In the month of September, the Season of Creation is celebrated in churches around the world. Its roots are in the fact that the Orthodox church year starts on September 1st with a commemoration of how God created the world and in 1989, Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I proclaimed September 1st to be a day of prayer for creation for the Orthodox.
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 Season of Creation to begin on September 1st and end on October 4th (Feast Day for St. Francis of Assisi). In 2015, Pope Francis invited the Roman Catholic Church to honor the season as well.
As a pastor, I very much enjoyed honoring and celebrating creation for a month each fall. Each Sunday, one aspect of creation (water, soil, air, creatures, etc.) would be woven throughout the service. The liturgy, prayers, sermon and hymns would focus on the aspect of creation. The worship team would decorate the sanctuary to reflect the natural world and lift up the highlight the particular theme. Besides being a lot of fun, focusing on creation for more than one Sunday helped me learn to see Scripture through a creation lens and weave it in worship all the time.
This year, Blessed Tomorrow partner and friend, Margaret Bullit-Jonas, along with Rev. John Elliott Lein compiled a new Season of Creation liturgical resource. They plan to do the same for the next two years which will create a full liturgical cycle resource. Margaret joined me on Let’s Talk Climate to discuss the Season of Creation, the new resource, and other resources.
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