In January of this year, the Peacemaking Task Force presented a document to the Presbytery, “A Way Forward for Creation Care”, which was well received. The document opened with twelve brief statements of belief followed with a lifting up of the four key areas of the church’s life: worship, education, stewardship and witness.
We Presbyterians are quite clear that all work begins with worship. That is why we open all meetings with prayer and every week begins with worship on the Sabbath. Worship is at the very heart and soul of our life as a people of faith. The Season of Creation speaks to this first key area of our life as people of faith.
What is the Season of Creation?
As a succinct section from the August newsletter of New Scotland Presbyterian Church says: “The Season of Creation began in 1989, when the Orthodox Church set aside September 1st as the day to remember how God created the world. The idea has spread throughout the world and the Season now goes from September 1 to October 4 which is the Feast Day for St. Francis in some traditions. For the Sundays in September … we will be focusing on aspects of God’s creation. “
Why have a Season of Creation ?
The simple answer is because we need it, especially during this time of climate change. A fuller answer can be found in the very fine and useful book A Season of Creation – A Preaching Commentary by Norman C. Habel ( and others) published by Fortress Press.
The introduction of the book states: “There is no focus in the church year on God the Creator…. For centuries our theology, our ethics, and our worship have been oriented in two dimensions: our relationship with God and our human relationship with one another. Now it is time to turn our attention to God’s relationship with all creation and with our relationship with creation (and with God through creation).”
I recommend the preaching commentary mentioned above. Although it is a bit expensive, it is worth every penny.
The Book’s Content
The book is comprised of two parts. Part One has three sections: “Introducing the Season of Creation”; “A Theology of Liturgy in a New Key – Worshipping with Creation”; and “Engaging the Bible in a New Key – Reading and Preaching”.
Part Two has the lectionary and commentary for each of the four Sundays for each of years, A, B, C, depending on which cycle we are in. Currently we are in Year C.
Who is Celebrating The Season of Creation ?
The answer is: Lots of Churches! And the number is growing. The numbers include churches in our presbytery , churches in other denominations and many Roman Catholic Churches.
Not only is The Season of Creation helping churches to respond to climate change from a faith base, it is also providing a means for a growing unity among churches of various traditions. Furthermore, it is a way by which churches are proceeding from celebrating the seasons of creation into the larger work of creation care.
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Is There Hope in the Age of Climate Change?
Yes, by acting now there is hope. It is also hopeful that many parts of our society are seeing the need to deal with Climate Change as a much higher priority than before.
In addition, the church is beginning to wake up and respond in faith and practice to the work of Creation Care. The Seasons of Creation is one of the means by which we are fed and led into a deeper love of The Creator and of Creation. There is hope, however hope needs to be combined with faith and work.
The Season of Creation is one of the ways by which we can move forward in faith and work.