“Let Justice and Peace Flow” is the theme, and “a mighty river” is the symbol, chosen for Season of Creation 2023, the ecumenical celebration held each year from September 1, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, to October 4th, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. The world’s 2.2 billion Christians are invited to pray and care for creation during this time. Locally, members of the Integral Ecology Committee are promoting the Season and planning events in the Archdiocese. Events include a prayer walk along Te Awakairangi/Hutt River on 24 September and a Miha at the Home of Compassion on 1 October.
As well as individual actions and local events, advocacy is a focus this year–embracing climate and ecological justice, and speaking out with and for communities that are most impacted by climate injustice and biodiversity loss.
Creator of All, From your communion of love life sprung forth like a mighty river and the whole cosmos came into being. On this Earth of overflowing love, the Word was made flesh and went forth with the life-giving waters proclaiming peace and justice for all creation.
You called human beings to till and keep your garden. You placed us into right relationship with each creature, but we failed to listen to the cries of the Earth and the cries of the most vulnerable. We broke with the flowing communion of love and sinned against you by not safeguarding the conditions for life.
We lament the loss of our fellow species and their habitats, we grieve the loss of human cultures, along with the lives and livelihoods that have been displaced or perished, and we ache at the sight of an economy of death, war and violence that we have inflicted on ourselves and on the Earth.
Open our ears to your creative, reconciling and sustaining Word that calls to us through the book of Scripture and the book of creation. Bless us once again with your life-giving waters so that the Creator Spirit may let justice and peace flow in our hearts and overflow into all creation.
Open our hearts to receive the living waters of God’s justice and peace, and to share it with our suffering brothers and sisters, all creatures around us, and all creation.
Bless us to walk together with all people of good will so that the many streams of the living waters of God’s justice and peace may become a mighty river all over the Earth.
In the name of the One who came to proclaim good news to all creation, Jesus Christ.
Dates and Events – What’s on
Friday 1 September – Season of Creation Opening Prayer Service
Creation Day, also called the Day of Prayer for Creation or World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, opens the season each year. Patriarch Bartholomew, Pope Francis, the World Council of Churches, and many other leaders have called the faithful to celebrate. Globally, Christians are invited to join an online prayer service to come together in a joyful celebration of our common cause.
Friday 1 September – Stations of the Cross for Care of Creation at St Thomas More Church, Wilton, 7pm
To celebrate Creation Day, Ōtari Parish will hold ‘The Stations of the Cross for Care of Creation’ putting the suffering of Christ’s Passion in our time by relating it to the suffering of the earth and the poor. Afterwards there will be a shared supper. All are welcome. For further information contact: email@example.com
Sunday 10 September – Kaitiaki at Ōtari, Ōtari Wilton Bush, 2pm
Join the church communities from the Catholic Parish of Ōtari, St Anne’s Anglican Church Northland and St Luke’s Anglican Parish Wadestown, on a short easy reflective walk in the outdoors. Starting place – Cockayne Lawn next to Ōtari School. Bring kai to share for afternoon tea on the Ponga Lawn next to the Alpine Rock Garden behind the Main Entrance Carpark on Wilton Road.
Afterwards, for the more energetic, explore the Kaiwharawhara Stream to the picnic area and to the slip beyond. For further information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday 24 September – Ecumenical River Prayer Walk, 8am-6pm (all day following the 27km river trail)
Follow Te Awa Kairangi (Hutt river) from Harcourt Park Upper Hutt to Petone foreshore. Opportunity to walk all or any section of the river trail. There are several sections where people can join or leave the walkers. There will be an activity booklet for young people, and a prayer/songbook for everyone.
Prior to the walk there will be a presentation in Lower Hutt on Sunday 10 Sept 1-3pm. How well do we know our river? With different guest speakers sharing their work caring for, protecting, and restoring the river. Venue tbc. Further information on Facebook. Search: Te Awa Kairangi Prayer Walk (public group) or email Martin de Jong at email@example.com All Welcome.
Sunday 10 September – Ecumenical Service An Ecumencial Service will be Sunday 10 September at 3pm at Wellington South Baptist Church, 284 The Parade, Island Bay.
Saturday 30 September – “Together – Gathering of the People of God” An ecumenical prayer vigil organised by Taizé will take place in Rome in the presence of Pope Francis and representatives of different Churches, to unite in praise and silence, in listening to the Word. More information at https://together2023.net/.
Sunday 1 October – Season of Creation Miha, Home of Compassion, 11am
Many traditions view St. Francis as an inspiration and guide for those who protect creation. October 4 is his feast day and the last day in the Season of Creation, which closes with an online ecumenical prayer service.
Must See…The Letter
The Letter is a documentary that tells the compelling and urgent story of the Laudato Si’ encyclical letter by Pope Francis, through the eyes of five people representing the groups most affected by our ecological crisis. They travel from different continents to the Vatican for a powerful dialogue with the Pope. As the stories unfold, be inspired by how spiritual values unite us in the face of a planetary emergency.
In 2015, Pope Francis wrote Laudato Si’, an encyclical letter about the environmental crisis, to every single person in the world. Laudato Si’ sets out an integral ecology where everything is connected—the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. It focuses on care for the natural environment and all people, as well as broader questions of the relationship between God, humans, and the Earth.
National Liturgy Office will have a web page with resources and links to liturgical elements for this day of Prayer as well as the month of the Season of Creation. Go to News and Events: https://nlo.org.nz/
Take action–Become a member of the Integral Ecology Committee
“Once you know, you cannot look away”, Lorna Gold, Laudato Si’ Movement
People with knowledge and expertise in areas related to the environment are invited to consider becoming members of the Integral Ecology Committee. Activities of the Committee include supporting parish formation on Laudato Si’, considering and responding to government proposals regarding climate change, and organising events for the Season of Creation. The Committee is part of the Ecology Justice and Peace Commission for the Archdiocese of Wellington. For more information, contact the Commission’s facilitator, Deirdre Meskill firstname.lastname@example.org