A new guide for eco-theological worship resources and activities for the 2020 Season of Creation is now available, thanks to a wide array of ecumenical partners, including the World Council of Churches (WCC). A webinar, “Jubilee for the Earth: New Rhythms, New Hope,” is also planned for 8 June.
The theme for the 2020 Season of Creation is “Jubilee for the Earth,” and the new guide provides creative ways for WCC member churches and all people of good will to participate in the Season of Creation liturgical season, which is held annually between 1 September and 4 October.
The guide contains an ecumenical prayer service, liturgical resources, meditations, and ideas for action and advocacy that help individuals or congregations animate this year's theme.
The guide helps people explore the reality that, this year, the global reach of the novel coronavirus revealed our shared human nature and the inter-connectivity of our economies, political structures, health care systems, food production chains, and energy and transportation systems in devastating ways. The pandemic also demonstrated that the entire web is rooted in the earth and limited by the earth’s capacity to sustain our economic and ecological demands. The unjust effects of climate change are a consequence of our inability to find a sustainable balance of this web.
"Last year's the theme of Season of Creation was "The Web of Life' and this year the 'Jubilee for the Earth" is chosen to advocate for life sanctification and give rest to all Creation”, said Dr. Louk Andrianos, WCC Consultant on the Care for Creation, Sustainability and Climate Justice. “Accidentally or by providence, the COVID-19 crisis showed us that giving rest to Earth from human exploitation can save life and the overall creation. This could give us an eco-theological lesson to tackle the climate crisis as well", he added.
The beginning and the end date of Season of Creation are linked with the concern for creation in the Eastern and the Western traditions of Christianity, respectively.
September 1st was proclaimed as a day of prayer for the environment by the late Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I in 1989. The Orthodox church year starts that day with a commemoration of how God created the world. On 4 October, Roman Catholics and other churches from the Western traditions commemorate Francis of Assisi, known to many as the author of the Canticle of the Creatures.
The proposal to celebrate a "Time for Creation" during these five weeks was made by the Third European Ecumenical Assembly in Sibiu in 2007. The following year, the WCC Central Committee invited churches to observe "Time for Creation" through prayers and actions. In 2015, Pope Francis has designated September 1st as a World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation for the worldwide Roman Catholic Church as well.
Throughout the years, major Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, and Anglican organisations have joined to encourage the 2.2 billion Christians worldwide to pray and act on ecological issues.
In 2016, Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew I released their special messages for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, kicking off the month-long Season of Creation celebrations. Both leaders used strong language to stress the urgency of the ecological crisis and the need to take action on climate change.
The Season of Creation is facilitated by the World Council of Churches, the Global Catholic Climate Movement, ACT Alliance, World Communion of Reformed Churches, the Anglican Communion Environmental Network, A Rocha, the Lutheran World Federation, Christian Aid, Lausanne/WEA Creation Care Network, and European Christian Environmental Network.