The Season of Creation offers worshipers an opportunity to turn their full attention toward God the creator and toward their relationship with the whole creation.
See below for history and description of the Season of Creation.
Scripture Readings, Lectionary lessons for the three years of the Season of Creation. See lessons for Season C (2016).
Why celebrate the Season of Creation?
Pastor Carol Soderholm recently spoke of the benefits of celebrating the Season of Creation among her rural congregation in Pine Creek, Illinois. She said, "the Season of Creation is a gentle and beautiful way to wake up the people and to help farmers pay attention to the land." Thank you, Carol, for the spot-on endorsement!
What is the Season of Creation?
The Season of Creation is an optional season for the church year. For the most part, the seasons of the church year follow the life of Jesus: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, and Easter. The remainder of the church year encompasses Pentecost Season, which celebrates life in the Holy Spirit. Of course, there are many special days and occasional services throughout the calendar of the church year, such as Christ the King Sunday and Rogation Day. God is celebrated throughout the entire church year. And God the creator, Christ the redeemer of creation, and the Holy Spirit as sustainer of life are integral to worship throughout the church year. We hope that caring for creation is a vital dimension of every worship service.
A Special Focus in the Church Year
There is no focus in the church year on God the creator, no opportunity to reflect in a concentrated way on the foundations of redemption and sanctification, namely, the very creation itself that is redeemed and sanctified. For centuries, our theology, our ethics, and our worship have been oriented in two dimensions: our relationship with God and our human relationships with one another. Now it is time to turn our attention to God’s relationship with all creation and with our relationship with creation (and with God through creation). The experience of a Season of Creation through four Sundays in the church year alone will not bring the transformation in consciousness we need to address the ecological problems we face today in God’s creation. Yet unless we can see what worship can be like in a season devoted fully to Creator and creation, we will probably not adequately incorporate care for creation into worship throughout the rest of the year. A Season of Creation has proven to be valuable in its own right. Yet we also need the Season of Creation to wake us up and show us another way to do worship all the time
For four Sundays in the church year, you can join in a whole-hearted experience of celebrating the mysteries and wonders of creation with God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. In a special way, the Season of Creation follows the lead of the psalmists who exhort us to celebrate together with creation—with the forest, the rivers, and the fields who praise the Creator in their own way. We celebrate Earth, the garden planet God has chosen as God’s sanctuary and as our home. We celebrate with the creatures God has created as our kin on this blue green planet. As we celebrate, we are conscious of the crisis that creation faces because of human greed, exploitation, and neglect. As we celebrate, we empathize with those parts of creation—human and non-human—that are groaning because of human crimes against creation. And, especially, we celebrate the Christ, whose death brings forgiveness for our sins against creation and whose risen presence is the cosmic power at work in reconciling and restoring creation.
How Does it Fit in the Calendar of a church year?
The Season of Creation is a relatively new season of the church year, a season that is also known in the church bodies of some countries as “Creation Time.” As an optional season, the Season of Creation can be celebrated at different points in the church year. Most commonly it has been celebrated between Creation Day on September 1 and St Francis of Assisi Day on October 4. In this scenario, the four Sundays in September are the core Sundays of the Season of Creation. Nevertheless, the Season of Creation can be celebrated appropriately in the Easter Season or at other times in the Pentecost Season. Some congregations have spread the celebration of the four Sundays throughout the church year.
Celebrate this four week season (usually observed in September, but others celebrate it in the summer months or spread throughout the year) designed to celebrate God the Creator and the rich domains of creation with appropriate Scripture lessons, new liturgies, preaching resources, and more. In 2015, we celebrate the "Word Series" with Planet Earth Sunday, Humanity Sunday, Sky Sunday, and Mountain Sunday.
Click the link above for a gathering of the resources to assist in celebrating this season, including sermon reflections on the texts and new books that support the season.