Worshiping with Creation

We have traditionally done worship focusing on our human relationship with God and our human relationships with each other. Now we need to fill our worship also with elements of God's relationship with all of creation and with our human relationship with creation (and with God in creation). Here are some suggestions for how to integrate creation fully into your worship--all worship services. The idea is to include appropriate references to creation at the beginning, middle, and end of each service, along with other references throughout. Incorporate some of these changes on a regular basis, and those who worship will be much more aware of their relationship with God the creator and of their own relationship with nature..
 
Key moments for every worship service
Opening:
        Invoke the presence of the God of all creation.(Find a standard opening or variation)
        Invitation: Invite all creation to worship with you or invite humans to join the choir of all creation in praise of God. (Invite plants and animals on church property)
 
Confession:
        Include at least one statement of confession that addresses our degradation and misuse of creation.
 
Prayer
        Always include at least one petition on behalf of the natural world (recent disaster, endangered species, people at risk from environment)
 
Closing:
        Commission people to "Go in peace. Serve the Lord, Rememebr the poor. Care for creation."
 
Other opportunities in worship
 
Introduction: If there is an introduction to the focus of the season and the Sunday at the beginning of the service, connect this to creation.
 
Hymns:
        Keep in mind hymns with reference to the natural world.
 
Scripture readings:
        Take the opportunity to note references to God the creator and to the presence of the nature in the biblical world.
 
Psalm:
        Often the psalm is a source of celebration of God the creator and the natural world.
 
Preaching:
        Proclaim the good news of God's creation. Give examples and challenges that include our relationship with nature.
 
Sacraments:
        Make connections for people to the natural elements of grapes, grain, and water bearing the presence of Christ.
 
For worship resources:
 
        see the Worship section on this site
 
        Check out the extensive resources on our companion site www.letallcreationpraise.org.
        
For Theological Resources:
      
        The Reflection on Worship for the LRC Congregation Training Manual
        
        Read Ben Stewart, A Watered Garden: Christian Worship and Earth's Ecology (Fortress, 2011). Excellent for worship committees and small group study.
        
        Check out the chapter on "A Theology of Liturgy in a New Key: Worshipping with Creation" in The Season of Creation: A Preaching Commentary, edited by
        Norman Habel, David Rhoads, and Paul Santmire (Fortress, 2011).