Preparing for a Season of Creation (Sept. 1 – Oct. 4, 2024)

Preparing for a Season of Creation (Sept. 1 – Oct. 4, 2024)

The Diocese of Washington is one of 28 dioceses in The Episcopal Church that authorized special prayers and readings for last year’s Season of Creation.

The Season of Creation is marked by Christians around the world from September 1 (the World Day of Prayer for Creation) through October 4 (Feast Day of St. Francis). During this special season, churches preach, pray, and teach about God’s love for the whole Creation and the need for urgent action to heal the world that God made, addressing such issues as climate change, environmental stewardship, and biodiversity. This year’s theme is “To hope and act with Creation.”

A global movement has begun to adopt an ecumenical Feast Day of Creation on September 1 in liturgical calendars worldwide. Currently no feast day is dedicated to the theological mystery of creation as the foundational event of salvation history, or to God as Creator.

A resolution has been submitted to General Convention to support ecumenical efforts to declare a worldwide Feast Day of Creation in 2025, encourage promotion of September 1, 2024, as a special day of prayer for Creation, and encourage celebration of the Season of Creation in The Episcopal Church.
The Rev. Canon Dr. Rachel Mash, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, suggests that the Feast of Creation begin by confessing “that we have ignored the fact that salvation is not just for human beings – God’s plan is for the whole cosmos… God loved the whole cosmos, not just the people, but [also] the ecosystem, the whole web of life. He sent his only begotten son to die to bring reconciliation with God, between humans, and with the Earth.”

The Diocese of Washington will soon be invited to authorize special prayers and readings for the 2024 Season of Creation, which will be posted before General Convention at Created by the Rev. John Lein and the Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, this updated version of A Celebration Guide for Episcopal Parishes includes a preaching guide for Year B, an all-new Daily Office guide, and a much-diversified set of readings.

EDOW’s Creation Care Committee urges all diocesan congregations to use this special season as an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the theological mystery of creation and to celebrate the whole of Creation.

Abbott McCartney
Creation Care Committee

Special Earth Day Celebration with the Piscataway Singers and Dancers

Special Earth Day Celebration with the Piscataway Singers and Dancers

Recognizing the reverence held by indigenous peoples for creation and the earth, St. John’s Norwood invites you to celebrate Earth Day with the Piscataway Nation. Enjoy the Piscataway Singers and Dancers, meet Chief Tayac, and learn more about the Piscataway Nation and their cultural heritage.

If you cannot attend in person at St. John’s Norwood, please join us via Zoom.

At the time of Columbus, as many as 10 million Native Americans lived in North America. A succession of Algonquian peoples ultimately coalesced into the
Piscataway Nation of the Chesapeake & Tidewater regions of Maryland. The Piscataway were the first Native Americans to encounter Captain John Smith along the banks of the Potomac River in 1608. Today, Mark Tayac and the Piscataway Nation Singers & Dancers carry on the long standing traditions, culture and heritage of their indigenous ancestors and welcome the opportunity to educate and entertain audiences who want to learn more about American Indian history, culture and

Organized as part of St. John’s 150th anniversary-year celebration, this special event is brought to you in part by St. John’s Opportunity Shop, serving the Bethesda Community for over 75 years.

Water and Wilderness Church

Water and Wilderness Church

An outdoor walking service in the wilderness of God’s creation, WWC is for seekers, believers, and all who find connection to God through nature. We join our worship with the ongoing worship of God and presence of Christ made manifest in the natural world. We sing songs, listen to the gospel, pray for the world, walk and reflect together, and share Eucharist in communion with the body of Christ that includes all natural wonders. Birds, trees, water, sky, and the setting sun are all part of our worship.

Resources for the Stewardship of Creation

Resources for the Stewardship of Creation

Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22. It is a time to take stock of our lives: Are we acting as good stewards of God’s creation? What more can we do, with God’s help?

A resolution at General Convention in 2022 committed The Episcopal Church to a goal of net carbon neutrality in its operations by 2030, and encouraged parishes and dioceses to do the same, “through reducing emissions from travel, energy use, increasing energy efficiency in buildings, and purchasing offsets from investigated, responsible and ethical partners.”

The phrase “net carbon neutrality” may be unfamiliar. It means eliminating or offsetting all of our emissions from fossil fuel use – to stop contributing to climate change. Please consider forming a team to discern the next steps for your parish.

Here are some resources for discernment and engagement on that journey:

Read: Living in an Icon, by Robert Gottfried & Frederick W. Krueger, shows how contemplation of God’s Creation inspires and empowers us to be better stewards. Braiding Sweetgrass, by the Native American biologist Robin Wall Kimmerer, will help you see the beauty of ecology and how every act is potentially sacred. Finding the Mother Tree, by forester and scientist Suzanne Simard, will help you understand how trees communicate and how much about Creation we human beings are just now beginning to perceive.

Watch: Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist and gifted communicator, explains in a TED talk why it is so important to wean ourselves off fossil fuels as soon as possible, moving to clean energy, and how important it is to talk about why climate change matters to us as human beings and as Christians. Look up Prof. Hayhoe’s books and articles to learn more!

Learn: Did you know the Diocese has a web page devoted to creation care? We also have a monthly newsletter on ways to engage and events to attend – just send an email to sign up. Richard Rohr’s Center for Action and Contemplation offers daily messages that include healthy doses of why Creation Care matters. A “zine” from Sojourners presents Creation Care information in a fun format that’s easy to read, with important discussion questions that let you and your group dig deeper. Katharine Hayhoe’s weekly newsletter also includes the good news along with the not so good.

Partner: Join with others in taking action. Interfaith Power & Light will help you reduce and clean up your energy use – become one of their Cool Congregations! (EPA’s ENERGY STAR for Congregations website is amazingly helpful.) Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake can help with tree planting and water runoff.

Do: Get your energy from the sun and save money – either from panels on your roof or community solar. Replace your gas stove with an electric cooktop, or just add and use an induction burner. Get fresh food from a community-supported agriculture source like the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Clagett Farm. Drive less and walk more! Don’t forget to plant and care for native trees in our area!

And pray every day, not just on Earth Day, that God will do miraculous work in helping us care for the world we live in – the world we will leave to our children and grandchildren.