Creation Season is a worldwide, ecumenical recognition of the need to pray for God’s creation, and is held between 1st September (the World Day of Prayer for Creation) and 4th October (the feast of St Francis of Assisi). At St Mary’s we couldn’t celebrate this season at the same time as the rest of the world, so we did it from 8th October to 5th November instead!
1 . Why bother? John 3:16-17 (Sunday 8th October)
What are the theological reasons for engaging with environmental issues? The well-known verse “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son…” trips off the tongue, but do we ever stop to consider what the word ‘world’ means in this verse?
2. It’s all interconnected. Genesis 1:26-31, Genesis 2:4a-7; 15-22 (Sunday 15th October)
Looking at God’s view of creation and our place as creatures within creation. We’re all part of a global ecosystem, and what we do affects others; environmental issues affect poverty, war and more.
3. Go Deeper. Colossians 1:15-20 (15th October at 7.30pm)
Guest speaker Godfrey Armitage from A Rocha. An opportunity to go deeper with the theme and find out how caring for creation should be a natural part of our Christian discipleship.
4. What Can I Do? Part 1 – Good stewardship of the earth’s resources.
Psalm 104, Job 12:7-10, Isaiah 24:4-13 (Sunday 22nd October)
Psalm 104 and Job 12 tell us that everything in creation comes from God; all of creation depends on God for its life and livelihood; and all of creation teaches us that all the earth belongs to God and bears his hallmark. It’s therefore incumbent upon us to care for, and use wisely, all the earth’s resources. Isaiah 24 gives us a picture of how the earth is as a result of us mistreating it. At home, we can: recycle, choose clean energy, save water, do toilet twinning, do a lifestyle audit…
5. What Can I Do? Part 2 – Seek justice. Amos 8:4-10, Luke 1:46-55 (Sunday 29th October)
God really doesn’t like it when people exploit the poor! Mary’s song (the magnificat) is a praise of our God who rights the injustice that we levy on the poor. What we can do to ensure God’s justice is enacted for the flourishing of all: ethical shopping, fair trade, animal friendly, local, organic…
6. What Can I Do? Part 3 – Love our neighbour. Romans 13:8-10, Luke 10:25-37 (Sunday 5th November)
The command to love our neighbour is not simply about feeling but is about actions. ‘Our neighbour’ has to include our fellow humans whose livelihoods and homes are seriously threatened by rising sea levels and weather conditions which are the direct result of our over use of fossil fuels. Ways we can love our neighbours across the world: lobbying, setting a good example to others, support environmental charities, etc. Ways we can love our neighbours locally as a church: promote car sharing, walking, cycling, organise clothes swap events, have a fair trade stand…
Interested in finding out a bit more? Here are a few suggestions of things to read if you want to find out a bit more about a Christian response to caring for the environment:
- The Green Bible (a version of the Bible which highlights in green text the passages that directly speak of our/God’s relationship with creation. Also includes several articles by a variety of authors on a Christian response to caring for the environment): published by Collins
- Planetwise: Dare to Care for God’s World by Dave Bookless (founder of A Rocha)
- Jesus and the Earth by James Jones
- Super, Natural Christians: How we should love nature by Sallie McFague
- Laudato Si: On Care for our Common Home by Pope Francis
- Christianity, Climate Change and Sustainable Living by Nick Spencer & Robert White
- World on Loan: Christian Stewardship in the Local Church by John Davies
- And it Was Good: Responding to God’s Gift of Creation by the Anglican Communion
- Places of Enchantment: Meeting God in Landscapes by Graham B. Usher
- Ethical Consumer magazine (full of articles raising awareness of the ethical status of the products we buy and the companies we buy them from, helping us to make informed choices)