“As the deer pants for the water”
As the deer pants for the water
So my soul longs after You.
You alone are my hearts desire
and I long to worship You.
You alone are my strength, my shield
To You alone may my spirit yield.
You alone are my. hearts desire
And I long to worship You.
Call to Worship
Adapted from https://worshipwords.co.uk/6408-2/
One: Morning has broken!
Many: We gather to greet the new day by praising God.
One: God created us for relationship with God, one another, and the earth.
Many: Let us honor those relationships today and every day.
One: We seek to care for our brothers and sisters around the world and to God’s good Creation.
any: Let us honor those relationships today and every day.
One: May we commit to new ways of honoring your Creation as a means of sharing Jesus’ transforming love,
Many: And let us seek God’s grace, justice and mercy for all.
Christian Aerobics Song and Dance
CONSPIRATORS by Dr. Laurel Kearns
God of breath, God of life,
We thank you for the breath of life.
Your breath, ruah, from the beginning
empowers, enlivens the universe, your body,
and each and every creature.
Our lives stretch between our first breath to our last,
but it is never just our breath.
All creatures and plants exchange your breath
oxygen for carbon dioxide and reverse.
Con-spiring together, connected in
an interspecies ritual of communion.
Your presence is in this breath, our lives depend on it.
May we recognize that when we pollute the air
we defile God’s breath, we stifle its life-giving presence.
Our actions make it so others cannot breathe easily.
When we cause the atmosphere warm too much,
we make human creatures, all creatures, suffer.
We rob the gift of life from species going extinct,
and their songs of thanksgiving are silenced.
When polluted, this breath that gives life, divides us
between those who have little choice where they live,
who cannot escape the choking air and the rising waters
and those who think they can escape to cleaner air, higher land.
But your breath, our air, respects no boundaries,
and your justice is demanded of us all. You ask:
Who are your neighbors? Who are your breathmates?
May we vow that in our con-spiring, breathing together
We make it so no one has to say “I can’t breathe.”
May we vow that in our lifetime of breathing
we help our breathmates, trees and plants, grow and thrive.
May we remember this intimate connectedness that unites
us with all creation that unites us as con-spirators with all creation.
When we take a deep breath of clean air, energized by your breath,
awed by the intricate mysteries of your presence,
may we remember to be grateful for the gift of life, and make it so for others.
*Written with gratitude for eco-feminist theologian Sallie McFague (1933-2019) and her book, The Body of God, that opened up theological space to breathe for so many. Published in Words From the Heart: Multi-faith Prayers, Poems and Blessings, edited by Rabbi Debra Smith.
Scripture Reading – Luke 17:11-19
11 On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, 13they called out, saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ 14When he saw them, he said to them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were made clean. 15Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. 16He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. 17Then Jesus asked, ‘Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? 18Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?’ 19Then he said to him, ‘Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.’
“Turtles, Egrets, and Samaritans”
Rev. Richenda Fairhurst
Written by Rev. Richenda Fairhurst, Inspired by Psalm 66
Shout joyfully to God, every creature, every leaf, everyone on Earth! The Eternal One created such multitude and abundance—no arrow, no famine, no enemy can prevail against it. And yet, Creator God, listen. Hear our prayer. Preserve us from the trap. The pressure rises. Humans in their arrogance have set off tipping points across the earth. They exalt themselves with money. They turn the forests into tinder while the sea and storm surge rises. Every child bears a burden on their back.
But you are the Eternal One. Your faithfulness is our trust. Yours are the rivers and seas to fill as you design. Yours are the forests and grasses to grow as you desire. Free us! Return us! Let abundance be our future. Let life multiply—so that every voice, from the elders to the youth, from the river otters to the mountain elk, says ‘come and listen’ as we praise your name!
Walk to the Garden
As we breathe and feel the air around us, may we live mindfully through our days, praying for and working on behalf of all whose lives are impacted by our own. May we seek and carry the spirit of our ancestors and the blessings of God to touch the hearts of those who look only for gain at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Breathe and discover the worth of each being, feel our connection to the ground, to the trees, and to all the lives around us. Breathe and be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature as we journey towards your infinite light.
Go forth in love and justice for the earth and share the light of Christ with all of Creation.
*Inspired by the 2012 Encyclical Letter written by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and by A Prayer for Our Environment from Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’