Curriculum and Resource options compiled by EarthCOR - Books, sermon series, websites and more
"Living Our Principles" -- a six-series program focusing on the UMC's Social Principles with video and curriculum guides.
We have kicked off our month-long celebration of God’s incredible creation! Over the next four weeks, you’ll have opportunities to serve, give and share in partnership with our EarthCOR Ministry! But first, did you know that the 52-year old internationally observed Earth Day was created by republicans AND democrats? Here’s the plan:
Pastor Scott's sermon “Digging in the Dirt” kicks off our celebration. If you missed it, go to cor.org/next to check it out.
Already heard it? Deepen your understanding of the message with the Grow Pray Study guide.
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Arbor Day by planting a tree or donating to The Giving Grove, a local non-profit that has been digging in the dirt planting little orchards with big impacts for years.
For questions about APRIL 24-30 Happy Earth Day! And Happy Arbor Day! contact Cheryl Jefferson Bell at (913) 232-4144, or email using the form below.
This week we continue to focus on representing the image of God by becoming better stewards of his creation. One way we can do that is by supporting The Giving Grove and their mission to create a nationwide network of sustainable little orchards. Another way is by adding native plants to your outdoor spaces. Two ways to learn more:
• Stop by the Missions desk and/or Connection Point after services at each location to pick up informational material about Giving Grove and native plants.
• Find tips and links to area resources that will help you plant vital, low-maintenance, beautiful native plants HERE.
Did you know that common horticultural plants do not provide energetic rewards for their visitors (such as pollen, nectar and seeds) and often require fertilizers and pesticides to survive? However, native plants have evolved to support the local ecosystem and …
Are your garden beds full up? No problem, just shrink your lawn! Extend the edges of your existing landscaped beds or create an entirely new space for a diverse community of creation supporting native plants. BONUS: by reducing the amount of your current lawn, you’ll also save money and reduce air and water pollution.
For questions about May 1st-7th Happy May Day! contact Cheryl Jefferson Bell at (913) 232-4144, or email using the form below.
Cultivating and protecting all of creation can be hard work! This is one reason why the creator wants us to remember to take time to recharge. The old testament mandates a full day of rest and, in the new testament, Jesus sets an example by regularly withdrawing from the hubbub to take a break from his work and reconnect with God. We encourage you to take time this week (and beyond!) to rest and recharge with God.
• One way to do this is by taking a Prayer Walk on our Leawood and/or West campuses. A unique self-guided prayer guide called Creator & Creation is available to be used in conjunction with the Prayer Walk stations found at the Church of the Resurrection, Leawood Campus. View or download the Creator & Creation: A Contemplative Prayer Walk Guide HERE. Access the video version HERE
• Find other places to a observe a sabbath from doing and recharge with God in nature at national, state and local parks. For folks in or near the KC Metro area, click HERE for a list of 10 beautiful hikes and HERE for a list of nature centers and city parks with nature play areas. "
• To celebrate Mother’s Day this year, KidsCOR is giving out seed balls (a combination of clay, soil, and pollinator supporting seeds) to kids in grades K-5th this weekend. The coolest thing about seed balls? You don’t even need to break a sweat to reflect the image of God with this method of sowing flowers…just toss them into a sunny bare patch and wait for the rain! Learn more or order more HERE.
For questions about May 8th -14th Happy Mother's Day! contact Cheryl Jefferson Bell at (913) 232-4144, or email using the form below.
In Genesis 2:15 God commands us to “work” the garden. The Hebrew word is “avad” which also means “to protect” and “to serve”. The non-human parts of creation support us 24/7, 365. Return the favor (and embrace this first commandment) by volunteering to help create healthy communities for all of God’s creation.
For questions about May 15th -21st Happy Serve Saturday! contact Cheryl Jefferson Bell at (913) 232-4144, or email using the form below.
What is biological diversity? The dictionary uses many words to define it. But God uses one. He calls it everything he has made. Moreover, he calls it “very good”. Look closely at Genesis 1:1-31 and you can read that after God created each category of thing – land, seas and sky, trees and other plants, plus creatures that scamper, swim and fly—he simply called each one “good”. It was only when he looked over everything he had made and saw the harmonious relationships between his creations did he call it very, even supremely, good. (For more on these ideas read Lisa Sharon Harper’s The Very Good Gospel).
