Sermon Recording: Why Care for Creation? (Genesis 1)

plant seedsMessage: Why Care for Creation?
Scripture: Genesis 1-2:3
Click here for the reader’s theatre script for Genesis 1-2:3 used in this recording.

Offered 4/26/15, the Sunday after Earth Day, at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota FL

I’m indebted to Richard Rohr’s blog post, The Story That Defines Us, for his rich discussion of the Biblical creation story as compared to the Babylonian creation story found in the Enuma Elish.

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I’m excited to now offer mp3’s of my Sunday messages. A huge thank you to Leon and my brothers and sisters at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota for all their help in making this possible. If you’re ever in Sarasota, please drop by for worship Sundays at 9am or 10:30am, or drop by during the week for a chat or small group. You and those you love are always welcome.

© 2015 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Contact the Lisa for posting and publication considerations.

Reader’s Theater: The Days of Creation (Genesis 1)

The Days of Creation by Edward Burne-Jones

The Days of Creation by Edward Burne-Jones

Reader’s Theater: The Days of Creation
Scripture: Genesis 1:1-2:3, adapted from the New Revised Standard Version
Parts: 3 Narrators

NARRATOR 1
In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said,

ALL NARRATORS
Let there be light

NARRATOR 1
and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

NARRATOR 2
And God said,

ALL NARRATORS
Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.

NARRATOR 2
So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

NARRATOR 3
And God said,

ALL NARRATORS
Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.

NARRATOR 3
And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. Then God said,

ALL NARRATORS
Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.

NARRATOR 3
And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

NARRATOR 1
And God said

ALL NARRATORS
Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.

NARRATOR 1
And it was so. God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

NARRATOR 2
And God said

ALL NARRATORS
Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky.

NARRATOR 2
So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying,

ALL NARRATORS
Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.

NARRATOR 2
And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

NARRATOR 3
And God said

ALL NARRATORS
Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.

NARRATOR 3
And it was so. God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good. Then God said

ALL NARRATORS
Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.

NARRATOR 3
So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them, and God said to them

ALL NARRATORS
Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.

See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.

NARRATOR 3
And it was so. God saw everything that he had made,

ALL NARRATORS
and indeed, it was very good.

NARRATOR 3
And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

NARRATOR 1
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.

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Adapted from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Reader’s Theater: The Days of Creation © 2015 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Contact the Lisa for posting and publication considerations.

Two Translations of Psalm 4

Psalm 4 in Hebrew

Psalm 4 in Hebrew

Psalm 4, reimagined by Steve Garnaas Holmes
O Love, when I cry out in silence,
you are the One Who Hears.
Between the rock and the hard place,
you give me room.

I have carried the stone of shame too far,
as if opinions could give me life,
as if human judgment is not a lie.
But you, Beloved, hold me close,
and know who I truly am.
When I am disturbed I am still yours.
I soak in this grace, silent,
letting it seep into me.

I surrender everything to your love.
Help me to trust this with my life.
I ignore the cynics who don’t see
your blessing in everything,
your face beaming at me.
You are a gushing spring of joy in me,
my jackpot, my victory dance.

In your peace I can stop. I let go.
I lie down.
In your peace I can sleep.
I am safe. I am yours.

Psalm 4, translated by Nan C Merrill in Psalms for Praying

Answer me when I call, O Beloved of my heart!
You enveloped me in Love when I was in distress.
Be gracious to me now; hear my prayer.

O friends, how long will my reputation suffer shame?
How long will you listen to false words
and seek what is less than good?

You know that the Beloved dwells with those
who are filled with love;
and hears when our hearts cry out.
Though you may feel angry,
do not give in to fear;
Commune with the Heart of your heart
as you rest,
and be in silence.
Make peace with your fears,
and trust in Love.

There are many who say,
“Grant us special favors, O Mighty One!
Bestow upon us your grace that we may prosper!”
Love has brought more joy to my heart
than they have when their banks are filled.
In peace will I spend my days and sleep at night
For You alone, my Beloved, take away my fears.

