1. See the
faces of the earth.
What are some of the earth’s “faces” (views – e.g., sunrise and sunset) that
you enjoy? When, where and how do you or could you see these and other
faces of the earth more fully? Do you like photography? We tend to see
more when we have a camera with us. And the pictures we take provide us
with the faces of the earth we personally love and can be shared with
2. Learn her
names and stories.
What are some of your favorite species of animals, trees, flowers, etc., and
how could find out more about them? How are you learning about the story of
the earth and/or the universe as a whole?
“Commune-icate” with the earth.
Do you have some special places where you feel close to nature? Could you
visit them more regularly? How are you present to the earth in those
places? What are you learning from the different species there?
4. Touch the
What are some ways you can touch the earth more carefully with your hands
and feet? Do you have or help with a garden? What opportunity do you have
for hiking or nature walks?
to the earth.
What are some of the ways you have hurt the earth and how can you more
sincerely and effectively apologize and make amends for those hurts?
6. Eat with
Have you ever thought of having a picnic with the earth, perhaps just you
and the earth or you and another special friend? This would be a time when
you would just enjoy and communicate with the earth. Where would be some
good places for you to have these picnics? What would be appropriate foods
to bring for such picnics? Some people like to bring fruit from the earth
and some bread that they bake themselves, so that both are each contributing
something to the meal.
7. Sing and
dance with the earth.
What songs or dances do you know that you can sing with the earth and/or
teach others? What songs does the earth sing that you could listen to more
the earth and her Creator.
What Psalms, other biblical passages, or other hymns of praise could you say
regularly? Check out Psalm 148 especially, but also Psalms 8, 65, 104, 136,
145, 147. Consider writing your own psalm, song, or love letter.
gifts with the earth.
What gifts do you receive from the earth? What gifts are you giving or
could you give to the earth? Some plant trees as a way of giving something
back to the earth. Can you do this or support groups doing this? See the
website of Global Releaf for suggestions.
the earth; stand in defense of creation.
What are you doing individually and as a school or faith community to
protect the earth? Be sure to consider both life-style decisions and social
change activities addressing political and economic policies that harm the
earth. Check the websites of the Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy, the
National Wildlife Federation.
your friendship/commitment explicit.
Learn (or write
your own) and share a “covenant” or “pledge of allegiance” to the earth: “I
pledge allegiance to the world; to cherish every living thing; to care for
earth and sea and air, with peace and justice everywhere.” Write a letter
of friendship to the earth in which you celebrate her, tell her what you
like best about her, thank her for her gifts, apologize for hurting her,
name how you will protect her more, and anything else you want to say.
Create an I LOVE THE EARTH book of your photographs, postcards, and
your friend/concern with others.
How and with
whom could you share these steps, become public witnesses (“prophets”) on
behalf of the earth? What about raising some of these issues at school
and/or with your faith community, perhaps an article for a school/church
newsletter and/or a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Share
your I LOVE THE EARTH book with friends.