From September 1 to October 4, Christians around the world are uniting to pray and care for creation. It is the “Season of Creation,” and it is happening from Paris to Pittsburgh, Pretoria to La Paz. The theme for this year’s celebration is “walking together”. There are endless ways as a community to show you are on a journey towards better care of our common home.
Our well-being is so closely linked with the well-being of the entire Universe and we share a common role as stewards of God’s creation.
“But ask the Beasts, they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will teach you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of God has done this?” (Job 12: 7-9)
This Season offers a precious opportunity to pause in the midst of our day-to day lives and contemplate the fabric of life into which we are woven, as well as joining together to rejoice in the great gift of creation and reflect on how we care for it.
“Everything is related, and we human beings are united as brothers and sisters on a wonderful pilgrimage, woven together by the love God has for each of his creatures and which also unites us in fond affection with brother sun, sister moon, brother river and mother earth” (Laudato Si’, 9).
In walking together, we follow the role of Jesus, who walked with friends on the roads around Jerusalem. As he travelled the byways of his community, Jesus invited us to encounter God through God’s presence in creation. Whether by considering “the lilies of the field” or the “grain of wheat that falls to the earth,” the spiritual journey of following Jesus is closely tied to the everyday wonders of nature that He experienced in His earthly journey.
Dear pilgrim, As you go into the wilderness of the land and of your heart—
May you experience the ever-flowing grace of God’s presence!
May you be immersed so fully in God’s love that you learn to let go and swim!
May you engage deeply and radically with the natural world, as steward, co-creator, and friend!
May you drink anew from the divine source, the stream of living water!
And may you be transformed, may the stagnant waters of your spirit begin to flow, and may all which is dead in you rise again!
God is here. The river awaits. Let the adventure begin. Amen.
Written by Lisa Hershey Kutolowski
From The River of Life Prayer Book for the Connecticut River Pilgrimage 2017,
Here are some practical ways in which we can care for our common home:
- Spend some time outside each day.
- Start to grow some of your own food; support local producers.
- Compost your garden and food waste.
- Avoid or reduce the use of chemicals in your home and garden.
- Plant pollinator friendly plants in your window box or/ and garden at home or/and in your parish grounds. http://www.biodiversityireland.ie
- Shop wisely-Buy Fairtrade and buy locally made products when possible.
- Refuse packaging – Reduce – Re-use –Recycle -Upcycle
- Make your home more energy efficient
- Explore the use of renewable energy in your home, business and school.
- Refuse single use plastics such as cling film, straws, plastic cutlery.
- Switch to a reusable water bottle /travel cup.
- Avoid plastic wrapping when possible
- Use cloth bags for shopping
AFFIRMATION OF FAITH
We believe that God creates all things, renews all things, and celebrates all things.
We believe that Earth is a sanctuary, a sacred planet filled with God’s presence, a home for us to share with our kin.
We believe that God became flesh and blood, became a part of Earth, a human being called Jesus, who lived and breathed and spoke among us, suffered and died on a cross, for all human beings and for all creation.
We believe that the risen Jesus is the Christ at the core of creation reconciling all things to God, renewing all creation, and filling the cosmos.
We believe that the Spirit renews life in creation, groans in empathy with a suffering creation, and waits with us for the rebirth of creation.
We believe that with Christ we will rise and with Christ we will celebrate a new creation. Amen