Sermon Series Recordings: The Way, Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus

theway400
Sermon Series: The Way, Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus
Inspired by the book and small group curriculum by Adam Hamilton

Message 1 of 8: Named and Claimed at the Jordan River
Scriptures: Luke 3:2-22
Offered 2/15/15 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota FL

Message 2 of 8: Season of Strengthening in the Wilderness
Scriptures: Luke 4:1-13
Offered 2/22/15 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota FL

Message 3 of 8: Healing and Forgiving in Capernaum
Scriptures: Luke 4:18-21; Luke 5:17-26
Offered 3/1/15 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota FL

Message 4 of 8: Teaching on the Mountain- Salt and Light
Scriptures: Matthew 5:13-16; Psalm 112:4-6
Offered 3/8/15 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota FL

Message 5 of 8: Stormy Sea of Galilee
Scriptures: Mark 4:35-41
Offered 3/15/15 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota FL

Message 6 of 8: Friends in Low Places
Scriptures: Luke 18:9-14
Offered 3/22/15 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota FL

Message 7 of 8: Jerusalem: Pick Your Parade (Palm Sunday)
Scriptures: Zechariah 9:9; Luke 19:41-44; Psalm 146
Offered 3/29/15 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota FL

Message 8 of 8: Your Defining Story
Scriptures: John 20:1-18; Ephesians 2:4-5
Offered 4/5/15 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota FL

I’m excited to now offer mp3’s of my Sunday messages. A huge thank you to Leon and my brothers and sisters at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota for all their help in making this possible. If you’re ever in Sarasota, please drop by for worship Sundays at 9am or 10:30am, or drop by during the week for a chat or small group. You and those you love are always welcome.

© 2015 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Contact the Lisa for posting and publication considerations.

Worship Resources for Earth Day, April 22

Praise in Bloom by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia

Every year, thousands of people gather on April 22 to celebrate Earth Day. May these resources draw you closer to the One who is Maker of Heaven and Earth and inspire you to better care for the wondrous world we share. – Lisa <><

Prayer for Earth Day
A short, simple prayer

Morning Prayer by Steve Garnaas Holmes
A joyful prayer incorporating images of sunrise and nature. Reminds me of All Creatures of Our God and King by Francis of Assisi.

Lauds by Steve Garnaas Holmes
A beautiful, rich prayer which would be especially powerful if prayed outdoors as the sun rose.

The Story That Defines Us
A rich theological reflection by Richard Rohr on the Biblical creation story compared to another creation story of the ancient world.

Reader’s Theater: The Days of Creation
A multi-reader version of Genesis 1:1-2:3

Sermon Recording: Why Care for Creation
Based on Genesis 1-2:3.

Protecting the Earth 
A collection of scriptures and quotes with a link to a nine day creation themed prayer cycle

Creation Praise
A short reflection on the Christian understanding of creation care followed by a prayer combining scripture and song. (Psalm 19:1-4a; Psalm 108:1-4; Beautiful by Phil Wickham)

Creation Praise 2
Another prayer combining scripture and song (Psalm 148; All Creatures of Our God and King)

Prayer Litany for Thanksgiving
Originally designed for Thanksgiving celebrations, this combination of prayer, reflection, and song also works well for Earth Day.

God Who Brings the Cleansing Rain
an original hymn text which may be sung or spoken

Bless Christ, Through Whom All Things are Made
an original hymn text which may be sung or spoken

Psalms of Nature: A Reflection on Psalm 148

Psalms to God’s Glory: A Reflection on Psalm 19

You are God – not me, not us;
help me to remember this simple fact each day.
You are the Center of creation – not me, not us;
help me to recognize my place within the orbit of your grace.
You are the Source of all life – not me, not us;
let me find in you my kinship with all creation.
–Sam Hamilton-Poore, Earth Gospel

You are welcome to use any of these works in a private or public worship setting with proper attribution. Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish any of these works in any form.

