Catholic Creation Care
Tools for Parish Leaders
Pastoral Planning

For Youth (Tweens & Teens)

Springtide Research reports that environmental causes are important to 78% of young people, but only 57% of them think those causes are important to religious or faith communities. Chances are, your youth are already passionate about caring for the earth and would be enthusiastic about leading or joining efforts that lead to action.

Below are some tools designed specifically for use with youth, but we highly recommend that you also incorporate them into your events with adults. Youth will add a needed dynamism and a can-do urgency to conversations!

Youth Ministry Sessions

Keeping the Garden: A Faith Response to God’s Creation

Drawn from our interactive In Real Life youth curriculum, this resource includes six sessions (plus one optional extender session):

1. A Mess in God's Kitchen • Encourage participants to build their care for the environment as a faith response to God the Creator.

2. Babblings on Babel • Develop in participants the desire to protect the variety God intends for creation.

3. What's in a Name? • Help participants realize that their relationship to the rest of creation, and especially to God, obligates them to care for God’s world.

4. Pushing God's "Legal Limits" • Encourage participants to live within the limits of creation.

5. Sufficiency • Challenge participants to look beyond themselves when evaluating their needs, wants, and dreams.

6. Faith in the Rain • Reassure participants that God uses small acts of faith to accomplish great healing in humanity’s relationship with creation.

7. Once Upon a Time.... (Extender Session option) • Help participants draw on sustainable practices from the past in developing their own caring relationship with God’s creation. Teach participants how to compost, a specific skill for “keeping the garden.”

The stories of “beginnings” highlight the earth as God’s, and creation as a “book” that reveals Life and light at the heart of all that has life. God is embedded in this treasure, reason enough to hold and protect it, and our attentive relationship with God’s good gift of creation means ensuring that it continues to function according to God’s design

An "In Real Life" theme • Sold per-parish as downloadable ($17) and/or paperback ($21.50) resources.

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More Tools for Youth Ministry

Friending Planet Earth

Helping Youth Understand Solidarity & Sustainability in Light of Climate Change

This toolkit includes six 90-minute learning sessions on climate change for Catholic youth in school and parish settings. These sessions are grounded in Scripture and Catholic social teaching, and provide hope in the face of climate change. They use multi-media, prayer, hands-on activities, simulations, games, quizzes, art and music. The sessions will help Catholic youth learn that their faith has a unique way of addressing climate change. They will discover that their Catholic faith considers the moral dimensions of human activity affecting the earth and understand it from the perspective of those most impacted by it: the poor and vulnerable.

By the Center for Ministry Development and the Catholic Climate Covenant • FREE

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Caring for Creation, Caring for Change

A Resource Guide for Teaching Young People about Climate Change

This planning guide provides tools for teaching the young church that care for creation is also care for the poor. The guide provides a practical small-group planning and training process resulting in a parish/school-wide learning experience that focuses on climate change and the role of Catholics to care for all of creation.

By NFCYM • $10

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Youth Ministry Toolkit @ Catholic Climate Covenant

This short document links to key creation care resources for middle and high school.

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The Faithful Citizen: How to Teach Children about Faith and Public Policy

Laudato Si' calls on all of us to work through our political system to promote the common good: for all people and the rest of creation (especially see Chapter 5). Pope Francis says that change will not happen unless we influence those in power. Likewise, he urges us to work through community organizations and other groups to create a better world.

This guide will help parents and teachers nurture a child's Christ-like compassion and to develop a sense of political and community responsibility. It provides tips for three age groups: preschool through grade 2, grades 3 through 6, and middle through high school. Specific suggestions are made for school and religious education classes and at home.

By Anne Neuberger • Downloadable eResource • $11/parish

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Creation Care Kids: Problem Solvers

This resource includes ideas, links, resources, and questions to help kids learn about people who have taken action to care for our common home. This extensive classroom tool will help you design lessons or guide children in directed study. Includes: "Heroes for Animals," "Big Name Hunters" (famous creation caretakers), "Creation Care Communion of Saints," "Kid Fixers," and more!

By Anne Neuberger • Downloadable eResource • Free

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