Sundays For Creation
Autumn is around the corner. Most of us are ready for a nip in the air, apple cider, dazzling foliage, pumpkins—and an end to hurricanes and wildfires. For many Christian communities, celebrating the change of seasons are occurring within the church doors as well.
Welcome to the Season of Creation! Following the Revised Common Lectionary, for six Sundays beginning in September, we follow the lead of the psalm writers and celebrate with creation. Bible readings focus especially on the story of Earth, which complements the story of God and the story of humanity in the Scriptures.
Over 20 years ago, the Anglican Church in Australia launched the Season of Creation, an informal initiative to celebrate Christ, the Creator, and the wonders of creation within the church year. During Advent, Epiphany, Lent and Easter the church celebrates the life of Christ. In the season of Pentecost the church celebrates the Holy Spirit. Now, in the season of Creation, the church has the opportunity to celebrate creation and the Creator with Christians around the world.
In the United States, the Season of Creation is an ecumenical movement, with significant support from the Lutheran School of Theology. The Season of Creation Charter provides an overview for this ministry of healing the earth, with Christ and creation as partners. The Charter includes these six pillars:
- Celebrate Earth as a sacred planet filled with God’s vibrant presence.
- Unite with all creation in praising the God of creation.
- Confess our sins against creation and empathize with a groaning creation.
- Embrace our kin in creation as our extended family.
- Proclaim the good news that the risen Jesus is the cosmic Christ who fills and renews all creation.
- Go forth on a mission to be partners with Christ in the healing of creation.
As we turn to October, our creation focus turns to St. Francis of Assisi who was known for his love of all creation. Many churches offer services involving a Blessing of Animals to connect the two. It is also Stewardship season in many churches. Stewardship, in addition to money, also involves how we give thanks and care for God’s creation.
Learn More About Faith and Creation Care
A wide range of background information, activities for children, liturgies and resources related to Creation Season as well as a Natural Disaster Series (including wildfires) and a Climate Change Series are available. Here are a few to tap into as your church continues to celebrate creation!
- The Web of Creation from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, one of the U.S. sponsors of the Season of Creation initiative.
- Creation Season liturgies from New Zealand
- Episcopal Ecological Network offers liturgies from around the Episcopal Church for a Celtic Eucharist, Creation Season, and other nature-related themes.
- “Faith and Nature: The Divine Adventure of Life on Earth” is a small group curriculum for all ages that provides a biblical context to bridge the gaps between faith, nature and society.
- Skiturgies: Pageants, Plays, Rites and Rituals offers several resources for the Blessing of Animals and St. Francis.
Phyllis Strupp is the author of Church Publishing’s Faith and Nature curriculum and the award-winning book “The Richest of Fare: Seeking Spiritual Security in the Sonoran Desert.” She lives in Carefree AZ with her husband and three cats.