World Environment Day: Watch, Listen, Read, Pray, Act

Today is World Environment Day, a day for encouraging awareness and action to protect our planet. Probably the best thing each of us can do today is get outside and enjoy the world around us! It’s a glorious day (at least from where I am typing) and I tend to find that I am more motivated to care for the environment, when I am regularly enjoying it and appreciative for it. After all:

We care for only what we love. We love only what we know. We truly know only what we experience.

Steven Bouma-Prediger

But following your time outside, here are some brief recommendations to help you watch, listen, read, pray and act. To stop this blog becoming too unwieldy I’ve kept the number of recommendations limited, but I’d love to know what you’ve found personally helpful. Let me know in the comments or on socials!

Watch

There are plenty of things you could watch to appreciate this planet more – just check out many of the great documentaries on Netflix, BBC, and Disney+. But if I were to recommend one right now that you may not yet have come across, it would be this nine-part film series by Tearfund, featuring Prof. Katharine Hayhoe.

Better still, watch it with others, and use the discussion guides and resources.

Listen

Here’s a talk I gave this week two years ago in our Prince of Peace series, called Peace with Creation. It’s an incredibly brief overview of how Christians should understand our call to care for the planet, with a few practical steps all of us can take.

Read

There are many books and resources I could recommend on the subject. Here are just five (and I’ve been a little cheeky, since the bottom two are on my to-read list, but everything I know about the authors makes me pretty confident in recommending them!)

  • L is for Lifestyle by Ruth Valerio – If you want a practical book that will really help you make life changes that are achievable and effective, this is it.
  • Planetwise by Dave Bookless – A great book, with an accompanying course for small groups.
  • Stewards of Eden by Dr Sandra Richter – I’ve not yet read this, but her previous book The Epic of Eden was SO good that I have no doubt this will be well worth a read.
  • Planet Protectors by Paul Kerensa and Ruth Valerio – A book for kids and families, packed with facts, theology, and 52 ways to care for the planet. Comes out next week and I can’t wait to get going with it!

Pray

Sometimes it can feel hard to know how to pray about something as huge as this, so at Christ Church London we’ve put together a resource called A Prayer for Creation.

This is part of a larger project, where we are creating liturgies to help you pray through many different circumstances and situations. Each one will lead you through a process of reading passages of Scripture, thinking about how they apply to you, speaking out a prayer, and sharing with others what God is saying to you or what actions you are taking.

Act

Well… this is down to you.

Let me know how you get on.

  • What resources have you found most helpful?
  • What changes have you made?
  • What areas have you found hardest to change?

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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