September and Autumn beckons once more. I always say this is a favourite time of year for me. Apart from the beautiful Autumn colours, I enjoy the changing of the seasons but I like that September is very much a season of new beginnings too. A new academic term begins and children and young people everywhere will be starting new schools, new classes or college for the first time. Our eldest granddaughter is starting secondary school this year which seems unbelievable! So lots of new things begin in the Autumn don’t they and I am sure there is a lot going on in our community groups and organisations to encourage us all to do something new perhaps?
Talking of which… we are doing something new this Autumn in our churches. We are recognising properly for the first time ever, the season known as Creationtide. The season begins on September 1st, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, to October 4th, the feast of St Francis of Assisi. In order to assist our celebration of this season we are using resources from an annual ecumenical global movement to pray and act to protect our world. This global movement has a different creation theme each year and for this year, 2023, the theme is ‘Let Justice and Peace Flow’ for which you will see the logo below. The theme is based on the words of the prophet Amos who cried out to the people of his time ‘let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never failing stream’. (Amos 5.24) So too we are called to join the river of justice and peace, to embrace climate and ecological justice. Our prayers must call out for justice not only for human beings but for all creation. I wonder if we ever think of justice for creation? A mighty river is chosen as well because it represents biodiversity at risk. The urgency of these matters is growing as we all know and we are called to make peace with the earth. I love that idea of making peace with our earth….
Anyway, challenging stuff, but in our own way we are going to reflect on these issues through different readings from scripture about creation throughout the month. We will be including a special Pet Service this month at Ockley plus we will be celebrating two Harvest Festivals as well! I’m hoping there will be some creativity to look at too! Another prophet Isaiah also said this. ‘listen carefully, I am about to do a new thing, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even put a road in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.’ (Isaiah 43.19). Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could find a way forward to really help our planet and protect the future for our children and grandchildren? Do come and join us in our celebrations, help us bring in the harvest, pray blessings on our beloved animals or just come and let the river of justice and peace flow over you!
With my love and prayers as ever
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