Vatican and Ecumenical Faith leaders support the Season of Creation
This year for the first time, the Vatican called on Church leaders to participate in the Season of Creation. They included an invitation to communities highlighting the Season of Creation, the Synod on the Amazon and resources available to implement Laudato Si’ and help “protect every creature in God’s beautifully complex web of creation”.
Christian faith leaders have signed a letter in support of the Season of Creation, calling for prayer and action to protect the web of life. This is an excerpt from the letter:
“Every species, indeed every being of every species, is precious because it is made by God. All reflect an aspect of God. “How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.” (Psalm 104:24)
Photo credit: USFWS Midwest Region from United States [CC BY 2.0]
This is why we lament that God’s creatures are disappearing from the Earth at a rate we can scarcely comprehend. From humble insects to majestic mammals, from microscopic plankton to towering trees, creatures from across God’s dominion are becoming extinct, and may never be seen again.
This devastation is, in itself, a tragic loss… It is also unjust, as the most vulnerable among us suffer most deeply as the web of life begins to unravel. Our faith calls us to respond to this crisis with the urgency born of moral clarity.
We encourage the whole Christian family to join us in this special time together to pray, to reflect as individuals and as communities, and to take bold action to preserve creation in all its complexity and specificity.”
Read more here…
New Resources to learn about the Synod on the Amazon October 6-27
The Vatican has invited bishops to Rome for a gathering or synod called Amazonia: New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology--to discuss and reflect prayerfully on how to protect the Amazon and its peoples, especially the Indigenous Peoples. The Synod’s reflections are relevant to all as they focus on the Amazon as well as the universal Church and future of the planet.
The Global Catholic Climate Movement has an excellent resource page for the Synod on the Amazon. It includes links and descriptions of the preparatory and working documents which are guiding the Synod. They have also prepared a small group synod reflection guide to help understand the synod themes. They outline ways to take action or attend events in Rome.
Photo credit: CIMI Equipe tinerante
Several short videos are now available to help learn about the Synod:
- Series of 17 mini video interviews on the Amazon covering the Synod, nature, climate, gender equality, indigenous rights, land rights, etc.
- Catholic New Service videos about a church with an “Amazonian and indigenous” face;
- March 2019 video of Synod preparatory gathering at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
Five actions that can help protect the web of life:
- Plan a Season of Creation event at your parish and inspire others by posting it online—explore and consider including one of the Guide’s action ideas for protecting the web of life by living sustainably, participating in a campaign, etc.
- Start creation care or eco ministry at your parish—Cultivating Care for Our Common Home Program offers a workshop to help you get started. Or look for ideas in this Eco-Parish Guide.
- Ask your parish to consider participating in the Energy Benchmarking Program which tracks and compares parish electricity and gas usage. This helps with making decisions about cutting energy usage and saving costs.
- Become an informed voter for the October federal election: Find out if your riding is participating and attend the October 7th Canada wide non-partisan all-candidate debates on the environment. Citizens for Public Justice produced a 2019 Election Bulletin with a section on climate justice and questions to ask candidates.
- Search for ideas and act on at least one in the Toronto Star Canada’s Changing Climate Series Handbook—What We Can Do Now
Season of Creation Resources for Planning an Event
Season of Creation: This website has a free ecumenical celebration guidewith downloadable prayer and action resources as well as Catholic resourcesto celebrate the Season of Creation. Find local events or inspire others to act by posting your event on the website map. It is coordinated by a global ecumenical steering committee, including the Global Catholic Climate Movement. This year’s theme is “the web of life: biodiversity as God’s blessing”. Visit the website here…
Green Churches Network: This Canadian ecumenical network produces a free Season of Creation in a Box resource which includes spiritual and educational activities as well as a calendar with daily ecological actions.
Catholic Climate Covenant: This Catholic organization in the United States produces a free Feast of St. Francis educational program to help faith communities explore how to better care for creation and the poor. This year’s program, "We Are All Connected: Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor", will highlight the Vatican's Amazonian Synod with a focus on integral ecology, environmental and climate justice, and the rights of indigenous communities and will include prayers, activities and a short video. They require a form to be completed and then the program is emailed in August. Previous Feast of St. Francis programs are available for free download here…
Global Catholic Climate Movement Canada launches in September
The Canadian Chapter of the Global Catholic Climate Movement will launch in September, during the Season of Creation. Founded in January 2015, the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) is a worldwide coalition of over 650 member organizations dedicated to turning Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si’ into action for climate justice. GCCM Canada is hosted by Canadian, interfaith, an environmental charity, Faith & the Common Good. Activities will be coordinated by Agnes Richard and guided by an Advisory Circle.
GCCM Canada will work with the global GCCM movement to:
- Bring Laudato Si’ to life by growing a community of Canadians willing to act courageously to care for our common home.
- Build an online forum to foster connections and sharing between and among the GCCM movement, Canadian Catholic organizations, Indigenous and Allied land, and water defenders, and Canadian Catholic laity who are called to be creation care leaders.
- Encourage Canadian Catholics to raise our voices in the public sphere to call for bold climate policies, and amplify the Laudato Si’ message in the media.
- Work to understand and seek transformative action on the disproportionate impact that climate change and unsustainable resource extraction have on Indigenous Communities
Learn more and find out how to participate here…
Upcoming Dates and Events
Saturday Sept. 1st World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation
Tuesday Sept. 10th Catholic fossil fuel divestment announcement
Friday Sept. 20th Global Climate Strike
Young people and supporters strike for action on climate change. Catholic participation coordinated by Laudato Si’ Generation.
Saturday Sept. 21st Sacred Ecology Festival
10:00am to 9:00pm
Jubilee United Church, 40 Underhill Drive, Toronto
Monday Sept. 23rd United Nations Climate Action Summit, NYC
Friday Oct. 4th St. Francis of Assisi Feast Day
October 6-27 Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region