Each Sunday, when Christians gather, we praise God for creation, pray for everything that God created, charge one another to care for the world God made, and hear the good news that God loves the world, and not just humans and animals, but also every plant, sea, spark, and breeze.
Thanks to the work of Christ the King Church’s Creation Care Team we have become more aware of all the aspects by which we are part and parcel of God’s creation, and of our call to stewardship for the created world. We are one year into a two year environmental leadership program for houses of worship with the program called GreenFaith Interfaith Partners for the Environment (www.greenfaith.org).
Even if every Sunday is Green Sunday, worship on the weekend of the observance of the commemoration of St. Francis of Assisi (October 4), will focus on what we can learn from St. Francis whose love for animals and all creatures provides us a model of caring for the earth and all its inhabitants.
At the worship services on Sunday, October 6, the liturgy will have a particular focus on caring for the earth. A newly written prayer of thanksgiving at the table over the bread and wine will be prayed, which includes a congregational refrain, “The earth is full of your glory.” The prayer includes also this petition:
Over the eons your merciful might evolved our home,
this fragile tree of life.
Here by your wisdom are both life and death, growth and decay,
The nest and the hunt, sunshine and storm.
Sustained by these wonders, we creatures of dust join in ancient song.
The hymn of the day at the Sunday morning worship is “Touch the Earth Lightly” (ELW 739), a hymn by New Zealand poet Shirley Erena Murray:
Touch the earth lightly,
use the earth gently,
nourish the life of the world in our care:
gift of great wonder,
ours to surrender,
trust for the children tomorrow will bear.
We will gather for a Blessing of the Animals on the Saturday closest to October 4 (St. Francis’ Day), this year October 5, to bless our animals, especially our pets that accompany us in life. At 11:00 a.m. come with your pets to the courtyard at Christ the King Church for a short service of scripture, prayer, and blessing.
“The Earth is Full of God’s Glory,” every day and on special days. Come these special days in October, but come also each week and listen as we regularly stand in the presence of the creator God, hear God’s good news about love for all creatures, and then be challenged anew to consider our call to be stewards of these mercies.