Anglicans across the world marked this year’s Season of Creation, an ecumenical focus on the environment that ran from Sept. 1 to Oct. 4.
The Ecumenical Patriarch first proposed the Season of Creation Ecumenical to run from the Orthodox Church’s World Day of Prayer for Creation and ending on the Feast of St. Francis. The Anglican Consultative Council endorsed the idea when it met in New Zealand in 2012. Pope Francis endorsed the idea in 2015.
In the Anglican Church of Congo, Bishop Bertin Subi of the Diocese of Katanga joined members of Anglican and Reformed churches to identify areas where they went to pray “and to hear the cry of the earth.” They planted trees to “heal the area” and committed to working with the national environmental group to see how to preserve and to protect the area.
The Church of South India’s Eden Eco Spirituality Centre in Othara, Kerala, was the venue for a united service on Sept. 1 to mark the World Day of Prayer for Creation. The Rev. Viji Varghese Eapen, director of ecumenical relations and ecological concern for the CSI, dressed as a farmer to deliver the sermon.
In the Church of Southern Africa, the Diocese of Swaziland joined with Lutherans to hold a river cleanup on the Mbabane River. They were joined by visitors from the Diocese of Iowa and the Diocese of Brechin and supported by the Municipality Council of Mbabane and the Swaziland Environment Authority.
It was one of various Anglicans participating in the International Coastal Clean-up Day. Young Christians from the Diocese of Saldanha Bay in South Africa collected trash at Milnerton Beach, a popular surfing spot well known for its view of Table Mountain. Young Anglicans from the Diocese of Lebombo in Mozambique worked with the Municipality of Maputo to collect bottles from Costa do Sol Beach.
In Canada, Anglicans from St. Paul’s Cathedral in Kamloops, part of the Territory of the People, joined a guided walk around Lac du bois Park and Isabel Lake, hearing about how the waters are affected by soil conditions and the rivers that flow into them. They then held a Eucharist on the shore of Lac du bois.
The Rev. Rachel Mash, environmental coordinator of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and a member of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network, welcomed these efforts.
“The Season of Creation offers churches a change to connect with the spirituality of care for creation, as well as to take part in practical creative actions,” she said. “From Alaska to Zululand, churches are getting involved. It is inspiring to see how different denominations are coming together with a commitment to heal the Earth, our common home.”
The Anglican Communion Environmental Network is encouraging churches to share their activities during the Season of Creation on Green Anglicans’ Facebook page.
Adapted from Anglican Communion News Service