For a number of years now, Sophia’s Spring has participated in the Season of Creation during the month of September. Below Norm Habel tells how it came to be that many churches the whole world over set aside September to participate in this.
We celebrate the season of Advent before Christmas. We celebrate the season of Lent before Easter. When do we celebrate the season of Creation? And where did this season begin?
This new season of the church year is celebrated during the four Sundays of September that precede St Francis of Assisi Day (4 October).
Around the world, churches are become acutely aware of the environmental crisis. Our precious planet is at risk. In response, many congregations in the Western world have celebrated Earth Day, World Environment Day or St Francis of Assisi Day.
The season of Creation begins as an Australian story.
I, like many in our Lutheran Church in Australia, grew up in the bush. I climbed every tree within miles. I felt close to creation: the soil, the streams and the sounds of the bush. Celebrating the creation I love has long been one of my dreams.
In 2000, at St Stephen’s Lutheran Church, Adelaide, South Australia, we decided to celebrate creation. For four weeks we relived the great creation stories in the Bible. The children loved it. We also confessed what we have done to creation and how God is working to renew creation. It was an exciting beginning!
From 2001 to 2003 I worked with the Uniting Church Commission for Mission in Melbourne, Victoria. After a series of workshops, their leaders agreed to explore the idea of a season of Creation. The idea was a genuine local dream, not a product from abroad.
In 2003 and 2004 the Uniting Church in Melbourne provided the funds to develop the resources needed to celebrate the season of Creation. In September 2004 the season was trialled in about fifty congregations in Melbourne and Adelaide. My thanks to the Uniting Church for taking the risk to support this Australian venture of faith.
The Season of Creation is now celebrated in many countries around the world. – Norm Habel from the Seasons of Creation website.
This year the Season of Creation follows the second of the three cycles and the themes for each Sunday are Humanity, Planet Earth, Sky and Mountain, and then concludes with Animal Blessing Sunday on October 4th. All animals with their humans are welcome at this service, so please tell your friends. We will meet at the Learning Centre at 10.00am, as we do each Sunday.
So this Sunday we began with Humanity. We chose to focus on the good humanity can do together and for the reflection time we had our own version of a ‘world cafe’. We also watched this uplifting Youtube clip
<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/kbJcQYVtZMo” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
(link if video does not show https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbJcQYVtZMo )