Letís Look After Our Planet
An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive
Suitable for Whole School (Sec)
To consider the importance of our planet, Earth.
Preparation and materials
- You will need a leader and two readers.
- You will also need copies of the poem ‘Galactic Lovepoem’ by Adrian Henri, available at: http://tinyurl.com/jo6n2tc
Leader: Our planet, Earth, is the only planet in our solar system that is not named after one of the Greek or Roman gods or goddesses. The other planets have names that remind us of divine power and authority; we can read stories in Greek and Roman mythology about Venus or Mars. But for us, Earth is enough. Perhaps the divine quality of the name ‘Earth’ is not in the land and the sea, or in stories of long ago, but in the responsibility that we, as humans, have for where we live.
We have to take responsibility for our planet ourselves and not rely on a god of the past to do things for us. Our planet is a living planet; it is not simply a place where humans live, but where animals live, too. Earth itself appears to have a life and a spirit, as expressed in volcanoes, earthquakes and the awesome power of nature.
Reader 1: We often dream about the universe and where we are in it. Our planet is just one of an unnumbered collection of planets and stars. It has been claimed that there are more stars and planets in the universe than all of the grains of sand on all of the beaches in the world. We can’t really understand this, but we can grasp how important our role is as part of this wonderful universe.
Reader 2: The following poem is called ‘Galactic Lovepoem’ and was written by Adrian Henri.
Read ‘Galactic Lovepoem’, available at: http://tinyurl.com/jo6n2tc
Leader: Many people believe that Earth is part of God’s creation. People have different ideas about how the universe was created, but everyone who believes that God created Earth believes that we have a responsibility to God and to each other. They believe that we should care for our planet and look after it. Christians call this ‘stewardship’. They believe that we are stewards of our planet while we live here, and that we should show our love of God by caring for the world that God has created and given to us to enjoy.
However, we don’t have to be Christians to wonder at Earth and other planets. Many religions, and many people who do not believe in any god at all, believe that we should care for our planet and look after it.
Carl Sagan, an American astronomer, wrote, ‘How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, “This is better than we thought. The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant”? Instead, they say, “No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.”’
Reader 1: And Richard Dawkins says, ‘We have an appetite for wonder, a poetic appetite, which real science ought to be feeding, but which is being hijacked, often for monetary gain, by purveyors of superstition, the paranormal and astrology.’
Reader 2: At a meeting in Assisi in Italy, people from many faiths agreed this: ‘We, members of major world religions and traditions, men and women of good will, are gathered here, in this marvellous Church of St Francis, to awaken all people to their historical responsibility for the welfare of planet Earth, our Sister and Mother, who in her generous sovereignty feeds us and all her creatures.’
Time for reflection
Planet Earth is all we have. We must take care of it. Let us consider what each of us can do - even in the smallest way - to care for the planet and the people who live on it.
Thank you for the beauty of the world.
Thank you that you made it for us to enjoy.
Please help us to take our responsibilities seriously.
Please help us to protect the world for future generations.