The season of Creationtide in the church’s calendar is a time for Christians to reflect on what it means to be part of God’s creation. To think about how God created in love and saw that it was good. To consider whether we too can say that creation is good today. And to review whether the impact we, as individuals and collectively, are having on God’s creation is good, or not.
1 September was identified as the World Day of Prayer for Creation by the Orthodox Church in 1989. Many other Christian denominations have joined since then and it has been extended to be a month-long “Season of Creation”, ending on October 4 (which is the Feast of St. Francis). More of Creationtide’s history and ecumenical roots can be found here. It is now a global, ecumenical movement which you can get involved with…
How will you get involved this Creationtide?
- The Anglican Church has 5 Marks of Mission – the 5th of which is “To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth”. In response to this, the Church of England has prepared some suggested readings and discussion questions to help you explore and celebrate the Season of Creation – six for each week of Creationtide. Many more ecumenical and denominational prayer resources can be found here.
- While prayers are essential for changing hearts and minds, it is said that actions speak louder than words. There is a focus this year on taking our prayers to the places that are being destroyed. New to this year’s celebration of Creationtide, Christian communities will be engaging in symbolic actions in front of coal mines, fracking wells, and other sites of ecological destruction. Is there somewhere near you where protests are taking place? Can you go and join in?
- Can you help you your church building shrink its footprint? The Church of England provides some guidance, including highlighting A Rocha’s brilliant Eco Church project. If you haven’t already, what about using Creationtide as an opportunity to complete their survey to assess your church’s impact. We did it as a church last year and, even though we thought we were quite on top of these matters, we were reminded of things we hadn’t yet taken action on.
- If you have already switched to a renewable energy supplier have you also thought about where your bank is investing your money? We’ve just come back from the wonderful Greenbelt festival where Christian Aid was campaigning on divestment – the Big Shift – asking banks to clean up our cash. This ties into the ecumenical action planned for 4 October when Christian institutions around the globe will unite their voices and assets in a joint divestment announcement. If you think about your bank, pension fund, insurance premiums, what further action can you take to divest from fossil fuels?
- Can you become a more “conscious consumer” this Creationtide? Use this season to think about the actions you take and where you spend your money. Are you caring for God’s creation in everything you do? Browsing this web-site may prompt you to consider a new area of your life that you haven’t yet thought about. Today is also the start of Organic September – can you Organic Your September? Use your money to vote for bringing about God’s Kingdom, here on earth.
A couple of pictures to finish – a reminder of the beauty of God’s creation at the micro and macro level!