Global celebration urges “radically new ways of living” to protect our common home

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The Season of Creation, an annual celebration of prayer and action for the environment, began on 1 September. During this annual event, Christians around the world renew their relationship with the Creator and all creation through celebration, conversion and commitment

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The Season of Creation, an annual celebration of prayer and action for the environment, begins on 1 September. During this annual event, Christians around the world renew their relationship with the Creator and all creation through celebration, conversion, and commitment.

Although Christian communities have incorporated this annual event into their calendars for years, this year’s celebration has particular resonance. During the health, economic, and environmental crises that have shaken our world, the season asks Christians to enter a “jubilee for our Earth,” which is the suggested theme for the season, and to find “radically new ways of living.”

For The Rev’d Prof Dr Ioan Sauca, interim general secretary of the World Council of Churches, “Season of Creation is a very good example ot true ecumenical spirit to pray together and act together on the global challenges we are living in today. Faith is an indispensable part to change the world to a more sustainable and just place. Season of Creation is witness to that”, said the WCC leader.

The season began with an online prayer service led by young people. With their prophetic stand for radically new ways of living, young people are urging adult allies to act now, while the option for acting is still with us.

Throughout the season, thousands of digital commitments and hundreds of local events continue the momentum in locations as diverse as Nanyuki, Kenya, where shade and fruit trees will be planted to protect an ecologically sensitive site, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where a group will plant trees in commemoration of the Amazon, and Wellington, New Zealand, where an ecumenical group will hold a walking reflection on the Genesis creation story. These events will draw from the celebration guide available here.

In addition to commitments from the laity, high-level leaders including the Vatican, HAH Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Anglican Bishop Holtam of Salisbury, and other leaders have made statements in support of the season and its opening day, the World Day of Prayer for Creation.

The history of the Season of Creation reveals its true ecumenism. Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I proclaimed 1 September as a day of prayer for creation for the Orthodox in 1989. The World Council of Churches was instrumental in making the special time a season, extending the celebration from 1 September to 4 October, the Feast of St. Francis. Pope Francis made the Roman Catholic Church’s warm welcoming of the season official in 2019.

An ecumenical steering committee suggests resources for the season each year. More information is available at SeasonOfCreation.org

Rev. Henrik Grape: “Understanding the need for creation to rest” – WCC interview (31 August 2020)

“Seraphim of Zimbabwe: During Season of Creation, ‘we give back to God everything that he has given to us’ ” – WCC interview (29 August 2020)

“Season of Creation 2020 Celebration Guide, ‘Jubilee for the Earth,’ now available” – WCC news release (28 May 2020)

Learn more about Season of Creation 2020

Learn more about the work of the WCC on care for Creation and climate justice

First published on the World Council of Churches website on 1 September 2020.

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