Season of Creation: Launch of celebration guide and theme
2021 theme: “A home for all? Renewing the Oikos of God”
(LWI) – Christian communities worldwide are invited to begin planning their Season of Creation celebrations with the new Season of Creation Celebration Guide titled “A home for all? Renewing the Oikos of God.”
The Season of Creation starts 1 September, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. It ends 4 October, the Feast of St. Francis, the patron saint of ecology beloved by many Christian denominations.
“Referring to Psalm 24:1, the Season of Creation theme focuses on the fact that the Earth belongs to God, and each beloved creature belongs to this common home,” said Rev. Dr. Chad Rimmer. He is the Chair of the Ecumenical Season of Creation Steering Committee and Program Executive for Lutheran Theology and Practice for the Lutheran World Federation (LWF).
“The Greek word for ‘home’ is oikos,” Rimmer explained. “By rooting our theme in the concept of home, we point to the integral web of relationships that sustain the well-being of the Earth.”
Christian communities have been coming together since 2003 to pray, act, and advocate for their common home, he added. However, as the climate emergency and ecological crisis persist at dangerous levels, more purposeful and unified prayers and actions are needed.
“Sadly, we know that we are destroying habitats and destabilizing ecosystems, which results in losing critical species at an alarming rate. Members of the human family are forced to flee their homes due to climate-induced insecurity and conflict,” Rimmer said.
“We have to ensure a just home for all creatures for life on our planet to thrive. That requires ecological, economic, and technological solutions that are rooted in a faithful vision of justice for the dignity of every creature,” Rimmer said. “We hope that this Season of Creation strengthens the ecumenical unity to care for creation in a way that ensures all creatures have a home to flourish and participate in renewing the oikos of God.”
Season of Creation Celebration Guide
The 52-page guide is full of meaningful ways Christians and communities can participate in the annual celebration of prayer and action for their common home later this year.
The ideas listed include an invitation organize a creation walk or discover new ways to make their lives more sustainable, in line with creating a more resilient future for their common home.
Institutions are encouraged to prayerfully consider how they can help their communities best experience the season. They can host sustainability events throughout the month or implement changes on a larger, institutional scale, such as conducting and acting upon an energy audit.
This year’s symbol, Abraham’s tent, signifies our commitment to safeguard a place for all who share our common home, just as Abraham did in the Book of Genesis.
Placing Abraham’s tent in a local garden can be seen as a sign of hospitality for the excluded. Communities are invited to pray with and for the most vulnerable in their community.
The tent can also be present in liturgies or events throughout the Season of Creation as a symbol of the community’s intention to create a home for all.
Online launch event: intergenerational dialogue
An online event on 3 June will show ways to participate in the Season of Creation. It will include an intergenerational dialogue about the 2021 theme.
“We all have our own experiences of home, and reflecting on what ‘home’ means reminds us of personal memories and specific places,” said Rachel Mander, Theology and Churches Officer at A Rocha, a Christian conservation organization.
“As we look ahead to Season of Creation and the opportunity to explore our shared and common home of the Earth, we will first hear three women of different generations discuss together how they understand home and the way this is changed by different contexts and times. It will be a wonderful way to launch this year’s theme.”
Many churches in the ecumenical family observe the “Season of Creation” (also known as Creation Time) between 1 September and 4 October, the Feast of St Francis of Assisi, as observed by some Western traditions. For the Lutheran communion, this liturgical season of prayer and action is an opportunity to affirm LWF’s commitment to addressing a major crisis of our time – climate change. “A home for all? Renewing the Oikos of God.” is the 2021 theme for the “Season of Creation”.