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
Sacred Waters

This is the full report format.

Short Description:   A five-week adult Christian Education course on understanding and appreciating God’s wondrous gift of water. The course is easily adaptable to a number of different educational formats.
Long Description:   The study explores many of the main water themes that run through the Bible, including creation,sustenance, purification, and transformation. The curriculum invites participants to think about how these themse tell us about God and the relationship God would like us to have with the waters God created. Each session covers a specific aspect of the sacred gift of water:

SESSION 1 – God’s Gift of Water
SESSION 2 – The Miracle of Water
SESSION 3 – Water as Sustenance
SESSION 4 – Water as Purifier
SESSION 5 – Living Water

Each topic can be taught as a discrete unit or in conjunction with the other sessions. If possible, Session 5 should be taught outside at a nearby water body. The session guides are divided into two parts: a background piece for the facilitator and a guide for a suggested structure for the class itself. No specific educational background is needed to teach the course. All of the session guides include the following components:

Opening Meditation
Introduction to Today’s Session
Scripture Reading and Teaching
Activity
Suggested Spiritual Exercise for the Week Ahead
Closing Prayer

This format is designed to allow both academic and spiritual involvement with the material. Often, there will be too much material to cover in one week. Feel free to pick and choose the parts that seem most suited to your class, and take them in any order you wish. The session guide is included only as a suggestion. The specific structure of a given class should be altered to meet the needs of a given class.

Bibliographic & Purchasing Information
Author:   Beth Norcross
Publisher:   Eco-Justice Working Group of NCC
Publication date:   2006 Website for this resource:   www.nccecojustice.org/network/

Target Audience & Course Sessions
Age levels Preschool    Primary    Jr. High     Sr. High     Adult
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 each lasting about 1 to 1.5 hours
Are suggestions included for expanding/contracting the series? The materials do not provide specific suggestions.  
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? No homework between sessions  
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

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: The first half of the downloaded document includes rich literature about church, community, institutional and social considerations regarding water.
Other materials required:Each session´s craft materials are listed in curriculum (too many too list here).
Description of the Leader's Guide:Leader´s guide and student´s book are the same book. For this reason, the leader will want to read the first half of the document well in advance, and perhaps refer back to certain sections during each session. The session guides are divided into two parts: a background piece for the facilitator and a guide for a suggested structure for the class itself. No specific educational background is needed to teach the course. All of the session guides include the following components:

Opening Meditation
Introduction to Today’s Session
Scripture Reading and Teaching
Activity
Suggested Spiritual Exercise for the Week Ahead
Closing Prayer

This format is designed to allow both academic and spiritual involvement with the material. Often, there will be too much material to cover in one week. Feel free to pick and choose the parts that seem most suited to your class, and take them in any order you wish. The session guide is included only as a suggestion. The specific structure of a given class should be altered to meet the needs of a given class.

Description of the Student's Book:The student book is the same as the Leader´s guide. The Leader could prepare a separate book that includes only the outline of the day, if desired. Actual text is not necessary (but helpful) for the participants to get full appreciation of the topic.

Materials review & Assessment of usability
Are all necessary materials provided in an accessible format? Yes - materials are very well laid out and comprehensive  
Is the leader's guide comprehensive? Adequate - all necessary information is present  
Are class sessions clearly outlined? Yes - materials are very well laid out and comprehensive  
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
MEDIUM: Leader should read first 26 pages of the downloadable guide in preparation. In addition, the leader will want to read through each sessions outline and practice the craft exercise. 

Content focus
Is this curriculum explicitly focused on environmental awareness or action? Yes, as a primary focus  
Does this curriculum deal with a specific environmental issue or problem? Water  
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  
Does the curriculum provide detailed content in a particular academic area?   For example, is there significant content in biology, physics, sociology, economics, etc.?
Biblical & theological content are covered below
Curriculum provides detailed content about water in a very accessible manner. This is a major part of the curriculum and it is not technical.  
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

Subjective Reviewer Feedback
In general, would you use this program with your congregation/organization? Why or why not?
The reviewer did not answer this question
What specific feedback do you have after reviewing these materials? What did you like? What did you not like?
The reviewer did not answer this question
What questions did you have after reviewing the materials?
The reviewer did not answer this question
What, if any, concerns do you have about the use or implementation of this curriculum?
The reviewer did not answer this question
What content, if any, does this program seem to be missing? What would you like this program to cover which it does not?
The reviewer did not answer this question
Have you ever used this program in the past, or heard of others who have used it? What if any response was received?
The reviewer did not answer this question


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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