By The Rev. Canon Pam Hyde, Canon for Creation Care
Creation Season is just three weeks away! Someone asked me the other day what I wanted to accomplish by promoting a Season of Creation for churches in the Diocese. “I hope to create a deep connection to God’s creation for people in this diocese through worship and praise,” was my answer. And although that’s still my answer, as I’ve thought about that question in the past few days I want to add, “and help them fall in love with the natural world.” Creation Season is an opportunity for us to turn our gaze upon this beautiful Earth, allow ourselves to fall deeply in love with it, and sing out our thanks and praise to God for creating it — and for creating us.
Creation Season is a time to remember — or even learn for the first time — that we are intimately connected to this earth and all its creatures, and give thanks for the complex and beautiful relationships between all forms of life on earth. As one of the collects for Honoring God in Creation, as contained in the Book of Occasional Services, begins,
God, maker of marvels,
you weave the planet and all its creatures together in kinship;
your unifying love is revealed
in the interdependence of relationships
in the complex world that you have made.
We praise you, Creator God, for your marvelous gift.
Creation Season is a time to acknowledge the ways we have failed to honor the sacredness of creation — to confess, repent, and seek forgiveness. As it says in “A Confession of Sin against God’s Creation,”
We confess that we have failed to honor you
by rightly claiming our kinship with all your creatures.
We have walked heavily on your earth,
overused and wasted its resources,
taken for granted its beauty and abundance,
and treated its inhabitants unjustly,
holding future generations hostage to our greed.
Have mercy on us and set us on a new path, Loving God.
Creation Season is a time to sing for joy at the stunning beauty of the world around us! As we sing in Hymn 405,
Each little flower that opens,
each little bird that sings,
he made their glowing colors, he made their tiny wings.
The purple-headed mountain,
the river running by,
and the morning that brightens up the sky.
He gave us eyes to see them,
and lips that we might tell
how great is God Almighty,
who has made all things well.
All glory be to you, God of beauty, maker of all things.
So what will your congregation do this Creation Season? And what will you do?
Creation Season begins on September 1 with the World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation and concludes with the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi on October 4. I invite you and your church to celebrate celebrate this season, reconnecting with the sacredness and beauty of our natural world, and praising and thanking God for the wondrous gift of Creation.
To help with preparations for Creation Season, I offer the following resources and ideas:
- Find worship resources on the Creation Care section of the diocesan website under Season of Creation resources. Here you’ll find guidelines, online resources, book sources and music sources.
- An information session was held via Zoom on July 13 to help churches plan their Creation Season. If you would like to receive a copy of the Zoom recording of that session, send an email request to me.
- Consider holding a service outside during the season. If your church has a garden or other natural space, just move outdoors. Or find a local park or outdoor space in your community where folks can feel the breeze, listen to the birds and absorb the sunlight.
- Go for a hike. Organize a relatively easy hike for your church community, perhaps bringing preparations for a Eucharist at your destination. Or just grab a group, lace up your hiking boots and explore your local trail.
- Host a Creation Fair for your church or the wider community!
A few things to take advantage of during the season:
- A Prayer Calendar for Creation Season 2021 — from September 1 through October 4, pray each day for a special part of God’s creation in Arizona or one of the organizations that is working to protect and care for the Earth.
- Climate-Crisis Preaching: A Conversation with Jim Antal and Margaret Bullitt-Jonas on Thursday, September 16 (Zoom).
- And for a fun thing, try out Creation Season Bingo — including a few links & resources to help you play!
(The collect for Honoring God in Creation and “A Confession of Sin Against God’s Creation” can be found in The Book of Occasional Services 2018 on pages 290 and 300 respectively.)