& INTRODUCTION TO SEASON FOR THE EARTH
1. MUSICAL OPENING BY _____
2. WELCOME AND INVOCATION BY _______
3. MUSICAL NUMBER BY __________
4. (Leader) STATEMENT & PURPOSE
A. Intro to a Season for the Earth
As we enter what the Association for Global New Thought calls: Season for the Earth, we are joining hundreds of task forces around the world in meaningful demonstrations of our consciousness-in-action that focuses our ability to heal, nurture and transform the environment-an undertaking now vital beyond description. Earth is our home, and her healing is a priority to which we are so deeply committed.
In today’s service, we celebrate Earth Day as a blessing toward our collective spiritually-guided commitment to the planet.
B. Intro to Earth Day & History
Earth day was founded in 1970 by Senator Gaylord Nelson, but only after several years in the planning. Frustrated that the environment was a “non-issue” in politics in the 1960s, Senator Nelson flew to Washington, and presented an idea that both the then Attorney General, Robert Kennedy, and then President, John F. Kennedy, both liked. What ensued from that meeting was a “five-day, 11-state conservation tour in September 1963″ by President Kennedy. (The tour took place a mere two months before he was assassinated.)
After several years speaking throughout the country on the environmental degradation he saw all around him, and spurred on by “teach-ins”, the anti-Vietnam war protests taking place across the U.S., Nelson finally hit upon his idea – create “a huge grassroots protest over what was happening to our environment[.]”
With “neither the time nor resources to organize 20 million demonstrators,” Nelson, his senatorial staff and dozens of volunteers, including “thousands of schools and local communities” brought together an American public just waiting for a platform to voice their concerns about the environment. Nelson said, “That was the remarkable thing about Earth Day. It organized itself.”
The Association for Global New Thought, in the program called “Season for the Earth,” has assembled a toolkit of ideas, resources, and instructions for how we, as individuals and in our congregations, can participate in a way that is most closely united with our spiritual lives.
Learn more: http://www.agnt.org/season-for-the-earth
5. MEDITATION FOR THE EARTH
MINISTER LEADS READING PREAMBLE AND ENDING PARAGRAPHS OF THE EARTH CHARTER http://www.agnt.org/earth/chartertext.htm
We stand at a critical moment in Earth's history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.
To realize these aspirations, we must decide to live with a sense of universal responsibility, identifying ourselves with the whole Earth community as well as our local communities. We are at once citizens of different nations and of one world in which the local and global are linked. Everyone shares responsibility for the present and future well-being of the human family and the larger living world. The spirit of human solidarity and kinship with all life is strengthened when we live with reverence for the mystery of being, gratitude for the gift of life, and humility regarding the human place in nature. We urgently need a shared vision of basic values to provide an ethical foundation for the emerging world community. Therefore, together in hope we affirm the following interdependent principles for a sustainable way of life as a common standard by which the conduct of all individuals, organizations, businesses, governments, and transnational institutions is to be guided and assessed.
6. PARTICIPATORY READINGS OF EARTH AFFIRMATIONS
(use as many or few Affirmations as needed)
OPTION a) In advance of service, invite members of staff, Board, congregation, friends to participate in these readings
OPTION b) Ask for volunteer readers onsite to line up and take turns reading from podium (depending on number of volunteers, each may read one or one may read several at a time).
OPTION c) Arrange in advance for members of the church youth group to read the affirmations
Contributed to Season for the Earth by:
The Oakland Center for Spiritual Living & The Sacred Planet Ministry
The following ideas are compiled from a variety of sources. The intention is to inspire deeper awareness and commitment to the loving stewardship of this planet as we approach Earth Day and every day.
Our individual actions and choices demonstrate our conscious care and appreciation of the gift of life. In the collective, we have the power to dramatically impact outcomes and effects for ourselves and for future generations. You might ask yourself at the close of the day, “What did I do for the Earth this day? Was I a grateful and intelligent expression of my gift of Life?”
1. I am less a “consumer” and more a “conscious citizen” on this planet. I consider the long-term impact and true cost of all my purchases.
2. I choose life giving foods, ones that are seasonal, locally grown, and sustainably raised. I use the foods I buy and compost any waste.
3. I take time to inspire “earth love” in young people.
4. I choose grass fed animals, if I consume animal products and minimize environmental impacts.
5. I surprise myself & my family & friends by cooking delicious vegetarian dishes.
6. I give “meatless Mondays” a try, cutting food costs, and reducing my carbon footprint, and perhaps my waistline.
7. I avoid plastic (bottles, bags, packaging, items) wherever possible. If plastic is forever, I understand the huge threat is represents for all life.
8. I celebrate the gift of food, accepting it as a blessing to my body, and I consciously give thanks for it and all who touched it.
9. I work to limit my use of paper products (towels, napkins, junk mail, office supplies) using cloth and recycled options wherever possible.
10. I honor the blessing of easy access to clean water and I deepen my understanding of water reuse and protection.
11. I lovingly allow myself the grace to shift to behaviors that honor my deepest values.
12. I accept that my life is my greatest expression of Love and I am in integrity with my connection to all life.
13. I spend time in nature, with animals, or with other experiences that re- connect or deepen my sense of beauty and balance in the natural world.
14. I reflect deeply on the legacy of my life and lifestyle to future generations and become willing to expand and shift my expression where appropriate.
15. I use my consumer/ citizen buying power in ways that impact the values I claim.
16. I avoid the use of toxic products (dry cleaning, pesticides, herbicides, paints, cleaning agents, cosmetics and toiletries) and dispose of all these products in responsible ways.
17. If I am “moss” green, I am willing to learn: if I am “forest” green, I become a supporter of others and join in shifting global paradigms in ways that grow me.
18. I ground myself in the loving Presence as it expresses as me and as all others and all life and I celebrate today.
SUGGESTED: MUSICAL NUMBER
7. Season for the Earth Video Meditation on Nature (6 minutes)
PROJECTION ON SCREEN with AUDIO INCLUDED
Wisdom from Scripture and Literature of 13 Traditions on the Theme of Nature
SUGGESTED: MUSICAL NUMBER
8. INVITATION TO PARTICIPATE
Today we celebrate Earth Day, but more importantly, every day is about building this intention in our inner lives, our families, our communities, our nations, and on our planet. Take these last moments to consider the many ways in which you, yourself, can Be The Change. To start, consider whether it feels right for you that, to initiate or re-inspire your commitment today, you will visit AGNT’S Season for the Earth Resource Website. Some of you might be inspired there to find ways to become involved--as an individual, or by taking leadership for a group connected with this spiritual center. We will know that, for those who do not wish to participate in this way, you will find your own unique ways in which your voice for the earth will be expressed.
REMINDER: HOW TO LEARN ABOUT SEASON FOR THE EARTH
Go to: http://www.agnt.org/season-for-the-earth.
There you can find information on all programs, and how to participate in SE activities.
9. CREATING SACRED SPACE FOR “DEEP GREEN” WALK
a) Explain logistics and instructions for the Walk.
b) Choose reading or quotations from AGNT Season for the Earth website.
c) Ask congregation and Walkers to leave the space in silence after the reading.
d) Complete reading
SUGGESTED: MUSICAL NUMBER- Chant including congregation
10. Closing Prayer/Meditation