Last fall, I created a prayer calendar as part of our church’s celebration of Creation Season. Each day featured a different native species, a local ecosystem, or a creation care organization to pray for. Personally, I found the practice of praying daily for a native plant or animal very meaningful. I found myself looking for those particular species in my neighborhood as I walked my dog each morning. It was perfect for our congregation’s celebration of creation season because it was intergenerational and encouraged us to love and pray for God’s creation in specific ways.
Creating the Calendar
Here’s how I organized the calendar:
- On Sundays, we prayed for an organization working to protect and care for creation.
- On Mondays, we prayed for native trees.
- On Tuesdays, we prayed for native plants.
- On Wednesdays, we prayed for native reptiles & amphibians.
- On Thursdays, we prayed for native birds & butterflies.
- On Fridays, we prayed for native mammals.
- On Saturdays, we prayed for local geographical features and ecosystems such as mountains and waterways.
A great way to build buy-in from the congregation is to ask for submissions or invite specific households to contribute, “Would your family like to choose four native birds for inclusion in our Creation Season Prayer Calendar?”
5 Ways to Use The Calendar
- Handout or mail copies of the calendar to households and/or make it available for download.
- Print calendars on large paper (11×17) and suggest they be used as placemats. They could even be laminated.
- Include the organization/species/geographical features for the coming week in the prayers of the people during worship.
- Post the prayer focus for the day to your churches social media accounts.
- Invite members of your congregation to make a financial donation to one of the organizations on the calendar.
Including Environmental Organizations
Our Creation Care Committee felt that it was important to include organizations working to protect and care for creation in our prayers. The committee chose a mix of local, international, and faith-based organizations. We included information about each organization on the back of the calendar.
Episcopal Relief & Development – The number of climate-influenced disasters has doubled in the past 20 years. Floods, hurricanes and other events can devastate communities. Episcopal Relief & Development’s work with local Church and ecumenical partners is designed to help communities prepare for these disasters and recover as quickly as possible.
Project Drawdown – Project Drawdown is a nonprofit that works to help the world reach “Drawdown” – the future point in time when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to decline. They assert that it is possible to stop climate change with solutions that exist today – and they work to communicate those solutions to the world.
NC Environmental Justice Network – The North Carolina Environmental Justice Network is a grassroots, people of color-led coalition of community organizations and their supporters who work with low income communities and people of color on issues of climate, environmental, racial and social injustice.
Dig Deep’s Appalachia Water Project – 2.2 million Americans still don’t have running water or a toilet at home, and families in Central Appalachia are some of the hardest hit. Dig Deep launched the Appalachia Water Project to bring clean, hot and cold running water to American families, one house at a time.
Interfaith Power & Light – As people of faith, we are called to care for God’s Creation and to love our neighbors. This is a moment for fundamental change. We can help make change by electing leaders who are committed to working to end structures of oppression and environmental injustices, and to taking action to tackle climate change.
Creation Season Bingo
In addition to the Creation Season Prayer Calendar, or as an alternative, invite your congregation to play Creation Season Bingo. You can use the pre-made Bingo card below or ask members to submit suggestions and create your own. Use your newsletter, social media, or announcement time to offer helpful resources such as:
- Ways to learn more about creation care, climate change, and environmental justice, for example, the How to Save a Planet podcast.
- Information on local compost services (like Compost Now) or compost drop-off locations (such as the local farmer’s market).
- Favorite zero-waste, refillable, or plastic free products such as soap from Fillaree or shampoo/conditioner/lotion from Plaine Products.
- Favorite bamboo or washable alternatives, for example, bamboo toilet paper and paper towels from Reel Paper.
- Favorite environmental organizations like the ones listed above.
- Information on how to conduct a home energy audit.
- Contact information for local elected officials (find it here).
Special thanks to the Creation Care Committee at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Wake Forest, North Carolina, especially Julie Arthur and Gena Renfrow.