Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I proclaimed 1 September as a day of prayer for creation for the Orthodox in 1989. In fact, the Orthodox church year starts on that day with a commemoration of how God created the world.
The World Council of Churches (WCC) was instrumental in making the special time a season, extending the celebration from 1 September until 4 October.
Following the leadership of Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I and the WCC, Christians worldwide have embraced the season as part of their annual calendar. Pope Francis made the Roman Catholic Church’s warm welcoming of the season official in 2015.
In recent years, statements from religious leaders around the world have also encouraged the faithful to take time to care for creation during the month-long celebration.
The season starts 1 September, the Day of Prayer for Creation, and ends 4 October, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology beloved by many Christian denominations.
Throughout the month-long celebration, the world’s 2.2 billion Christians come together to care for our common home.
The theme for the 2021 Season of Creation is “A Home for All? Renewing the Oikos of God,” based on Psalms 24:1.
Christians join the Psalmist in proclaiming the Earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it. (Psalms 24:1) However, the current climate crisis is accelerating ecological instability, which results in the loss of habitats that are homes for millions of species, including humans whose homes are at risk due to climate conflict, loss and damage.
By focusing the subtheme on the concept of oikos, we hope to lift up the integral nature of the many relationships that hold the web of life together. Within the whole inhabited Earth (oikoumene), the Church (oikoumene) calls all households and societies (oikos) to turn our political, social and economic systems (oikonomia) towards just, sustainable economies of life, which respect the limits and life giving ecological boundaries (oikologia) of our common home.
Webinar: Season of Creation intergenerational dialogue (3 June 2021)