The Prophet Isaiah proclaims: “Listen carefully, I am about to do a new thing, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even put a road in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43: 19). The Season of Creation is an international, ecumenical, liturgical movement inviting Christians of all backgrounds and nationalities into a month-long season of hearing the cries of creation, raising our awareness of the new thing God is doing, and advocating for policies around the world that expand environmental justice.
From September 1 – October 4 (the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi), individuals, congregations and communities are invited to participate in this world-wide movement through prayer, communal worship, and action.
As we enter this time, the U.S. is experiencing a year of disasters reflecting the accelerating consequences of the climate crisis, even as global leaders prepare to meet in New York for United Nations summits on climate ambition and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 2023 report of the International Panel on Climate Change points to a path for a livable future — if we act together now. The cries are urgent, but we are called to act in hope.
Here are some ways and your congregation can participate along with the global church in this season:
- Pray for our partners participating in UN Climate Ambition Summit and SDG Summit.
- Celebrate the Season of Creation by sending us a photo! We’ll post one-a-day for the whole month! Email LAMPa@lutheranadvocacypa.org or DM us with your pic, photo credit and reflection on what it says to you about God’s creation! Follow along on Facebook!
- Join an interfaith contingent of advocates in the March to End Fossil Fuels in New York on Sept. 17. The gathering will include a prayer service as the United Nations begins a week of summits. If you would like to connect with other Lutherans at the march, please drop us a note at LAMPa@lutheranadvocacypa.org.
- Host a worship centered on creation, either on Sunday, Sept. 17, or any time during the season: Use this prayer for the day and others resources developed by Lutherans Restoring Creation or Season of Creation to shape a worship with your congregation and community, to celebrate the gifts of creation, hear the cries of all affected by the climate crisis, and remind ourselves of our call to action. Be sure to take pictures and use #SeasonofCreation2023 to be connected to all who are raising their voices together. Feel free to use these posters.
- Tell Congress to act. Knowing that environmental disasters are made worse by the climate crisis, send lawmakers a message through these ELCA action alerts: Simplify and Improve Disaster Response Policies and Support Policy that Reforms Disaster Relief and Prevention.
- Join LAMPa’s statewide creation care network by sending us a note at LAMPa@lutheranadvocacypa.org with CREATION in the subject line. Be connected with faithful stewards across Pennsylvania to share ideas and best practices for reducing our individual, congregational and community environmental impacts, learn about funding sources, and receive advocacy updates to act together for our common home.
- Be prepared to act on state and federal policy by signing up to receive action alerts from LAMPa and ELCA Advocacy.
- Sign up for news, events and resources from Lutherans Restoring Creation, including ways to lower your own carbon footprint.
- Check out these EnergyStar resources to help your congregation improve energy and water use efficiency.
Lutheran Teaching and Care of Creation
Like all the work we do as LAMPa and ELCA Lutherans, our advocacy in the public arena is shaped by the social teachings of the church. The ELCA’s social statement, “Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice,” and new social message, “Earth’s Climate Crisis,” give important theological insight into the deep tradition of caring about ecology and sustainability. If you would like to learn more about the social statements, or how to lead a Christian education/faith formation session on caring for creation, check out the many resources on the ELCA website, or contact us at LAMPa@lutheranadvocacy.org for more information.
Prayer as World Leaders Gather
Let us now take a moment to give thanks for this beautiful life, confess our species’ greed, and pray for the well-being of the world God so loves…
O God, whose fingerprint is reflected in every leaf and person, you have entrusted us with the resources of Creation
And yet we squander your generous life-giving gift as if there is endless supply.
Transform our stewardship from immediate gratification to generational investment.
You once set a mountain ablaze with your holy presence and set communal justice in motion
Yet now the wilderness is consumed by flames, raining down the ashes of life that was.
Kindle the passionate flame of environmental justice. Raise new life from the scorched earth.
You ask for our prayers to rise as incense in your holy temple
Yet the haze of pollution billows from our overconsumption, choking the lungs of our world.
Inspire the winds of change, so that humanity may sing in harmony with creation.
You give us soil as the renewable canvas for planting a masterpiece of crop and harvest
Yet we strip the skin of earth’s surface to pillage the fuel of fossils below.
Sow the seeds of transformation in the heart of humanity that we may be good soil.
You turned the Nile to blood to curb hearts towards liberation
Yet we turn the veins of the earth red with acid mine drainage and neglect for life.
Wash us thoroughly from our iniquity, and cleanse us from our sin.
You parted the waters to reveal the dry land, home of plant, animal and human
Yet in a single day we produce islands of plastic that will remain for a thousand years.
Breakdown our dependency on petroleum and reclaim creation for your purpose of life.
You give water as the lifeblood of the earth whose veins flow from the heart of your Kin-dom
Yet we siphon and swallow them dry without concern for those downstream.
Let your justice roll down like a river that our cups may overflow with your compassion.
You created us in your image to share in mutuality and reciprocity with all creation
Yet we distort this good relationship and shatter the reflection of your heart.
Put the shards back together through kinship, so that we may heal from the damage we have inflicted on ourselves and creation.
Inspire in us repentance and encourage our struggle for a just future
As we join you in mending this wounded world and its people
So that the fullness of your Kin-dom dream may become reality for all
Into the ages of the ages.
Composed by Rev. Lee Gable & Rev. Inge Williams for Lutherans Restoring Creation