Churches Encouraged to Celebrate and Care for Creation This Fall
RCA congregations are urged to join churches around the world in honoring September 1 as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and in celebrating a Time for Creation from September 1 to October 4.
The RCA affirms that caring for God’s creation is an essential act of the Christian faith. (Several reports to General Synod over the past 40 years have reaffirmed this commitment.)
Earl James, the RCA’s coordinator of Missional Mosaic and advocacy, cites Psalm 24:1 as the foundation for our care of creation: “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it.” James says, “The psalmist reminds us that only one can claim ownership of the earth and its innumerable contents. No other shares that claim with God.”
In response, he says, RCA churches should consider joining other denominations in praying for creation on September 1 and in celebrating creation over the subsequent five weeks.
Congregations may find the following resources helpful in planning worship and understanding issues of the environment:
- The National Association of Evangelicals has information about various creation care topics.
- The Christian Reformed Church in North America offers educational and worship resources.
- The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has resources for both individuals and congregations.
- GreenFaith has a host of tips and resources for congregations that want to incorporate environmental emphases in worship.
- Creation Justice Ministries offers Christian education materials relating to environmental justice with indigenous peoples.
- The World Communion of Reformed Churches, of which the RCA is a member, adopted the Accra Confession in 2004. The confession calls upon Reformed Christians to engage environmental injustices in the world as an integral part of their churches’ witness and mission. An introduction to the confession, along with the text of it, can be found here. The WCRC has also created a song book, which includes the Accra Confession set to various tunes. Find the song book here.
Here is a prayer you or your congregation may use on the Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation or during the Time for Creation:
Thank you for creating the earth and us humans along with it. Thank you for creating everything by, through, and for your Son and our brother, Jesus.
Lord, please guide us by your Spirit as we consider and stand in awe of the power, certainty, beauty, and priority of the words, “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it.”
Please grow and nurture our souls, our very lives, and all we think, say, and do, with that awe standing large in our hearts and minds.
In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
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