This Thursday, Sept. 1st is the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation and inaugurates a five-week-long Season of Creation, which lasts until Oct. 4th, as this press release from the WCC notes. The World Day of Prayer and the Season of Creation are ecumenical efforts uniting Orthodox, Catholics, Anglicans, and Protestants. Christians from those traditions are invited to engage in prayer and take action on issues related to creation care during this five-week period.
This event (or series of events) is significant for several reasons:
1. It reflects the growing importance of creation care as an area of missiological action and reflection. Care for creation is, for instance, an important theme in the WCC's recent affirmation on mission and evangelism, Together Towards Life.
2. It originated with the Orthodox but has become an ecumenical event. The WCC press release notes, "The late Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I proclaimed 1 September as a day of prayer for the environment in 1989. The Orthodox church year starts that day with a commemoration of how God created the world." Oct. 4th was chosen as the end day because it is the feast of St. Francis in the Catholic Church. Thus, the five week-long Season of Creation was born of ecumenical interaction that combined affirmations from Orthodox and Catholic traditions. The movement continues as an ecumenical one, with Anglicans and conciliar Protestants now joined in support.