1. Make a Green New Years Resolution
Happy New Year! Start the year by choosing a "green" resolution that is meaningful to you. How can you make more eco-conscious choices this year? How can you care for creation in 2024?
2. Celebrate MLK Day in Your Community
Find and attend a local/online event celebrating Dr. King's birthday! As he once wrote, "we aren't going to have peace on Earth until we recognize the basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality.” Consider the relationship between social justice and creation justice.
3. Host and Eco Bible Study
Host a creation-focused Bible study! Scripture is full of nature verse, references , and metaphors. How does Genesis relate to our responsibility to care for the earth? Which psamls inspire reverence for nature? Check out the "resource hub" on our website for bible study resources.
5. Read Books by Black Authors
It's Black History Month! Enjoy books written by black authors, theologians, and ecologists. Check out The Intersectional Environmentalist" by Leah Thomas and "Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals" by Alexis Pauline Gumbs.
6. Ash Wednesday
As we enter the season of Lent, how can your Lenten practices honor creation? You could challenge yourself to give up single-use plastics. You could aim to eat less meat, drive less, or find ways to waste less water. If your church hosts a fish fry, encourage sustainable seafood options!
7. Lenten Resource
The Lenten season continues, and our 2024 Lent Resource features a daily practice to reflect on and care for the earth. Download the action-calendar on our website!
8. Earth Day Sunday Resource
Earth Day is coming up! Check out the 2024 Earth Day Sunday Resource on our website. Use our sermon-starters to write a sermon for Earth Day Sunday! You'll also find an earth day bible study guide, stories, liturgical resources, and more.
9. Climate Resilience
What affect is climate change having/going to have in your community? Learn how your church can be a hub for climate resilience by watching our webinars on Creation Justice Ministries' YouTube channel!
10. Women's History Month
Learn about women making environmental change! Some inspiring creation justice heroes include Dr. Vandana Shiva, Sister Dorthy Stang, and Dr. Wangari Muta Maathai.
11. First Day of Spring
This is the season of rebirth. Pay attention as buds appear on the trees, seedlings sprout, and animals are born. When you come across these signs of spring, say a blessing (aloud or silently) for God's new creation.
12. Holy Week
On Good Friday, we confront the ways we have caused suffering in the world. As we remember the death of Jesus, let us acknowledge the suffering we have inflicted upon God's Creation. In our mourning, may we resolve to be healers and helpers. May we participate in the resurrection of our environment.
13. Eco-Friendly Easter
This Easter, trade the plastic easter-eggs and chemical dyes for an eco-friendly Easter celebration. Try dyeing local/free range chicken eggs with dyes from beets, onions, and cabbages for a fun and natural holiday craft!
14. Sing Hymns of Creation
Find/Choose some creation themed hymns to sing at your church. Some ideas include: "All Things Bright and Beautiful" and "The Ocean is a Call to Worship."
15. Write to your elected officials
Write to your members of congress or local elected officials, asking them to support an environmental issue that you care about. How does the issue you've chosen relate to racial justice? Include this information in your letter or email.
16. Earth Day Reflection
This earth day, take a moment to reflect on this proverb: "We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we have borrowed it from our children."
17. Ecological Resurrection
Every ecological success is a resurrection story! Find out which animals, plants, or ecosystems have been revived after environmental degradation. For example, the Monterey Bay in California has a wonderful "resurrection" story!
18. Church of the Wild Service
Host/join a "Church of the Wild" Service at a nearby park, beach, or garden. Read Victoria Loorz's book, "Church of the Wild" to learn about this time of gathering, wondering, and admiring God's creation.
19. Endangered Species Day
Happy endangered species day! Check out CJM's resource to learn about and celebrate endangered plants and animals. Visit creationjustice.org/endangered.
Spring is a great time to start a compost pile. Set one up in your own backyard or find out if your county has a curbside composting program! Learn more about Jeff Chu's "theology of compost on the Evolving Faith Podcast.
As we celebrate and imagine the holy spirit in the image of the dove, consider these words from Thomas Merton: "The sky is my prayer, the birds are my prayer, the wind in the trees is my prayer, for God is all in all."
22. Happy Ocean Month!
What do you love about the ocean? This month, choose an ocean-related book to read, podcast to listen to, or documentary to watch. Check out our website for ocean resources.
23. Beach/Watershed Clean-Up
Plan a beach clean-up, or trash pick-up by a nearby river or lake! Record the trash you collect in the app "Save Our Shores" to contribute to data that monitors what types of trash are the biggest issue in your area.
24. Blue Theology Mission Station
Blue Theology is a mission station for learning about and caring for God's marine creation! A partner of CJM, Blue Theology hosts summer mission trips for teens. Visit bluetheology.com to learn more.