A Great Thanksgiving For Easter Incorporating Christ the Lord is Risen Today

Christ-The-Lord-by-Five-Heart-Home-700pxGreenA Great Thanksgiving For Easter
A Great Thanksgiving is also known as a Eucharistic Prayer or Prayer for Holy Communion. It is used to consecrate the bread and the wine/grape juice.

This Great Thanksgiving incorporates texts from Christ the Lord is Risen Today by Charles Wesley as congregational responses. The text are used in an order which best fits the Eucharistic Prayer. The responses may be sung or spoken. If spoken, consider speaking only one Alleluia at the end of each stanza rather than at the end of each phrase.

ALL SINGING:
Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!

ONE:
Holy One, Eternal and Blessed

ALL:
We lift up our hearts to You.

ONE:
Your love overflows, calling the wonder of creation into being
Filling the world with beauty and goodness

ALL:
Receive our thanks and praise

ONE:
We join the company of heaven
and Your faithful in every time and place
in celebrating Your victory over sin and death

ALL SINGING OR SPEAKING:
Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!

ONE:
Glory to You, God of grace and majesty
and glory to Your Son, Jesus Christ,
our Savior and Savior of the world

On the third day, You raised Jesus from the dead.
Death could not destroy him!
The grave could not enslave him!

ALL SINGING OR SPEAKING:
Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where’s thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia!

ONE:
The world despised and rejected You.
You responded with grace, humility and welcome.
The proud questioned Your power, devised Your death.
You responded with peace, forgiveness and new life.

ALL SPEAKING:
Forgive us, merciful Jesus
Our arrogance
Our selfishness
Our violence
Make us like You

ONE:
On the night in which he gave himself up for us,
Jesus took bread, gave thanks to You, broke the bread,
gave it to those gathered around the table, and said:
“Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”

When the supper was over, he took the cup,
gave thanks to You, gave it to those gathered and said:
“Drink from this, all of you;
this is my blood of the new covenant,
poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

ALL SPEAKING:
We remember You
We need You
We claim Your resurrection power:
Dying, You destroyed our death
Rising, You restored our life.
Lord Jesus, come in glory.

ONE:
Come Lord Jesus
And come Holy Spirit,
Abide with us and in us
And on these gifts of bread and wine
Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ
That we may be, now and forever, Your Easter people,
Whole, Holy, Alive
One with You and one with each other
Together fulfilling Your saving work

ALL: singing or speaking
King of glory, soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, Thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!

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A Great Thanksgiving For Easter © 2015 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia.
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Tell Me, Dear Tree: A Lenten Hymn of Sacrifice

Crucifixion Tree outside the walled city of Mdina. Photo by Antoine Pace via TrekEarth.com

Jesus’ suffering on the cross was a correct diagnosis and revelation of the human dilemma. It was an invitation to enter into solidarity with the pain of the world, and our own pain, instead of always resisting it, avoiding it, or denying it. Lady Julian of Norwich, my favorite Christian mystic, understood it so well, and she taught, in effect, that “There is only one suffering and we all share in it.” – Richard Rohr

Tell me, Dear Tree
A Lenten hymn of sacrifice
Meter- 86.86 double (CMD)
Suggested tune: KINGSFOLD (United Methodist Hymnal #179)

Tell me dear tree on which my Lord, my blessed Lord did hang,
How could you hold the spotless Lamb, be party with the gang?
That cheerless day, that shadowy hour, my blessed Savior died,
to free my soul for heavenly things, O tree, you must have cried.

Yes all your fibers must have screamed for you one time did live
a green and growing tree, alive, but your whole self did give
to be the instrument of death, to be the very tree
to be the place for Christ to die upon dark Calvary

Wait! Do I hear a shout of joy from somewhere deep within?
Your duty done; the battle won so all the world might win.
How beautiful your love for Him. He sewed it long ago
You bore the weight. You took the stain, and now the world must know

The tree of death felt every wound, felt all the pain and loss.
She loved her maker through it all, was glad to be His cross.
Teach me dear tree on which my Lord, My precious Lord did die
To treasure grueling duties done so Christ is lifted high

© 1992, revised 2009 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form. Lisa is especially interested in collaborating with someone to set this text to original music.