St. Andrew Season of Creation

Saint Andrew Lutheran Church

Racine, Wisconsin

Pastor Michael Mueller

Green Team Chair: Sandra Roberts

 

The Season of Creation: September 2011. Series A in the three year common Lectionary

In all services we emphasize the good news of God the creator of all, Christ the redeemer of creation, and the Spirit as the sustainer of life. We will focus on the giftedness and the mystery of life. In each service, we invoke God the creator of all, confess our sins against creation, petition for restoration of nature, and commission our members at the end to “care for creation.”

The following Sundays represent the four Sundays in the Season of Creation for 2011, Series A in the common lectionary. There are special lessons and one suggested liturgy to use for the season.

1st Sunday in the Season of Creation: Forest Sunday.

We will talk the symbiotic relationship between humans and trees, how we depend on them as life partners for us.

We will take pictures of the trees on our church land and display them in worship, naming the trees on our land as member of our Earth community. And we will identify them as our “worship partners” as the Psalm suggests: “Let all creation praise the Lord.”

We will also use the occasion to plant the first trees on our land in memory of members who have died. We will go outside as the last part of the service and enact a tree planting ritual.

2nd Sunday in the Season of Creation: Land Sunday

Land Sunday is an opportunity to celebrate the harvest of our large community garden and to offer our produce and monetary gifts to food banks for the hungry in our community.

Weather permitting, we will go into the garden and dedicate the produce. We will give everyone some kind of gift of flowers or produce from the garden to take home as a symbol of the gifts of God from the land.

In the service, we will include a brief ritual that affirms our vocation to be caretakers and stewards of God’s land so that all will benefit from the fruits of the Earth.

3rd Sunday in the Season of Creation: Wilderness Sunday

Here we will have a slide presentation to open the service displaying many different faces of wilderness and the inhabitants of wilderness. The wilderness shows us that humans are not to dominate the land but know our limits and preserve areas untouched by human exploitation and presence.

We will also provide people with information about laws that protect natural sanctuaries and about organizations such as land trusts and groups that advocate for the preservation of wilderness areas.

4th Sunday in the Season of Creation: River Sunday

On this week, we will emphasize the “river of life” by putting blue ribbon streamers down from the central baptismal font to extend throughout the sanctuary, displaying the abundance of God’s creation. We will be guided by the image from Revelation in which the river of life offers water free of charge so that the poor will not go thirsty.

We will also emphasize the efforts by local groups to the local watershed the watershed and restore the Pike River in the city of Racine. We will provide an opportunity for members to volunteer to participate in these efforts. 

Blessing of the Animals.

We traditionally conclude the season with a service outside in which we gather in a circle of life with our pets and bless each animal—human and non-human—with health and well-being. We also give each participant a St. Francis medallion to take with them.

Some examples of what we have done in the past

Ocean Sunday:  We put trash collected from the beaches of Lake Michigan to display graphically the ways in which human trash is despoiling our Earth’s water.  

Storm Sunday: showed slides of all kinds of violent storms and told stories of people who had endured the ravages and losses of storms.

Animal Sunday: We gave out cards with pictures of specific endangered animals with information about that animal. We invited people to pray for the animal they had received and to light a candle there in the service as an expression of our desire not to see their life snuffed out.

Wilderness Sunday: We invited the regional representative of The Wilderness Society to preach and hold a forum.

River Sunday: We gave out rocks that had been made smooth by water as a concrete symbol of our relationship with rivers.

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