by Bette Gambonini, BVM
The Season of Creation is the annual Christian celebration to pray and respond together to the cry of Creation: the ecumenical family around the world unites to listen and care for our common home, the Oikos of God.
The Season “Celebration” begins Sept. 1, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and ends Oct. 4, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology beloved by many Christian denominations.
2023 THEME: “Let Justice and Peace Flow”
A mighty river is the symbol for the Season of Creation 2023. Prophet Amos cries out, “But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” (Amos 5:24) and so we are called to join the river of justice and peace, to take up climate and ecological justice, and to speak out with and for communities most impacted by climate injustice and the loss of biodiversity.
The world humans have known, enjoyed, and celebrated is changing rapidly beyond repair. Biodiversity is being lost at a rate not seen since the last mass extinction. The hope of keeping average temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius is fading. The futures of young people are threatened by the cascading impacts of the loss of biodiversity and a changing climate. Industrialization, colonization, and the extraction and consumption of resources, have created great wealth, unequally distributed. We are presently more aware than ever of the link between fossil fuels, violence, and war.
The urgency grows and we must make visible peace with Earth and on Earth, at the same time that justice calls us to repentance and a change of attitude and actions. Instead of despair, hope can be created if we work together as the People of God. By the Creator’s infinite love and mercy, streams can rise in the desert. An economy of peace can be built instead of an economy based on conflict.
We hope that this Season of Creation renews and unites us by the call to care for our common home. Through, prayer, discussion, or meal gatherings, we are invited to find concrete ways to live the Season intentionally through prayer, sustainability initiatives, and advocacy. Join with humans from all over the world witnessing the power of working together to let justice and peace flow as we care for our common home (oikos).
(Adapted from the invitation to join Season of Creation 2023 resource materials.)
We invite you to join us, Sept. 23, at 10:00 a.m. for an outdoor interfaith service at Mount Carmel Bluffs, 1040 Carmel Dr. in Dubuque, Iowa. Park on Grandview Avenue and take a short walk to the riverfront. Bring your own chair!
For the Season of Creation Calendar of Events, visit: https://wp.me/pad6jy-5Tj