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
Faith and Nature: The Divine Adventure of Life on Earth

This is the general report format.
Shorter and more detailed report formats are also available for this title.

Short Description:   Faith and Nature is an eight-session, downloadable, intergenerational, faith-formation resource focused on appreciating and living in harmony with God´s creation. Individual sessions may be used as stand-alone.
Long Description:   This intergenerational spiritual formation program explores and embraces how God is at work in nature, using the Anglican approach of scripture, tradition, reason, experience and fun!

Learners will build awareness and appreciation of our spiritual connection to Creation/nature in a traditional way that prepares participants to bring hope and faithful action to today´s ecological concerns.

Session Titles include:

  • Our Friendly Universe
  • Our Earthly Home
  • Our Plant Neighbors
  • Our Animal Neighbors
  • Our Amazing Brain
  • Our Human Neighbors
  • Our Loving Creator
Our Response to Grace
Reviewed by:   Phyllis Zoon, Presbyterian Stewardship of Creation Enabler in New Jersey

Bibliographic & Purchasing Information
Author:   Phyllis Strupp
Publisher:   Morehouse Education Resources
Publication date:   2010 Website for this resource:   www.churchpublishing.org/faithandnature
We know of 1 source for purchasing this resource.
Address Morehouse Education Resources
Church Publishing Incorporated
445 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY   10016  
Phone   Fax  
Website www.morehouseeducation.org E-mail    
Price $49.00 - downloadable with permission to reproduce  Order #  

Target Audience & Course Sessions
Age levels Preschool     Primary     Jr. High     Sr. High     Adult
The reviewer specifies:   Explicitly intergenerational; also works well with all 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 8 class sessions each lasting about 40-60 minutes
Are suggestions included for expanding/contracting the series? The Program Guide provides a flexible 6-step method for building a formation program that meets an individual organizationīs needs based on 1) community building goal, 2) choice of sessions to meet your formation goals, 3) program structure [series of sessions, single session, book study], 4) time of year, 5) session length, and 6) day and time

It also gives 3 examples of using the curriculum including 1) a multigenerational formation program for a congregation - 8 sessions; 2) a clergy formation program to build awareness on science and religion integration and spiritual outreach to the public on ecological and well-being concerns - 4 session; 3) a "Bring-a-friend" spiritual outreach formation program especially suited for Earth Day, using Session 2 as a stand-alone 60 minute program.  

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? It would depend on the structure of the course you are offering. Each lesson plan is based on a chapter of the book "The Richest of Fare" and it is very helpful and a real pleasure to read that book! But the most relevant extracts are included in the "Reason" section of each session, and the 5-10 pages marked as "Readings" could be given to participants for reading ahead of time.  
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 (Episcopal Church). 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: The curriculum itself is one document of about 250 pages containing the Program Guide and the eight Sessions. Each Session includes info for the leader: an Intro, Opening Prayer, and Crafts for Kids. It then moves through Experience, Scripture, Tradition, Reason, a Summary, ties to the Millennium Development Goals, Celebration, and Closure (including a "spiritual present to take home" which is really good!). There are also beautiful photos that can be used in the discussion. In addition to the LeaderÂīs Guide info, there is a section with Readings selected for "The Richest of Fare" for handouts before or during the session.
Other materials required:none specified
Description of the Leader's Guide:There is no separate Leaderīs Guide - the curriculum is one document of about 250 pages containing the Program Guide and the eight Sessions. Each Session includes particular info for the leader: an Intro, Opening Prayer, and Crafts for Kids. It then moves through Experience, Scripture, Tradition, Reason, a Summary, ties to the Millennium Development Goals, Celebration, and Closure. There are also beautiful photos that can be used in the discussion.
Description of the Student's Book:There is no separate Student´s Book since the curriculum is one document. However, each of the chapters has a section with readings selected for "The Richest of Fare" for handouts before or during the session.

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? Yes - materials are very well laid out and comprehensive  
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? Not Necessary to have teacher expertise  
Preparation time required by the leader:
Subjectively rated as heavy, medium or light
Medium - about 1-4 hours for preparing for the session. The curriculum is designed for leaders who do not have an extensive background in the subject area but who do love God and God´s creation and are willing to take the lead in facilitating conversations. 

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 environmental issue or problem. It is much more of a faith formation resource.  
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
Other:   There is a connection to the Millennium Development Goals
Range of perspectives offered:   A single perspective is offered
  Compares 2 or more perspectives
  A diversity of perspectives presented
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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