Church leaders back 'Season of Creation'

Nine senior church leaders have signed a joint letter encouraging Christians around the world to participate in a 'Season of Creation' in September.

Signatories include the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, the secretary-general of the World Evangelical Alliance, Ephraim Tendero, and the general secretary of the World Council of Churches, Olav Fykse Tveit, as well as representatives of Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant churches.

Corina Ardeleanu/UnsplashChurch leaders have encouraged their members to pray for the creation.

The Season of Creation emerged from a proclamation by the Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I in 1989, according to Anglican News. It has since spread to involve Christians from different traditions in prayer and action focused on care for creation.

The joint letter marks the first time leading authorities from different denominations have combined to endorse the initiative.

The letter says: 'As the environmental crisis deepens, we Christians are urgently called to witness to our faith by taking bold action to preserve the gift we share.'

It continues: 'We invite you to join us on a journey of faith that challenges and rewards us with fresh perspective and deeper bonds of love. United in our sincere wish to protect creation and all those who share it, we join hands across denominations as sisters and brothers in Christ. During this season, we walk together towards greater stewardship of our place in creation.'

Archbishop Welby said: '"In the beginning, God said..." These words usher in the most extraordinary account of creation: an account of abundance, of multiplicity, of creativity.

'Creation is God's intricate work of art, and human beings are privileged to be placed within it. In this Season of Creation, we celebrate God the Creator, we thank god for the extraordinary riches of his grace. But we also come in sorrow for the way we have defaced creation and misused it for our own ends. In this Season, let's find again a true vision of what being made in the image of God, caring for creation can mean, and commit ourselves to action.'

The Season of Creation website has resources and an events guide for the period, September 1-October 4.