Christians across the world have been invited to join in a month long 'Season of Creation' later this year and set aside time to "deepen their relationship with God, each other, and all of creation".

Season of Creation poster

A poster for the Season of Creation.

The idea of a 'Season of Creation' - described as an "annual celebration of prayer and action to protect creation" - dates from 1989 when Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I of the Orthodox Church proclaimed 1st September as a day of prayer for creation. The concept was subsequently embraced by other denominations - the Roman Catholics as recently as 2015 - and this year's season will be held from 1st September to 4th October.

The invitation to take part in this year's season was issued in a letter signed by nine Christian leaders including Archbishop Job of Telmessos, permanent representative of Ecumenical Patriarchate to the World Council of Churches, Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches, Most Rev Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Cardinal Peter KA Turkson, prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, and Bishop Efraim Tendero, secretary-general of the World Evangelical Alliance.

Other signatories included representatives of the World Communion of Reformed Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the ACT Alliance and the Conference of European Churches.

In the letter, the leaders said the Season of Creation involves joining together "to rejoice in the good gift of creation and reflect on how we care for it". "This season offers a precious opportunity to pause in the midst of our day-to-day lives and contemplate the fabric of life into which we are woven," they wrote.

"As the environmental crisis deepens, we Christians are urgently called to witness to our faith by taking bold action to preserve the gift we share. As the psalmist sings, 'The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein' (Psalm 24:1-2). During the Season of Creation, we ask ourselves: Do our actions honor the Lord as Creator? Are there ways to deepen our faith by protecting “the least of these,” who are most vulnerable to the consequences of environmental degradation?"

More information and resources for planning events can be found at http://seasonofcreation.org