Creation Time 2010
In the past month, churches all over Europe have been celebrating Time for Creation from 1 September to 10 October (10/10/10). Here are some of the initiatives which have been taking place and resources which have been produced. If you have not celebrated Time for Creation before, please explore them, choose the ones you like best, form a way of marking this important time in your own church, and put the dates in your church's diary to celebrate it in 2011.
International observance of Time for Creation opened with a message from the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, honouring the Orthodox Day of Creation on 1 September. The Patriarch expressed his hope that the financial and economic crisis experienced by many societies would bring about "a powerful change in direction, to a path of viable and sustainable environmental development." You can read his full message at www.ec-patr.org/docdisplay.php?lang=en&id=1223&tla=en
In the Roman Catholic Church in Europe, Time for Creation opened with a five day pigrimate from Hungary to Austria, convened by the Bishops' Conference in Europe. The pilgrimage concluded with a message which highlights principles of the safeguarding of creation: the commitmment to the common good of all people, the respect for the universal destination of the goods of the earth, subsidiarity, solidarity, distributive and intergenerational justice and the indivisibility of creation. The Bishops appealed in particular for joint prayer and action among Christian churches, especially the engagement in the Time for Creation. The full message is available at here on the WCC website
The World Council of Churches provided liturgical material and information focusing on the day of climate action, 10 October 2010 (10/10/10), and on the International Year of Biodiversity. These are available at www.oikoumene.org/en/events-sections/countdown-to-climate-justice/time-for-creation.html
The French initaitive, R?seau Bible et Cr?ation, has initiated Creation Time in the French churches. They provided liturgical resources and ideas for practical action during the time and beyond, on the dedicated website, www.tempspourlacreation.com
The Greek-Catholic Church in the Ukraine marked 14 September as an Ecological Day of Creator: more information is available on their website www.ecumenism.com.ua/den
The Catholic Church in Austria has been promoting Creation Time for many years through the organisation ARGE Sch?pfungsverantwortung. In 2010 ARGE encouraged churches to mark the International Year of Biodiversity and consider it alongside the theme of the last ECEN Assembly: global food. It provided two background papers on the question by Christine Weits?cker (English, pdf, 44kb), and Peter Weish (English, pdf, 9kb). On its website, www.argeshoepfung.at it has liturgical material and a dossier of information.
The Evangelical Churches in Italy's organisation GLAM prepared a resource document in Italian (pdf, 467kb) for Creation Time focusing on the International Year of Biodiversity.
These are just a few of the places where Time for Creation has been celebrated. Be sure to join us in 2011! And if you have news or resources on a new Time for Creation intiative, please let us know so that we can publicise your work.