Celebrate the Season of Creation

Greetings friends as we continue through Pentecost Season together. In both hemispheres, the seasons will shortly change and we are freshly reminded of God’s glorious handiwork in our various environments. For God’s beautiful creation, and for our place within creation, let us be thankful together.

One way to express our thanks is through our worship, no less so through the Season of Creation. There are many creation-themed resources now published online for the season of creation. A resolution from the last Anglican Consultative Council invited all provinces in the communion to consider establishing a season of creation within their liturgical calendars. To support this initiative many provinces, denominations and individual authors have created some wonderful rites for our use.

Yes, in many Anglican provinces, permission is required from a local bishop before proceeding so proceed with respectful caution. That said, where flexibility is permitted, even encouraged, many of these rites contain resources of music, prayer, homilies, contextual introduction, audio-video presentations and Eucharistic rites for your consideration.

1) The Church of the Province of Southern Africa has published its third assembly of rites, Season of Creation 3. Goto http://www.greenanglicans.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Season-of-Creation-Three.pdf

Organized thematically it includes material relating to:

• Climate change
• Eco-justice
• Water
• Creation and Redemption
• Biodiversity
• St Francis Day

Each section has Sermon notes, Collect for the day and liturgical materials.

General Seasonal liturgical materials include:

• Eucharistic prayers
• Final blessings
• Benedicite Africana (Song of Creation)
• Penitence
• Prayers for the land
• The taking of the bread and wine
• Creeds
• Blessings
• Peace sentences
• Candlelighting
• Songs

2) An ecumenical website Let All Creation Praise which is based in N. America with connections internationally hosts a huge variety of resources from Lutheran, Episcopal/Anglican, United Church and other denominational sources.

The 2014 four-week cycle SPIRIT SERIES looks intriguing and useful.

http://www.letallcreationpraise.org/united-states-ecumenical/spirit-series-a

Through a four-week cycle congregations experience Forest, Land, Wilderness and River Sundays. There are two liturgies for each week with other resources sprinkled throughout the many webpages.

3) The World Council of Churches has gathered a number of resources and links in many languages at http://www.oikoumene.org/en/what-we-do/climate-change/time-for-creation

Note in particular sermon notes from Churches Together In Britain and Ireland and Worship resources for the four Sundays produced by Eco Congregation Scotland on behalf of the Church of Scotland.

4) Finally, Christian Concern for One World has assembled a staggering number of resources, some current, some from previous years. It’s all good stuff and deserves a careful examination. The link document is organized thus: (some material is duplicated above)
• Time for Creation: Worship Resources
• For the Love of …
• Oceans of Justice Campaign
• Hope for the Future
• Fossil Fuels: Divestment and Engagement
• Hunger for Justice
• Fast and Pray for the Climate

The link document can be accessed at http://www.ccow.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/CCOW-Guide-to-Time-for-Creation-2014.pdf

As mentioned above, there is no shortage of material for the creative worship planner as we seek to share our enthusiasm for God’s creation.

Grace and compassion to all, Ken Gray+

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