Picturing God

Author-illustrator Ruth Goring depicts over a dozen biblical images for God, including “Word,” “Light,” “Living Water” and “Bread of Life.” Her text and illustrations combine to provide a brilliant balance of wisdom and whimsy, reverence and playfulness. Each captivating spread includes an array of mixed media such as mosaics, paper collage, fabric art and canvas backgrounds. Children of all ages will appreciate discovering new details in each scene as they explore the many ways God loves and cares for them (Beaming Books, 2019).

The Fabulous World That God Made

Children and caregivers alike will enjoy echoing author Joyce K. Ellis’ rhythmic text pattern as they read this vivid story of creation, with illustrations by Andrés F. Landazábal. The people, places and things of creation spring to life as you witness darkness and light, day and night, land and water, vegetation and creatures. By the final pages, you’ll be chanting “in the fabulous world that God made” together (Beaming Books, 2019).

For the Beauty of the Earth

Have you ever sung along to a picture book? This one will delight those who cherish the lyrics to the classic hymn “For the Beauty of the Earth,” composed by poet and teacher Folliott Sandford Pierpoint. Lucy Fleming’s illustrations nurture “all gentle thoughts and mild” with a striking palette throughout and pages of whimsical people and gorgeous nature scenes. Don’t be surprised if children with this book on their bookshelves light up with recognition the next time you sing hymn 879 in Evangelical Lutheran Worship during worship (Beaming Books, 2017).

Prayers of Creation

Authored by Anglican priest Ray Simpson, this slim volume of prayers draws on Celtic spirituality, using captivating language to describe creation’s wondrous array—sea and land, animals and vegetation. Simpson also includes prayers of sorrow, healing and forgiveness for the ways we have harmed God’s good creation. This prayer book will prove a welcome companion for those seeking intercessions for creation into their prayer lives. This excerpt shows the economy and humor in Simpson’s wordsmithing: “Father, bless the pet, also bless the vet” (Broadleaf Books, 2020).

Before Nature: A Christian Spirituality

ELCA pastor and scholar H. Paul Santmire has been forming a theology of creation for many decades and considers Before Nature to be “the culminating work of [my] scholarly and pastoral career.” But this work offers the ministry practitioner a rich framework for action, inviting the reader to consider how a theology of creation may intersect with evangelism efforts. Its prologue acknowledges the prevalence of the “nones” in the American religious landscape and proposes this question: What if a Christian spirituality of nature could help find common ground with spiritual seekers (Fortress Press, 2014)?

Love in a Time of Climate Change: Honoring Creation, Establishing Justice

Activist and retired United Methodist Church pastor Sharon Delgado provides a meaningful exploration and analysis of theology, climate change and environmental justice. Utilizing the discernment tools of Scripture, tradition, reason and experience, Delgado offers an in-depth look at the ways that scientifically demonstrated climate change intersects with the Christian call to creation care, with an emphasis on the worldviews and wisdom of indigenous peoples. Students of climate studies and theology will find its 12 chapters engaging, informative and faithful (Fortress Press, 2017).

A Watered Garden: Christian Worship and Earth’s Ecology

This title in the “Worship Matters” series connects worship patterns to deeper, richer understandings of the theology of ecology. Worship planners, Bible study groups, creation care teams and others interested in our deep bonds to the earth will find insights, surprises and calls to faithful action in its five chapters, each ending with questions for reflection and discussion. Author Benjamin M. Stewart calls readers to “draw on our very deepest liturgical and theological sources of wisdom, hope, and courage in this long-haul project of ecological healing” (Augsburg Fortress, 2011).

Dawn Rundman
Dawn Rundman is director of faith formation resource development at 1517 Media and assistant director of ELCA relations for Augsburg Fortress. She lives in Edina, Minn.

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