To s e rv e a n d g ua r d t h e e a rt h • S e s s i o n 1 • L i g h t 4Session Guide Notes Use name tags if the groupOpening Activities (10 minutes) members don’t know each other.Reading the ScripturesIf possible, read the passage in darkness or ask participants to close their eyes.Read aloud or invite a participant to read aloud Genesis 1:1-5 using a Bible or theParticipant Handout for Session 1. After time for quiet reflection, ask:• As you listened to the description of the first day of creation, in your imagination what did you hear, see, smell, taste or touch?• In our culture, how are light and dark used figuratively—not literally?• What connotations with these words are positive? Which are negative?PrayerAfter the discussion, invite the group to pray. Begin with an invitation like “Let uspray” or “The Lord be with you.” Then pray this prayer from the Episcopal Bookof Common Prayer, p. 827: Or use one of the alternate prayers from the Environmental Almighty and everlasting God, you made the universe with all its marvelous Prayers handout. order, its atoms, worlds, and galaxies, and the infinite complexity of living creatures: Grant that, as we probe the mysteries of your creation, we may come to know you more truly, and more surely fulfill our role in your eternal purpose; in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.Note: If you wish, in any session you may substitute for the opening or the closingprayer one of the alternate environmental prayers found on the reproduciblehandout Some Environmental Prayers.Check-inIt is important to welcome participants and to provide some time for personalintroductions. If the group is large (more than 12 people), divide it into smallergroups (about 6-8 per group). Invite each participant in the group(s) to share Be aware of the time and keep the sharing brief.their name and a little bit about why they are interested in this study.Ask them to keep their sharing to a few sentences to allow time for others to speakand for the material to be covered. To close, introduce yourself and share yourinterest in the study. Remember—our personal story is integral to understandingand opens up the opportunity for relationship building and respect.
To s e rv e a n d g ua r d t h e e a rt h • S e s s i o n 1 • L i g h t 5Exploration Activities (30-40 minutes) NotesScripture (20-25 minutes)Break the group into smaller groups of 3-4 participants. Provide each group withat least one Bible, some scrap paper and a pen or pencil. Give each group a copyof the pre-printed Bible reference lists and questions (found on the reproducible Use the handout Scripturehandout Scripture Questions for Small Groups). Explain that each group will Questions for Small Groups.have a set of Bible references and one or two specific questions to consider (somegroups may have the same as others depending on group size).Allow 8-10 minutes for groups to look up their verses and reflect on the questions.Encourage them to read a little before and after the specific verses to help withcontext. Tell the groups that they will have the opportunity to share their versesand findings with the large group at the end of the given time. Here are thequestions each group will explore and discuss.Group 1: Gospels (John 8:12 and 9:5; Matthew 5:16)• How do you interpret these references to light and darkness in the gospels?• What does it mean to “let your light shine” or that Jesus is the light?• Can you think of any connections between the light in these passages and the light created on the first day of creation?Group 2: the Letters (Ephesians 5:8-14a; 1 John 1:5-7, 2:9-11)• What does it mean to live in the light?• How should one do this?• How might you do this better?• Can you think of any connections between the light in these passages and the light created on the first day of creation?Group 3: Psalms (Psalm 139:11-12; 119:105)• What is the light that each of these psalms is referring to?• Can you think of any connections between the light in these passages and the light created on the first day of creation?Call the large group back together and invite participants to share their versesand reflections.Environmental Concerns (10-15 minutes)Using the information in the Participant Handout for Session 1, briefly review Use the Participant Handout forthe description of the problems of energy consumption and light pollution. This Session 1 for background.might be done best and will be more interactive if you ask participants to explaintheir understanding of the issues and problems. Remember to connect theseproblems with day one of the creation story. Ask:• What action steps can you do in the short and the long-term to be more mindful of that which God provided on day one of creation?• What can we as a parish do?