“The universe unfolds in God, who fills it completely. Hence, there is a mystical meaning to be found in a leaf, in a mountain trail, in a dewdrop, in a poor person’s face. The ideal is not only to pass from the exterior to the interior to discover the action of God in the soul, but also to discover God in all things.”
In our individual creatureliness, we operate as if we are separate from one another. I from the buttercup, you from the lamb, she from the man and they from us.
But we are all in and of one another, bound by a shimmering strand of life that connects us not only to other humans but to every living being on earth.
In the increasingly demanding and depleting world we inhabit, many of us have lost our connection to the natural world and the divine presence that permeates all of creation. This is where the Liturgical Season of Creation offers us a profound opportunity to rekindle our relationship with the Earth and our Creator. As a Wild Church and nature therapy guide, this season hold for me special significance as my spirituality thrives in celebrating my creatureliness in communion with nature.
Understanding the Liturgical Season of Creation
The Liturgical Season of Creation is a relatively recent addition to the Christian liturgical calendar. It spans from September 1st to October 4th, with each Sunday dedicated to a specific theme, such as Earth, Humanity, Sky, and Water. This season invites us to shift our focus from traditional liturgical themes to a profound reflection on the wonder and beauty of creation itself. It’s an opportunity to reconnect with the Earth as a sacred text and to deepen our appreciation for the natural world as a manifestation of God’s glory.
For those us called to church outside the walls and outside of institutions, this season provides a unique platform to share our journey of spiritual exploration and ecological stewardship with folx who are worshipping and growing in congregations around the world.
Here are some ideas for how you can bring the Season of Creation to your family of faith this season and all year round.
1. Outdoor Services: Embrace the spirit of the wild by conducting your worship services outdoors. Whether it’s in a forest glade, a riverside clearing, or a mountain summit, these settings will amplify the connection between your congregation and the natural world.
2. Sacred Sylvan Saunters: Organize nature walks where participants can immerse themselves in the wonders of the environment. Encourage reflection on the intricate web of life, and how it mirrors the divine plan.
3. Communion with Creation: Incorporate elements from the natural world into sacred moments of your services. Use local wildflowers, river stones, or even river water for baptisms to symbolize the interconnectedness of all life.
4. Earth-Centered Liturgy: Adapt traditional liturgical elements to align with the themes of creation. Use nature-inspired hymns, scripture readings, and rituals that resonate with the season’s focus.
5. Eco-Spiritual Education: Host workshops and discussions centered around eco-theology. Delve into the theological implications of caring for the Earth and nurturing a sense of responsibility among your congregation.
6. Nature Retreats: Organize weekend retreats in nature reserves or sanctuaries where participants can immerse themselves in a deeper contemplation of creation. These retreats can include meditation, nature-based liturgy, and silent reflection.
7. Environmental Action: Encourage your congregation to become eco-steward. Organize community clean-up drives, tree-planting initiatives, and other projects that actively contribute to the well-being of the Earth.
8. Nature Art and Expression: Nurture creativity through nature-inspired art and expression. Encourage your community to create art, poetry, or music that celebrates the Earth and its beauty.
Observing the Liturgical Season of Creation as a community of faith is a profound and enriching experience. It allows you to deepen your congregation’s connection to the divine through the lens of nature and encourages them to become stewards of the Earth. By embracing the outdoors, aligning your worship with the themes of creation, and fostering eco-spirituality, you can help your community embark on a transformative journey that nurtures the soul and rekindles the sacred bond between humanity, the Earth, and the Creator. It’s a season of spiritual awakening, ecological renewal, and a deepened appreciation for the sacredness of our natural world.