Church leaders invited Christians around the world to observe the Season of Creation, a five-week period of prayer, acts and campaigns to be grateful for God’s creation and renew the call to care for it.
From September 1 to October 4, Christian communities will come together in prayer and action to promote the preservation of Mother Earth, according to World Council of Churches. With the theme “A Home for All? Renewing the Oikos of God,” this year’s Season of Creation begins and ends on dates linked with Eastern and Western traditions of Christianity. September 1st was declared as a day of prayer for creation for the Orthodox in 1989 by the late Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I while October 4th is the Feast of St. Assisi, the patron saint of ecology.
We have to ensure a just home for all creatures for life on our planet to thrive. —Rev. Dr. Chad Rimmer, Chair of the Ecumenical Season of Creation Steering Committee
In a joint statement from Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE) President and Rev Christian Krieger Conference of European Churches (CEC) President, they defined Oikos as ‘home.’ “Renewing God’s Oikos, the common home we share, is a concept that unites the whole human family in the quest for integral and sustainable development with shared fairness,” the statement read.
Further, the statement said, “Faced with the question: “A home for all?” our response must be woven into goodwill and concrete commitment to the renewal of God’s Oikos every day. If we know how to practice justice and speak truth from our hearts, and we do not harm our neighbor, we will then be worthy to “abide in His tent” (Ps 15:1), and His “Oikos” will truly be a home for all.”
The theme is based on Psalms 24:1, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” Christians are urged to be proactive in combating the current climate crisis that destroys the homes of millions of species, not only of animals, but humans as well. According to World Wide Fund for Nature, climate change is the biggest environmental challenge humans is facing today since it is happening too fast that many species find difficult to adapt.
“Oikos is a Greek word for the Earth community,” explained Rev. Dr. Chad Rimmer, Chair of the Ecumenical Season of Creation Steering Committee. “It is an invitation to be united in the human vocation to reshape just and sustainable political, social and economic systems that respect the life-giving ecological limits of the Earth.”
Rimmer, the Lutheran World Federation Program Executive for Lutheran Theology and Practice, reminded Christians that, “We have to ensure a just home for all creatures for life on our planet to thrive. That requires ecological, economic, and technological solutions that are rooted in a faithful vision of justice for the dignity of every creature.” He hopes that this year’s Season of Creation will strengthen Christian communities’ will to preserve and protect the environment.
Since 2003, major Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, and Anglican organizations have come together to pray and act on major environmental problems facing the world.