Vatican extends faith leaders’ invitation to join the Season of Creation
Faith leaders’ invitation to join the Season of Creation
June 2018 Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?” (Job 12:7-9, NRSV)
Once every year, from September 1 to October 4, we as members of the Christian family set aside time to deepen our relationship with the Creator, each other, and all of creation. This is the Season of Creation, which began in 1989 with the first recognition of the day of prayer for creation by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Orthodox Church, and which is now embraced by the wider ecumenical family.
During the Season of Creation, we join together to rejoice in the good gift of creation and reflect on how we care for it. This season offers a precious opportunity to pause in the midst of our day-to-day lives and contemplate the fabric of life into which we are woven.
As the environmental crisis deepens, we Christians are urgently called to witness to our faith by taking bold action to preserve the gift we share. As the psalmist sings, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1-2). During the Season of Creation, we ask ourselves: Do our actions honor the Lord as Creator? Are there ways to deepen our faith by protecting “the least of these,” who are most vulnerable to the consequences of environmental degradation?
We invite you to join us on a journey of faith that challenges and rewards us with fresh perspective and deeper bonds of love. United in our sincere wish to protect creation and all those who share it, we join hands across denominations as sisters and brothers in Christ. During this season, we walk together towards greater stewardship of our place in creation.
“O Lord my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent” (Psalm 104:1-2).
In God’s grace,
Cardinal Peter K.A. Turkson Prefect, Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development
Archbishop Job of Telmessos Permanent Representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the WCC, on behalf of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
Most Rev. & Rt. Hon Justin Welby Archbishop of Canterbury
Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary, World Council of Churches
Rev. Dr. Chris Ferguson, General Secretary, World Communion of Reformed Churches
Bishop Efraim Tendero, Secretary-General, World Evangelical Alliance
Rev. Dr. Martin Junge General Secretary, Lutheran World Federation
Mr. Rudelmar Bueno de Faria General Secretary, ACT Alliance
Fr. Heikki Huttunen, General Secretary, Conference of European Churches