Earth day is an opportunity to reflect on the wonders of God's Creation. With a little planning and a lot of passion you can do much to have an Earth day you'll remember for years to come. You can use any of these ideas to get your congregation fired up about caring for God's creation.
Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 each year, and churches are urged to celebrate Earth Day Sunday near this date. In 2014, Easter is April 20, so you may wish to designate April 27th as Earth Day Sunday, or another date that works for your church.
Our partners at Creation Justice Ministries produce Earth Day Sunday resources each year. With sermon starters, prayers, bulletin inserts and great information on a variety of environemental issues, this ecumenical resource is a wonderful starting point for your congregation's celebration.
- Water, Holy Water - Created by Creation Justice Minsitries especially for use by UCC congregations. Includes education resources, sermon startes, prayers, bulletin inserts, and more.
- Eco-Faith: Creating and Sustaining Green Congregations by Charlene Hosenfeld
- Us our UCC Green Justice Congregations resources to help your church go green
Earth Day Sunday Tips from Creation Justice Ministries
- Plan an Earth Day themed worship service. Download the Earth Day Sunday resource, "Water, Holy Water"
- Have bulletin inserts or handouts for congregation members. For instance, "Ten Steps to Green Your Home" or "Products to Green Your Home" - include compact fluorescent light bulbs, environmentally friendly cleaning supplies, low-flow faucets and shower heads, information on energy efficient appliances, 100% post consumer waste recycled printer paper, and more.
- Host a special "Green Fellowship." Serve organic, free-trade coffee and treats from a local organic bakery; use re-useable plates, cups, silverware, and napkins, or if that isn't possible, recycled or biodegradable disposables; and post big, easy-to-read signs to educate people about what makes your fellowship "Green."
- Invite a guest speaker to your church for after worship to talk about your Earth Day theme with a local focus
- Plan a community service project like a Clean-Up in a local park, along a local body of water, or near a highway.
- Have a Green Church workday to set up rain barrels, do native landscaping on church grounds, replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.
- Examine your church's energy use by performing an energy audit and present your findings on Earth Day Sunday. Hold a "town hall" discussion about how your church can reduce energy use
- Organize a hike at a local trail, park, or natural area. Make sure you organize carpools for transportation to and from the site.
- Plan an Earth Day festival. Ask local environmental groups to set up informational booths. Invite local growers/food producers and artisans to set up booths to showcase and/or sell their products. Arrange for a variety of brief informational or practical workshops where people can to go learn about Eco-Justice issues (especially your Earth Day theme) or learn how to do something (like make an effective call to an elected official, "Green" their office, or start a compost pile at home)