Bible Studies, Courses, and Reflection Series

Why should Christians care about the environment? Does God give us guidance for creation care in Scripture? To answer such questions, we turn to the Bible, seeking to discern God’s will.

We’ve gathered here some materials for Bible study. Most are online and free to download, but we’ve included some that require purchases as well. 

 

New for Lent 2021

Daily or Weekly Reflections/Calendars

40 Days With God’s Creatures
(Sarx, Lent 2021)
We profess a faith in Jesus, and we love animals. But do we put the two together? This Lent guide from Sarx, available as an online app, “offers users the chance to reflect theologically and creatively about animals and animal issues, using biblical and theological readings, art, videos, music, photography and poetry.” Contributors to the daily reflections include Professor David Clough, Professor Celia Deane-Drummond, Professor Matt Halteman and Professor Michael Gilmour.

 

Daily Reflections for Creationtide
(Amica Benefice/JRI/Diocese of Lichfield/Season of Creation – 2018)
Not new this year. Not written for Lent. So what’s it doing in this list? Put simply, people have found it one of the most helpful sources of daily reflections on creation care – each with a simple question to inspire further reflection.

 

(Global Catholic Climate Movement, for Lent 2021)
Join in a journey of ecological conversion, involving reflection, repentance and renewal. Suggestions for prayer and concrete action around a weekly theme. Available as a downloadable calendar and by email. There’s also a Lent prayer guide.

 

Planting Seeds of Hope: 40 Devotions on Creation
(Green Anglicans, for Lent 2021)
A wonderful collection of daily reflections and prayers, contributed by Green Anglicans, members of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network, the Anglican Indigenous Network, The Lusophone Network, Together 4 Creation and contributions from the Sustainable Preaching Network (www.sustainable-preaching.org). Dedicated to the memory of Bishop Ellinah Wamukoya.

 

Steadfast: A Call to Love
(Ignatian Solidarity Network, for Lent 2021 )
Daily emails which will explore how, at a time of pain globally, we find strength in our faith to hear – and respond to – the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.

 

Build Forward Better – #Fast4Earth
(Anglican Communion Environmental Network, for Lent 2021 )
A simple, one-page calendar with a suggestion for each day – from doing your carbon footprint to watching an environmentally themed film or making goods from recycled materials

 

Seven Weeks for Water 2021
(World Council of Churches, for Lent 2021 )
Seven weeks of water-related reflections, with accompanying actions, from a diverse group of North American Christians.

 

(Downloadable at link above – weekly reflections)
Reflections for Ash Wednesday, each Sunday in Lent, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter. Each is by a different author and contains a Bible reading, reflection, and short prayer. Helpful for personal reflection, or could be a starter for a weekly home group’s discussions.

 

Short courses

Caring for Creation
(York courses, Lent 2021 – course)
“The human race is facing its greatest challenge: global warming, leading to climate change. This, along with the damage we have done, and are still doing to the environment, God’s wonderful creation, means that we all have to make radical changes to our whole way of life.” A course which presents facts about the challenge of climate change – but seeks to inspire hope for the future, based on faith.  Contributors include Dave Bookless, David Clough, Brian Davis, Lalbiakhlui Rokhum, Simon Stanley and Ruth Valerio.

 

Five sessions, based around Laudato Si’, with a focus on biodiversity and ecosystems.

 

*For Such a Time as This
(USPG, for Lent 2021 – short course)
Our world is in environmental crisis: how can Christians respond? This six-session course offers a biblical narrative of salvation to frame our climate response and challenges all Christians to take part in God’s work of redemption and re-creation. The sessions draw on perspectives from USPG’s partners around the world. Each contains a reflection, Bible passage to study, prayer and call to action.

 

Single Session Studies

Bible Study Material on the Environment
(Church of England, 2012)
Material that could be used to structure a short retreat, or split up into several sessions. A creation-focused Morning Prayer frames the Bible study material which focuses on three questions: the importance of creation care in Christian thought, the question of ‘dominion’ (Genesis) and the meaning of hope (Romans).

 

Multi-Session Courses (teens and adults)

(C) indicates a particular focus on climate, (B) a particular focus on biodiversity
A * before the title indicates materials that would be particularly good for congregations just beginning their journey.

 

*Cherishing the Earth
(Margot and Martin Hodson, 2008)

Six online Bible studies derived from the book of the same name, published by BRF. Can be used with or without the book.  Each study has materials for discussing the theme, reflecting on particular passages, prayer, and practical applications. Themes are: Why cherish the earth, how to care biblically, careless dominion, impact on the poor, redressing the balance, and the future. Excellent introduction for churches beginning their explorations.

