Telling the stories of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, NZ and Polynesia

Anglicans mark Season of Creation

Anglicans in Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia are marking the ecumenical Season of Creation with actions ranging from prayer and worship, to gardening and tree planting or lobbying for policy change.

Taonga News  |  16 Sep 2022  |

 Around Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia Anglican churches and ministry units are focusing on the time between 1 September - 4 October to join the world's churches as they pray, plan and act for a sustainable future in harmony with God’s Creation.

In August 2022, the Diocese of Auckland’s Sustainability Fieldworker Cathy Bi-Riley sent out resource kits to celebrate the 2022 Season of Creation designed to motivate the more than 20 Anglican communities in her diocese that spend September each year focused on Creation care.

Cathy reports that over the last two years, the annual training day for sustainability champions from Auckland parishes has risen from 30 people attending to 60 registered for this year. Many of those champions are leading lights in the Season of Creation, with parishes taking on themes in creation care such as water, land or 'zero waste' to focus their month of advocacy and action. 

The Auckland Season of Creation resource offers suggestions for worship focused on care for Creation for both indoors and outdoors, online study materials on environmental issues and responses to climate change and Creation care materials to engage and inspire children. 

The second resource by St Augustine's Richard Barker proposes reducing carbon use by ‘Travelling Together,’ a challenge for faith communities to switch to travelling to church by low carbon transport, or by carpooling to reduce burning of fossil fuels.

In September 2022, six Diocese of Auckland parishes will train in zero waste, with Cathy Bi Riley and and one of the “Para Kore” waste-free marae trainers. Others will hold Creation-focused worship services, worship outdoors to focus on Creation (Onerahi parish in Whangarei), or focus on their ongoing planting and caring for riparian stands of trees (Mauku Parish).

In the Diocese of Polynesia, churches and schools will reflect on the many different approaches to living sustainably raised in the 2022 Pacific Conference of Churches Season of Creation resource (Downloadable as PDF). The PCC resource includes liturgies and reflections for each Sunday of the Season of Creation, including one written by Diocese of Polynesia Registrar, Rev Sepiuta Hala’api’api. Anglicans will also take a leading role in the Fiji Council of Churches' open air worship for the Season of Creation on 27 September 2022.

The Diocese of Wellington has shared resources for churches and schools to participate in the Season of Creation, including two short videos: one on a young Wellington family who got rid of their car, and another on the diocesan climate advocacy group whose regular meetings led to an official challenge to Wellington City Council to make free public transport available to low income people in the city.

Globally, the ecumenical Season of Creation was initiated in 1989 when the Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitros I proclaimed September 1 as the Orthodox Day of Prayer for Creation. Subsequently, the World Council of Churches (WCC) extended the celebration until October 4, the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi.

This year the Season of Creation's global theme uses the sign of the burning bush as its symbol and its byline is ‘Hear the Voice of Creation’. Global ecumenical worship resources are available at:

Several Anglican Provinces have produced Season of Creation resources that are available online.

Season of Creation 2022 PDF download Anglican Church of Southern Africa

Season of Creation & St Francis’ Day resources Episcopal Church USA

Season of Creation resources Anglican Church of Canada

Creationtide resources Church of England

Season of Creation resources Scottish Episcopal Church 

For Season of Creation children's church resources, see the WCC ‘Climate Justice with and for children and youth’ A Rocha Aotearoa NZ's Creation Connection: Series for Children and the STRANDZ Bible Explore Season of Creation materials and Care of Creation resources. 

Sermon notes following the common lectionary relating to sustainability and creation care are available at Sustainable Preaching and sermon notes for lectionary related readings on the Sundays of the Season of Creation are on Preaching for God's World.

For worship band songs/videos related to Creation Care, go to Doxecology or to A Rocha Aotearoa NZ’s selection here. An extensive list of church hymns on themes of Creation (compiled in Canada) is downloadable in PDF here and RNZ has produced an episode of Hymns on Sunday for the Season of Creation.

Three Sundays remain in the 2022 Season of Creation September 18 and 25 and 2 October.