Churches Together produce new resource pack for Creation Time
July 6, 2008:
||Old beech trees in the New Forest, England. Photograph from EnjoyEngland.com
The ecumenical organisation Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) has put together a programme of
resources for use in 'Creation Time', which runs for five weeks from the beginning of September until October 4.
This is one of a number of initiatives stemming from the Third European Ecumenical Assembly in Romania in 2007, in which it was recommended that the five-week period “be dedicated to prayer for the protection of Creation and the promotion of sustainable lifestyles that reverse our contribution to climate change."
The start date coincide with the start of the Orthodox liturgical year on 1 September - which the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch has already invited all Christians to observe as a day of thanksgiving and petitions for creation - and Creation Time then covers the period within which many European churches traditionally celebrate harvest, concluding on the feast day of St Francis on 4 October.
The Churches Together in Britain resources include sermon materials, liturgies, group study ideas and action ideas, designed for a wide range of ages. They come with a choice of two five-week frameworks. One is based on the Lord's Prayer, and the other on the Revised Common Lectionary. The materials are flexible, so it is possible either to follow the whole five weeks or dip into the material and use it as required.
The resources contain links to many Christian organisations that have already developed useful study packs and liturgical materials on environmental issues.
The Hope for Creation resources are available as free downloads from
www.ctbi.org.uk/creationtime. A Welsh language version of the sermon materials will be available by early August, and an Irish language version later in the summer
Revd Bob Fyffe, General Secretary of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, says, "We encourage churches to begin planning now for Creation Time, and we hope that what we are offering will help them to do so. There is here a rich resource to meet the needs of clergy and congregations looking for ideas for harvest, as well as more in-depth material for worship and study use throughout Creation Time and beyond."
“Hope for Creation! That's what British and Irish Churches have at a time when many scientists and campaigners are painting an apocalyptic image of a future dominated by climate change, and some find it difficult to have any hope at all,” said a spokesperson for CBTI. “The Churches are not burying their heads in the sand, and they recognise the need to deal with and pray about the ecological problems that face humankind.”
** Link here for further CREATION FORUM statements from the Third European Ecumenical Assembly in Sibiu, Romania in September 2007.
** Churches Together in Britain and Ireland is the official ecumenical body that brings together Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Protestant and Pentecostal traditions, and is the direct successor to the British Council of Churches. It works closely with the "Churches Together" bodies that focus separately on England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Its work includes racial justice, inter faith relations, international affairs, global mission, faith, unity and spirituality. One of its current themes is Environment and Climate Change.
Link here for more details.
** Link here for www.eco-faith.org
**Link here for more Christian news stories.
** Link here for details about a new eco-congregation website.
** Link here for the first Catholic Schools Eco Newsletter
** Link here for details of a recent talk given by Martin Palmer on Saints and Sustainability.
** Link here for The Sound of Many Waters environmental initiative by Clifton Cathedral.