation develop and implement programs on caring for God's Creation. It covers worship, education, individual and congregational lifestyle, and public policy and community involvement. Published by the Presbyterian Church (USA). EJ9010 $4.95. Order from the Environmental Justice Resource Distribution Center.
Keeping and Healing the Creation. An 80-page resource paper by the Presbyterian Eco-Justice Task Force providing a comprehensive background on the eco-justice crisis and a biblical theology and ethics to face it. Published by the Presbyterian Church (USA). - EJ9040 $4.00 - Order from the Environmental Justice Resource Distribution Center.
Hope for a Global Future: Toward Just and Sustainable Human Development This comprehensive policy was adopted by the 1996 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) addressing global poverty, environmental degradation, overpopulation, theological and ethical foundations, and policy recommendations.EJ9620 $2.50. Order from the Environmental Justice Resource Distribution Center.
And God Saw That It Was Good" Catholic Theology and the Environment. This dynamic reader is designed to assist in addressing ecological crises in light of Catholic tradition and teachings. Anne M. Clifford, CSJ; John F. Haught; David Toolan, SJ; Kevin W. Irwin; and others contributed to this compilation of papers presented at a scholars conference at Mount Angel Abbey in Portland, Oregon. The volume also includes articles on Scripture and liturgy as well as the full text of related documents by Pope John Paul 11; the U.S. bishops; the Australian, Dominican, and Guatemalan Episcopal conferences; and the Catholic bishops of Northern Italy and of the Philippines. This comprehensive volume is intended for the well-read lay Catholic reading audience and was edited by Drew Christiansen, SJ, and Walter Grazer. No. 5-089, 348 pp., $24.95.
Peace with God the Creator, Peace with All Creation. This parish resource kit for environmental justice implementation provides models for parish involvement and action on environmental justice issues and includes activities for parishioner participation, homily and prayer helps, articles on conservation, and the St. Francis Prayer Card. From the U.S. bishops' Department of Social Development and World. Peace. No. 032-X, 53 pp., $7.95.
Renewing the Face of the Earth: A Resource for Parishes. A masterful resource for parishes. Today's global environmental crisis makes justice for the environment inseparable from justice for the poor. Includes the bishops' statement, Renewing the Earth; suggestions for initiating parish programs; liturgical, homily and prayer helps; background information on the connection between the environment and social justice; parish bulletin inserts; resource information. From the U.S. bishops' Department of Social Development and World Peace. No. 766-9, 80 pp., $6.95.
Renewing the Earth An Invitation to Reflection and Action on Environment in Light of Catholic Social Teaching. The U.S. bishops call on Catholics to reflect on and to discuss environmental problems, including global warming, depletion of the ozone layer, deforestation, and toxic and nuclear waste. No. 468-6, 20 pp., $1.95.
The Ecological Crisis: A Common Responsibility. Pope John Paul 11's message calls for all citizens of the earth to respect life and to seek a solution to the ecological crisis through solidarity and shared responsibility for the world. No. 332-9, 14 pp., $1.95
Publications available form COEJL (The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life), 443 Park Avenue South, 11th fl., New York, NY 10016-7322 . Call 212-684-6950, orÜ fax: (212) 686-1353. See http://www.coejl.org/
To Till and To Tend. A Guide to Jewish Environmental Study and Action (1994). 122 pp. introduction to Jewish environmental thought and action. Scientific information on the environmental crisis; articles from a variety of Jewish perspectives on the environment; 19 programs for synagogues and schools; and an extensive resource guide. $12.50.
Operation Noah: A Jewish Program and Action Guide to Defending God's Endangered Creatures and Habitats - 37 pp. of background articles and program and action ideas for institutions and families. $5.00.
Operation Noah: Texts and Commentaries on Biological Diversity and Human Responsibility: A Study Guide -- 44 pp. of background articles and texts from range of Jewish sources (Bible, law, tales, philosophy, mysticism). $5.00
Biodiversity, Parshat Noah, and a Jewish Environmental Ethic: A Creative Arts Curriculum -- 34 pp. of hands on educational activities for day and religious schools. $5.00.
Caring for the Life-Cycle: Celebrating the Passages of Life in Environmentally Friendly Ways 24 pp. booklet for those planning a brit milah/naming ceremony, bar/bat mitzvah, or chuppah ceremony. $ 2.50.
