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.
Hymn composer Carolyn Winfrey Gillette has kindly shared with the Creation Justice community her 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.