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Praying and Caring for Creation

by Gerry Lynch last modified 21 Jul, 2017 02:56 PM

September-October Creationtide season commended to people of Diocese

Across the Christian world, the period between 1 September and 4 October – which is St Francis’ Day – will be celebrated as Creationtide, a season to thank God for the world He has gifted us and to commit the Church to make protecting it a core part of Christian mission

David Morgan, Chair of the Diocesan Environment Group, encouraged parishes and people to mark the season of Creationtide in worship, saying, “September and early October are when our parishes have traditionally focused our attention on Harvest and thanking God for His abundant provision.

“This year the Church of England, led by our own Bishop Nicholas, is encouraging us to not only celebrate but also to ask ourselves how we can better care for God’s wonderful creation.”

Resources for marking Creationtide in prayer and worship are available on this website at bit.ly/creationresources.

“The idea of Creationtide has been around for some years”, David continued, “It started in the Orthodox Churches and since has spread throughout the Christian world. In 2016, the Pope declared 1 September an annual Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.

“Here in the South West of England, dioceses have traditionally sought to focus our attention on caring for creation in Lent with the Carbon Fast. However, this year, our focus has moved to Creationtide. We will be sending a daily e-mail with a thought about our creation care to accompany the lectionary readings. You can sign up for those with this the EcoChurch South West website.

“Each Tuesday there will also be a creation care slant on the lectionary readings for the next Sunday – which could be useful for sermon preparation.

“There are also many resources available for service and sermon content via Shrinking the Footprint and A Rocha UK.

“People may be asking themselves why they should do something?

“The Diocesan Synod adopted a new environment policy this year and one of the key statements is that the diocese commits itself to make a special focus of caring for creation annually at Creationtide.

“So what the Bishop, the Diocesan Synod and the Diocesan Environmental Group (DEG) hope is that this will be reflected in services throughout this period in the Diocese of Salisbury.”

Many churches are planning to use the Season of Creationtide to look at the question about how to better care for God’s creation. There are stories from our partner churches in Sudan and South Sudan, and across the developing world, of suffering due to climate change. Those who have contributed least to the problem seem to suffer the most. This is a great injustice.

David Morgan concluded, “Martin Luther is reputed to have said ‘If we preach the gospel without addressing the major issues of our day, we have not preached the gospel at all’. Climate change is about the biggest issue imaginable; we are in danger of doing irreparable damage to the planet God has gifted us. May we all be bold in speaking up for God’s creation this Creationtide.”

What you can do

  • Personally sign up and encourage others to sign up here
  • Reflect caring for creation in sermons and service content – even if this is simply adding the challenge of how can we better care for creation to the thankful tone of our Harvest services.  
  • This could be the moment for your parish to start out on the Eco Church journey.
  • Use the prayer and worship resources at bit.ly/creationresources.

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