Season of Creation

By Reverend Andy Fleming, Chaplain

Each year, churches around the world come together in celebration, praying and responding to the need to advocate for greater care of God’s gift of creation. The Season of Creation is ecumenical in nature. Church leaders unite to implore us to work harder to protect the fragile environment. A joint statement by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Pope Francis and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby gives us food for thought: “Future generations will never forgive us if we miss the opportunity to protect our common home. We have inherited a garden; we must not leave a desert for our children.”

The theme of this year’s Season of Creation is 'Let Justice and Peace Flow'. Grounded in Amos 5.24 – "but let justice roll on like a river, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream" – we are encouraged to stand up for climate and ecological justice and stand with communities most distressed by climate injustice and biodiversity loss. There is a greater concern for future generations if we don’t take greater heed of the climate warnings.

When Jesus instructs us “to love our neighbours as ourselves,” you might reflect on precisely who your neighbour is. When I talk about this commandment with students, they often conclude that anyone who is in need is our neighbour and this includes creation.


Indigenous peoples across the world are spiritually tied to creation. Their long-held belief is that we are part of creation, treating creation with profound respect and caring for it in a sustainable, loving way. It is pretty obvious that humans can’t live without creation, but creation can certainly live without us. We can learn much from our Indigenous brothers and sisters in this country about how best to work with creation.

You may be aware of the steps taken at Radford this year to further reduce waste through a new disposal system. This has already seen a significant reduction in general waste, while increasing our recycling and capacity to re-distribute food waste to our worm farms, compost, and even the new chooks.

Despite the strong implication in the joint statement above that adults should be the ones who take responsibility for the care of creation, students are the ones stepping up to advocate for this care. For instance, our Radford Awareness and Service (RAS) students often raise environmental issues and organise events to raise awareness. For example, students regularly invite speakers to address climate issues at Dirrum Dirrum Festival. It is no surprise to me that our students show concern and act, and we can certainly learn from them.

Prayer for Season of Creation by Val Brown, Head of Christian Aid Scotland

God of all people, of all creatures;
We thank you for the world that you have created,
Where each ecosystem lives in delicate balance
And where the world produces the food and the clean water
that we all need to sustain life.
The bounty of the harvest is a testament to the wonder of creation.
And yet we know that all creation is groaning
The weather isn’t what it was and that throws out the created balance
Making it harder for farmers to grow the food we all need.
Thank you for the efforts of people locally, nationally and globally to care for your world
For the people who use their creative energy to work for solutions,
For the people who raise their voices to call for justice,
For the people who make small changes every day to tread more lightly on the earth.
May we all learn to live simply, so that others can simply live.

May you find God’s peace in the week ahead,
Rev. Andy