By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

Diann Neu writes that she first experienced the presence of God in the rhythm of the earth. Growing up on a small lake in Indiana, each season brought its own gift. But her heart breaks when she sees and learns about ecological destruction, especially when she returns to childhood holy places in nature and finds that the migration of birds, the native plants, and the health of the soil have all been impacted by human caused environmental destruction.

Maybe you will take this prayer out to a beautiful place under the canopy of open sky and read it aloud, allowing the blessings of the earth to be felt and noticed as God’s presence surrounds you. May we all return blessings.

Let us pray:

Return blessings, O Holy Ones,
So life’s cycles can continue with beauty, balance, and abundance.
May life’s cycles return blessings.

Return blessings, Sacred Earth,
So air, water, fire and food can nourish all we hold dear.
May air, water, fire and food return blessings.

Return blessings, Beloved Sisters and Brothers,
So all creation can share pleasure and do justice.
May all creation return blessings.

Return blessings, Crawling Creatures and Winged Friends.
So the earth can be renewed.
May the earth return blessings.

Return blessings, Trees, Flowers, Rivers, Mountains.
So nature can refresh all spirits.
May nature return blessings.

Return blessings, Stars, Moons, Planets, Galaxies,
So wonder can nourish all visions.
May wonder return blessings.

Return blessings, Changing Seasons,
So life’s cycles can continue in peace.
May life’s cycles return blessings.
—Diann Neu, b. 1948

Self-guided Vacation Bible School experience for the whole family. This VBS Curriculum grows out of a deep desire to more fully walk in the values of love and connection. Building off work in anti-racism, inclusion and social justice, CommUNITY Allies uses arts and crafts, movement challenges, music, and more to celebrate and inspire families of faith to join together—even as we are all apart. Join us to learn about empathy, community activism, and our global connections from the safety of your home.
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