Challenge: Torah Views on Science and Its Problems, edited by Aryeh Carmell and Cyril Domb (New York: Feldheim, 1976).
Conservative Judaism 44:1. Fall 1991. Entire issue dedicated to Jewish environmental thought and action.
Ecology and the Jewish Spirit: Where Nature and the Sacred Meet edited by Ellen Bernstein. (Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing, 1998.)
A Garden of Choice Fruit: 200 Classic Jewish Quotes on Human Beings and the Environment, Edited by David E. Stein (Philadelphia: Shomrei Adamah, 1991). Available from Shomrei Adamah, 212.807.6376.
God in Search of Man by A.J. Heschel (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1955).
The Green Shalom Guide: A How to Manual for Greening Local Jewish Synagogues, Schools. And Offices. Washington Area Shomrei Adamah. 1995.Ü To order: Send $13.00 to Washington Area Shomrei Adamah, 706 Erie Ave., Takoma Park, MD 20912.
It's a Mitzvah! Step-by-Step to Jewish Living, by Bradley Shavit Artson. New York: Rabbinical Assembly, 1995. See chapter 17 on Bal Tashchit (prohibition of waste). "Leader's Guide" available.
The Jewish Sourcebook on the Environment and Ecology by Ronald H. Isaacs. (Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1998.)
Jews, Money, and Social Responsibility: Developing a "Torah of Money" for Contemporary Life, by Lawrence Bush and Jeffrey Dekro (Philadelphia: The Shefa Fund, 1993). To order, call 1-800-92-SHEFA/215-247-9704.
Judaism and Ecology, a study guide produced by Hadassah and Shomrei Adamah. Send $12.00 to Dept. of Jewish Education, Hadassah, 50 W. 58th St., New York, NY 10019.
The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man, by Abraham Joshua Heschel (New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1951).
Seasons of Our Joy: A Handbook of Jewish Festivals, by Arthur Waskow (Boston: Beacon Press, 1982).
Seek My Face, Speak My Name, by Arthur Green (Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1992).
Spirit and Nature: Why the Environment is a Religious Issue, edited by Steven C. Rockefeller and John N. Elder (Boston: Beacon Press, 1992). See "Learning to Live with Less" by Ismar Schorsch.
Texts and Commentaries on Biological Diversity and Human Responsibility: A Study Guide (1996). Available from COEJL.
This Sacred Earth: Religion, Nature, Environment edited by Roger Gottlieb (New York: Routledge, 1995).
Torah and Flora, by Louis I. Rabinowitz (Sanhedrin Press, 1979).
Torah of the Earth: Exploring 4,000 years of Ecology in Jewish Thought. 2 vols. ed. Arthur Waskow. Woodstock, VT, Jewish Lights Publishing, 2000. See http://www.jewishlights.com
Trees, Earth and Torah: A Tu B'Shvat Anthology edited by Ari Elon, Naomi Hyman, and Arthur Waskow. (Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society, 1999.)
"With all Your Possessions": Jewish Ethics and Economic Life by Meir Tamari (New York: Free Press, 1987).
SOCIETY OF FRIENDS (Quakers)
Order all from Friends Committee on Unity with Nature, 179 N. Prospect St. Burlinton VT 05401-1607. Prices include postage and handling.
Becoming a Friend to the Creation: Earthcare Leaven for Friends and FriendsÌ Meetings, Lisa L. Gould, ed. $15.50.
Environmental Challenges for Higher Education: Integrating Sustainability into Academic Programs, Robert L. Wixom, ed. $19.50.
Earthcare for Children, a First Day School Curriculum, by Tom Farley, Sandy Farley and Diana Egly. $15.50.
Healing Ourselves and Our Earth, Elizabeth Watson, $4.00.
Leading a Friendly Session on Population Concerns, a guide for facilitators, Stan Becker, $1.25.
Population-Resources Exercise: Instructions for facilitators, Stan Becker $3.00.
Walking Gently on the Earth: An Earthcare Checklist, Jack Phillips, $3.50.
FLYERS- (1 is free, 4 for $1.50; or 50 for $13):
Simplicity as Spiritual Exercise: Freeing Ourselves from Possessions, Tom Small.