Imagine that…

…all congregations had a sense of how they fit into the local ecosystems, watershed and foodshed. Local soils, plants and animals are familiar to members and they understand how to be careful stewards in this setting. Awe and gratitude are common responses. Members are aware of the environmental issues in their community, and some are intimately involved in addressing them.

Top Picks

Reinhabiting Bioregional Faith and Practice

Watershed Discipleship

A book edited by Ched Myers

This collection introduces and explores “watershed discipleship” as a critical, contextual, and constructive approach to ecological theology and practice. Watershed Discipleship is a “triple entendre” that recognizes we are in a watershed historical moment of crisis, focuses on our intrinsically bioregional locus as followers of Jesus, and urges us to become disciples of our watersheds. The authors of the essays included are emerging voices from a generation that has grown up under the shadow of climate catastrophe.

Rural Community in the Context of Urban Civilization

Healing God's Earth

by S. Roy Kaufman
“This book reads the Bible through the lenses of rural communities…It turns out that local, face-to-face communities, both rural and urban, along with traditional cultures of all stripes, are God’s chosen instruments for the subversive, non-violent disarming of urban civilization and the healing of God’s earth.”

A book by Todd Wynward

Rewilding the Way

“Packed with inspiring stories of how contemporary people and groups are caring for the land and each other, Rewilding the Way issues a call to action. Read about how re-skilling and local food covenants are transforming churches, and how place-based activism and creative housing are nurturing communities. Learn from those who are recovering from affluenza, replacing visions of personal wealth with the commonwealth of the earth and restoring their humble place in the community of creation. Do you despair about life on our changing planet? Join the hopeful band of seekers of God and makers of change who are rewilding the Way.”

A book by David George Haskell

The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watch in Nature

Haskell spent a year observing a circle of land about one meter in diameter. The author brings both the training of a biologist and a sense of holy ground to his role as witness. For example, in one early chapter, Haskell finds deer prints and nibbled viburnum leaves and riffs on the ecosystem within a deer’s rumen that enables it to digest cellulose. In another chapter, he zeroes in on a tussock moth caterpillar crawling across the circle. What would happen if we all showered this kind of attention on the nature near us?

A book by Jeff Wild and Peter Bakken

Church on Earth: Grounding Your Ministry in a Sense of Place

“Place is an important dimension of the church’s existence, one that has received little theological attention,” Wild and Bakken point out. As they explore what it means to be a “placed” congregation, sensitive to physical surroundings, things like gardens, energy efficiency and hospitality to other species take on new significance for the Christian life. This slim book has four chapters, each followed by four discussion questions. It is suitable for an adult Christian education unit.