Season of Creation
(September 1 – October 4)
Creation Season (September 1-October 4) is celebrated by billions of Christians around the world. It begins on September 1 with the World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation and concludes with the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi on October 4.
The Episcopal Church joins this international effort for prayer and action for climate justice and an end to environmental racism and ecological destruction. The Season of Creation may be a great opportunity to hold an outdoor worship service, ministry or advocacy gathering, or another creative event! For more ideas, visit The Episcopal Church’s Season of Creation and St. Francis Day Resource Page.
Here in the Diocese of Western Massachusetts, we encourage you to mark the Season of Creation by inviting your congregation to join you in watching the four one-hour webinars on PRAY, LEARN, ACT, and ADVOCATE that the Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas and Creation Care Justice Ministry in the Diocese of MA held in 2021. View recordings of the videos on YouTube here.
Please read through our refreshed pages on Pray, Learn, Act, and Advocate. We’ve added new liturgies, a climate justice film series, new activities, and more. During Creation Season, will you and your congregation choose one or more items from each category?
One simple step you can take right now: If you are an Episcopalian in Massachusetts, please join Creation Care Justice Network, our growing band of clergy and lay people who are working together to build a robust response to the climate/ecological emergency. Three working groups meet separately from time to time: Action and Advocacy, Spiritual Practice and Grounding, and Communications and Networking. To connect with our network and receive email updates, please sign up here. For more information, please email: email@example.com.
WHAT WILL YOUR CONGREGATION DO THIS CREATION SEASON?
WHAT WILL YOU DO?
Celebrate the Feast of St. Francis (October 4)
Creation Season always ends on a high note: The Feast of St. Francis on October 4.
The Episcopal Church provides resources for planning a celebration of St. Francis. If you celebrate a Blessing of the Animals, you might focus on asking how humans can live in a way that blesses animals.
Becoming a Good Creature
A resource for children and adults for St. Francis’ Day (or anytime!)
But ask the animals, and they will teach you;
the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you;
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
New Hampshire author Sy Montgomery has spent a lifetime learning from animals, documenting their lives, and wondering about their souls. She has written a memoir for adults, How to Be a Good Creature, complemented by a children’s picture book version, Becoming a Good Creature.
For those who prefer to listen to the stories, you can access a Living on Earth radio interview here, or a talk at the New England Aquarium here. Consider using her work to spark conversations across the generations on how we honor and learn from animals and all creation.
For all-ages conversation and action: invite everyone to read, listen to, or watch one of these offerings.
– Have you ever experienced animals as teachers? Can you tell a story of an animal who taught you something?
– Of the different stories that Sy told, which one stood out for you? Why? Have any of her stories changed the way you think about animals in general or some animals in particular?
– How can we make the places where we live, work, learn, play, and worship more friendly to animals? How would you like to pray for animals?
– Choose an animal you care about and learn how it experiences the world. What can you do to help this animal live its fullest life? Draw a picture of this animal surrounded by the things that you’ve learned make it feel happy and safe; or make a plan with your family or church for how you can help it.
– Plant and tend a native tree, shrub, or plant that will provide food and shelter to animals who live near you. Learn more here: Native Plant Finder (by Zip code) and here: Homegrown National Park.
Learning more about St. Francis
Fr. Richard Rohr (Center for Action and Contemplation) has written extensively and produced many videos about St. Francis. Here is a 2-minute clip on YouTube:
The First Bible (Nature) & St. Francis.