Celebrate the Season of Creation

Hands in a circle around a 3 leafed stem
Green and Brown tree + words Season of Creation

In the month of September, the Season of Creation is celebrated in churches around the world. The first Season of Creation was celebrated in 2000, under Norman Habel’s leadership at St Stephen’s Lutheran Church, Adelaide, South Australia. Habel wrote, “For four weeks we relived the great creation stories in the Bible. The children loved it. We also confessed what we have done to creation and how God is working to renew creation. It was an exciting beginning!”  The World Council of Churches was instrumental in setting the dates for the Season of Creation to begin on September 1st and end on October 4th (Feast Day for St. Francis of Assisi). The roots for these dates extend to the Orthodox church year which starts on September 1st with a commemoration of how God created the world, and that in 1989, Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I proclaimed September 1st to be a day of prayer for creation for the Orthodox. In 2015, Pope Francis invited the Roman Catholic Church to honor the season. While the Season of Creation is rooted in Christianity, people of many faiths can participate by using  many of the same resources, substituting appropriate sacred scriptures from your own tradition.

As a pastor, I very much enjoyed honoring and celebrating creation for a month many Septembers. Each week, one aspect of creation (water, soil, air, creatures, etc.) would be woven throughout the worship service. The liturgies, prayers, sermons, and hymns would focus on the different weekly aspects of creation. I would select the theme based on a focus that came from studying the Revised Common Lectionary texts or other scripture passages.  The worship team would decorate the sanctuary to reflect the natural world and highlight the theme of the week. Besides being a lot of fun, focusing on creation for more than one Sunday supported the reconnection or deepening of our faith to the natural world. It also helped me to practice studying Scripture through a creation lens and weaving creation into all aspects of worship and church life.

In addition to worship, the Season of Creation is the perfect excuse to get outside. Take the youth kayaking, host an all church hike or outdoor picnic, get to know the trees in your area, do a prayer walk in the neighborhood, and compare upper income neighborhoods to lower ones paying attention to green spaces or lack thereof. Learn more about climate and faith: invite a special speaker to educate the congregation about any topic of interest, do a book study, watch a film or video. Invite congregants to share stories about places that are especially sacred to them in nature.

Whether you celebrate one day in September or throughout the month, the Season of Creation is an invitation to explore our understanding of God through the natural world and our interconnectedness to all creation, and how climate change is putting creation at risk. It is also a wonderful springboard for action, such as starting a creation care team, joining One Home One Future, reaching out to another congregation for local action, and more.

Blessed Tomorrow is here to support your denomination, your congregation, and you in this most important work. Stay connected!

Join One Home One Future for a Season of Creation resource kit plus access to a robust resource hub, connections to over 100,000 people of faith, events, programs, and ongoing support.

About the Author:
Rev. Carol Devine, Blessed Tomorrow Director

Additional Resources:

Watch the American Climate Leadership Awards 2024

Watch the 2024 American Climate Leadership Awards for High School Students

Join the Campaign: One Home One Future

Mental Health and Our Changing Climate: Children and Youth Report 2023

Blessed Tomorrow Resources

Blessed Tomorrow – Ambassador Training

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