Awaken To Action Opening Worship – April 9, 2011


Call to Worship, from United Nations Environmental Program (U.N.E.P.), pg.2

We who have lost our sense and our senses –

our touch, our smell, our vision of who we are; we who frantically force and press all things, without rest for body or spirit, hurting our earth and injuring ourselves: we call a halt.

We want to rest. We need to rest and allow the earth to rest.

We need to reflect and to rediscover the mystery that lives in us, that is the ground of every unique expression of life, the source of the fascination that calls all things to communion.

We declare a Sabbath, a space of quiet:

for simple being and letting be; for recovering the great, forgotten truths; for learning how to live again.

Poem, Listening to Spring, by Macrina Weiderkehr, accompanied by nature photos by Lorraine Martin, read by Bettie Kettell

Declaring a Sabbath, from U.N.E.P., pg. 1

Creator of the Universe, bless us as we come before you wanting  to know the energy that moves all things: the oneness of existence, the diversity and uniqueness of every moment of creation, every shape and form, the attraction, the allurement, the fascination that all things have for one another. Humbled by our knowledge, chastened by your surprising revelations, with awe and reverence we come before the mystery of life. Teach us how to live again, and empower us to work for the welfare of all the Earth. Amen.

Psalm 148:5-12, adapted  by David Gaewski ,read by verse, left and right sides of the room.

L: Let us praise the name of the Lord, for God commanded and the ice caps were set in their right place.

R: God established creation’s order for ever and ever; God fixed its bounds, may we honor them.

L: Praise God from the earth, you manatees and blue whales, you gray seals and lobsters,

R: Natural fires and hail, snow and frost, stormy wind fulfilling God’s command.

L: Mount Katadin and Blue Hill, apple orchards and white pines!

R: Loon, and gull, moose and fox, wobbling porcupine and soaring bald eagle!

L: The powerful, the influential, the wealthy, the developed nations!

ALL: Emerging economies, and struggling nations, all together praise the Lord!

Exploring our faith traditions,  expressed in words, art, music, etc. Laurie Osher, Judaism; Steve Hastings, Christianity; Sandra Hutchison, Bahai; and Peter Wohl, Buddhism, 10 minutes each

What is the relationship between God, creation, and human beings in your faith tradition?

What sacred text or story is foundational to the way your tradition views creation?

Dedicating ourselves to the Day, from U.N.E.P., pg. 2, led by Lalla Carothers

Let us join with the earth and with each other, to bring new life to the land, to restore the waters, to refresh the air

We join with the earth and with each other.

To renew the forests, to care for the plants, to protect the creatures,

We join with the earth and with each other.

To celebrate the seas, to rejoice in the sunlight, to sing the song of the stars,

We join with the earth and with each other.

To recall our destiny, to renew our spirits, to reinvigorate our bodies,

We join with the earth and with each other.

To create the human community, to promote justice and peace, to remember our children,

We join with the earth and with each other.

For the healing of the earth and the renewal of all life,

We join with the earth and with each other.


Call to Worship,

As we conclude this summit, let us remember that we human beings do not work alone. Let us go forth with confidence, remembering God’s promise to Noah and to us:

“This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and all the earth.”  Amen.  Amen.

Song, “De Colores,” led by Steve Hastings and

Prayer, “Loving God, Creator of all Things,” from Hastings, “Holy Ground,” pg. 1

Loving God, creator of all things, we come to you this afternoon with thankful hearts for all your gifts to us and to your people everywhere. We think about the amazing beauty of the world you have made and this powerful yet fragile land we call our home. As we prepare to leave this place, strengthen us in our commitment to be stewards of all good things and friends to all people. Amen.

Invitation to Commitment:

Friends, having prayerfully considered the duties and responsibilities of caring for the Earth, do you promise to show God’s love for the whole Creation?

Earth Pledge (on certificate)

Before God and one another, and all the creatures of Earth, I promise to

Maintain a regular practice of appreciating God’s Creation

Continue learning about Earth and its natural systems

Be frugal in using Earth’s resources

Reach out to others through a religious or community group working for sustainability

Advocate for public policies that protect Earth and vulnerable people.

(Each person has 2 copies of the pledge. They keep one, and sign the other one and walk up and place it in a basket in the center of the group at this time.)

Commissioning, National Council of Churches, NCC, ecojustice stewardship

Creator God, you have called these people to be stewards of your entire Creation which you have entrusted to our care and keeping. Bless them that they may faithfully serve you. Help them to be diligent in their duties, and a worthy example to all who know them. Let all the people say, Amen.


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