Creation Time

ImageWhile browsing through Mary Hawes’ wonderful monthly newsletter for the Church of England, Going for Growth, http://www.going4growth.org.uk/growth_through_the_year/creation-time I learned that we are in the church season of Creation Time. Our Mennonite Churches have certainly attuned themselves more closely to the church year in recent decades, but I did not know that ordinary time had these subsections.

According to this newsletter, “Creation Time is the name which has been given to the 5 Sundays from 1st September to the 2nd Sunday in October. Using the Lectionary readings, it is an opportunity to focus on creation and re-consider our responsibilities for the stewardship of the earth.  The 4th October is the Feast of St Francis.”

Creation time certainly works for me as a church season! For one, it places my budding indoor garden into a context alongside of harvest, much like the squirrel I saw this morning, pictured below, who is either storing food for winter or inadvertently planting it to grow next spring.

ImageWhen I focus on Creation, I get pulled toward the fun, the suspense, and the mystery of creating stuff, of being co-creators with God.  Speaking of fun, this week I hope to pollinate the finally blooming cantaloupe plant that I took in from the garden a month ago. Male flowers abound, but I haven’t found a female flower yet.

As I check the seedlings each morning, I delight in the new leaves slowly revealing the plant character that lay hidden in tiny seeds. I look out and drink in the stately beauty of the towering cedar, pine and elms through the indoor garden’s many windows. As I drink in these many shades of green gratitude grows for the beauty that accompanies ecological health.

I think about the coming fall and winter and anticipate enjoying fresh greens alongside of preserved vegetables and fruits from this summer’s bounty. I anticipate the greenhouse standing out as an oasis of cheerful green in a winter landscape.

But its not just fun, food, and gratitude. Gardening pulls me toward greater care for creation and stimulates a growing consciousness of our responsibilities for the stewardship of the earth. It immerses me in ‘Creation Time.’ I am even beginning to turn the compost in the bins outside to help ready it to feed next year’s plants, something I only thought about doing till now!

I wonder, would consciously celebrating Creation Time in worship for five Sundays each fall help Christians develop a growing consiousness of our responsibilities for the stewardship of the earth? I know we can’t all play around in and be transformed by indoor gardens, but worshipping around the theme for five Sundays a year might inspire many other creative ways of acknowledging that “The earth is the Lord’s” Ps. 24:1a.

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About Elsie Hannah Ruth Rempel

As a young senior whose life could easily have ended in a nasty car crash in 2012 I live with an extra dose of gratitude to God, humanity, and the wonders of our human bodies. I am a passionate advocate for ministry WITH children and seniors in the life and ministry of the church. I started working in Faith Formation with Mennonite Church Canada in 2002. Thinking and writing about faith helps me see God at work in all kinds of surprising places. I'd like to be remembered as one who encourages others to live into God's good dream for our world. My book, Please Pass the Faith: The Spiritual Art of Grandparenting, is one big way I'm trying to share that encouragement with my peers. This blog is another way I'd like to engage people who care about growing in faith across the generations.
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