As you settle back from Earth Week planning, do not get too comfortable. The Season of Creation is coming in 4 months and now is the time to start planning, especially if you want to plan and promote a full month study and/or sermon series. Ministers often scope out their worship emphases 6 months in advance (or more), so now is the time to engage.
The Season of Creation is an ecumenical observance during the month of September begun by a Lutheran pastor in Australia in 2000 and expanded and spread worldwide with the support of the Uniting Church in Australia beginning in 2004. The idea was to establish a liturgical season to celebrate God’s Good Creation, a period of at least four weeks running through the month of September. Many churches end the observance on St. Francis Day, October 4, at time often observed with a blessing of the animals.
The United Methodist Church Board of Discipleship acknowledges the Season of Creation as an alternate observance during Kingdomtide. This year the scripture will follow Year B in the Lectionary and run from September 5 through October 3. The themes for this year include Earth Sunday (Sep 5); Humanity Sunday (Sep 12); Sky Sunday (Sep 19) and Mountain Sunday (Sep 26). October 3 is the optional celebration of the Feast of St Francis.
An Australian theologian, Norm Habel, developed resources for this season for years A, B, and C. His book, The Season of Creation: A Preaching Commentary, (Fortress Press, 2011) and his website https://seasonofcreation.com/ are invaluable for congregations desiring to implement a Season of Creation celebration.
Other useful resources include…
- Oikoumene World Council of Churches Season of Creation
- Let All Creation Praise Season of Creation
Also check the UMC Board of Discipleship website in the next few months for updated material.