Better reflect the image of God -- the creator of harmonious relationships -- by building upon the ways in which you already show your love of God and neighbor. Explore your next steps as a steward of creation with the tips and links found in each of the stewardship action cards: Reduce Waste, Plant Native, and Shop & Eat Local, Increase Energy Efficiency, Worship the Creator, and Green Your Ride.
Learn more about the United Nation’s Biological Diversity Day HERE.
For questions about May 22nd Happy International Day of Bio-Diversity! contact Cheryl Jefferson Bell at (913) 232-4144, or email using the form below.
The Giving Grove supports neighborhood volunteers in planting and caring for fruit trees, nut trees, and berry brambles that improve the urban environment, increase tree canopy and provide a sustainable source of free, organically-grown food for neighborhoods facing high rates of food insecurity.
The Giving Grove orchards are on pace to provide more than 61 million servings of free, healthy food for their neighborhoods. With your help, we can reach ONE BILLION servings nationwide. Together we can provide organically-grown fruit, berries and nuts for 5 million people facing food insecurity
For questions about The Giving Grove contact Cheryl Jefferson Bell at (913) 232-4144, or email using the form below.
Shopping and eating locally means more of your money stays in the community, providing jobs and improving the economy. It can also mean a reduction in the environmental impact, compared to larger chain stores and restaurants. Here are some tips for shopping and eating locally:
Buy locally grown and produced food: Buying local is better for you, the environment, and the local economy. The average piece of produce in the U.S. travels 1,500 miles, while local food may only travel 100 miles (or less). When local farmers are well compensated they are less likely to sell their land to developers. This helps preserve green space that can draw down harmful carbon and reduce flooding. Farmers markets throughout the KC Metro area are open from spring to fall.
Patronize local restaurants that partner with local growers: Look for local restaurants that offer “farm to table” cuisine. You’ll support a local business while reducing the impact on the environment due to storing and transporting.
Look for items that are made locally, or Made in America: Local businesses typically consume less land and locate closer to residents than big chains. This means there is more green space to absorb heavy rains and less air pollution. In addition to providing more jobs, local companies provide a unique selection of products not available anywhere else. Buying from a local retailer also keeps 4 times the amount of money in the local economy compared to chains.
Join a CSA program: Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) creates a partnership between you and the farmer. Subscription plans allow you to become a shareholder of a local farm, and in return you enjoy a weekly share of food directly from the farm.
100% local Christmas: Commit to buying 100% of your Christmas presents locally. Supporting local vendors and shops improves the economy, supplies local jobs and lessens the impact on the environment caused by large chain stores, and you get to give unique and thoughtful gifts.
Cars are a convenient and comfortable mode of transportation, but they are also a source of green house gas emissions and air pollution. With a little extra planning, you can reduce the impact your mode of transportation has on the planet.
Improve your fuel efficiency: Maintaining proper tire inflation and changing the air and oil filters on a regular schedule will ensure you get the best gas mileage possible.
Use green driving practices: Going the speed limit, avoiding sudden stops and starts and completing all your errands in one trip (using the most efficient route) minimizes mileage and wear and tear on your car.
Buy a car with better MPG: Commit to selecting your next vehicle based on getting better gas mileage than your current ride.
Drive less: Can you walk or ride your bike there? Experiment with route planner apps if you have a lot of errands to. If your job allows for it try telecommuting. Visit RideShareKC to find carpooling buddies. If possible, consider driving part of the way to your destination and then take public transportation the rest of the way.
Go electric: Purchasing a hybrid or fully-electric car reduces your dependency on gasoline and the decreases the emissions created by driving. Purchasing an electric car often results in tax credits, a quieter ride and less maintenance.
Go car free: The best car is the one you don't drive. Consider going car free. This may mean moving closer to work, or telecommuting full time, and looking for walkable neighborhoods with amenities close by.
National Bike to School Day: Wednesday, May 4, 2022
National Bike to Work Day: Friday, May 20, 2022
Transportation Options - RideshareKC
Green Commute Challenge - RideshareKC
Regional trails and bikeways - MARC
Commuting Alternatives - MARC
Bike Share for All - RideKC
BikeWalkKC- Safe Routes to School
Making your home more eco-friendly positively impacts not only the environment, it can create cost-savings as well.
Replace incandescent light bulbs: New LED or CFL (compact fluorescent) bulbs use 75% less energy than a traditional incandescent bulb. They are not only more energy-efficient, they also last longer, saving you money and time spent finding replacement bulbs.
