Season of Creation: Sunday Vespers
Weekly on Sunday 6:00 PM to Sunday, October 3, 2021 7:00 PM
Since 2001, the Season of Creation has invited God's people around the globe to pray and care for creation and to protect our common home. This emerging liturgical season runs annually from September 1 through October 4. Rolling Ridge invites you to celebrate the Season of Creation with weekly ONSITE Sunday Vespers from 6:00-7:00 pm at our Point of Pines Outdoor Chapel.
You are free to attend as often as you are able, but we would encourage registration to monitor registration. Although there is no fee for registration, please consider a financial love gift to support our ongoing ministry.
Sunday Vesper dates for the 2021 Season of Creation are: September 5, 9, 16, 25, and October 3.
This year, the theme for the season is "A home for all? Renewing the Oikos of God".
The Psalmist proclaims “the Earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it.” There are two statements of faith at the heart of this song. The first is that every creature belongs to the Earth community. The second is that the entire community belongs to the Creator. A Greek word for this Earth community is oikos. Oikos is the root of the word oikoumene, or ecumenical, which describes our ‘common home’, as Pope Francis calls it in Laudato Si’. Our common home, the Earth belongs to God, and each beloved creature belongs to this common oikos.
By rooting our theme in the concept of oikos, we point to the integral web of relationships that sustain the wellbeing of the Earth. The word ecology (oikologia) describes the relationships between animals, plants, non-sentient organisms and minerals that each play a vital role in maintaining the balance of this beloved community. Each creature is important and contributes to the health and resilience of the biodiverse ecosystem in which it lives. Humans belong in the right relationship within this Earth community. We are made from the same stuff of the Earth, and are cared for by our co-creatures and the land.
Human relationships also have ecological significance. Economic (oikonomia), social and political relationships affect the balance of creation. Everything that we fabricate, use and produce has its origin in the Earth, whether mineral, plant or animal based. Our habits of consuming energy and goods affect the resilience of planetary systems, and the capacity of the Earth to heal itself and sustain life. Economic and political relationships have direct effects on the human family and the more-than human members of God’s oikos. Genesis 2.15 reminds us that among our co-creatures, the Creator has given humans a special vocation to tend and keep the oikos of God.
Sustaining just ecological, social, economic and political relationships requires our faith, reason and wisdom. By faith, we join the Psalmist in remembering that we are not stewards of an inanimate creation, but caretakers within a dynamic and living community of creation. The Earth and all that is not a given, but a gift, held in trust. We are called not to dominate, but to safeguard. By reason, we discern how best to safeguard conditions for life, and create economic, technological and political architectures that are rooted in the ecological limits of our common home. Through wisdom we pay careful attention to natural systems and processes, to inherited and indigenous traditions, and to God’s revelation in word and Spirit.
For centuries, humans (anthropoi) have ordered our lives and economies according to the logic of markets rather than the limits of the Earth. This false logic exploits the oikos of God, and makes creation a means to economic or political ends. The current exploitation of land, plants, animals and minerals for profit results in the loss of habitats that are homes for millions of species, including humans whose homes are at risk due to climate conflict, loss and damage. Reason tells us that in this anthropocene age, ecological and social disintegration and exclusion cause the current climate crisis and accelerate ecological instability. Wisdom equips us to find the answers, and pathways to build green economies of life and just political systems that would sustain life for the planet and people.
Faith gives us trust that God’s Spirit is constantly renewing the face of the Earth. Within this horizon of hope, our baptismal call frees us to return to our human vocation to till and keep God’s garden. In Christ, God calls us to participate in renewing the whole inhabited Earth, safeguarding a place for every creature, and reform just relationships among all creation.
During this liturgical Season of Creation, the ecumenical Christian family calls every household and society to repent and reshape our political, social and economic systems towards just, sustainable economies of life, which respect the life-giving ecological limits of our common home.
We hope that this Season of Creation renews our ecumenical unity, in our baptismal call to care and sustain an ecological turning that will ensure all creatures can find their home to flourish, and participate in renewing the oikos of God.
We hope that you will join us for our Season of Creation Sunday vespers at the Ridge.
For more on the Season of Creation, please check out their website.
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