Panorama of Assisi, Italy

The seminar, hosted by Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino from the Roman Catholic Church, was attended by church leaders, representatives from ecumenical institutions, biblical scholars, eco-theologians, liturgists, ecumenists, youth, Indigenous people, politicians, and scientists.

The World Council of Churches was represented by the WCC moderator Bishop Dr Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, joined by Rev. Dr Kuzipa Nalwamba, WCC programme director for Unity, Mission, and Ecumenical Formation; Dr Andrej Jeftić, director of the WCC Commission on Faith and Order; and Dr Louk Andrianos, consultant for Care for Creation, Sustainability, and Climate Justice.

During the high-level theological session of the seminar, Bedford-Strohm offered insight on the doctrine of creation from Nicaea to the third millennium. He developed the reasons why envisioning an ecumenical creation liturgy each year on the Sunday after 1 September would be an excellent idea.

WCC moderator Bishop Dr Heinrich Bedford-Strohm presentation 
at the seminar in Assisi. Photo: Tomás Insua


Bedford-Strohm said: “It will help lay the groundwork for a new global culture of love and respect for human beings and non-human nature. It will help strengthen the soul basis for a global ecological transformation bearing witness to God’s creation meant to blossom and to make visible the beauty of God’s creation.”

Nalwamba reiterated the engagement of the WCC 5th Assembly in grappling with ecological issues since the 1970s, mentioning the call for a just, participatory, and sustainable society. She also mentioned the WCC presence at all UN climate conferences since the 1992 UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

The speakers noted that the WCC started to support Season of Creation in 2016 and the engagement of the WCC moderator as well as of WCC representatives from the Faith and Order Commission, and Public Witness and Diakonia, reveals the importance that WCC gives to this initiative for instituting the Feast of Creation in all churches, for the sake of the planet, as well as for the promotion of ecological justice, peace, and the unity of churches.

At an ecumenical panel entitled “Our Ecumenical Kairos: Fertile Soil for the Feast of Creation,” Jeftic described the continuing commitment of the WCC in popularizing the annual celebration of the “World Day of Prayer for Creation” on 1 September, popularly known as “Creation Day” or “Feast of Creation.”

“Thanks to WCC’s 2008 endorsement of Creation Day, and its role in the 2016 setup of the ecumenical committee to animate the larger Season of Creation process, the most tangible expressions of the ecumenical kairos for ecological metanoia has been embraced more and more widely in the global fellowship of Christians,” said Jeftic.

At a second ecumenical panel dedicated to “The genesis and blossoming of the Feast of Creation,” Andrianos shared the Orthodox and ecumenical background history of the Feast of Creation which was originally inspired by an ancient tradition of the Orthodox Church. Today all major church denominations are joining the annual observance through countless ecumenical initiatives and prayers, celebrating God as Creator and the great mystery of the creation of the cosmos.

Group photo Assisi seminar

Group photo of the participants at the nternational seminar on “The Feast of Creation and the Mystery of Creation: Ecumenism, 
Theology, Liturgy, and Sigs of the Times in Dialogue,” from 14-16 March at Laudato Si’ Center of Assisi and Pro Civitate Christiana, in Italy.


Andrianos welcomed the proposal to “upgrade” the celebration of the Creation Day on 1 September from its current “World Day of Prayer” status, by jointly instituting it as an official ecumenical liturgical feast in the calendars of Western churches.

The Assisi seminar started with visits to historical monasteries and places related to the life of the Catholic Saint Francis (Patron of Animals, Merchants & Ecology, 1181-1226) with a contemplative prayer in the forest of the “Eremo delle Carceri” mountain sanctuary (where St Francis prayed). 

WCC and partners to host seminar in Assisi on Feast of Creation (New Release, 21 February 2024)

Sustainability and Economy of Life