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God's Good Earth


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Table of Contents


Preface xi
Foreword xiii
Introduction xvii
How to Use This Book xxii
God the Creator and God's Glorious Creation
1. God the Creator 3
2. God's Glorious Creation 9
3. Sacred Earth 16
4. Living Waters 22
5. Wonder 28
6. The Song of Creation 34
7. God Be Praised 40
God's Physical Universe
8. Oceans 49
9. Sky 54
10. Wilderness 60
11. Mountains 67
12. Trees and Forests 74
13. Deserts 80
14. Universe 86
The Diversity of God's Creatures
15. God's Gift of Diversity 95
16. Biodiversity 101
17. The One Human Family 107
18. Children 113
19. The Wisdom of Indigenous Cultures 119
20. Animals 125
The Human Community and Its Needs
21. A Good Society 135
22. Farms 141
23. Agriculture with a Human Face 147
24. Water 154
25. Cities 160
26. Nations 166
27. Work 172
28. Simplicity 178
29. Compassion 184
30. Survival 190
31. The Language of Love 196
The Whole Creation Groaning in Travail
32. Exploitation of the Earth 205
33. The Culture of Death 212
34. The Lure of Money 218
35. Climate Change 224
36. Global Warming 230
37. Forgotten People 235
38. Poverty 241
39. Hunger 247
40. Migrants 253
41. Violence 259
42. Victims of War 265
43. Consequences 271
44. Judgment and Mercy 277
45. Death and Resurrection 283
Hope and the Future
46. Ecological Conversion 291
47. Action 298
48. Science 304
49. Healing Our Nation 311
50. Peace 317
51. Hope 323
52. Replenishing God's Good Earth 329
Index of Psalms and Other Biblical Readings 337
Index of Contemporary Reflections 341
Index of Hymns 343
Supplementary Hymns 345
Acknowledgments 350

About the Author

Anne Rowthorn has compiled four collections of ecological writings: Earth and All the Stars, Feast of the Universe, Song of the Universe, and The Wisdom of John Muir: 100+ Selections from the Letters, Journals, and Essays of the Great Naturalist. Jeffery Rowthorn, an Episcopal bishop, has compiled The Wideness of God's Mercy: Litanies to Enlarge Our Prayer. His hymns have been widely published and he has compiled three hymnals. His most recent collection (with Russell Schulz-Widmar) is Sing of the World Made New: Hymns of Justice, Peace, and Christian Responsibility.


God's Good Earth is a wonderful resource to celebrate the majesty, mystery and soul of Earth. The songs, praise and poetry of creation erupt and stir a spiritual presence both within us as worshippers and an awareness of that presence within the deep domains of Earth. A fantastic resource for celebrating The Season of Creation every Sunday in the year. `Where can Wisdom be Found?' In creation (Job 28.23-27)!Norman Habel, editor of the Earth Bible series in Australia, a sponsor of the Season of Creation, and author of works relating to ecology, worship and the Scriptures
These are powerful meditations at a moment when they're desperately needed-think of this book as a solar-charged battery to give you the strength to do the work that the planet desperately needs.Bill McKibben, Schumann Distinguished Scholar, Middlebury College
Rich, abundant, fertile, and creative-the Rowthorns have drawn from broad and deep seas of wisdom to move hearts and mountains in search of Creation's healing. Worship frames for a year of weeks explore the wonder of God's creation, creatures human and not, and the groaning of all. May these prayers and poems, hymns and scriptures, reflections and blessings work their wondrous transformation in all God's people, for tikkun olam, repair of the interconnected world God has made. Caveat lector, for you will weep, rejoice, be awed and humbled, and by grace, transformed.The Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Assisting Bishop, San Diego, Formerly XXVI Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church
In God's Good Earth, Anne and Jeffery Rowthorn have blessed the churches with a beautiful and timely gift. Representing a rich diversity of traditions and voices, these 52 liturgies invite us to worship the God of creation, ponder our deep communion with all living things, repent of our responsibility for environmental destruction and its devastating consequences for marginalized peoples, and reform our actions in agreement with God's hopeful vision for the renewal of the earth.Dr. Thomas John Hastings, Executive Director, Overseas Ministries Study Center, New Haven, Connecticut
What a sublime gift this new collection of liturgies is. I have loved praying with these wide-ranging, distinctive, profoundly moving texts. Among the burgeoning resources for a creation-attuned spirituality, Anne and Jeffery Rowthorn's book stands out. God's Good Earth is compelling in its language, ecumenical and global in scope, richly diverse in the voices it sounds, authentically theological, and-simply-beautiful. I recommend this volume enthusiastically.Teresa Berger, Professor of Liturgical Studies & Thomas E. Golden Jr. Professor of Catholic Theology, Yale Divinity School & Yale Institute of Sacred Music
This is an unusually rich and coherent collection, bringing together reflection, praise and challenge in just the right measure. We have imaginative and alive texts that will powerfully reinforce the necessary sense of both promise and urgency that we must learn to bring to the question of our Christian relation with the environment. It will be a great gift to the churches.Rowan Williams, Master of Magdalene College in Cambridge, UK, and former Archbishop of Canterbury
"In the end we will conserve only what we love," affirmed Senegalese conservationist Baba Dioum. "We will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught." The liturgies developed by Anne and Jeffery Rowthorn's book provide fifty-two ways to understand and love God's good earth more deeply. Their work leads us from praise and thanks to lament and confession and finally to a renewed commitment to all creation and a new sense of wonder at God's infinite imagination in fashioning this world. The Rowthorns challenge us to pray, sing, and act for the earth. Most of all, they give us the words and worship we need to love this world as God loves it, for the sake of the earth and for generations yet to come. It should be required text for every seminary course on liturgy and the worship leaders of every congregation.Rev. Talitha Arnold, Senior Minister, The United Church of Santa Fe
If you have ever been overwhelmed by a panorama from a mountaintop or overcome with wonder at the power of the sea as it rushes against a shore, this book is for you. If you have become concerned about the rising temperatures of our oceans and shorelines and understand that there is a religious dimension to these issues, this book is for you. If the social injustices that accompany environmental degradation are moral concerns, this book is for you. This collection of texts from 28 books of the Bible, 42 other authors, 37 writers of hymns plus 90 supplementary hymns, arranged in 52 thematic liturgies, provides those seeking a means to express their faith in both formal and informal settings. I warmly recommend this book to all who understand environmental issues in religious terms.Gregory E. Sterling, The Reverend Henry L. Slack Dean, The Lillian Claus Professor of New Testament, Yale Divinity School

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