Season of Creation: 5 things we’re grateful for

The Season of Creation is a time when Christians around the world pray and act together to protect creation. The season is an ecumencial effort, coordinated by the Global Catholic Climate Movement, World Council of Churches, the Anglican Communion Environmental Network, the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, ACT Alliance and Christian Aid.

5. Creative acts of prayer.

During the Season of Creation, Christians across the globe organized events that inspired and educated their communities. In Assisi, bishops symbolically re-created the historic divestiture of St. Francis by stripping a warhorse of its armor and re-dedicating it to a life of pilgrimage. In Kerala, churches signed a declaration of the 10 “green commandments.” In Kentucky, the heart of U.S. coal country, the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth held a prayer service at a solar plant.

These joined the 500+ global Season of Creation events that reached thousands of people. Each expression of faith during the season was a beautiful reminder that prayer is powerful, and that we are transforming our communities together.

4. Church leadership.

From the joint statement by Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew (their first ever on environmental protection) to the mass and walk for creation led by Cardinal Tagle, Church leaders sounded a clear and united call during the season. Their leadership was reflected in op-eds by the Anglican Indigenous Archbishop of Canada, the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town (who is also the Metropolitan of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa), the chair of the environmental committee for the Catholic Bishops’ conference of England and Wales and the lead bishop of the Lutheran Church in Great Britain (who jointly co-authored), and even a Catholic science journalist.

The moral guidance of the Church is precious. It helps us find our way to solutions as we confront environmental challenges.

3. Global unity.

From Uganda to the United States, from Queensland to Quito, Christians around the world championed environmental protection during this season. An effort to share the Laudato Si’ Pledge in Argentina’s Luján Pilgrimage shared the pope’s message with the 1.5 million pilgrims on the journey. Online prayer services with Bill McKibben, Fr. Richard Rohr, and global faith leaders reached hundreds of people. The Beauty of Creation campaign inspired hundreds more to take and share photos of places in nature that reveal the Creator. Together, we found unity in our faith and our belief that caring for creation honors the Creator.

2. Fossil Fuel Divestment.

To mark the feast of St. Francis, the last day in the Season of Ceation, 40 Catholic institutions announced their divestment from fossil fuels. This is the largest joint divestment by religious institutions to date. As world leaders hesitate and even move backwards, people of faith are taking real action, right now to make the transition to a clean energy economy. These leaders’ courage and clarity are cause for celebration.

An article in The Guardian about divestment was shared over 75,000 times and posted on social media accounts with several million followers, including those of Bernie Sanders, Bill McKibben, Mark Ruffalo, and more. For a full overview of the 200+ articles that were published about this divestment announcement, including placement in wire services like Reuters and Catholic News Service, please see this list.

1. The Holy Spirit.

We give thanks to the Holy Spirit who has made so much possible during this Season of Creation. As Pope Francis has said, “To Christians, the future does have a name, and its name is hope.”

Through the faith we share, the Christian community is working to protect vulnerable people and our common home. The Season of Creation is a special time to pray and act as one. We look forward to deeper reflections and continued progress next year.

Global Catholic Climate Movement is an international network of more than 400 member organizations and thousands of Catholics, responding to Pope Francis’ call in the Laudato Si’ encyclical.

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