Category Archives: stewardship

A litany built on a Christian perspective of sport

This litany was developed for the dedication of a new sports facility at Rehoboth Christian School (RCS) in New Mexico—it reflects a great Christian perspective on sport. Thanks for sharing!

Dedication Litany

CREATION

Reader #1—Assistant Superintendent
Our world belongs to God—not to us or earthly powers, not to demons, fate, or chance.
The earth is the Lord’s!

Reader #2—RCS Sophomore
In the beginning, God—Father, Word, and Spirit—called this world into being out of nothing, and gave it shape and order.

Reader #3—Executive Director
God formed the land, the sky, and the seas, making the earth a fitting home for the plants, animals, and humans he created. The world was filled with color, beauty, and variety; it provided room for work and play, worship and service, love and laughter. God rested—and gave us rest. In the beginning everything was very good.

Reader #1
God wants us to play, to laugh, to rest?

Reader #3
Yes, yes, the playfulness of children, the sporting of young people, the recreation of adults is woven into the design of Creation. God made us that way!

All: For the LORD is the Creator, a great God—a great King above all gods!

Song: “This is My Father’s World”—Vs. 1 RCS Senior, Vs. 2 Audience

This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world; I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas— his hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world: O let me not forget
That though the wrong is great and strong, God is the ruler yet.
He trusts us with his world, to keep it clean and fair—
All earth and trees, all skies and seas, all creatures everywhere.

FALL

Reader #1
Early in human history our first parents listened to the intruder’s voice. Rather than living by the Creator’s word of life, they fell for Satan’s lie and sinned! They forgot their place; they tried to be like God. But as sinners they feared the nearness of God and hid from him.

Reader #2
All spheres of life—marriage and family, work and worship, school and state, our play and art—bear the wounds of our rebellion. Sin is present everywhere—in pride of race, in arrogance of nations, in abuse of the weak and helpless, in disregard for water, air, and soil, in destruction of living creatures, in slavery, deceit, terror, and war, in worship of false gods, and frantic escape from reality. We have become victims of our own sin.

Reader #3
And our play went wrong, our sports became an idol, our recreation became a god—we began to cheat and envy. We ruined our games with hatred and fighting. We disrespected our playmates, our schoolmates, the other team. We overplay, overeat, overexercise. We have forgotten that our living, moving, and playing are gifts from God. We now live in a twisted world of sport—arrogant winning and sore losing is in us, and all around us.

All: God be merciful to me! On thy Grace I rest my plea!

REDEMPTION

Song: “Amazing Grace”—Vs. 1 RCS Sophomore, Vs. 2 RCS 8th Grader

Reader #1
While justly angry, God did not turn his back on a world bent on destruction; he turned his face to it in love. With patience and tender care he set out on the long road of redemption to reclaim us as his people and the world as his kingdom.

Reader #2
The Spirit thrusts God’s people into worldwide mission. He impels young and old,
men and women, to go next door and far away into math and music, media and marketplace, gym and the fitness center with the good news of God’s grace. The Spirit goes before us and with us convincing us of a better way to serve Christ in all areas of life.

Reader #3
God has given the Rehoboth community a new Sports and Fitness Center. We give thanks for this remarkable facility where we can live out what you have called us to be. Help us in this place to bring redemption to the world of sport!

Reader #1
We give thanks for architects and builders, for electricians and plumbers, for landscapers and painters whose labor and discipline created this structure. For steel and wood, concrete and carpet, for tools and machines, we are grateful. We are thankful for creativity and cooperation that produced an attractive, useful building. For jobs and safety for our workers, we express our gratitude. We give thanks for donors and volunteers who generously supported our dreams.

Song: “Earth and All Stars”—Vs. 4, RCS Choral Director

Engines and steel! Come, pounding hammers!
Sing to the Lord a new song!
Limestone and beams! Strong building workers!
Sing to the Lord a new song!
He has done marvelous things. I too will praise him with a new song!

All: Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His love endures forever.

Reader #2
“This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with cane in hand because of their age. The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there.’” (Zechariah 8:4–5)

Take our play and make it pure.
Take our games and make them good.
Take our excitement and make it sacred.
Take our cheers and make them charitable.

Song: “Earth and All Stars”—Vs. 5

Classrooms and labs! Come, boiling test tubes!
Sing to the Lord a new song!
Athlete and band! Loud cheering people!
Sing to the Lord a new song!
He has done marvelous things. I too will praise Him with a new song!

Reader #3
On this day, November 10, 2007, we celebrate this harvest from the Father’s hand. We want to make our play and our games “Holy unto the Lord.” We want our witness to be true, that students and parents, friends and visitors, may come to know the Triune God and all his goodness. Toward that end, we dedicate the Rehoboth Sports and Fitness Center to the honor and glory of God the Father, Christ his Son and our Savior, and the ever present Holy Spirit.

All: Our God is an awesome God! Amen and Amen!

Song: “Our God is an Awesome God,” “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow”—Audience

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Filed under athletics, community, mission development, resources, stewardship, student outcomes, worship

Using God’s good gifts well

Recently several helpful resources have come out relating to caring for creation and understanding stewardship responsibilities. These resources would be very helpful for use in Christian day schools or church education settings.

Is That ALL There Is? Stewardship Challenges for Young Christians is an excellent teacher resource manual for schools and churches to use with students in grades 7-9. It is the result of a collaborative project by Christian Stewardship Services, Foundation for Niagara Christian Schools, and the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools. Students are encouraged to consider their blessings of time, talents, trees, and treasures and how they can use these blessings to bless others and do the work of restoring God’s creation. Available via the OACS website @ www.oacs.org.

Earthwise: A Biblical Response to Environmental Issues
by Calvin DeWitt is another excellent teacher resource with ideas that could be adapted for classroom use. He discusses the seven provisions for creation and the seven degradations of creation and then offers a biblical and theological perspective on creation care. Helpful suggestions and a Q & A section answering by Calvin DeWitt is another excellent teacher resource with ideas that could be adapted for classroom use. He discusses the common responses/obstacles conclude the book. A topical approach with separate chapters about lifestyle, homes, food, clothes, energy, plants, work, and leisure by different authors is how Living the Good Life on God’s Good Earth, edited by David S. Koetje, invites readers to live their callings daily as stewards of creation. Helpful discussion questions and resources conclude each chapter. Both of these books are available from Faith Alive Christian Resources @ www.faithaliveresources.org.

Dr. J. Matthew Sleeth was living the American Dream until he began to wonder about how the maladies displayed in his patients related to how creation is being misused. This led him to turn to Scripture and then make dramatic changes in his and his family’s lifestyle. They gave away over half of what they owned and found in the process that they gained stronger relationships and a richer spiritual life. He shares his journey and challenges all of us through Serve God, Save the Planet: A Christian Call to Action. His book offers not only his compelling story, but also a practical guide for making those changes. Plus, it includes great end-of-chapter reflection questions, along with an energy audit for readers to take.

A personal challenge: take the Ecological Footprint Quiz to find out how many acres or hectares your lifestyle is taking up and how many planet Earths would be needed if everyone lived like you or your family. Eye-opening!

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Filed under Biblical worldview, creation & environment, stewardship, student outcomes, worship