sidebar


Locations of visitors to this page

 

books papers/talks events worship footprint jason


Worship resources for Evolution Sunday/Weekend, for groups or individuals.

Evolution Weekend began as part of the Clergy Letter Project, and is now celebrated around the world by Christians and people of other faiths.

Congregations are invited to participate in early February each year.

You can find a history of the project, a collection of letters by different denominations supporting the weekend, and various sermons hosted at the original site, where you can also sign on to let them know you are participating.

My PhD was in evolutionary biology's implications for the Christian story, writing as a minister within the Uniting Church in Australia. So I've included some resources below which I've prepared in the past in my role as an ecominister.

There are as mix of resources: some for congregations or Christians where evolution is simply assumed, and others where it is still a somewhat contested idea.

You can also read my PhD or the free book based on it, which includes the liturgy and reflections we used to explore
evolution for six weeks at the Adelaide Ecofaith Community


audio/video reflections

 

Evolution

" Animals inside." A very basic introduction to the idea that our brains are comprised of elements of simpler animal brains, which still influence us, in helpful and unhelpful ways.

Paul's "Body of death" and other Christians' belief in demons inside us are now better explained by the metaphor of "animals inside"

This started as a kids talk but got a bit complicated. It has some deadpan moments (I had to hold still so I could do the animations later), but if this information is new to people, it would probably still be interesting.

It was originally filmed for Animal Sunday in the Season of Creation, so I should re-film the first 30s. But life is short.

7 minutes

Evolution and Genesis: mixed audience


What does it mean to be a human being? This reflection offers four possibilities, based on Genesis 1; Genesis 2; Jesus' thoughts on being a neighbour; and the evolutionary story which imagines us as family: perhaps the prodigal son.

8 minutes


Evolution

An expansion on the evolution component of the above reflection: what it means to be human according to the story of our origins found in the theory of biological evolution.

For example, Genesis says that humans caused pain and death (literally or metaphorically), evolution says that pain and death have always existed, and are part of the processes that created humanity.

8 minutes

Christianity after Darwin radio interview (html/mp3) An interview with Rachel Kohn on ABC's Spirit of things.
Who are we: Genesis 1, Genesis 2, Evolution html/ppt A talk (audio and powerpoint) given at Adelaide University's Climate Futures Seminar in 2007.
   

written reflections

 
Jesus, Darwin and our limited God (.doc)

Evolution

Written to speak, so not the best grammar! Jesus' ministry is full of reminders that God's actions on earth are limited, something the triumphalist church often forgets with its insistence that God is in control. The evolution of life, instead of its special divine creation, emphasises the limitations of God's power to interact with the world in the short term, as does Jesus' healing of the leper, inability to do miracles at home, and crucifixion. Over the long term, God may still be drawing things to good.

Jesus, Darwin and women (.doc)

Evolution

Jesus treated women as equals, as did Paul, but the early church soon drifted back into patriarchy, as seen in some letters in the Bible. Their condemnation of women is rooted in a historical reading of Genesis, which Darwin helpfully undermined for us, helping us return to Jesus' original vision. Includes a brief kids talk too.

Christianity after Darwin sermon (html) A sermon from 2006, mostly in note form.
   

extra resources: readings/short talks

 

Evolution

My hope for the Uniting Church: to become a Biocentric faith community: Acknowledging that that the central story of the universe is between God and Life, not God and Homo Sapiens ...

I put this together for our 2000 Assembly as one of a number of people asked what our hope for the church was.

1 minute

Evolution

"Man's" (sic) place in the Universe: 1 minute

An abridged version of the excellent reflection by John Muir on our place in the universe (earth). Full transcript from here


Footage obtained second hand from work compiled by David Bayliss,
from a freely distributable domain resource of TS Production LLC.

Narration changed to "our place in the Universe"

If you've never Read Muir's full text I would highly recommend it.

Evolution

"Man's" (sic) place in the Universe: 4 minutes

The full reading of the above clip.

 

poem- evolutionists' Genesis A poetic version of the story of life, including God's connection with it, echoing the rhythm of Genesis 1. I have written about five versions of this over the years: it keeps evolving I guess!
   

extra resources: music

 

Mixed audience

"Ashes to Ashes"
Rev Dr Andrew Dutney, the new president of the Uniting Church wrote this song back in the 80s. Not specifically evolutionary, but sings about kinship we share with the Earth's creatures.

It ends with the question, "Where are the visions of hope for the Earth?"

2:30 mins

 

Lyrics on Powerpoint

"All Things Bright and Beautiful... they all evolved the lot"

The classic tune, but with a newer Christian, evolution affirming set of lyrics.

The video is a VERY FAST instrumental version.
You can also download the powerpoint slideshow of the lyrics.

Words by Jason John, do what you like with them, with acknowledgment.

God's beyond us (words only- ppt) Tune: Jesus loves me. More cosmological really: God is out there beyond us and our knowing, also one with us and here amongst us.

Mixed.

Not specifically about evolution, but assumes animals are our neighbours, the "other" whom we should do for as we would have done for us.

"Do For Others.../confession"
A reflection on liberation of the captives and doing for others in the context of factory faming and animal ethics.

The lack of sound at the start is deliberate.

WARNING: Images of animal factory farming and human violence to animals. For listening to and watching, not singing along.

3 mins. Music by Sinead O'Connor

   

liturgies

 
2008 powerpoint liturgy .ppt or .pptx versions Includes song lyrics, kids reflection, sermon link etc based on the 2008 evolution sunday service at Bellingen, and Paul's writings about the body of death, and the groaning of creation.
2011 powerpoint liturgy .ppt or .pptx versions and the .doc that goes with it. All ages reflection, sermon etc. On the Bible as a map, and the need to update our maps occasionally when the landscape changes, so that we still get where we need to be.
Worshiping Evolution's God (pdf) or html Includes a brief outdoor liturgy, and a series of short reflections on the differences between the evolutionary and biblical creation stories.
World Environment Day liturgy 2003 (pdf) or ppt This liturgy was based on water, and had both evolutionary and traditional elements in it. Sadly the final version is no longer on the UnitingJustice website, and this pdf has some images missing, but the text is ok. There's a ppt because that's all I had to write it with back in 2003, I've included it in case you want any of the slides.