Energy use in the Home


Fifth Sunday in Lent to Saturday
(April 7 to 13, 2019)


Creation Care as a Hopeful Spiritual Practice for Lent
Lenten devotional by Lynne Baab and Janette Plunkett. Illustration by Dave Baab

Ultimately all energy on earth comes from the sun that God created. The way we use energy in the home is one area where most of us have a fair amount of control.


Walking with Jesus


This week conserve energy in your home in at least one new way, and as you do, imagine yourself partnering with Jesus to conserve the precious energy that comes to us from the sun.


Poem


The Sun by Mary Oliver


Scripture



Psalm 148. After you read the psalm, pray it. After you pray it, write a paraphrase of it, or a whole new psalm, using the components of nature that are a part of your everyday life.

Psalm 148

Psalm 74:12-17 focuses on God’s power in nature. As you read it, thank God for the forms of power that contribute to your life.

Psalm 74:12-17

Prayer


Each day this week, thank God for the sun (whether or not you can see it!).

Each day this week, pick a room of your house and spend a few minutes in it thanking God for the forms of energy that make that room usable and comfortable. Look at the lighting, the electric outlets, and the source of heating. Imagine what your experience in that room would be like without the energy that makes the room liveable. By the end of the week, be sure you have prayed thankfulness prayers in each room.

Spend some time at least once this week lamenting energy waste in homes. Begin with your own home and consider the ways electricity is wasted and heat escapes. Lament that waste, and then lament the waste that happens in other homes around the United States and the world.

Pray for increased energy efficiency. Ask God what you should do in your own home. Pray that God would guide the people who set policy for your utility companies, and pray for wisdom for people in cities around our country and the world who create energy policies.

Try to imagine the life of someone who lives without electricity. Pray for them.



For Families


Pick a room of your house and talk together about all the things energy does in that room. You might want to start with the kitchen because energy there does so much.

Read Psalm 98 together. Talk about the components of everyday life that you would put in a psalm like this one. Think about writing your own psalm along the lines of Psalm 98.

Psalm 98

Make a piece of art out of grass.


Additional Resources


Learning:

  • Here’s some good news. Seattle’s Electricity is Carbon Neutral and other NW utilities are low carbon so prioritize this factor when you are purchasing appliances. Seattle City Light offers lots of suggestionsfor home energy efficiency.  Check out your utility website to see if you can get a free consultation about home energy use. For example, Seattle City Lightoffers help.
  • Take time to calculate how much carbon you emit and work towards less than 2 tons per person. Here is a recommended carbon calculatorbecause it accounts for diet. Delete boxes that don’t apply and enter zero for electricity if you have Seattle City Light because it is carbon neutral.  There are also offset programs for lifestyle activities.
  • Hot water heaters are often the biggest consumers of household electricity. To improve efficiency, wrap the tank in inexpensive insulating blankets. Recycle old refrigerators and freezers unless you are keeping them fully occupied.

Music:

Quotation:

  • “[The Bible] is the story of God, the people, and the land. . . . Thus the Bible shows us that mistreating the earth is one of the clearest evidences of human sinfulness. We continue to sin against the earth – God’s creation – when we pollute the earth, waste the earth’s resources, or fail to practice good stewardship of the land entrusted to our care.” – Howard Snyder, “This World is not My Home?” The Best Preaching on Earth