Home Worship Planning Planning Resources Worship Resources: 'For the Creation Waits'

Worship Resources: 'For the Creation Waits'

By Derek Weber

For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God… - Romans 8:19 NRSV

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Earth Day is April 22 this year, and Sunday, April 25, 2021 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! We believe that worship that includes thankfulness for all that God has given in the wonder and beauty of creation and provides opportunities to recommit ourselves to proper care and stewardship of the environment should be a regular event in the worship life of every congregation. Such an observance can be a reminder that we don’t live separated from the world around us, but an active part of it. We can share information about the human impact on our environment—from the growing plastic waste problem to the reduction of living species to the shrinking supply of fresh water—and we can offer hope in how we as individuals can respond in faith.

Here are resources that we have collected, some from our own resources, past and present, others are links to resources produced by others. When using materials produced by Discipleship Ministries, or other bodies, please give proper acknowledgment of sources. Who knows, it might start a conversation of transformation within your own congregation.

Suggested Scripture texts for the Festival of God’s Creation:

A Great Thanksgiving for the Festival of God’s Creation

By Taylor W. Burton-Edwards

Christ is with us.
Yes, he is! Hallelujah!

The Holy Spirit is in this place!
Ignite our hearts!

Raise your hands! Lift your voices!
Father, we are yours!

We are yours, all yours, blessed Triune God,
all our lives, all our thanks, all our praise,
all our hesitations, all our grumbling, all our fears,
we give it all to you, with all our bodies, and minds, and voices.

Yours, all yours!

Yours the blessing, yours the praise,
from the unimaginable silence before the big bang,
beyond the farthest reaches of time and space our instruments may ever find,
from infinity to infinity, everlasting to everlasting,
you are God, boundless in love and power.

We stand in awe, trembling in the light of your glory!

What are we that you should notice us?
What are we that you should love us?
What are we that you should call us into covenant with you,
a covenant we continually broke,
and you continuously sustained.

Mercy! How full of mercy!

How can we but praise you,
joining our voices with the song of angels and saints,
with seraphim and martyrs,
with the elders in heaven and all creatures on the earth, under the earth,
and in the rivers, oceans, streams, and skies,
with strangers and family in every generation, singing:

(Sing refrain of “God of Wonders,” Worship & Song, 3034, followed by these words to the same refrain)

Jesus Christ who comes in our God's name, you are worthy, worthy!
Lamb of God for all creation slain, you are worthy, worthy!
Hosanna to our King! Hosanna to our King!

You are holy, O God!

You are worthy, O Christ!

Worthy in your birth! Worthy in your living!
Worthy in your loving! Worthy in your serving!

Worthy when you preached good news
that God's kingdom has drawn near
and gathered disciples, then and now, to learn and show the world
what life in God's reign means:
healing for the sick.
new life for the dead,
cleansing for the lepers,
freedom for the possessed,
beauty for the lilies,
care for the sparrows,
new birth, new life, new creation breaking in for all.

Worthy! Worthy! Worthy above all!

Worthy too, the night we betrayed you,
when you took the bread, blessed it and broke it,
and gave it to your disciples.
Worthy when you told them,
"This is my body broken for you. Remember me."

We remember.

Worthy when you took the cup,
praised God and shared it,
and worthy when you said,
"This is my blood of the new covenant for you.
Remember me."

We remember.

We remember, and we praise you with our lives
and these gifts of bread and wine,
proclaiming with one voice the mystery of faith:

Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

Come upon us, Holy Spirit.
Come upon us, Holy Spirit.

Come upon these gifts.
Come upon these gifts.

Make them be for us Christ's body, Christ's blood.
Make us one body in Christ enlivened by his blood.

One in heart, one in mind, one in you, Holy Spirit,
as you move us to pray for the church and the world:
That we may proclaim the gospel boldly:
Hear us, Lord.
That we may offer your healing for all who are sick, and people who are torn and weary:
Hear us, Lord.
That we may be channels of your mercy over all your works, in earth, and sky and sea:
Hear us, Lord.
That many dead and left for dead may be raised, and death itself vanquished:
Hear us, Lord.

That all who are unclean may receive your cleansing grace:
Hear us, Lord.
That all who are possessed, oppressed, distressed, depressed, and downcast may be set free at last.
Hear us, Lord.

Even so, come and fill this feast, Holy Spirit,
this day, and every day until that day
when we eat it new at the marriage supper of the Lamb!

All blessing and glory,
thanksgiving and power,
wisdom and honor and might,
be yours, Holy Triune God,
now and forever.

The presider breaks the bread and lifts the cup. We serve one another.

Thanksgiving after Communion:
Thank you, God, for uniting us with Jesus in this holy mystery.
We are no longer our own, but yours.
So send us, and put us
to leading and serving in your mission
wherever we go. Amen.


"God of Wonders” refrain (Sanctus), by Marc Byrd and Steve Hindalong. Copyright © 2000 New Spring (ASCAP)/Never Say Never Songs (ASCAP), admin. by Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing, Inc./Storm Boy Music (BMI), admin by EMI Christian Music Group. CCLI License #852714. NOTE: To reproduce these words, you must supply YOUR CCLI License number in place of Discipleship Ministries'.

“Jesus Christ Who Comes in Our God’s Name” (Benedictus), by Taylor W. Burton-Edwards. Copyright © 2011, Discipleship Ministries. For permission to reproduce, contact [email protected].

Earth Day Prayer of Confession

The following Earth Day Prayer of Confession was submitted by the Rev. Ken Carter, pastor of Providence United Methodist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, https://www.providenceumc.org.

O God, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen:
You place us in your creation, and you command us to care for it.
Your works declare glory and splendor, and you call us to praise and reverence.
Where we have degraded or destroyed earth's bounty, forgive us.
Where we have taken beauty and majesty for granted, have mercy upon us.
Where we have become estranged from the creatures with whom we share this planet,
grant us your peace.
Renew us in the waters of baptism,
refresh us with the winds of your spirit,
and sustain us with the bread of life.
In the name of Jesus Christ, and for the sake of the new creation, we pray. Amen.

Earth Day Prayer of Confession. Copyright 2005 Ken Carter. Used with permission. This page may be printed, copied, distributed, reprinted in church bulletins or newsletters, or otherwise used for nonprofit local church worship or education with the inclusion of the copyright citation and Discipleship Ministries Worship website as its source. It may not be used for profit or republication without prior permission. It may not be reproduced on another website, although other websites are welcome to link to this page.

Rev. Dr. Derek Weber, Director of Preaching Ministries, served churches in Indiana and Arkansas and the British Methodist Church. His PhD is from University of Edinburgh in preaching and media. He has taught preaching in seminary and conference settings for more than 20 years.

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