A. Call to Worship
Ps. 103:1-5 - "Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits - who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."
B. Responsive Reading
LEADER: Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
PEOPLE: We are here to praise the LORD and remember God's good gifts. He forgives all our sins and heals all our diseases and satisfies our desires for good things.
LEADER: We remember that Jesus healed all the sick.
PEOPLE: We remember that Christ came that we might have abundant life, life to the full.
ALL: Praise the LORD, who creates us, sustains us, and reconciles us, praise his holy name.
C. Prayer of Confession Gracious One, we come before You seeking your mercy. Christ, we acknowledge that you are our Savior, you are the Great Physician, healer of body and soul. We acknowledge that we have sinned against you by hurting others. We recognize that pollution hurts others by impacting their health and we have participated in activities that produce pollution. We pray that you help us to repent. Help us find ways to reduce our pollution and that which our society creates. Empower us to travel the road of repentance. Amen.
D. Prayer of Thanks Gracious One, all good gifts are from you. All that we have is yours. Jesus, you came that we might have abundant life, a life filled with your grace and your spirit. Thank you for physical and spiritual health. Thank you for those who love us and help keep us healthy and fill our lives with joy. Bless these monetary gifts, these tokens of our gratitude for all your many blessings, including the blessing of health. Amen.
E. Children's Sermon
Have the children hold their breath for as long as they can and then raise their hands when they've exhaled and breathed in again. "Now imagine what it would be like if right as you were taking that breath a person stronger than you came along and put his hands over your nose and mouth to prevent you from breathing, or punched you in the stomach and knocked the wind out of you. Think how desperate you would be for a breath. That's what it can be like when you have asthma. Who knows someone with asthma? Is it any fun when they get an asthma attack and have trouble breathing? One of the things that brings on an attack of asthma is dirty air or air pollution. Where does air pollution come from? It comes from cars and trucks that use gasoline and from power plants that use coal to create electricity. The Bible tells us that Jesus healed people who were hurt or sick. Do you think Jesus would want us to help children with asthma by reducing our pollution? How can we do that?"
X. Ten Things You Can Do
1. Have a consistent time of prayer and bible study so that you are better able to fulfill the Great Commandments to love God and love what God loves. Ask God for spiritual contentment, the cure for overconsumption.
2. Study and reflect more on what the Bible says about human health. Learn how environmental problems impact health. Pray for wisdom and guidance on what to do.
3. Learn about your local drinking water. Read your water system's Consumer Confidence Report, available from your water supplier -- and it may be online at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/.
4. Pay attention to air pollution reports and limit children's outdoor activities on ozone alert days and other times when air pollution is bad.
5. Cut down on air pollution by using public transportation, driving less, using fuel efficient vehicles, making your home more energy efficient, selecting electricity produced by green power if it is available in your area; buying products with EPA's Energy Star label, and practicing the three Rs - reduce, reuse, recycle.
6. Choose to use fewer chemicals, in your home, on your lawn. Don't use pesticides if you don't have to - look for alternatives. Use these cleaning ingredients: water, soap, white vinegar, baking soda, borax, and hydrogen peroxide.
7. Ask your pediatric health care provider to take an environmental health history of your child. Have your child's blood lead level tested, especially if your child spends time in a house built before 1960.
8. Vary children's diets as much as possible while giving them plenty of fruits and vegetables. Consider buying organic foods if available.
9. Tell your elected officials that you want government policies to protect children's health.
10. Support the Healthy Families, Healthy Environment campaign EEN will launch in the fall of 2001 by praying for its success, making a financial contribution to EEN, and telling others about it and encouraging them to visit the special web site, www.healthyfamiliesnow.net - available in mid-October.