Eco-Justice Ministries
   Eco-Justice: "the well-being of all humankind on a thriving Earth"
 

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Eco-Curriculum Review for the title
Caring for Creation Now!

This is the general report format.

Short Description:   Five-session, four page discussion guide works through ELCA´s social statement, "Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice." (www.webofcreation.org/LENS/socialstatementelca.html)
Long Description:   Discussion guide includes quoted material directly taken from the ELCA social statement. This study is intended to be a discussion starter, a way to help congregations integrate the vision put forward into a community context.

Section 1. Statement Summary. The social statement articulates the church’s vision of creation including the unique role of humanity in creation. Throughout this section relationship, interdependence, and connection of the human community to the rest of God’s creation is emphasized.
Section 2: Statement Summary. The statement tells of the urgency of our ecological problems.
Section 3: Statement Summary. This section of the statement lays out for us the reasons for going on, for believing that sin and captivity will not have the last word.
Section 4: Statement Summary. Section 4 of the social statement articulates the call to justice. It lays out four principles by which we can gauge the justice of our actions.
Section 5: The final section of the social statement outlines the commitments of this church, as individual members, as a worshiping and learning community, a committed community, a community of moral deliberation and as advocates.
Reviewed by:   Vicki Hesse, an Episcopal seminary student in Colorado

Bibliographic & Purchasing Information
Author:   Lutheran Earthkeeping Network of the Synods (LENS)
Publisher:   online
Publication date:   1993 Website for this resource:   www.elca.org/advocacy/environment/cfc_discussionGuide.pdf

Target Audience & Course Sessions
Age levels Preschool    Primary    Jr. High     Sr. High     Adult
The reviewer specifies:   Discussion guide could work for Sr. High group.
NOTE: Our reviewer may have checked a wider age range than specified in the curriculum itself.
Optimum class size The reviewer did not comment - assume 10-20 
Normal number/length of sessions If the curriculum's normal lesson plan is followed, there will be 5 class sessions
Are suggestions included for expanding/contracting the series? No guideline given for length of sessions  
In the judgement of the reviewer:
 using these materials, or even just one session from them, a reasonable, coherent and self-contained class can be offered in a single session of about an hour.
 using these materials, a class can be offered that runs for at least two sessions.
Are learners expected to do homework? Helpful if participants have read the social statement before beginning the study.  
Target audience:
 Interfaith - addressed people of many faiths
 Judeo-Christian - addressed to Jews & Christians
 Christian - addressed explicitly to Christians
 Not explicity faith-based - not much religious content
Note: The reviewer says that this curriculum is especially appropriate for members of the denomination or agency that developed it (Lutheran). For example, it may explore a denominational policy statement. The reviewer also believes that it is possible for groups outside that tradition to make good use these materials.

Materials provided
Materials include:
 Leader's guide
 Student book
 Discussion questions
 Class activities - arts & crafts
 Class activities - group participation 
 Video
 Reading materials
 Presentation or lecture notes
 Prayer or worship resources
 

Other supportive materials provided: Simple, four page overview of discussion is both leader and participant guide.
Other materials required:none specified
Description of the Leader's Guide:DISCUSSION GUIDE FOR CONGREGATIONAL USE is based on the ELCA social statement Caring for Creation:Vision, Hope and Justice. This study is intended to be a discussion starter, a way to help you integrate some of the vision put forward into this statement into your own community context. As a discussion guide, it is very open-ended for the leader.
Description of the Student's Book:DISCUSSION GUIDE FOR CONGREGATIONAL USE is based on the ELCA social statement Caring for Creation:Vision, Hope and Justice. This study is intended to be a discussion starter, so the participants can work through the social statement in an open-ended manner.

Materials review & Assessment of usability
Are all necessary materials provided in an accessible format? Minimal - the gist is present, but the leader will need to work at organizing or completing it  
Is the leader's guide comprehensive? Minimal - the gist is present, but the leader will need to work at organizing or completing it  
Are class sessions clearly outlined? Minimal - the gist is present, but the leader will need to work at organizing or completing it  
Will it be helpful to have a teacher with above-average expertise in the subject matter? Helpful to have teacher expertise  
Preparation time required by the leader:
Subjectively rated as heavy, medium or light
Light 

Content focus
Is this curriculum explicitly focused on environmental awareness or action? Yes, as one of several emphases  
Does this curriculum deal with a specific environmental issue or problem? No specific issue was described.  
How is the scope of the environmental impact positioned?  Impact on specific human communities
 Impact on humans in general
 Impact on humans and non-human parts of creation
 Impact on non-human parts of creation only  
Does the curriculum address questions of social or economic justice in relation to environmental issues? Yes - as part of the topic  
Biblical/theological content
Does the curriculum have explicit biblical or theological content? Yes, as one theme among several  
How are the Biblical materials used? Individual texts are presented as meaningful ('proof texts')
Several texts are developed to show a larger biblical theme
Texts are placed in a historical or cultural context
Texts are presented as authoritative
Students are invited to comment/reflect on the meaning or authority of texts
Biblical texts are of equal importance to other scriptures/readings  
The checked statements reflect how ethical guidelines are grounded The Bible tells us how we should live/act
A theological tradition or other authority tells us how we should live/act
We should make decisions about how to live/act based on defined ethical norms
Caring for creation is an assumed norm  
The curriculum views humanity's role in creation as:
The checked lines are clearly affirmed
Domination - God created the Earth for human use; there are no real restrictions on what we can or should do.
Stewardship - "The Earth is the Lord's"" and humans are in a position of managing the creation according to God's will.
Partner - Humans are part of the web of creation, and participate in it as one species among many.
Intruder - Humans are separate from nature, and inherently destructive.
In evaluating changes to "solve" environmental problems, does the curriculum tend toward an approach that is: Confessional - I/we need to change
Confrontational - Some other person, policy or institutions needs to change
Combination - a mix of confessional and confrontational

Content approach
Which of these are a primary target outcome of the curriculum?  Increase awareness or concern about the environment in general
 Increase awareness of concern about a specific environmental issue
 Acquiring factual knowledge about an issue
 Changing or deepening personal beliefs
 Change in self-awareness or self-identity
 Changes in personal behaviors or lifestyle choices
 Influence on institutional (church or other) practices
 Increased political advocacy
 No change, or goal not clear
Range of perspectives offered:   A single perspective is offered
  Compares 2 or more perspectives
  A diversity of perspectives presented


Eco-Justice Ministries   *   400 S Williams St, Denver, CO   80209   *   Home Page: www.eco-justice.org
Eco-Justice Ministries ended all programming on July 31, 2020. This site is an archive of writings and resources.
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