26 Jul Time for Creation Prayer and Study Resources
‘Time for Creation’ is a season in which the church specifically focuses on giving thanks for and committing itself to care for God’s wonderful gift of Earth.
It runs from 1 September, which many churches are celebrating as a “Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation,” to 4 October, a day when many churches remember St Francis.
If you’d like to do a service there are many resources to help you plan. A number are listed below. For more general information on worship resources relating to the environment go to our Resources page.
- CTBI’s UK resources this year come from Eco-Congregation Scotland, and are built around the World Council of Churches’ theme ‘Joining the Pilgrimage for Justice and Peace’.
Following the Revised Common Lectionary readings for the four Sundays from 6 – 27 September, they have “a particular emphasis on the Gospel readings which feature Jesus journeying on the road.” For each Sunday, the materials provide background information, reflections on the readings, sermon notes, prayers, and ideas for hymns.CTBI also offers previous years’ Time for Creation materials and a superb general environmental resources collection with links to a variety of services and service outlines.
- If you’re tying Time for Creation into Harvest, you might want to look at the Arthur Rank Centre’s brilliant ecumenical collection of worship materials on agricultural themes or the resources for the agricultural year produced by the Church of England.
- The US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Resources for Liturgy: On Caring for God’s Creation offers, in addition to prayers, an excellent selection of suggestions for Scripture readings and hymns/songs.
- “Turn then and live” is a complete service for Time for Creation put together by the National Council of Churches in Denmark’s Climate Change Working Group. It was done in 2009, but still offers much that is relevant.
- World Council of Churches has a large collection of resources for Time for Creation, with the theme ‘Joining the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace.’ These include the United Evangelical Mission’s ‘Climate Spirituality’ leaflet, in which church leaders from Germany, Tanzania and Indonesia offer materials for services on the theme Land, Water, Air and Power.
- Season of Creation 1, Season of Creation 2 and Season of Creation 3 are collections from the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, which draw on material from around the world. Season of Creation 1 contains six complete liturgies based around a ‘lectionary for the season’, which focuses each week on a different area (land, water, biodiversity, etc) Each week’s materials also contain resources for small-group study. Season of Creation 3 has sermon notes, background information, and prayers for five services with the themes of climate change, eco-justice, water, creation and redemption and biodiversity.
- The Australian website Season of Creation takes the theme “The Spirit in Creation” and has five services that tie into the Revised Common Lectionary for 2015: Planet Earth Sunday, Humanity Sunday, Sky Sunday and Mountain Sunday, and a Blessing of the Animals. You might also want to look at the other services they’ve done for the other years of the Revised Common Lectionary
- The new website, Let All Creation Praise, gathers together Time for Creation materials from around the world. These include its own sermon suggestions for Forest, Land, Wilderness and River Sundays.
- A Rocha has created ‘At your service’ a website with worship materials on creation themes – at present these focus primarily on the theme ‘Whose world is it anyway?’
- The United Church of Canada has put together a series of services, based on themes such as ‘delighting in creation’, ‘wisdom’ etc.
(see also resources under Complete Services)
- The Anglican Communion Environmental Network has a list of downloadable prayers from the Anglican Church of Australia)
- CTBI’s ‘Creation Time: Additional Resources’ page has all kinds of prayers, gathered from many different sources, as does the Arthur Rank Centre’s searchable collection of worship materials.
- Eucharistic Prayer for the Season of Creation from the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.
- John Birch’s Celtic-style Harvest liturgies fit well with Time for Creation themes, as do some of the prayers in his collection of prayers relating to Creation
- ‘God of Life, lead us to act” a prayer by Bishop Reuel Norman O Marizga, of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines.
Further Sermon Notes, Reflections and Presentations
(see also resources under Complete Services)
- Ten Themes for Sermons on Environmental Justice, from Steve de Gruchy.
- The World Council of Churches has a variety of reflections on the theme “God of life, lead us to justice and peace”. You might wish to take a look, for example, at the ones by Bishop Sofie Peterson, the first Inuit bishop of the Danish Lutheran Church, and the Revd Dr Simon Kossi Dossou, of the Protestant Methodist Church in Benin.
- Pastoral Letter on the Environment from the Anglican Abp of Kenya, the Most Revd Eliud Wabukala.
- Reflection on creation, interdependence and spirituality, from the URC’s Revd David Tatem.
- The World Is Our Host a statement from 17 Anglican bishops who met to reflect on environmental issues, contains much of value for study and reflection.
- As noted above, Season of Creation 1, Season of Creation 2 from the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and Home from A Rocha contain material for group study sessions.
- The Agriculture and Theology Project is a vital resource: you might want to use their new free download of Margot and Martin Hodson’s “Climate Change, Faith and Rural Communities” or their look at the environment, climate and agriculture, “Honey and Thistles,” for study.
- Christine Sine’s “Godspace” offers reflections and prayers on God, Creation, and gardening.
- Agency, Sin and Grace: Protestant Perspectives on Mission and the Earth Crisis, by Steve de Gruchy. Not the easiest of reads, but divides well into sections and would make an interesting basis for group study.