Resources on the Climate Crisis
Discipleship Ministries wants to help you raise your congregation’s awareness of our collective responsibility to care for the creation God has entrusted to us. We believe this is intrinsically connected to our mission to form faithful disciples. Christ’s teaching often focused on living faithfully with the resources God provides, and with concern and compassion for the poor. We who have chosen to follow Jesus must be aware that in a interconnected world, our actions and decisions have a global impact. This is clearly evident as we consider creation care and the issues raised by climate justice.
Many may believe that the task of being faithful stewards of God’s creation is too large for one person, one congregation, or even one annual conference to make a difference. In reality, until we see the call to environmental stewardship as part of God’s call in our own lives—individually and collectively—lasting change is out of reach. The resources we are sharing here will help you convince your church and community that their involvement in creation care is an essential part of discipleship.
'Loving People and Planet' Course Offers Insight into the Stewardship of God's Creation
Discipleship Ministries is excited about a new course that will be available in time for Earth Day, April 22 (or on the United Methodist Church calendar of Sundays, Festival of God’s Creation, on April 23). While the course was made available through our training resources for Lay Servant Ministries, it offers any lay or clergy an enlightening look into the urgent need to take better care of this lovely, blue ball that God has given us for a home. Make your plans now for a post-Easter course that celebrates the depth and breadth of a disciple’s stewardship responsibilities!
Resources for Eastertide from the UMCJM Worship Team
The United Methodist Creation Justice Worship Team Worship Team has developed a new season of Creation Justice worship resources for use between Easter and Pentecost in 2023 called “New Life is Breaking Forth”. The series focuses on lectionary gospel texts for inspiration and provides resources for planning your Earth Sunday worship, an Eastertide series of services, and/or other coordinated events.
Taking an Eco-Survey of Your Home Church for Earth Day 2023
One of the simplest actionable steps you can take part in at your local church is doing an Eco-Survey, led by the young people in your congregation.
An Eco-Survey of your church’s physical building is a straightforward process that focuses on how energy efficient and earth-friendly your building and grounds are. Perhaps this could be an opportunity for a youth ministry gathering where youth and adult leaders survey the building with a checklist, looking for ways that the building or meetings could be made more efficient and friendlier for God’s creation, the Earth.
Inviting a Child to be a Climate Hero
Yes, when it comes to climate change, the job belongs to all of us, but young people often have the insight to see that many adults have dodged the hard work of this job for way too long. With more years in front of them, our children and teens have often been the ones to lead the way, showing us how we should be good stewards of the planet God entrusted to us.
I discovered a wonderful new book titled Climate Hero Handbook: How Kids Can Defend, Protect, and Restore the Planet by Jennifer Manley Rogers and Jessica Gamaché. It is a wonderful book for kids, beautifully illustrated by Sophie Ann Elliot, and organized in a way that is fun, while equipping children and teens for the task of being a climate hero.
What Can I Do About the Climate Crisis?
I attended the American Climate Leadership Summit 2022, a gathering of scientists, authors, and activists from the United States and other countries working to help accelerate the response to the damage being done to our environment and the resulting climate change. In many of the presentations I attended, there were discussions focused on responding to the question, “What Can I Do About the Climate Crisis?” There are a lot of ways to respond to that question. The answer I heard most often might surprise you: “We need to talk more about the climate crisis – every person, every day, at every opportunity!”
Discipleship Ministries Joins the Joint United Methodist Church Commitment to Net-Zero Emissions by 2050
In the first net-zero commitment of its kind, Discipleship Ministries, along with other agencies of The United Methodist Church (UMC), released a joint statement, “Our Climate Commitment to Net-Zero Emissions.” The collaborative, multi-institution statement pledges to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the organizations’ ministries, facilities, operations, and investments by 2050. “Net-zero” describes the process by which human-caused greenhouse gas emissions can be balanced, or “netted out”, by removing emissions from the atmosphere.
Toolkit for Launching Your Creation Care Ministry
This page offers a biblical and historical foundation for integrating creation care into the life of a United Methodist congregation.
10 Tips to Help Your Church Go Green
The best way for your church to lead your members in a growing consciousness of being good stewards of earth resources is to lead by example.
Worship Resources: 'For the Creation Waits'
Earth Day is April 22 this year, and Sunday, April 23, 2023 has been designated as Festival of God’s Creation Sunday. This could be observed on any Sunday in April or another time convenient to the congregation. But it should be celebrated!
Music for Earth Day and the Festival of God’s Creation
View this list of hymns for your Earth Day and Festival of God's Creation celebration.
Creation Care Children's Message
God's creation is too important to be left to the care of strangers or those who do not worship God. Followers of Jesus are God's hands and feet on the earth!
Review of 'Climate Justice With and For Children and Youth'
This toolkit produced by the World Council of Churches offers best practices for churches with a commitment to children and the concern of worldwide climate justice.
Earth Day: Whoever Has Ears, Let Them Hear
Stewardship of the earth and care for all creation must be part of our personal and communal discipleship. Young people can be key in helping your congregation identify ways to engage in sustainability and creation care.
Earth Day and Beyond: Caring for God's Creation and Encouraging Others to Get Involved
Earth Day and the Festival of God's Creation are opportunities for United Methodist congregations to reflect on the goodness of God’s creation and our responsibility as stewards through worship, education and action. Where do we begin?
Courageous Conversations About Climate Change
These lessons are designed with the goal for participants to be more aware of and assess their assumptions (right and wrong) about climate change.
Courageous Conversations for Youth: Climate
Courageous Conversations for Youth are designed to equip a youth leader with a model to create brave spaces where youth can share their thoughts and feelings on pressing topics. The point is not to arrive at consensus, simply for a youth leader to create a space where everyone can be heard.
This resource asks participants to explore the difference between climate change and climate justice, as well as the humanitarian effects of changing weather patterns.
What Has the UMC Affirmed about the Climate Crisis?
If you are wondering about the stance of The United Methodist Church on the climate crisis, check out these links to resolutions passed by previous General Conference sessions:
- Resolution 1001: Energy Policy Statement
- Resolution 1025: Environmental Justice in the US
- Resolution 1032: Principles for Just and Sustainable Extraction and Production
- Resolution 1033: Caring for Creation: A Call to Stewardship and Justice
- Resolution 1034: Environmental Health
- Resolution 1035: Climate Change and the Church's Response