Our Fragile Earth

Caring for Creation

Our Fragile Earth

“God intends… our care of Creation to reflect our love for the Creator.”
John Stott

 “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.”

Isaiah 40:28 ESV

Thank you for visiting the Our Fragile Earth page of our All Saints, Sidmouth website.

Breaking News

There are two main elements on these pages:

  • Firstly, on this page, we aim to support you in developing your Christian understanding of God’s Creation and our proper care of it.  You will find a range of resources in this section, from articles and videos to booklists and Home Group materials.  Suggestions to help you pray are also here.  Scroll down to access this part of the site.
  • Secondly, on page 2, we offer a bank of information and resources about Creation Care and Climate Change which we hope will help you to keep up to date with the issues and to continue to develop a sustainable lifestyle which works for you.  This section will include …
  • …links to key sites covering developments in relation to the Climate Change situation, and …
  • …resources designed to help you develop a sustainable lifestyle.  Click here to access this part of the site.

Developing A Christian Perspective

So where do we start?  Well, with the Bible, of course!

First things first!  Here’s a link to lots of Biblical references to Creation Care.  A careful reflection on these verses would be a good basis for developing a fuller understanding of what the Bible has to say about Creation: https://earthcareonline.org/pages/bibleverses.html

To build on that start, here are …

Books and Videos

Some of the books might be available in the Mustard Seed here in Sidmouth or can be bought through their Bookshop.org shopfront – go to the Mustard Seed Bookshop site and type the title and/or author into the Search bar at the top of the page.

A clear and accessible treatment of the topic can be found in Moo, Douglas and Jonathan,  Creation Care: A Biblical Theology of The Natural World,  Zondervan, United States, 2018:

‘In Creation Care, part of the Biblical Theology for Life series, father and son team Douglas and Jonathan Moo invite readers to open their Bibles afresh to explore the place of the natural world within God’s purposes and to celebrate God’s love as displayed in creation and new creation.’

Another good starting point is Hodson, Margot J and Martin R, 2021.  (Revised and updated second edition).  A Christian Guide to Environmental Issues,  BRF and JRI. 

An older but still very helpful book is Spencer, Nick & White, Robert, Christianity, Climate Change and Sustainable Living,  SPCK London, 2007. 

And for a broader theological framework: Wright, N. T., Surprised by Hope,  SPCK, London, 2007.

Further Reading List

Bimson, John, 2020.  The Book of Job and Environmental Ethics: The message from the whirlwind,  Grove Books – An unusual and stimulating perspective on God’s view of his creation.

Bookless, Dave. 1998.  Planetwise – Dare to Care for God’s World, IVP, Nottingham

Bookless, Dave. 2010.  God Doesn’t Do Waste, IVP, Nottingham

Marlow, Hilary, 2008.  The Earth is the Lord’s: A Biblical Response to Environmental Issues, Grove Books

Valerio, Ruth. 2016. Just Living – Faith and Community in an Age of Consumerism, Hodder & Stoughton, London

Valerio, Ruth. 2008.’L’ is for Lifestyle,  IVP, NottinghamBiblically-grounded sustainable living.

Valerio, Ruth. 2019.  Saying Yes to Life,  SPCK Publishing, London –  A lovely reflection on Genesis 1 and its connections with today’s Creation Care issues.

Videos

Prefer the visual approach?

This series of short Katharine Hayhoe videos (also included in the House Group material section below) is a really good introduction to some of the key issues.

There is also an excellent set of short Creation Care videos to be found on the Lausanne Movement website: https://lausanne.org/lausanne-global-classroom/creation-care-episode.  They could be used individually or as House Group starters.

And here’s a kid’s view! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sv7OHfpIRfU

Short, but concise and clear.

House Group Material

Try Operation Noah Tenants of the Kingstudy guide.

As noted above, there’s an excellent nine-part film series for small groups featuring Katharine Hayhoe, available from Tear Fund, complete with Leaders’ Guide for supplementary material and questions.  Why not try a video per session?

