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The ‘Season of Creation’ is the period in the annual church calendar dedicated to God as Creator and Sustainer of all life. The season is also called ‘Creationtide’ or ‘Creation Time’. It runs from 1 September (the Global Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation) to 4 October (St Francis of Assisi Day).

‘To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth’ is the Anglican Communion’s Fifth Mark of Mission.

Many Anglicans use the Season of Creation to pray and celebrate creation, focus on the story of Earth, and commit to a ministry of healing Earth. It is also a time when we give thanks for the food we have and take action for those in need.

Senior clergy, including our Primate and the Archbishop of Canterbury, have called us to shift our focus during this period. This is similar to how we shift our focus during Lent and Advent.

To inspire you and help you explore, celebrate and take action during Creationtide we have gathered a range of resources.  We draw on and give thanks to the leadership and work from other parts of the Church, particularly the Church of England (CofE), Season of Creation (an ecumenical partnership), TEAR, A Rocha and the Anglican Communion Environmental Network.

– Gillian King and Rev’d Pamela Phillips (both members of the Public Issues Commission)

Calls to action for Creationtide

Call to prayer during Creationtide – Bishop Nicholas Holtam (Diocese of Salisbury) Video (3:04)

Call to action for Season of Creation, including statement from Archbishop of Canterbury about our changing climate (Anglican Communion) Video (1:03)

Liturgical resources for Creationtide

Liturgical, worship and study resources (CofE National Environmental Working Group) PDF / DOC

Green Communion resources (including a sermon) (A Rocha & others)

Liturgical resources (Guildford Diocese, CofE) PDF / DOC

Prayers (Leeds Diocese, CofE) PDF / DOC

Prayers (gathered by Rev’d Pamela Phillips)

Prayer for Creation (Mark Charles)

Ecumenical material and to join with others across the world in celebrating creation – Season of Creation website

Creation candle (Rev’d Pamela Phillips)

Eucharist

All-age Worship (Manchester Diocese, CofE) PDF / DOC

Parish Eucharist (Winchester Diocese, CofE) PDF / DOC

Eucharist with garden blessing (Westcott House, CofE) PDF / DOC

Environmental Crisis and Changing Climate

Vigil for our Changing Climate (CofE) PDFDOC

Service of Word for rural communities in times of environmental crisis and changing climate (CofE) DOC

Service of Word for urban communities in times of environmental crisis and changing climate (CofE) DOC

World Day of Prayer for Creation (1 September)

Prayer:  Eternal God, You crown the year with goodness, And you give us the fruits of the earth in their season, Grant that we may use them to your glory, for the relief of those in need, and for our own well-being, Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen (CofE)

St Francis Day (4 October)

Eucharist for St Francis (CofE) PDF / DOC

Service of Celebration of Animals (CofE) PDF

Service of Songs of Praise for God’s Creation (CofE) PDF

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You have taught us, through your servant St Francis, That all creation is your handiwork. Grant us your grace that we may Exercise wise stewardship of this Earth; Tread lightly upon it; And cherish its resources; That our children may enjoy its riches, throughout all generations, And your name be glorified through all that you have made. Amen.  (CofE)

Night Prayer (Compline)

Night Prayer (Compline) – Order 1 (CofE) PDF / DOC

Night Prayer (Compline) – Order 2 (CofE) PDF / DOC

Agricultural seasons / calendar

Liturgical resources for the agricultural year (CofE)

Reflection and discussion resources for Creationtide

Letters for Creation – global conversation initiated by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Senior clergy from across the Communion (including our Primate) share their thoughts on two questions:

  • What does the Care for God’s Creation mean in your Province?
  • What do you want to say to the Anglican Communion about the Care for our Common Home?

Mission and Creation Care for Christian Disciples (5 Group Studies & Discussion with accompanying Leaders Notes, from John Ray Initiative)

Calendar of readings for reflection and discussion (CofE)

A Christian Look at the Environment (5 Bible Studies, from Dena Burne – at bottom of web page)

Daily reflections emails – message every day with a biblical passage, prayer or reflection, questions and stories of creation care

(EcoChurch Southwest, CofE)

Taking action during Creationtide – ideas to try out, habits to build

(adapted from CofE’s Creationtide Actions and Reflections for 2018)

Lifestyle (suggested for week 1)

He brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. Deut. 26.9

Celebrate – Could you hold a community bring & share lunch supper? You could use traditional organising or try the big lunch tool to get everyone involved.

