Why Celebrate the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation on September 1
In the United States, the most basic, powerful, and counter-cultural thing we can do for God's creation is pray. The World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation kicks off the Season of Creation, a time of sustained prayer and action which lasts a month and four days.
We live in a culture that values busy-ness and accomplishments. Following our Creator's call to "Be still and know what I am God" (Psalm 46:10) humbles us. With prayer, we become open to God's guidance, inspiration, and calls to action. With prayer, God knits us closer together in community. Only by the grace and inspiration of God can hearts and minds transform.
The Creation Justice community is diverse. We have many different ways of praying. Whether you will be taking time on September 1 to go on a meditative nature walk, celebrate liturgy in community, engage with scripture, speak sacred words aloud, or sing your prayers, it matters. Thanks for joining us in prayer!
Get Tools to Pray and Act
We encourage you to take advantage of Creation Justice Ministries' treasure trove of free Christian education, Bible study, and prayer resources, which you can scroll down to find below.
To get equipped for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation and the Season of Creation which follows it, take a look at the Season of Creation website, Orthodox Church in America , Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Orthodox Fellowship of the Transfiguration resources, and Presbyterian Church (USA) resources and Let All Creation Praise website.
This year, hymn composer Carolyn Winfrey Gillette has kindly shared with the Creation Justice community her new hymn for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, "God, You Made Your Good Creation."
October 4 marks the end of the Season of Creation. It is significant to Christians who observe the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of living creatures. (Keep in mind our Care for God's Creatures resource for October 4.)
Take a look on social media at #SeasonofCreation to see voices, photos, and videos of prayers from across the globe.
History of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation
This celebration started among the world Orthodox Christian community in 1989 with the leadership of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who is affectionately known as “the Green Patriarch.” For the Orthodox community in the United States, September 1 has significance beyond its proximity to back-to-school events and Labor Day weekend. It is the beginning of the Orthodox liturgical year. Patriarch Bartholomew issued an encyclical on September 1, 2015 to mark the occasion.
In an ecumenical gesture of global significance, Pope Francis announced in August, 2015 that the Roman Catholic Church will also recognize September 1 as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. Fr. John Chryssavgis, theological adviser to Patriarch Bartholomew and member of the ecumenical office of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, does not think it is coincidental “that Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew are leaders in their respective churches at this critical moment, when our response to the challenge of climate change demands shared responsibility and commitment."
The call to prayer didn’t stop with the Orthodox and Catholic communities. Creation Justice Ministries issued a joint press release with the National Council of Churches USA celebrating Pope Francis’s ecumenical gesture, and encouraging broad ecumenical participation.
CREATION JUSTICE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES AND TOOLKITS
- Earth Day 2018 Guide
- Environmental Justice with Indigenous Peoples (2017)
- Care for God's Creatures (2016)
- Sustainable Food in a Changing Climate (2015)
- Water, Holy Water (2014)
- Ethics of Energy (2012)
- Where Two or More are Gathered: Eco-Justice as Community (2011)
- Sacred Spaces and an Abundant Life: Worship Spaces as Stewardship (2010)
- Celebrating and Caring For God's Creation Earth Day Sunday Resource (2009)
- Climate and Poverty Earth Day Sunday Resource (2008)
- Our Daily Bread: Harvesters of Hope and Gardeners of Eden (2007)
- Through the Eye of a Hurricane: Rebuilding Just Communities (2006)
- S.acred O.ceans S.eas (2005)
- Life-Giving Breath of God: Protecting the Sacred Gift of Air (2004)
Building a Firm Foundation: A Creation-Friendly Building Guide for Churches
CLIMATE AND ENERGY RESOURCES
Featured Resource: Faithful Budget, Faithful Stewardship: An Analysis of Energy Subsidies and Poverty Assistance Programs
This resource examines the priorities that are reflected in our budgets and their moral implications
- Lead by Example: Climate Justice Congregations in the Southeast
- Reflecting on Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining
- Energy Stewardship: Using Smart Grids and Emerging Technologies for Protecting God's Creation
- Seeking God's Grace for the Gulf
- The Gulf Coast: Seeking Rebirth and Resurrection
- African Americans and Climate Change
- Climate and Church: How Global Climate Change Will Impact Core Church Ministries
- Just Climate: Study Guide for Adult Christian Education
- Bottom Line Ministries that Matter: Congregational Stewardship with Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Technologies
- Cry of Creation: A Call for Climate Justice
- It's God's World: Christians, Care for Creation and Global Warming
- Introduction to Carbon Fasting
- Opening the Letter: A Congregational Guide to God's Earth is Sacred
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES
Featured Resource: Healthy Kids, Healthy Churches, Healthy Creation
The Healthy Kids, Healthy Churches, Healthy Creation curriculum seeks to provide Christian congregations and faith groups with an easy-to-use guide for initiating conversations in their communities about environmental health and how our consumer choices such as food, building materials, and personal care products impact human health and Creation. Note: Use the link above to also download a version of the resource adapted for Massachusetts.
- Healthy Aging for an Abundant Life
- Healthy Spa Workshop: Guide and Toolkit for People of Faith
- Mindful Living: Human Health, Pollution, and Toxics
- Made in the Image of God: Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
- Cleanliness and Godliness Toolkit
- Sacred Food: Youth Sunday School and Group Activities
- At The Lord's Table: Everyday Thanksgiving
LAND & WATER STEWARDSHIP RESOURCES
Featured Resource: Out of the Wilderness: Building Christian Faith and Keeping God's Creation
The wilderness is deeply woven into Christianity and other faith traditions. They were central to the spiritual journeys of Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. This new resource will help us in our modern day efforts to reflect peacefully and reconnect with the Creator through study, worship and congregational action.