As an Earth Care Congregation, Oak Grove Presbyterian Church supports sustainable choices that restore and protect all of God’s children and creation. For Lent 2021, the Presbyterian Hunger Program has put together a daily reflection calendar, “Tread Lightly for Lent.” See below for the full text of the calendar, as well as a link to a printable PDF of the calendar.
Tread Lightly for Lent 2021: Daily reflection-action calendar
Link to PDF of 2021 Tread Lightly for Lent Calendar
The Presbyterian Hunger Program strives to walk with people in moving towards sustainable choices that restore and protect all of God’s children and creation. As people of faith, we seek to “serve and preserve” God’s world. However, some of our collective choices have led to a changing global climate. To turn this tide, we must commit to treading lightly on God’s Earth.
In Lent, we reflect on Christ’s ministry, death, and resurrection. We slow down, take time, and examine our internal spiritual lives and the way we live out our Christian faith in the world around us.
Our hope is that this Lenten calendar will be the beginning of actions intended to create more mindful behaviors throughout the year.
17 Ash Wednesday
Read Psalm 51:1. Consider these questions: In the past year where have I seen steadfast love? How have I transgressed against the earth?
Use the One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) map online at www.presbyterianmission.org/oghsmap to find the OGHS partner closest to you and say a prayer for them.
Even though many of us aren’t gathering in a traditional sense, there is still a place for sustainable palms in your virtual worship. Learn more and order online: pcusa.org/eco-palms.
Read this review about the Green Good News www.presbyterianmission.org/eco-journey/2020/10/12/green-good-news/
Download this guide from the Office at the UN www.presbyterianmission.org/resource/study-devotional-guide-for-the-sustainable-development-goals/ to connect environmental and human health around the world
Read and Reflect on Genesis 2:15–17
Watch this short video on environmental injustice’s disproportionate impact on people of color: https://youtu.be/dREtXUij6_c.
Read and Reflect on Psalm 130. Consider our responsibility to be part of God’s redemption in creation.
Use the map online at https://tinyurl.com/y4ctf7z3 to find the closest Earth Care Congregation to you and say a prayer for them.
Download a prayer at www.FaithClimateActionWeek.org so you can be prepared for the National Climate Prayer on Earth Day (4/22) at noon local time.
Read and reflect on Psalm 8.
Understand the environmental and social impacts of what you are buying. Do research on products you commonly use and find information on more creation friendly products at www.ethicalconsumer.org.
Read and reflect on Matthew 25.
Consider where you see Christ today? Share this with one person.
Pray: God, show us your people how to honor your gift of Creation. Let us not be selfish with our gift, rather allow us to share as generously with each other as you have shared with us. Amen.
Watch and share the “Jesus Calls Us” video with a friend or via social media and discuss how you feel called to care for God’s creation. www.vimeo.com/370339034
Learn more about your personal ecological footprint: www.footprintcalculator.org.
Pray: God of Enough, Let us remember those in this world who still have not been able to realize your abundance because we have taken more than what we need. And let that remembering drive us to change. Amen.
Download Considering Our Treasure from PHPand take one of the action steps listed in the study. https://tinyurl.com/y27szc3z.
Read and Reflect on Isaiah 65:17-25.
Pray: “For homes, for families, for friends, for food, we’re thankful, Lord. To us you’ve been good! On all who feel scared, sick, hungry, not loved, pour out your rich comfort and peace from above. Amen.”
Challenge yourself to drink only water. It takes 600 cups of water to produce a single cup of coffee, and 125 cups of water to produce a cup of tea.
Refresh your memory regarding which items your city or town allows for curbside recycling. Remind your family, friends and coworkers to recycle.
Write down everything you throw away today. Challenge yourself to reduce the trash you produce for the remaining days of Lent.
Learn where your food comes from. Calculate your food footprint at www.eatlowcarbon.org.
Visit www.pcusa.org/ccc to learn more about and consider taking PHP’s Climate Care Challenge.
Read and Reflect on Genesis 1:29.
Pray: “Creator of the rivers and oceans, who washes us clean and refreshes us daily, help us to be like a cup of cold water to others in your name: refreshing, cleansing, and relieving. Amen”
Pick up as many pieces of litter as you can and challenge a friend to do the same.
Unplug the chargers for your cell phone and laptop when you leave your home or office today to minimize the energy many electronics and appliances continue to draw power even when they are off.
Take a walk to appreciate the Earth’s natural beauty. Remember why preserving the Earth is crucial for the health of future generations.
For Easter baskets, buy Fair Trade chocolate, dried fruit, tea and coffee or small gifts made by women’s cooperatives! Fair trade helps farmers and workers around the world. pcusa.org/fairtrade.
Read and reflect on the Canticle of the Creatures www.slr-ofs.org/canticle-of-the-creatures.html.
Read and Reflect on Luke 12:48.
Do you know about the connections between climate change and wildfires? Read this blog post https://tinyurl.com/y5hub4yk.
U.S. driver’s consumption of 500 gallons of gasoline every year per driver creates as much as 10,000 pounds of carbon dioxide. Walk somewhere you would have driven today.
Purchase carbon offsets for your commute. Visit www.cooleffect.org/content/ecoamerica to learn more.
Check your tire pressure. Low tire pressure means high energy/fuel consumption.
Participate in Earth Hour by switching off all electricity at 8:30pm local time in solidarity with global efforts to secure nature and our home: www.earthhour.org
Passion/Palm Sunday HOLY WEEK
As we think about Christ’s journey this Holy Week, take space to acknowledge that while it is easy to be overwhelmed with climate injustice, we do not travel alone.
Download Blessed Tomorrow’s Let’s Talk resource to craft your own message to be able to speak with our friends and family about reducing carbon use. www.presbyterianmission.org/resource/lets-talk-faith-and-climate
Download the Holy Discontentment: Lifting Your Voice for Effective Advocacy resource from the Office of Public Witness to learn more about how to use your voice to create change. www.presbyterianmission.org/resource/holy-discontentment-advocacy-resource
Speak to the powerful. Urge elected officials to support legislation making justice and creation-care a priority. Visit capwiz.com/pcusa/home to reach out to your representative.
1 Maundy Thursday
Remind yourself of the PC(USA)’s policy on engaging with issues of climate change by visiting www.presbyterianmission.org/lordsearthpolicy.
2 Good Friday
Reflect on the air pollution created by our consumption of carbon. Identify who in your own community might be most impacted by this pollution.
3 Great Vigil of Easter
John 13:1-17, 31b-35. How can we love one another—and God’s whole world—as Christ has loved us? Write down your commitment to show love to a part of creation today.
Read Matthew 28:1-10 Give with joy to the One Great Hour of Sharing.
For further learning and action
Please visit us at www.pcusa.org/hunger to learn more about ongoing opportunities for simple living, environmental justice, alleviating poverty, and eliminating root causes of hunger.