September 1 is designated the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation and the start of the Season of Creation. The Season of Creation is an annual month-long season for Christians to pray and act to protect creation. It is part of a global ecumenical movement that takes seriously the biblical call for us to live in a mutually caring and respectful relationship with the earth that honors it and all living things upon it. This will be our second time observing this season.
The theme for 2020, “Jubilee for the Earth: New Rhythms, New Hope,” speaks to the crises affecting our world. The COVID-19 pandemic has made clearer the gross injustices perpetuated by economic, social, and political systems that structure our lives and the ways we are connected. We see how our ways of life – our use of natural resources, what we do with our waste, our production of food, trade policies, and how we deem those in the margins of society – too often lead to destruction, suffering, and death.
“Jubilee for the Earth” invites us to imagine with God a new way of living with the earth and one another. A way that brings rest, restoration, and hope. Beginning in March, the pandemic altered our usual pattern and rhythm of life. We now know what it means to change the way we are used to doing things. From being told to stay in our homes and keep physical distance to wearing a mask, shopping in different ways, and worshiping online, we have made necessary adjustments for the good of our community and households. “Jubilee for the Earth” turns our attention to broader changes we need to make as well. What political, social, and economic changes can bring restoration to the earth and all creation dependent on it? What must we learn and understand to contribute to that restoration? What can we do to nurture life and enhance sustainability where we live? What will it take for us to see creation as God sees it, call it good, and act in ways that keep it so?
Our celebration will kick off with our virtual ice cream social Sunday evening. It will also feature weekly practical ideas for how to care for creation, scripture and music to guide acts of restoration, and a guest presenter, Rev. Doug Bland from Arizona Interfaith Power & Light, on Sunday, October 4.