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Episcopal Creation Season

In the Episcopal Church USA, a concerned network of active lay and clergy persons formed the Episcopal Ecological Network (EpEN).  They independently developed liturgical lectionary resources for a Creation Season.  You can find those materials here.  

For other resources and general information, the homepage of the Episcopal Ecological Network is available by visiting eenonline.org.


NEW

Christ Church Cathedral of Indianapolis also created their own six-week Season of Creation in the summer of 2016, including these Sundays: The Stars in Their Courses; The Seas and All That is in Them; This Fragile Earth, our Island Home; All Creatures Great and Small; From Every People, Language and Nation; and Stewardship of Creation. 

Thank you to Meghan McConnell, CCC Communications and Evangelism, for sharing a variety of their resources!  Meghan reports, "it was a very successful series with our congregation. Overall within the 6 weeks we saw a 10% increase in average Sunday attendance in the late summer -- in a time in our church life when most people are 'on vacation' it was a good series for us!"

A main description is available at www.cccindy.org/a-season-of-creation/.

Podcasts of the sermons for the season are available at cccindy.libsyn.com/. (Find Sundays July 24-August 28, 2016)

Collects written for each Sunday (with images) are at www.cccindy.org/season-creation-collects/.

Don't miss their photo album, filled with amazing pictures from the season!

And many more of their resources are shared here.


Below is historical background from Skip Vilas on the origins and development of the Episcopal Creation Season.

A news clip on the American Episcopal Church’s website of June 06, 2008 read:  “[Lambeth Palace] Church leaders in the United Kingdom have called upon Christians to use the period from September 1 until October 4 as an opportunity to put the environment at the heart of their worship. The 'Time For God's Creation' initiative, which would run annually, follows a resolution made at the Third European Ecumenical Assembly in 2007, which was attended by representatives of Europe's Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant churches, that the period "be dedicated to prayer for the protection of Creation and the promotion of sustainable lifestyles that reverse our contribution to climate change."

This news item caps a process that began in 1991, when the Rev. Philip Wilson, rector of the Church of Redeemer in Morristown, New Jersey, had the inspiration to initiate a liturgical season in the Christian annual cycle dedicated to God the Creator, and to the Creation itself.

Wilson conceived of a season that would stretch for eight weeks, from St. Francis’ Day in early October until the Advent Season of the Episcopal Church in December, thus exposing believers at all levels of their being, physical, mental and spiritual, to the concepts of environmental stewardship and ecological justice.

In a neighboring parish, St. Paul’s Church in Chatham, NJ, the season was celebrated for the decade beginning in 1992, and members of that church began spreading word about the Season to other churches in the United States and abroad. During the decade of the 1990's, many Episcopal, Methodist and Lutheran congregations in the United States received information on the Rev. Wilson’s inspiration from St. Paul’s. Material was also sent to Australia and to England.

In Australia, the Creation Season became a national ecumenical event, as the Lutheran Church developed a four week season, and promoted material on the internet. From there, the idea of the Season spread to Europe, where the Third Ecumenical Assembly in 2007 affirmed this liturgical celebration, as recorded in the news clip above. Most recently, the Anglican Church in South Africa has developed materials for a “Creation Time.”

In the Episcopal Church of the United States, the House of Bishops meeting at the General Convention of 2009 considered a resolution from the Diocese of New Jersey establishing the option of a Creation Cycle of the Pentecost Season, and referred it to the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, to be reported back in 2012. The material contained within this pamphlet is the result of the Commission’s work.

--Rev. Franklin E. Vilas, D.Min. for the Episcopal Ecological Network