"Caring for the planet, advocating for the poor, befriending the elderly, giving love to a homeless animal — each one of us can worship God through creative and generous giving of our time, talent, and treasure. Look to the issues you are most passionate about for a place to begin your own practice. Here are just a few examples of how you can give nonfinancially in a way that would be worship:

"Care for the environment. Take reusable bags with you when you go to the grocery store to avoid plastic bags, which are hard to recycle or reuse. Reusable bags also work great for trips to the big-box discount stores or even the mall.

"Recognize all of humanity. As we are all children of God, take time to look the passing stranger in the eye. When you sit down in an airplane, acknowledge the person beside you with a hello. Give the gift of presence and recognition to a stranger.

"Offer love to a homeless animal. Thirty minutes of your time can make a world of difference to an animal that is confined to a cage. If you have kids, the local humane society is a great place to spend a dull Saturday afternoon and the experience provides them with a powerful way to give.

"Share your possessions. Are you getting married soon, or have you recently tied the knot? Consider donating your wedding dress to an organization that can either pass it on to a woman who could not otherwise afford a dress or sell it to raise money for a charitable cause.

"Forgive and be patient with others. Whom do you harbor anger toward? Give them and yourself the gift of forgiveness. On a more casual basis, when someone makes a mistake or is just driving you crazy, be generous with your patience. By doing so, we imitate the nature of God.

"Provide hospitality. Invite the spouse of an active military man or woman for dinner. On Mother's Day, welcome into your home a mother who has lost a child.

"Care for our children. If we believe in God as creator, then we are all an extension of God's family. Spend time reading to children at schools. Attend a school play or band concert. Be a mentor or active role model. Adopt a child or be a foster parent.

"Support the support staffs. Thousands of people spend each day 'serving' others for a living. Give back to folks in the service industry. Throw away your trash after the movies and put the armrest back up. Return your shopping cart to the stall in the parking lot. Put away your food and tray at the cafe. You can even strip the sheets of your hotel bed and pile the bathroom towels; you'll really make the housekeepers' day."