Use what you buy. Try using a meal planner to help avoid wasting food you don’t eat.

Try to buy local and seasonal food – not only are you minimising transport miles but you’re also supporting the local economy.

Avoid excess packaging wherever possible to reduce plastic waste and if you can’t make sure you recycle it.

Drink water from your tap; use a jug; add a slice of lemon or use a water filter if necessary. Bottled water caused much more damage to our climate than tap water – and it creates plastic pollution.

Try a meat free Friday. Eating more plant based food saves land, water and reduces damage to our climate. Or could you eat less meat but from a source with better animal welfare?

Community (suggested for week 2)

Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above. James 1. 17

How can you support others as a church?

Help fill Anglicare’s emergency relief pantries across the ACT and NSW. Every donation makes a difference to supporting vulnerable people.

Does your church have any land? Could you grow food or develop a sensory garden – being outside and taking part in a community garden has been shown to be good for physical and mental health.

Is there somewhere in your community you could plant native and/or bee-friendly plants to help encourage wildlife and pollinators? You can get advice from Australian Native Plant Society, your local garden club or a local nursery.

Do a random act of kindness. You could bake someone a cake, prepare some food for someone who is a full-time carer or even just share some biscuits.

Take a moment of reflection to consider what action you can take within your community or lifestyle to be a witness to your faith.

Organize a litter pick locally or just take a bag with you when you go out.

The War on Waste is having a huge impact on waste in Australia. Go to the War on Waste website to learn more and take action.  The War on Waste Action Toolkit can help get you started working with others in your local community.

Do you have a community food co-op near you, if not could you form one? Food co-ops, food buying groups & food clubs are run on a not-for-profit basis and aim to give people access to good food at affordable prices.

Farming & biodiversity (suggested for week 3)

Happy are they who delight in the law of the Lord… They are like trees planted by steams of water, bearing fruit in due season. Psalm 1: 2-3

Could you hold a short prayer service somewhere associated with food supply – at a farm or outside a supermarket or other food shop?

Pressures on farmers are huge – from issues of isolation through to financial worries. These pressures are particularly bad with drought, changing climate, and other environmental crises. There are flow-ons to other people in rural communities. Consider how you could demonstrate the love of God and care for creation by supporting affected people.  If you are not directly affected, you could donate to or volunteer with support organizations such as Anglicare, mental health or other support groups – ABC Rural has provided some guidance. If you or anyone you know needs help:

OzHarvest works to eliminate hunger and food wastage through the redistribution of quality surplus food. Contact your local OzHarvest team to help or support it to collect good quality excess food from commercial outlets and deliver it directly to charities supporting people in need.

Bees are a key pollinator of food crops. Keen to learn more or even become a bee keeper? Contact Act for Bees, the ACT Beekeepers Association, Amateur Beekeepers Association of NSW.

We depend on soil for survival, particularly for growing our food. Learn more about improving soil health from Healthy Soils Australia or by inviting the Advocate for Healthy Soil, former Governor–General, Major General the Hon. Michael Jeffery (an Anglican who worships in this Diocese) to a meeting or event.

Global neighbours (suggested for weeks 4 & 5)

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth 1 Corinthians.

Choose Fairtrade – with simple shopping choices you can get farmers across the world a better deal. Most supermarkets sell Fairtrade products at affordable prices. Don’t just think coffee and chocolate look out for Fairtrade cotton, sports balls and other products.

One third of all food produced in the world ends up as waste. You can do your bit by connecting with neighbours and local shops so surplus food doesn’t go to waste. Apps like Olio might be helpful.

Did you know that by 2050 we could have more plastic than fish in the sea?

Forests are home to nearly half of the world’s species and 1.6 billion people rely on forests for their livelihoods. Look out for the FSC label on products to make sure you are buying recycled materials and/or those from well-managed forests.

Palm oil is widely consumed but expanding plantations threaten some of the world’s most important habitats. See which products contain palm oil and look out for the RSPO or Green Palm label that indicate more sustainable choices.

Waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert Isaiah 35: 6.

Pray for our brothers and sisters across the Anglican Communion experiencing droughts, rising sea level and flooding.