Creation Time

What is Creation Time?

In 1989 the Ecumenical Patriarch suggested that 1 September, the first day of the Orthodox Church's year, should be observed as a day "of protection of the natural environment". Ten years later the European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN) widened this proposal, urging churches to adopt a Time for Creation stretching from 1 September to the feast of St Francis on 4 October and this was endorsed by the 3rd European Ecumenical Assembly in Sibiu, Romania in 2007, which recommended 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".

Since 2008 churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) has compiled a programme of resources to encourage and assist churches to observe Creation Time and will do so again this year. These include suggestions on a variety of ways in which churches, groups and individuals could choose to focus on a creation theme at this particular time of the year.

 

Creation Time 2019

We have known for decades that this time will come. We have been made aware of the rapid extinction of beautiful and unique creatures. Thanks to the honest and disciplined work of climate scientists, we know (unless we fall victim to fake news) right now, that our lifestyle is unsustainable, and our dominant philosophy of ‘permanent growth at all cost’ carries the seeds of the destruction of the life that God called good.

Over and above the foolish stewardship of land and resources, yet closely allied to it, is the crisis of values, and of spirituality; a twisted and self-deceptive view of ‘profit’. The whole Christian family now has an unprecedented opportunity and calling: to bring together mission, justice, stewardship, and study: to bring out of our ‘treasure’ the determinative priorities and values that are so different from those piloting Creation towards catastrophe. And above all, to take note of, and act on, and trust in, the worth we are given (each and all of us) in Christ. The worth and encouragement we may give to our neighbour, and our fellow creature, in partnership, rather than exploitation. May we cherish and be empowered by the knowledge of our enduring and transforming worth in the sight of God. Even if, until now, we have indeed pursued ‘worthless things’.

You can download all the resources as a complete set or by individual weeks below.  

Even You

This year we offer reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary Readings appointed for these weeks, set against the backdrop of the extreme urgency  of the climate crisis and the challenges, which confront us all, without exception, to change our own lives and support and encourage others in the just transition to a human world more likely to weather the turmoil  that undoubtedly lies ahead of us all.

Our writers are drawn from a variety of  church backgrounds and pastoral contexts, so do not expect that they all speak with one voice or perspective. We all share, as Pope Francis as said, a ‘Common Home’, and offer this work in trust that there is no one whose contribution is not vital to the healing  partnership of Christ with God’s Creation.  The God of the Bible’s tendency, observable in these readings, to ‘bring the baddies on board’ should steer us to a conciliatory approach, rather than a blame-game, fruitless denial of the crisis, or a complacent acceptance of the principles, whilst reserving exceptions for ourselves.  The bottom line, is the love for your neighbour, as yourself.

A bit about this year's writers: 

Rev David J.M. Coleman is Environmental Chaplain for Eco-Congregation Scotland, an ordained minister of  the United Reformed Church and is a member of the Iona Community.

 

It is part of his role as Eco-Chaplain to co-ordinate the writing group, who all contributed voluntarily.  Where there were gaps when a deadline was reached, he also ‘filled in.

 

We are tremendously grateful for this commitment, and for the variety and integrity of approaches as we read the Bible in a declared age of climate emergency.

 

At the beginning of the work, writers were offered an ‘auction’ of their own choice of readings to work on. We worked together with ‘Weekly Worship’ in the Church of Scotland, to whom we are grateful for formatting and proof-reading, and this year once more used the Revised Common Lectionary Readings for our reflection.

 

David would be extremely interested in contacting writers for next year’s Creation time/Season of Creation material as soon as possible.

 

This version includes additional links, and identities the writer of each piece, as our context is rightly part of the message we convey.

 

 

Our writers:

 

Marian Pallister is a member of St Margarets RC parish in Lochgilphead, is vice chair of Justice and Peace Scotland, Justice and Peace commissioner and ambassador for SCIAF for the diocese of Argyll and the Isles.

 

Miriam McHardy is a freelance writer, ecumenical  researcher, involved in volunteer development, retreat giver, active in ACTS, and in the RC Church.

 

Dr Rosemary Power is a member of the Iona Community who currently works in parish ministry in Scotland.

 

Jeremy Williams Author, blogger and campaigner. Co-author of The Economics of Arrival, writer of The Earthbound Report, blog. Freelance writer for RSPB, Oxfam, WWF, Tearfund and wide variety of organisations, campaigns and small businesses. 

 

Richard Murray is a Lay Reader in the Scottish Episcopal Church and a member of its Church in Society Committee, where he has a focus on environmental issues. He is a trustee of Eco- Congregation Scotland.

 

Rev Gordon Craig is UK Oil and Gas Chaplain, providing pastoral and spiritual care to those who work or have worked in the industry and their dependants.

 

Rev Sally Foster-Fulton is an ordained minister in the Church of Scotland, Head of Christian Aid Scotland, and a board member of Eco Congregation Scotland.

 

Rev Lindsey Sanderson is a United Reformed Church minister, serving three congregations in the Joint Pastorate of East Kilbride and Hamilton.

 

David Bethune is a member of Selkirk Parish Churchs Eco-Congregation group; a Silver Award winning congregation that took the decision to withdraw funds from shared investment arrangements that included fossil fuel companies.

 

Rev Dr Tamás Kodácsy is Chair of Ökogyülekezet, the Eco-Congregation movement in Hungary.

 

Matt Baines is a Support Worker for adults with learning disabilities through CrossReach and the Youth Ministry Development Worker for the URC in Scotland, often to be found around Edinburgh on his bike.