Lantern-Making Discussion Exercise

Scripture: Genesis 1:1-5; Psalm 148:1-13

Awe in Nature

Discussion: Invite participants to spend 5 minutes writing a brief description of a spiritual experience they have had in the natural world. The experience can be recent or in the distant past, subtle or dramatic, characterized by awe, wonder, fear, peace or joy. The experience may have taken place in the countryside or on a city street. What is important for this exercise is that the experience is spiritually meaningful to the person who recalls it.

  • write (bring index cards/scratch paper) (5 minutes)
  • share in small groups (10-15 minutes)
  • share in large group – what themes did you hear? What was interesting? How have people’s spiritual experiences in nature
  • impacted their relationships with God? (5-10 minutes)

IMG_0680Loss of Nature

Discussion: Share an experience of loss – a habitat destroyed for development, contaminated waters, an awareness of change related to climate change. What happened and what did it mean to you? How do you you feel about it now. (20-30 minutes)

  • write for 5 minutes (bring index cards/scratch paper) (5 minutes)
  • share in small groups (10-15 minutes)
  • share in large group – what themes did you hear? What was interesting? (5-10 minutes)

Praying for the Climate

Discussion: The global United Methodist Church will gather in Portland, OR in May to discuss legislation for the denomination–the rules for the church and how it is organized. On May 12, there will be a prayer vigil for the climate as a way of lifting up our collective prayers for the climate crisis. Methodists worldwide will be making lanterns decorated with their prayers for the climate and climate change impacts that will be carried by delegates and visitors.

  • brainstorm a list: what should participants pray for?
  • decorate lanterns with prayers
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