Time For Assembly

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Assembly Title
World Environment Day

Submitted by
Paul De Tullio

Age Group

To remember the fragile balance that is held in the environment that we live in

Faith Group

OHP - & environmental images
Candles & cloth
Sticks & leaves and images of the environment
CD – music of nature music.
Other objects to make a focus
Genesis – 1- 2:4a – as adapted from Sr. Bernadette Kylie ‘In the Beginning’ The story of God’s People
‘The Sacred Balance’ – Howard Shapely
facts from KESAB
Ecology Prayer by Michael Leunig

Igniting the Spark – Margaret Abbott

Time of Year
World Environment Day

Background music is being played through the whole of this prayer and the volume fades and increases at set times.

Today we remember the fragile balance that is held in the environment that we live in. Today is ‘World Environment Day’.

Environment means all the surrounding things, conditions and influences affecting the growth or development of living things.

Your next breath will contain more than 400,000 of argon atoms that Ghandi breathed in his long life. Argon atoms are here from the conversations at the Last Supper … and from the recitation of the great poets. We have argon from the sighs and pledges of ancient lovers, from cries at Waterloo.

Air exits your nose to go right up your neighbour’s nose. In everyday life we absorb atoms from the air that were once a part of birds and trees and snakes and worms … The longer each of us lives, the greater the likelihood that we will absorb atoms that were once apart of Joan of Arc and Jesus Christ, of the Neanderthal people … As we have breathed in our forebears, so our children and their grandchildren will take us in with their breath. The spirit we share … binds us up inseparably with the past and the future, every breath is a sacrament, an affirmation of our connection with all other living things.

{Sign of the Cross-} In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Let us pray, Lord God, Creator of the universe,
You have given us this world to enjoy and to cherish.
Help us to appreciate its beauty and to take good care of it.
Teach us to be aware of our environment
To save what is re-useable
To keep our waterways clean
To renew our forests
To protect our native flora
To safeguard our native flora
To safeguard our wildlife and
To care for our pets at home
We make this prayer through Christ our Lord.

Pause – music increases for 30 seconds – after this it fades low again

A Reading from the Book of Genesis.
Here is a first story, which Israel told about the beginning.

It was dark and black. Pitch black. There was a roar of swirling waters. Water was everywhere. Darkness was everywhere. Nobody could have lived in those dark, murky waters. Nothing was alive.

God breathed over these black, evil waters. God’s breath quietened the roar of the waters and pierced the darkness. At last there was light. Light and Darkness. Day and Night. That was how we came to have Daytime and Nighttime.

Next, God put a great dome, something like a huge, oval lid, into the middle of the swirling, dark waters. Some of the waters were now above the dome, and some were below it. The dome formed the Sky. From the waters below God separated out solid, dry land. That was how we came to have Earth and Sea and Sky.

Pause – music increases for 30 seconds – after this it fades low again

I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible
the Nicene Creed

We must go to the source of the ecological problem and face it in its entirety. The destruction of the environment is only one troubling aspect.

We cannot interfere in one area of the ecosystem without thinking how the affects other areas and the well being of the future generations
– Pope John Paul II

The World cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our feet and to learn to be at home – Wendell Berry.

Pause – music increases for 30 seconds – after this it fades low again

So now there was Night and Day, Earth and Sea and Sky. But there was nothing on Earth, nothing in the Sea and nothing under the Sky. They were plain, so very plain and empty. So God made lovely plants and colourful flowers to adorn the Land. Next beautiful lights were made to brighten the Sky. The Sun lit up the Day, while the Moon and the Stars gave the less light at Night.

But still more was needed to make the scene lively and active. So the Sea was stocked with fish and great water creatures and birds were made to fly overhead. Cattle and other animals were allowed to roam the Earth. The world had come alive. There was plenty of movement and beautiful, beautiful colour.

Pause – music increases for 30 seconds – after this it fades low again

We who have lost our sense and our senses – our touch, our smell, our vision of who we are 
we who frantically force and press all things, without rest for body or Spirit, hurting our earth and injuring ourselves; we call a halt. We want to rest. We need to rest and allow the earth to rest. We need to reflect and to rediscover the mystery that lives in us, that is the ground of every unique expression of life, the source of the fascination that calls all things to communion. We declare a Sabbath, a space of quiet; for simply being and for recovering the forgotten truths for learning how to live again. Amen
(A Call to Sabbath – UN Environmental Sabbath Program)

Pause – music increases for 30 seconds – after this it fades low again

Going Shopping?
Purchase Products with only the necessary amount of packaging.
Take your own reusable bags.
Consider the environmental impact of disposable products before purchase. What are the alternatives?
Buy products, which are recycled, reliable, recyclable, repairable, refillable, reusable.
Shop at stores, which offer the best range of environmentally friendly products.

What a Load of Rubbish?
1.3 million tonnes of garbage is dumped each year in South Australia – 1.2 tonnes for each person in the State.
By using and recycling our domestic waste we could reduce this volume by up to 50%.

What can we do here at (name of school) to reduce the resources we use?
- Use scraps of paper for taking notes.
- Establish a method for collecting recyclable items from both within school and from the community.
- Start a compost pile from lunch scraps and waste from the ovals and gardens.
- Implement a policy in the school that asks all students and teachers to write on both sides of a sheet of paper.
- Switch off lights when we leave a room.
- Conduct an environmental audit of our school's use of water, packaging in the canteen, photocopying, how we recycle, energy uses and abuse.

Pause – music increases for 30 seconds – after this it fades low again

This had all taken five very long Days. On the sixth Day, God completed this great work of making Night and Day, Earth and Sea and Sky and making them all so wonderfully alive and absolutely beautiful. God made Humanity on the sixth Day. The Human was both a man and a woman. The Human even looked a little like God.

And God was every pleased with all this great work, particularly with the Human.

This is how the Biblical story tells the ending of this story:

And on the seventh day God, finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had done in creation.

Pause – music increases for 30 seconds – after this it fades low again

We pray for the fragile ecology of the heart and mind.
The sense of meaning.
So finely assembled and balanced and so easily overturned.
The careful, ongoing construction of love.
As painful and exhausting as the struggle for truth and as easily abandoned.
Hard fought and won are the shifting sands of the sacred ground, this ecology.
Easy to desecrate and difficult to defend, this vulnerable joy, this exposed faith, this precious order. This sanity.
We shall be careful. With others and with ourselves.

{Sign of the Cross} In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

S. Daly 2000

Last updated 24-7-12.