Unplug appliances and turn off lights when not in use: Many modern electronics have a “phantom load” – they still use electricity even when they are turned off. These devices consume energy while waiting to be turned back on. By using power strips and controllable outlets, you can reduce the amount of energy these devices are wasting.
Green your laundry routine: Wash laundry in cold water, and only when you have a full load. Cut down on your dryer usage by hanging lighter-weight clothes to dry. Experiment with wool dryer balls or DIY dryer "sheets" to soften and or scent your laundry.
Use water more efficiently: Using too much water wastes energy. Turn off the water when you brush your teeth. Install low-flow water fixtures and tankless water heaters. Choose showers over baths (10-25 gallons of water vs. 70 gallons of water). An average shower uses about 5 gallons of water per minute. Set a time limit for showers and stick to it.
Up your appliance game: Replace old appliances and HVAC systems with energy-efficient models before they break. You’ll save money in the long-run and help the environment. The quickest way to save energy during the summer is to regularly clean and replace your cooling appliance's filters. Repair AC and refrigerator leaks right away.
Solar power: If your home allows for it, installing solar panels can be a great way to save money and utilize a renewable energy source. In addition to the cost-savings in energy bills, tax credits and rebates are available.
Renewable Energy Resources
Planting native plants and flowers creates a beautiful yard while supporting and sustaining bees, butterflies and songbirds. Native plants build healthy soil, create wildlife habitats, and often require less fertilizer and water.
Create a backyard habitat: Providing native plants, feeders and houses is a great way to invite birds, bees, bats and beautiful butterflies into your yard. Bees and other pollinators help with crop production, while bats and birds can help reduce the mosquito population in your yard.
While you're out in your yard, share your bumble bee observations with Bumble Bee Watch, and help researchers determine the status and conservation needs of bumble bees!
Go native with your landscaping: Creating space in your landscaping for native grasses and wildflowers not only provides a source of beauty for you to enjoy, native plants often require less water, fertilizer, maintenance and herbicides. They also tend to have longer roots which helps them better tolerate drought and sequester surplus carbon.
Reduce your lawn maintenance emissions: Using electric and manual tools, including mowers, trimmers and rakes reduces the need for gasoline and the emissions gas motors cause. Mowing your lawn less frequently, and/or reducing the amount of grass in your landscaping means less hassle for you and a healthier environment.
Install a rain barrel: Installing a rain barrel to collect water for use in watering your landscaping reduces water consumption and wastewater run-off. Homeowners in Johnson County can even receive reimbursement for a rain barrel purchase!
Build a rain garden in your yard: Rain gardens collect water from rain, reducing the wastewater run-off and recharging aquifers. Pollutants carried by rainwater runoff account for 70% of all water pollution Rain gardens also prevent erosion, provide habitat for butterflies, frogs and turtles and eliminate the need for you to mow in marshy areas.
Avoid pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers: Planting native grasses and using organic gardening techniques reduces your exposure to harmful chemicals and reduces their impact on the planet. Did you know that baby birds only eat insects? No insects, no baby birds.
Worshiping God is something we to confine to a religious ritual, right? No, of course not, we want to LOVE (worship) with our lives!
One way we worship God is by caring for His creation. Caring for creation in its fullest sense requires two things. Serving other people (especially those that are marginalized) and con-serving and protecting the natural world (especially the parts that are marginalized). Each part of creation was called “Good” by God and was made both through and for Jesus. Furthermore, his death upon the cross was to redeem all of creation (not just some people). As Christians, we believe that the resurrection of Jesus ushered in the Kingdom of God and that we are called to build for the kingdom.
However, creation is groaning, louder than ever, waiting to be set free from corruption (Romans 8:19-23)…and you can help! Each day the sun rises is a gift: the gift of opportunity. The opportunity to grow our love of God and neighbor by realigning our thoughts and actions with our values and by swapping out our will for God’s will, working with him to restore the broken things.
With each new step we take on our stewardship journey (perhaps by planting natives, increasing our energy efficiency, shopping and eating local, advocating for the voiceless, etc.) we are also worshiping our creator God and following the example of Jesus.
Be sure to balance your acts of service with restorative moments such as spending time in prayer, reading the scriptures or soaking up God’s word as revealed in the natural world. Here are some resources to help with that:
Nature Play Areas, Nature Centers, and more: https://kansascity.momcollective.com/nature-play-kansas-city/
Earth Day Prayer of Confession
by the Rev. Ken Carter, pastor of Providence United Methodist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, copyright 2005.
