Once a month a group of a dozen Canadian Anglicans connect by conference call; we may be scattered geographically across the country but are united by our passion for the environment.
The Creation Matters Working Group of General Synod (CMWG) is co-chaired by Dean Ken Gray from St. Paul’s Cathedral Kamloops and Nancy Harvey from Huron Diocese. Our mission is to help Canadian Anglicans meet our commitment to the fifth Mark of Mission, “to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.”
One of the most pressing issues of our time is climate disruption. We are all experiencing changes such as higher than normal spring floods, massive forest fires, invasive insects and unusual temperatures. We urgently need to reduce or eliminate our use of fossil fuels, and so reduce our carbon emissions.
One way to educate how human impact is affecting the earth is through our church services.
Recently our CMWG discussions have been centered on raising awareness in the church on ways to celebrate the beauty of our earth during the Season of Creation — September 1st to St. Francis Day, October 4th.
There has been global awareness of the need for more time spent celebrating our beautiful world. Celebrating our world for five weeks, rather than just Earth Sunday, is gaining popularity over all continents. CMWG feels there is a need for more liturgical examples that focus on Canada’s problems with climate change and prayers unique to our eco systems and animals.
Ideas on how to celebrate the Season of Creation can be found on anglican.ca/publicwitness/season-of-creation/
More liturgical sources, prayers and other ideas will be added to help parishes with planning for the Season of Creation. We are hoping particularly to increase material for youth activities and have been discussing these ideas with Ryan Weston (lead animator of public witness for social and ecological justice) and Sheilagh McGlynn (animator for Youth Ministries).
CMWG hopes you will consider celebrating the Season of Creation for at least one week in 2018, with the hope that some parishes might be able to worship with an environmental theme for all five Sundays.
We would welcome feedback and other resources that we could share.
Sue Carson is Chair of The Greening Niagara Committee and a member of St. James Dundas.