 

Christianity, Climate Change and Sustainable Living
(Nick Spencer and Robert White, Jubilee Centre and Tearfund, 2008)
Five Bible studies – they tie in with the book of the same name, but you don’t need the book to use them. Each covers a key area: creation, what it means to be made in the image of God, sin and redemption, love of neighbour, and what sustainable living might look like. Each session has an ice breaker activity, materials for praise and prayer, a study, background information, a challenge and a summary.

 

*Climate Change and the Purposes of God
(Operation Noah)
Operation Noah’s ‘Ash Wednesday Declaration’ challenged the Church to recognise that care for creation in general – and responding to climate change in particular – is a key part of Christian mission. It did this by framing the challenges and responses to climate change in the light of seven Biblical themes: finding joy in creation, listening to the prophets, repentance, taking responsibility, seeking justice, loving neighbours, and acting with hope.  The five sessions of this study pick up those themes – each includes material from the Declaration, a Bible passage relating to it, and suggestions for discussion and action. This study is no longer on Operation Noah’s website; contact us for materials.

 

*Exploring God’s Green Word
(Studies originally written by Revd Dr David Pickering of the URC for ‘Roots and Branches’, modified for A Rocha Canada)
Five Bible studies that explore what different parts of Scripture – Genesis, the Pentateuch, Psalms, the Gospels, and the New Testament Letters – have to say about God, creation and humanity. Accessible, single page sessions have suggested Bible passages, background to the passages, discussion starters on the theological themes the passages raise, and a challenge to take away.

 

Mission and Creation Care for Christian Disciples
(Written by the Revd John Weaver for JRI and Tearfund)
Five sessions that aim “to mobilise congregations and churches in living out the mission of God and to see individual lives, communities, and the environment flourish. A core feature of this is to challenge congregations and communities in the UK to change their values from individual consumerism to justice and sustainability both locally and globally.” Sessions cover renewing our understanding of mission; the call to care for creation;  the challenge to sustainable lifestyles;  a biblical approach to economics; and the Church’s role as an agent of change.” Downloadable as A4 or A5 booklet.

 

Radical Presence
(A project of Green Christian, 2020)
What kind of world do we want to see emerge after the coronavirus pandemic? This seven-session course offers space to reflect on that question from a Christian perspective. Each session has a theme, which is explored in liturgy, conversation and reflection. The course isn’t a ‘Bible study’ course in the customary sense – so some of the passages for reflection are Scriptural and others are drawn from secular sources.

 

Saying Yes to Life 
(Ruth Valerio – Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book 2020)
Saying Yes to Life follows the creation story in Genesis 1. Each chapter explores the element of creation from a given day (earth, waters, etc) – following references to it throughout the Bible, looking at how it is affected by the current environmental crisis, and offering suggestions for prayer and action to protect it.  Mingling theological reflection and case studies drawn from different global contexts, the book offers a rich mix of things to ponder. There’s quite a lot of material, so it may be better for people who are already engaged.  SPCK produced some very engaging videos to accompany the book – you might want to take a look at these just on their own.

 

*Tenants of the King
(Operation Noah)
“Tenants of the King is a new Bible-based, Jesus-centred resource… designed to help you and your church consider what the Bible has to say about today’s climate crisis.” Particularly useful for congregations which may not be used to thinking of climate as a Christian issue.

The full study guide includes booklets with materials for four 1-hr interactive group sessions; video interviews* with Rt Revd. Graham Tomlin (Bishop of Kensington), Rev. Mark Melluish (New Wine), Dr Ruth Valerio (Tearfund) and Dr Justin Thacker (Cliff College); and Leaders’ Notes.

Single copies of the booklets can be ordered on the Operation Noah website (£2.99 each); for information on full multimedia study guide email admin@operationnoah.org.* Note – Single booklet orders do not include access to videos.

 

Studies and courses for young people

All Things
(Young Evangelicals for Climate Action)
Six theological reflections with questions for discussion.

 

Connected: God, us and the earth we stand on 
(Christian Aid Collective)
A three-part series ” to help explore the reality of climate change, its impact on people and the planet, and our role as a prophetic generation of hope-bringers.” The sessions contain background information on climate change and climate impacts, Bible study, discussion starters, prayer and suggestions for action.