Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Time for Creation 2011: Trees and forests shall rejoice

World Council of Churches - News

TIME FOR CREATION 2011: TREES AND FORESTS SHALL REJOICE

For immediate release: 31 August 2011

The World Council of Churches (WCC) has joined in a call to observe Thursday
1 September through Tuesday 4 October 2011 as a time for prayer, reflection
and re-dedication regarding care for and just use of God's gifts in nature.

For more than twenty years, increasing numbers of Christians throughout the
world have reserved these dates in September and early October as a time to
give thanks for God's creation and to join in common prayer and action for
the environment.

"A Time for Creation" is a modern addition to the liturgical calendars of
many churches, emphasizing the work of God as Creator. It arose from a
challenge issued by the late Dimitrios I, then the Ecumenical Patriarch of
Constantinople, in proclaiming 1 September 1989 as a day of prayer for the
earth and its ecosystems.

The Orthodox church year traditionally begins in September, so it seems
appropriate to turn worshippers' attention to the opening verse of the
Bible: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." The new
liturgical season of Creation has come to extend to 4 October, long
celebrated by Roman Catholics and others as the feast day of Saint Francis
of Assisi.

The year 2011 has been designated as the International Year of Forests, and
the WCC has appealed in particular for prayers and reflections to be offered
on forests and related themes, in the spirit of such scriptural passages as
this prophecy:
"For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and
the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field
shall clap their hands." - Isaiah 55:12
(NRSV)

In its public policy, the WCC has called for commitment to "eco-justice
(Link: http://www.oikoumene.org/index.php?RDCT=a975887eb6d1fcb01839 )" and
has stressed the need for action to overcome such problems as planetary
pollution and other causes of climate change.

In a message (Link:
http://www.oikoumene.org/index.php?RDCT=37c8191a261154522aa3
) delivered to the UN Climate Change Conference at Copenhagen in December
2009 (COP 15), a high-level ecumenical delegation told the meeting, "The
injustice is that those who are suffering the worst consequences of this
crisis have contributed the least to causing this situation. This is a
matter of justice and a call to moral responsibility. We would like to
underline the importance of legally-binding commitments to addressing this
crisis".

A separate statement (Link:
http://www.oikoumene.org/index.php?RDCT=db69ae3df8bc41563edd ) on behalf of
the WCC and bodies representing other world religions recognized the
scientific evidence for human causation of climate change, and asserted that
"climate change is not merely an economic or technical problem, but rather
at its core is a moral, spiritual and cultural one."

Time for Creation resources (Link:
http://www.oikoumene.org/index.php?RDCT=abdfc918916616d0152a )

Time for Creation on Facebook (Link:
http://www.oikoumene.org/index.php?RDCT=a387c53d84cca520fb3b )

More information on the WCC and eco-justice: www.oikoumene.org/eco-justice
(Link: http://www.oikoumene.org/index.php?RDCT=1361ee91aa13553028f1 )

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