14

April 2024

Apr

We Purify in Hope

How Shall We Live

Third Sunday of Easter, Year B

Easter is such a joyous, colorful, and vibrant celebration! Now in Eastertide, this second Sunday, Christ is still risen! The Creation is still waking up!

Easter is such a joyous, colorful, and vibrant celebration! Now in Eastertide, this second Sunday, Christ is still risen! The Creation is still waking up! This Sunday provides us with opportunities to continue the flow of hopeful beauty through the banners, pots of lilies and tulips and hyacinths, cloth weavings, or bare branches now covered in ribbons. Think about how the worship space can continue the Easter vibe, but also introduce new elements, so people don’t think that Eastertide is just ‘left-overs.’ Though white and gold are liturgical colors in Eastertide, this second Sunday, we can also braid in the colors, sights, sounds, and smells of our watersheds and bioregions leading up to Earth Day Sunday, next week. Since we celebrate not only Jesus’ resurrection but the living hope of all Creation, tap the imagination of the worship team to incorporate symbols of clean and healthy water, fresh and flowing air, dark and fertile soil, as well as the particular ecology of the neighborhood. These elements could be displayed through digital images in worship or with large containers of actual water and soil on or around the table, along with wands (or twigs like birch) of cloth strips or feathers to represent air. The goal is to celebrate the health and well-being of the elements sustaining our lives and the lives of God’s beloved.

If your congregation is participating in the United Women in Faith’s campaigns of “Just Energy 4 All” or the “Breathe Again Collaborative,” create ways for members of these groups to share what they have learned as well as incorporate a card-signing table after worship or an offering of postcards in worship!

Rev. Nancy Victorin-Vangerud, Minneapolis, MN (ancestral homeland of the Dakota peoples), is a retired elder in the Minnesota Annual Conference. She is part of the Worship Team of the United Methodist Creation Justice Movement and is a UM Earthkeeper.


Bulletin Insert

“All who have this hope in God purify themselves, just as God is pure” (1 John 3:3).

We can hope in God’s good gifts, including water, trees, soil, and air.
We purify ourselves by changing practices
so that we do no harm
but rather do all the good we can
to preserve and protect these good gifts of God.

Water

When you head to the beach, lake, or river for recreation, note that the word is also “re-creation.” Look at the beauty God has provided and offer a prayer of gratitude. Look also for signs of humanity being careless with nature. Take gloves and trash bags (preferably reusable) along with your supplies and stash the trash. Try quantifying your haul by weight or number of bags, for example. Tell others what you have done and discovered.

Treat water as sacred. Avoid wasting it. Take short showers, turn off the flow of water until you are ready to rinse, and switch to a low-flow shower head and toilet. Use a broom rather than a hose for outside clean up. Water plants from a rain barrel or with gray water. Use the dishwasher instead of washing dishes by hand. Little things you can do factor into dealing with the big challenges of climate change.

Trees

What’s your toilet tissue made of? Trees! Globally, making toilet paper wipes out 27,000 trees daily. Fortunately, you have other options. Use tissue made of 50–100 percent recycled paper or bamboo, which takes only three months to be ready to harvest versus thirty years for trees! Browse “sustainable toilet paper” or Who Gives a Crap to get the scoop.

Stop throwing away trees at every meal. Instead, use cloth napkins and simply throw them in the wash with another load. Find some distinctive napkin rings to mark each person’s napkin and reuse the napkins a day or two before washing. If you visit garage sales, you can likely rescue napkins and rings from being trashed.

Heat, drought, and lightning are the “perfect storm” to ignite wildfires, which scorch the ground and pollute the air for hundreds of miles. Additionally, the loss of the trees negatively impacts God’s systems that capture carbon for the health of the earth. Support organizations that replant trees after wildfires.

Soil

Watch the documentary Kiss the Ground to understand how good soil works to combat flooding, drought, degraded ecosystems, and greenhouse gas emissions. Soil is key to human health and the health of the planet. View the full film or at least a series of shorter sections to appreciate the amazing gift good soil is to all the earth.

