Season of Creation Three

Season of Creation - Book 3What is The Season of Creation?

The Anglican Church is taking care for creation seriously. Our fifth mark of mission is “To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth”

As the Anglican Church we have different Seasons in our Liturgical Calendar, we remember God the Son at Christmas and Easter, we remember God the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, but when do we preach and teach about God the Father, the Creator?

The Season of Creation was first adopted in 1989 by the Greek Orthodox Church and the concept has rapidly spread to other denominations. Since then churches internationally have taken initiatives to develop materials for the ‘Season of Creation’ or ‘Time of Creation’. Most commonly is it celebrated between Creation Day (Sep 1st) and the feast of St Francis of Assisi on October 4th.

Last year at the global gathering of the Anglican Communion (ACC) a resolution was passed: ‘in the light of alarming ecological trends observed worldwide we request that the provinces take the following action: to consider the inclusion of a Season of Creation in the liturgical calendar”

ACSA has taken this call seriously and you will now find readings for the Season of Creation in your lectionary.

(Taken from Green Anglicans News)

In his foreword to the Season of Creation Books, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba says:

“My prayer is that this resource [the Season of Creation Books] may enhance our worship of God, deepen our comprehension of God as Creator, and broaden our understanding of our calling to be faithful stewards of creation.  In this way, I hope that we will be encouraged to work to overcome the threats to our planet that come through human selfishness and be strengthened in our commitment to care for the whole intricate web of life of which we are part, for, as the Psalmist says, ‘the Earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it’ (PS 24:1)

Caring for the environment has been identified as one of ten priority areas for action at Provincial level, as a part of our Vision for our church.  Yet our vocation to be faithful stewards of all that God has entrusted to us is not new, being rooted in the creation accounts with which our Bible opens.  Here we read that God ‘formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life … and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it’ (Genesis 2:7, 15)

Sadly we have not done a great job of taking care of God’s good gifts.  Instead, all too often we bring about lasting damage.  Now we are faced with environmental degradation, climate change and in many places, soaring food prices and falling food security.  These resources remind us that with God’s help, we can rediscover his vision for living in harmony with the world in which he has places us.”

During the Season of Creation (1 September – 5 October) we are afforded a great opportunity to be able to take a long hard look at how we treat our precious Planet Earth that our Father God has entrusted to us, and in ask forgiveness for our apathy, greed and non-caring attitude, we can investigate ways and means to work towards improving not only our attitudes, but the situation as well.

Season of Creation Books

These books – Book 1 & 2 – are available to purchase as hard copies from the Publications Department at R30 per copy (plus postage) –publish@anglicanchurchsa.org.za; or you can download a free copy from

(here The Season of Creation Eucharistic Prayer is available in Afrikaans, isiZulu and Setswana)

(Season of Creation Book 3 is available on the JAEI resources page. Click here.

Thinking out of the box!!!

Hold a Special Environmental Service during September! 

  • Have a special Environmental Liturgy & hymns/songs  (see Season of Creation books for approved Liturgies) (visit www.jaei.org.za Resources download of the Books and also Hymn/songs ideas)
  • Do a skit/playlet about the environment instead of the Sermon (visit www.jaei.org.za Resources for ideas)
  • Have and impromptu litter pick up in place of the

Sermon

  • Hold your Service outdoors – in the Church grounds,  in a local park or Nature Reserve
  • Ask everyone to wear green or something green to the Service
  • Have an “unplugged” Service – switch off the electricity and rely solely on candles light and unaccompanied voices or guitars for music
  • Have the children make posters the week before and bring them into the Church for the service
  • Organise a flower festival
  • Have and Animal Blessing day on the 5th October (St Francis Day)
  • Plant trees (Season of Creation coincides with Arbor month)
  • Invite someone to speak about the environment in place of a Sermon
  • Hold a debate/discussion about the environment in place of a Sermon

These are a few suggestions, but you will be able to come up with many more! …… 

How is YOUR Parish celebrating for Season of Creation? 

Here is an invitation for you to let us how your Parish celebrated the Season of Creation.  Send a short report (preferably with photos) through to JAEI at noeleen@jaei.org.za and the three most original celebrations will receive a copy of Season of Creation 3 once it is available!

Have you considered becoming an Eco-Congregation?

Becoming an Eco-Congregation is a response to our faith commitment. It weaves caring for the world and creation into all aspects of life and work in a congregation. It encourages three core areas of involvement:

  • Ecological Spirituality
  • Stewardship of the Earth’s bounty
  • Local and global community action:

JAEI in partnership with SAFCEI has a programme that Parishes can follow in order to become an Eco-congregation.

Contact Noeleen at JAEI to find out more! (noeleen@jaei.org.za) .

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