25. Reverent Nature Walk
Go on a walk, paying a little more attention than usual to the trees, or the water, or a blade of grass. Take the time to notice and admire. Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor speaks to this spiritual practice of paying attention in her book, "An Altar in the World."
26. Ocean Reflection
Whether you live in a land-locked state or right on the coast, everyone is connected to the ocean. Ecclesiastes 1:7 "All streams run to the sea."
27. Social Media Advocacy
Use social media to advocate for an environmental cause that matters to you. Share your favorite photos of God's creation! Be sure to tag us @creationjustice
28. Start a Creation Justice Group
Does your church have a creation justice/creation care group? If not, you can start one! Gather and discuss how your church can be involved in caring for the earth. Learn together and get involved in local environmental causes.
29. Meditate Outside
God is supporting our existence with each breath. As you meditate, focus on your breathing. Oxygen is gifted to us from plants and plankton in the sea. As you breathe, consider the interconnectedness of creation.
Find a local environmental organization doing work that interests you and sign up to volunteer! Caring for creation requires the whole community.
Share the Plate: Does your church have a donation or share the plate program? Consider giving to support the work of Creation Justice Ministries or another environmental group.
33. Start a Church Garden
Plant fruits, vegetables, and native plants! Look for plants that attract your local pollinators. Use compost. Start a church gardening club to help tend to the plants. Share the harvest with your neighbors!
34. Rest and Reflect
Leah Thomas writes, "we can't save the planet without uplifting the voices of its people, especially those most often unheard." What does this look like in your community? How can you help?
35. Season of Creation
September begins the "Season of Creation!" Celebrate in your church community. Find theological reflections and liturgical resources at creationjustice.org/blog.
36. Learn About a Local Plant/Animal
Pick a native species. Observe it and learn how to identify it. Fall in love with it! A heart connection with the life around us is the root of conservation. Tell someone about your findings and connection to this new species.
37. Local Food Systems
Where does your food come from? What native plants/crops grow in your neighborhood? How is your community affected by food insecurity? Find out if there is a farmer's market in your area!
38. Natural Protected Areas
Learn about the state parks, city parks, and/or national parks closest to you. Is there a protected beach? A marine sanctuary? A protected forest?
40. Coffee Hour
Consider your church’s coffee hour. Is there any single-use plastic being used? What changes can be made? Can mugs replace single-use cups? Can spoons replace plastic stirrers? Look for sustainable and/or local coffee brands as well.
41. Recycled Halloween
Host a recycled Halloween party. Challenge your kids or adult guests to create a costume solely out of recycled items. Costumes can be eco-themed too (animals, bugs, recycle-monsters, native plant species, eco-heroes)!
42. Take a Break from Online Shopping
Online shopping produces a lot of packaging waste and produces excess carbon emissions from airplanes and vehicles. Take a month off online shopping or reduce what you buy online. Try to make purchases closer to home!
43. Rest and Reflect
As Ayana Elizabeth Johnson writes, “we need to have a whole cultural shift, where it becomes our culture to take care of the Earth." How does the earth take care of you? How can you take care of the earth?
44. Indigenous Peoples month
Learn about the Indigenous people who lived on your land first. What is the name of that nation? How does the nation relate to the land and ecosystems? Learn, pray, acknowledge, and stand in solidarity.
45. Food Pantry
Volunteer at your local food pantry! Especially during the holiday season, your help is appreciated. Help fight hunger while reducing food waste!
This thanksgiving, spend time learning about the indigenous history and the traditional ecological knowledge where you live. Begin your thanksgiving meal with a land acknowledgment of gratitude.
47. Rest and Reflect
Randy Woodley writes, “A society concerned with shalom will care for the most marginalized among them." How can you and your church community practice shalom?
48. Attend a Town/City Hall Meeting
What kinds of environmental issues are being discussed? Any ideas/issues you’d like to share with your community? What work needs to be done? What work is already being done? How can you be involved?
49. Advent: Rest and Reflect
The Advent Season celebrates the incarnation of Christ, born into our world. What does incarnation have to do with creation? Where do you encounter the divine?
50. A Green Christmas
What can you reuse this Christmas? Can you create decorations out of recycled materials? Sustainable gift ideas: beeswax wrap, reusable water bottles, vegetable seeds, metal straws, bamboo utensils, reusable cloth shopping bags.
51. Christmas Tree Shopping
If you're going Christmas tree shopping, choose a real tree over a plastic one! Tree farms help to sequester carbon and provide habitats for birds and other wildlife.
52. Write a Prayer for Creation
Write a prayer of gratitude, protection, or lament for creation. This could be a prayer about environmental injustice or climate change. It could be a gratitude prayer for a specific tree. It may help to write in an outdoor setting. Be creative.
53. As you make your year-end gifts, consider giving to support the work of Creation Justice Ministries. Visit creationjustice.org/donate to learn more and give.