The third effective solution for dealing with the climate crisis is to minimize food waste. Some food-waste issues are systemic, but many come down to things individuals and families can do: plan meals, buy local, buy less, buy in-season, buy organic, store appropriately, use the freezer, reduce eating meat, grow veggies, eat leftovers, make soup and smoothies, compost peelings and ends, share with others. Eat happily, knowing you are helping us all.

Compost food waste and more (leaves, paper, pet fur, coffee filters). Twenty to 45% of landfill is organic and creates methane gas, which contributes to global warming. Instead, you can compost, which is nature’s way of nourishing the soil. Browse the internet for easy and effective options: backyard bin, indoor machine, commercial pick up, or sharing a service with a neighbor.

Air

If you have after-school pick-up duty, keep the car engine off while you wait. Emissions from idling cars spew unseen particulates into the air, which research has shown negatively affects the cognitive performance of children. Get out of your car, enjoy the weather, and meet other parents, grands, and nannies. Tell them—and your children—why you don’t let the engine run.

Do you know someone with asthma or COPD? The air pollution that affects our climate also harms the health of people. Jesus challenged us to care for the “least” among us, including children and older adults whose lungs are vulnerable. People in poverty and people of color especially suffer from compromised health due to air pollution. Climate action is also action for justice.

Crys Zinkiewicz is from Nashville, TN (ancestral homeland of the Cherokee Tribe). She is on the Communications Team for the UM Creation Justice Movement. She is a United Methodist EarthKeeper, and part of the Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference Creation Care Ministry Team.


Contributors

We are so thankful to have members of the United Methodist Creation Justice Movement contribute to our worship resources for this series. You can find a full list of contributors below:

Rev. Laura Baumgartner

  • Seattle, WA (ancestral homelands of the Duwamish and Coast Salish peoples)
  • United Methodist Creation Justice Movement
  • Elder in the Pacific Northwest Conference, serving Haller Lake UMC

Rev. Laurie Bayen

  • Cotati, CA (ancestral homelands of the Southern Pomo and Coast Miwok peoples)
  • United Methodist Creation Justice Movement
  • Elder in the California-Nevada Annual Conference, serving Windsor Community UMC

Rev. Richenda Fairhurst

  • Ashland, Oregon (homeland of the Shasta and Takelma peoples)
  • United Methodist Creation Justice Movement
  • Climate Chaplain

Rev. Paul Mitchell

  • Walla Walla, WA (ancestral homelands of the Cayuse, Umatilla, Palus, and Walla Walla)
  • Senior Pastor at Pioneer United Methodist Church
  • United Methodist Creation Justice Movement, UM EarthKeeper
  • Elder in Full Connection in the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference

Carolyn Nichols

  • Maryland (ancestral lands of the Susquehannock and Piscataway peoples)
  • United Methodist Creation Justice Movement
  • Layperson, Epworth Chapel UMC in the Baltimore-Washington Conference

Rev. Fernando P. Sanchez

  • O’Donnell, TX (ancestral homeland of the Jumanos, Comanche, and Lipan Apache peoples)
  • United Methodist Creation Justice Movement
  • Elder in the Northwest Texas Conference, serving First UMC, O’Donnell

Rev. Kristina Sinks

  • Evanston, IL (ancestral homelands of the Potawatomi, Odawa (Ottawa) and Ojibwe Tribes)
  • United Methodist Creation Justice Movement
  • Provisional Deacon in the California-Nevada Annual Conference

Rev. Mark Terwilliger

  • York, PA (ancestral homelands of the Susquehannock peoples)
  • United Methodist Creation Justice Movement, UM EarthKeeper
  • Elder in the Susquehanna Annual Conference, serving Asbury York UMC

Rev. Nancy Victorin-Vangerud

  • Minneapolis, MN (ancestral homeland of the Dakota peoples)
  • United Methodist Creation Justice Movement, UM EarthKeeper
  • Retired Elder in the Minnesota Annual Conference

Crys Zinkiewicz

  • Nashville, TN (ancestral homeland of the Cherokee Tribe)
  • UM Creation Justice Movement, Communications Team, UM EarthKeeper
  • Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference Creation Care Ministry Team

In This Series...


Second Sunday of Easter, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes

Colors


  • White

In This Series...


Second Sunday of Easter, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes