The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Washington are committed to promoting respectful care of God’s creation, and particularly to working against climate change and on behalf of climate justice. Sign up for the Episcopal Creation Care newsletter and follow the diocese’s activities by following the EDOW Environmental Network on Facebook.
Read the Creation Care Task Force’s Parish Engagement Report.
Communion Forest Initiative
The Diocese’s Creation Care Task Force works to promote and assist parishes with environmental sustainability and responsibility in our faith communities and neighborhoods. As part of this undertaking, the Task Force discerned a call for the diocese to take part in the Anglican Communion Forest initiative and as a first step in participating in the initiative, introduced the resolution “On Planting Trees to Celebrate Special Occasion” at the 2023 Diocesan Convention inviting parishes to plant and care for trees to commemorate birthdays, baptisms, confirmations, weddings, and in honor of loved ones.
Plan ahead for the Season of Creation, Sept. 1 - Oct. 4
The Season of Creation, September 1st through October 4th, is celebrated by Christians around the world as a time for renewing, repairing and restoring our relationship to God, one another, and all of creation. The Episcopal Church joins this international effort for prayer and action for climate justice and an end to environmental racism and ecological destruction. This year’s theme is Listen to the Voice of Creation, and the Season of Creation 2022 Celebration Guide is now available with event ideas, prayers, resources, and more!
The Season of Creation may be a great opportunity to hold an outdoor worship service, ministry or advocacy gathering, or other creative event! For more ideas, visit our Season of Creation and St. Francis Day Resource Page.
Season of Creation Additional Resources
The Southern Africa Links Committee and the Environmental Network developed these resources and the Bishop authorized them for use in our congregations in October of 2019 as a response to a resolution at the 2019 Diocesan Convention. The resource includes a letter from the developers, an extensive lectionary, and prayers for various parts of the Eucharistic liturgy. Most of the material is from our sister churches in the Anglican Communion.
Feast of St. Francis of Assisi Resources
The Feast of St. Francis is celebrated on October 4 each year. St. Francis is the patron saint of animals and the environment and worship inspired by this Feast typically include pet blessings, prayers for environmental protection and conservation, and a call to a lifestyle based in simplicity and service of others.
Episcopal Church St. Francis Day Resources: Use this comprehensive resource to plan a Blessing of the Animals service, a St. Francis Day service, or to find story books and historical resources about St. Francis of Assisi.
La Bendición de los Animales: Blessing of the Animals services in Spanish, published by the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.
Liturgies for Animals
Prayers for the Feast of St. Francis
Almighty and Merciful Father, whose care and loving kindness are over all thy creation, breathe forth into us thy spirit of compassion and tenderness towards all creatures thou hast made and in whom thou are the indwelling life. Teach us, O Lord, to look upon our younger brethren as a trust from thee, that the day may be hastened when men shall neither hurt nor destroy in all thy holy mountain; through Christ our Lord.
–From The Liturgy of the Liberal Catholic Church ( London : St Alban Press.)
O God, I thank thee
for all the creatures thou has made,
so perfect in their kind–
great animals like the elephant and the rhinoceros,
humorous animals like the camel and the monkey,
friendly ones like the dog and the cat,
working ones like the horse and the ox,
timid ones like the squirrel and the rabbit,
majestic ones like the lion and the tiger,
for birds with their songs.
O Lord give us such love for thy creation,
that love may cast out fear,
and all they creatures see in man
their priest and friend,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
–George Appleton in The Oxford Book of Prayer, Oxford University Press, 1985.
Creation Care Task Force
This task force serves as a resource for congregations and our collective diocese to create lasting change and deepen our commitment to care for all of creation.
Doug Holy, Co-Chair
Melissa Sites, Co-Chair
The Rev. Catharine Gibson
The Rev. Beth O’Callaghan
The Rev. Mary Sebold
Staff: Rudy Logan
EDOW Environmental Network
The EDOW Environmental Network advocates for change on the increasingly urgent issues of the environment. From promoting a campaign to give up plastic for Lent to raising awareness about climate change, the Network actively promotes greener lifestyles and workplaces.
The EDOW Environmental Network has DVDs licensed to present in public venues on climate change (Wisdom to Survive) and plastic use and pollution (Bag It!) that can be shared with churches. Please let us know if you’d like to arrange a screening.