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.
Our Social Creed
The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church - 2016
We believe in God, Creator of the world; and in Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of creation. We believe in the Holy Spirit, through whom we acknowledge God’s gifts, and we repent of our sin in misusing these gifts to idolatrous ends.
We affirm the natural world as God’s handiwork and dedicate ourselves to its preservation, enhancement, and faithful use by humankind.
We joyfully receive for ourselves and others the blessings of community, sexuality, marriage, and the family.
We commit ourselves to the rights of men, women, children, youth, young adults, the aging, and people with disabilities; to improvement of the quality of life; and to the rights and dignity of all persons.
We believe in the right and duty of persons to work for the glory of God and the good of themselves and others and in the protection of their welfare in so doing; in the rights to property as a trust from God, collective bargaining, and responsible consumption; and in the elimination of economic and social distress.
We dedicate ourselves to peace throughout the world, to the rule of justice and law among nations, and to individual freedom for all people of the world.
We believe in the present and final triumph of God’s Word in human affairs and gladly accept our commission to manifest the life of the gospel in the world. Amen
It is recommended that this statement of Social Principles be continually available to United Methodist Christians and that it be emphasized regularly in every congregation. It is further recommended that “Our Social Creed” be frequently used in Sunday worship.
Additional prayers and other resources:
You are invited to use this prayer walk in conjunction with the Prayer Walk stations found at the Church of the Resurrection, Leawood Campus. You can also pray through the stations in a location of your choice using the text version or the video above. We recommend you find a quiet, outdoor place to enjoy being in God's beautiful creation.
“As United Methodists, we are called to participate in God’s healing of creation through acts of personal, social, and civic righteousness. Proclaiming and modeling a new lifestyle rooted in stewardship and justice we work toward the day when all God’s children respect and share in the goodness of creation.”
Social Principals Caring for Creation: A Call to Stewardship and Justice, 2016 Book of Resolutions
A key part of our journey to better love, honor, and obey God and love our neighbors as ourselves is to develop our role as good stewards of all of God’s creation: both the human parts and the non-human parts.
This is not a role we invented and gave to ourselves. In chapters 1 and 2 of Genesis (the first book of the Holy Bible), God gives it to us, not once but twice! Jesus’ birth, life, and death further instruct us.
You are part of the new creation launched by the resurrection of Jesus, and it is our hope that your experience of this prayer walk will bear fruit that honors God and helps heal the world.
Follow the examples of Jesus and the Holy Spirit by advocating for God’s creation. Reach out to politicians, businesses, schools, restaurants and more. Help them become better stewards too.
Advocate with prayer too, for yourself, for others and especially for those in leadership positions. Pray for a deeper understanding of how reconnecting to our fundamental role as stewards of creation helps us better love and honor God and love our neighbors as ourselves.
Join us on Zoom on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month from 9:30 - 11:30 am as we explore our role as stewards of creation through creativity, curiosity, humor and grace.
Are you already a member of a small group or organization? Help support green initiatives and changes in the social groups you are already connected to (like KidsCOR, RezLife, Mathew’s Ministry, soccer team, neighborhood Bunco club, Boy Scouts, Rummage Sale, etc.)
Watch Pastor Adam's Facebook Vespers on Earth Day Eve 2020 when he talked with Michael Doane from The Nature Conservancy and looked at the Creation Psalms.
TED Talk | November 2018
By Pastor Adam Hamilton | January 26, 2020
Pastor Cheryl Jefferson Bell | April 28, 2019
By Pastor Adam Hamilton | March 12, 2017
By Pastor Adam Hamilton | March 19, 2017
"The Bible and Climate Change: Twentieth Anniversary of Bill McKibben’s The Comforting Whirlwind"
Global Weirding with Katharine Hayhoe
Curriculum and Resource options compiled by EarthCOR - Books, sermon series, websites and more
"Living Our Principles" -- a six-series program focusing on the UMC's Social Principles with video and curriculum guides.
There are a lot of opportunities to enjoy creation, learn about being a better caretaker of creation and ways to help restore creation. These independent organizations have a lot going on, take a look now and come back later to find what fits your interest and schedule.
In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; and in all things charity.Rupertus Meldenius
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