To Serve and Guard the Earth

God’s Creation Story and Our Environmental Concern

Beth Bojarski


ISBN-13: 9781606740590



To Serve and Guard the Earth is a practical parish or small-group resource suitable for High School groups and Adults (its 6 sessions make it also suitable for Lenten use) that connects the growing Christian environmental concern with the theology of creation in Genesis. It not only provides the participants with a greater understanding of the scriptural accounts of creation and the environmental problems facing us today, but also encourages the participants to make practical applications to change their everyday lives and enhance important environmental values.  

The resource is divided into six sessions related to the 7 days of creation (session 2 combines Genesis days 2 and 4) and environmental concerns related to the days.  

  • Session 1: Day 1––Light / energy consumption, outdoor light pollution
  • Session 2: Days 2/4––Sea & Sky / potable water, air pollution, climate change
  • Session 3: Day 3––Land & Plants / deforestation, industrialization, waste management
  • Session 4: Day 5––Birds & Fish/ habitat destruction, species extinction
  • Session 5: Day 6––Land Creatures / consumption & greed, human disparity, overpopulation
  • Session 6: Day 7––Rest & Reflection / being content with life, the importance of rest    

Each of the six sessions in To Serve and Guard the Earth includes several components, all of which are available when you download the resource. Reproduce them as you need to for your group. The components are the:

Leader Guide includes everything you need to facilitate the session:  

  • Session Preview: Get organized using this at-a-glance preview of the session. Easily identify the session focus, goals for the participants, supplies needed and relevant teaching tips.   Session Guide: Each session follows a similar format:
  • Opening Activities: Reading the Scriptures, Prayer, Check-in
  • Exploration Activities: For Scripture, For the related Environmental Concerns
  • Additional Activities (optional): Expand and deepen the group’s experience of scripture and of the related environmental concerns by including  one or more of the enrichment activities depending on the time available.
  • Closing Activities: Review, At Home this Week, Closing Prayer  

Participant Handout: Each week, the reproducible Participant Handout encourages your participants to prepare at home to be ready to discuss more intelligently the scripture readings and related environmental concerns found in each session. You as a leader must also be familiar with this information in the Participant Handout since it will be essential for leading the session activities and helping the participants with their questions and concerns. The Participant Handout for each session includes:  

  • Scripture passages (NRSV version)  
  • Scripture Background  
  • Environmental Concerns Background  
  • Suggestions for What to Do This Week both in general and at home to follow up on the session  

Additional Handouts For each session you will find other helpful reproducible handouts to copy and share with the participants if you wish. Also included are several handouts that help the leader to understand and facilitate the sessions. These include:  

  • Author’s Introduction (Background to the Resource)  
  • For the Leader (Brief overview of the Resource)  
  • Preparing a Session  
  • Leading a Small Group  
  • Overview of the Six Sessions  
  • Teaching Tips  

Beth Bojarski, currently Diocesan Youth Director for the Episcopal Diocese of Kentucky, holds a Master in Theological Studies from Virginia Theological Seminary and a Master in Outdoor and Environmental Education from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Cortland.   Born and raised in a small rural town, she has been paddling and hiking since childhood in the Finger Lakes area of Central New York and in the Adirondack Park. Beth has taught teambuilding and outdoor skills classes to youth and adults for several outdoor organizations including Cornell University and Recreational Equipment, Inc (REI). While at Virginia Theological Seminary, Beth re-established an Environmental Concerns Committee, encouraging the community to be more mindful of God’s good creation in theological and practical ways.   Beth has combined her theological expertise with her environmental passion to produce this six session parish or small-group resource that correlates the Judeo-Christian theology of Creation from the book of Genesis with down-to-earth suggestions for practical applications that change our everyday lives and enhance important environmental values.

 “Beth Bojarski provides a valuable new resource for those who want to dig deeper into the Genesis 2:15 call to “tend and guard” the garden—God’s green earth. Filled with practical ideas that will help you put your faith into action 365 days a year, Bojarski’s study program provides simple ways we can show our love for the Creator by caring for His creation. When the Church takes a leadership role in earth stewardship, it will be good. Very good.” - Matthew Sleeth, director of Blessed Earth and author of The Gospel According to the Earth

 “Beth Bojarski has done what others have only tried to do: set the care of Creation in clear, teachable, Biblical terms that both edifies the environmentalist and guides the skeptic to new understanding. This work is as thoughtful, balanced, informative, and practical a guide as the Church has to offer, and it will become the standard tool for environmental literacy in the Church for the foreseeable future.” - The Rev. J. Matthew Tucker,Christ Church, Bordentown, NJ  

“Beth has captured her love of the environment as God’s Creation in this work. She asks each of us to be open and to examine our own beliefs. Through a positive learning environment of small group interaction, she wants to help others understand who we are in the midst of God’s world.This curriculum is beautifully written and easy to implement in a variety of settings. The lessons are clear yet do not assume that everyone will arrive at the same answer.” - Amy Dyer, Associate Dean of Students, Virginia Theological Seminary



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