- Service Outline – including prayers, activities and an Act of Repentance
- Songs & Hymns
- Children’s activities – including additional activities especially designed for use in Africa (to be added later)
- ‘In the Beginning’ presentation (to be added later)
- Stories from A Rocha projects
- Group Bible study
- Ideas for action and response
- ‘Why A Rocha works in forests’ (2:07 minutes) – download the video or watch it here:
To download, right-click on the link, then choose Save Link As… (or a similar wording). You should then open the file right from your computer.
(Video by Melissa Ong, A Rocha International)
Introduction: Read This First
A Rocha’s 2012 Environment Resource Pack is freely available to churches worldwide. It can be used on Environment Sunday (the nearest Sunday to the UN’s World Environment Day, June 5th), during Time for Creation (1st September – 5th October, promoted by the World Council of Churches), or on any suitable date. Although the pack is free, churches are encouraged to support A Rocha’s work through a special collection or regular giving. More details can be found at www.arocha.org.
Why trees? Martin Luther King said: “God writes the Gospel, not in the Bible alone but on trees, flowers, clouds and stars.” Today, human behaviour is leading to massive deforestation around the world. All of A Rocha’s national projects are involved with protecting and planting trees or forests, and A Rocha International’s Tropical Forests Programme links several of these. In fact our human lives are dependent on trees in multiple ways. The Bible also starts and finishes with trees – in the Garden of Eden and in the heavenly-earthly City. In between, Jesus’ death on a tree expresses our misuse of God’s creation as well as God’s wonderful saving plans for people and all creation.
How to use this pack
The ‘Service Order’ and ‘Sermon’ documents are probably the best place to start. They are in both Adobe PDF and MS Word 2003 form so they can be opened and edited by most systems. In planning a service, the ‘Songs & Hymns’ document will also be useful, and if children are present the two ‘Children’s Activities’ documents contain activities suitable for groups, or adaptable for informal worship. There are PowerPoint presentations to accompany the Sermon and the Act of Repentance in the Service Order. There is also a 3rd PowerPoint presentation, ‘In the Beginning’ which could be used on another occasion or in a time of meditative worship with music played and the words read.
It is A Rocha’s experience that services on creation have the greatest impact if they are linked to other activities. These could include the ‘Group bible-study’, or activities suggested in the ‘Ideas for action and response’, such as a tree-planting day, a neighbourhood project, or fund-raising for one of A Rocha’s or Climate Stewards’ projects. The ‘Stories from A Rocha’s Projects’ can also be included in a church newsletter or magazine. In addition there are plenty of children’s and all-age activities suggested in the ‘Children’s Activities’ that could form the basis for a church ‘fun-day’ on the theme of trees.
Many thanks to all those who have contributed time or resources to this pack, including Dave Bookless, Margaret Decker, Martin Kaonga, Prem Mitra, Melissa Ong, Lisa Ostenson, Caroline Pomeroy, Joshi Premnath, Ginny Vroblesky, Sarah Young – and apologies to anybody left out!