Churches in Ireland will join Christians throughout the world in celebrating Creation Time from 1st September until the Feast of St Francis on 4th October 2018.
Creation Time is an opportunity for Christians of all traditions to reflect on the wonder and mystery of God’s Creation and to choose better ways to relate to the living earth, ways that reflect God’s ways of justice and peace.
Creation Time is promoted by Eco-Congregation Ireland (ECI) – an inter-church project that encourages churches to take an environmental approach to worship, lifestyle, property and finance management, children’s and youth work, community outreach and contact with the developing world. Creation Time resources prepared by Eco-Congregation Ireland are available on the Eco-Congregation Ireland website here.
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’. In 2015, Pope Francis has designated September 1st as a World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation for the worldwide Roman Catholic Church as well.
Since 2008 Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) has compiled a programme of resources to encourage and assist churches to observe Creation Time. 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.
Scottish resources and worship material for Creation Time 2018 comes from an ecumenical writing group, with contributors from the Church of Scotland, the Roman Catholic Church, the Salvation Army, the Scottish Episcopal Church, and the United Reformed Church. It follows the theme of ‘Passing our Planet On: God’s Gift to Us’. These are available on the Eco-Congregation Scotland website.
For further information, see www.ecocongregationireland.com.
Catherine Brennan SSL
Roman Catholic representative
The Eco-Congregation Ireland (ECI) committee is made up of representatives the Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland, Methodist and Presbyterian Churches as well as the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Ireland. Since it was set up in 2005, ECI has presented awards to parishes and dioceses that have taken environmental steps in four areas – practical, spiritual, community and global.
Web: www.ecocongregationireland.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ecocongregationireland