You could also look at this:Creation Matters Small Group Activities guide.

https://homegroups.org.uk/series/creation-care-with-a-rocha-uk/There is excellent material available on the A Rocha website https://homegroups.org.uk/series/creation-care-with-a-rocha-uk/

And good stuff with a different slant from Christian Aid https://homegroups.org.uk/series/the-climate-justice-sessions-with-christian-aid

Here’s a link for another House Group Creation Care Course:
https://www.kerith.church/creation-care-course

https://uk.bookshop.org/books/saying-yes-to-life-originally-published-as-the-archbishop-of-canterbury-s-lent-book-2020/9780281083770

It’s based on Ruth Valerio‘s excellent book, ‘Saying Yes To Life’.  Ruth is an environmentalist and theologian, social activist and author, and is at present the Director of Global Advocacy and Influencing at Tearfund. https://ruthvalerio.net/ We recommend you purchase a copy of the book or audiobook to help you follow along with the series.  There may be a copy  in the Mustard Seed, or it is available on their bookshop.org shopfront as well: https://uk.bookshop.org/books/saying-yes-to-life-originally-published-as-the-archbishop-of-canterbury-s-lent-book-2020/9780281083770

Websites

There’s an absolute wealth of information, resources and stories on the Tear Fund site.  To be honest, if you never went anywhere else and spent a bit of time exploring it you’d learn a huge amount about Creation Care and Climate Change – the Biblical material, the present situation, its impact all around the world, many moving stories and information about how we can respond, including prayer suggestions and personal and group study material. 

Wherever else you go, start here: https://www.tearfund.org/

And once you’ve given that a good go, there’s plenty of good stuff at A Rocha too.

Two really helpful websites:

Other Christian websites worth exploring are:

Stories

Stories ground it all, don’t they?  And we know just where you can find a wealth of great stories.  Yes, you’ve guessed it.  Loads of inspiring and challenging stories on the Tear Fund website !

There are also lots on the A Rocha website …https://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/stories/

… and on the World Vision website

… both of which sites are also worth a good exploration when you have a spare moment!

Want a regular dose of good news about God’s Creation?  Try this site!

Here’s some stuff designed specifically for

Children, Young People and Families

There are some really good resources out there for these groups

A family-orientated award scheme suitable for … families! https://creationcare.org.uk/ including excellent resources page, https://creationcare.org.uk/resources/

The video listed above, ‘Climate Change (according to a kid!)’

A really good workbook aimed at families – ‘Changing the Climate’, by Debbie, David & Jamie Hawker,

The Hawkers are a Christian family who are taking action for climate justice. Psychologists Debbie and David Hawker work with Tearfund and other campaign organisations. Their teenage son Jamie also campaigns on climate issues and is part of the ‘Green Agents of Change’ initiative within the Methodist Church.  Read about Jamie here:https://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/news/derby-news/campaigning-derbyshire-teenager-vows-never-6493595

And last, on this page, but by no means least …

How can we pray

There are lots of helpful prayer resources out there.   Here’s a good start from, yes, you’ve guessed already…..,

https://www.tearfund.org/stories/2023/03/how-to-pray-for-the-climate-crisis

And if you’re really serious about this, and want to pray on an informed daily basis, then the Prayer Guide on the Green Christian website gives you a daily story to read, reflect on and pray about.  So it’s a really good way to get informed at the same time!

Click on the picture to find a prayer for these battered countries: https://www.worldvision.org.uk/about/blogs/prayer-for-turkey-and-syria-earthquake-aftermath/

Here are one or two other suggestions:

Loving Father and God of all the world,

Fill us with peace, that we may live as brothers and sisters, harming no one.  O God of the poor, help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth, so precious in your eyes.  Bring healing to our lives, that we may protect the world and not prey on it, that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.  Amen.

A lovely Catholic resource from Jesuit Resource:

Prayers for World Environment Day: https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/topical-prayers/prayers-world-environment-day

For the Maoris amongst us, this lovely resource from New Zealand: a pdf booklet for you to download.

Prayers from 24/7: a pdf booklet for you to download.

If you Google ‘Climate Change Prayer’ or some variation of that, there’s plenty more!