From Sept. 1 to Oct. 4, Anglicans will join in prayer with Christians around the world to sustain and renew the life of the earth as we mark the annual Season of Creation.
To help observe the 2017 season, a new web page from the Anglican Church of Canada offers a complete list of related resources, information, and events. Highlights include a Season of Creation Online Prayer Service featuring National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald and other world religious leaders, which will help launch the season on Sept. 1.
“I am excited to be a part of the Season of Creation—timely and prophetic action on the part of the churches,” Bishop MacDonald said. “Hopefully, it will capture minds and hearts around the globe.”
Prayer resources and a downloadable Season of Creation toolkit from the Green Churches Network are also available, while our full communion partners in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada offer additional liturgical and prayer resources.
“I think that it’s as important a time as any to be focused on what’s happening with the environment in the world, and to be really concerned about the impacts that we’re having on the environment,” Public Witness for Social and Ecological Justice lead animator Ryan Weston said.
“This is the chance for us to engage in that thoughtfully and to really set aside some time to reflect on what role we can play and what we’re responsible for … For parishes, whether they’ve done it before or never done Season of Creation previously, there are a bunch of resources that are available to create opportunities for that kind of reflection and engagement around our responsibility towards the earth, and towards each other.”
Thinking globally, acting locally
The Rev. Ken Gray, secretary of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network and co-chair of the Creation Matters working group, said that the push to observe the Season of Creation has been an ongoing conversation across the worldwide Anglican Communion.
At the 2009 and 2012 meetings of the Anglican Consultative Council, which took place respectively in Kingston, Jamaica and Auckland, New Zealand, representatives of different provinces were encouraged to create lections, liturgies, and even incorporate the Season of Creation into their calendars.
Gray said he was “encouraged” by the increasing global observance of the season.
“Folks are digging in deeper, learning more about science and theology and spirituality and activism,” he said. “I think it’s fair to see each of those four are becoming more widespread with regards to creation, and folks are going deeper, and spending more time and energy on producing events and resources.”
As dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral in Kamloops, B.C., Gray is front and centre at perhaps the most intensive observance of the Season of Creation among any Anglican congregation in Canada.
For the second year in a row, St. Paul’s will be offering a four-week program of worship, education, community, activity, artistic reflection, and musical creation throughout the season.
Meanwhile, other congregations can find a variety of resources to mark the season in a manner suited to their own local environment.
“The resources are really accessible … so I think it’s easy to find what works in your own context and to have the flexibility to develop a local response to it,” Weston said.
Feedback is welcome to gauge how members of the Anglican Church of Canada are currently marking the Season of Creation and making use of available resources.
To provide feedback via email, contact Ken Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org.