Friday 1st September 2023 marks the start of Creationtide, or the Season of Creation. This is the period in the annual church calendar, from 1st September to 4th October, dedicated to God as Creator and Sustainer of all life.
During this time there will be themed sermons at our Sunday 10:30am Eucharist services and other areas of focus on Creation, as we move towards Harvest on Sunday 1st October.
The Revd Canon Ned Lunn tells us more:
“Many churches choose to use this time of year to hold special services and events to give thanks for God’s gift of creation, and to renew their commitment to caring for our one planet home.
“We have a long and proud history of environmental stewardship. We were the first cathedral in England to install solar panels on our roof and we continue to expand and hone our reuse and recycling ethos throughout our community life. We are seen as pioneers in our commitment to the environment by other cathedrals and faith communities. As part of our renewed vision we have committed, along with the whole Church of England, to be Carbon Net Zero by 2030. At the heart of our own strategy to achieve this ambitious goal we have set sustainable stewardship of the environment as the lens through which we see all our aims and objectives over the next five years and beyond.
“To encourage one another in this we have decided to focus all our Sunday services through September (Creationtide) on the topic of faith and Creation care. Come and join the conversation and maybe join our Eco Group as we grow our work in this area.
“At the end of this we will celebrate Harvest on Sunday 1st October where we will encourage one another to consider giving from our resources to benefit others who are less fortunate. As well as this we will reflect on how this and every act of generosity is a proclamation of trust in God’s miraculous provision in the face of seeming scarcity.”
You can discover more about our environmental work on our EcoCathedral page.
This month’s sermons
Our sermons will take us on a reflective journey from an appreciation of the glory of creation to our personal response to the call to be stewards of it. The first week is entitled, “Reflecting Glory” helping us to think about how God created the world to reflect his glory, most profoundly and intensely in humanity, and to be a temple in which he might live. This then leads us to engage with “Remembering Gratitude” the following week. We’ll be encouraged to acknowledge that our society has lost a desire to find God through his Creation and we, instead, are more quick to worship Creation itself without any reference or thanks given to the Creator that made it and sustains it.
The third week is ‘Peace Sunday’ and our sermon is entitled, “Receiving Rest”. We will reflect on why we struggle to establish patterns of rest that are balanced and proportionate. Rest is undesirable in a society that is greedy for more wealth, more success and more possessions. The lack of rest is damaging us mentally, emotionally and physically. It is also damaging ‘the land’ and the planet. This leads beautifully onto our fourth week, “Celebrating Jubilee”. This week we will mark our own Trade Justice Sunday where we will continue to reflect on rest but extend it to God’s commands a ‘greater rest’ for a whole year every 50 years. Although this is meant to be a gift it can sound like a fearful act of blind trust. We struggle to give one day a week to trusting rest, but now we are asked to give a whole year! How might the great reset happen in our time on a local, let alone a global scale? This challenge brings us to the final week of our Creationtide series, “Giving Miracles”.
For Harvest Sunday this year we will be asked to place all we have in Christ’s hands and dedicate our security and resources to God’s will. This act of trust often begins the miracles of God. How is our act of generosity a political protest against the narrative of scarcity and fear? How is our, seemingly reckless, sharing and radical giving, a confession of the gospel of Jesus? Can we weave Jesus into the rich fabric of our city and beyond by living in the miracles of God?
Look out for more on our social media channels throughout Creationtide to discover more, or check out some of our environmentally-themed videos on YouTube.