Saturday, 23 September 2017

Season Of Creation- Uganda

Christians all over the world celebrate the Season of Creation from September 1 to October 4.  The Season of Creation is an occasion for reflection and action on environmental protection. It unites Christians around the world.

Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the general secretary of the World Council of Churches, which represents 500 million Christians around the globe, have issued statements of support the season of creation.

The Season of Creation has been embraced by the heads of the world’s major Christian churches because of their shared recognition that humanity has an important role to play in protecting the environment. This year’s season coincides with the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Cross-denominational events will highlight the shared value of environmental protection that bridges this historical divide. As one example, the Archbishop of Canterbury will lead a prayer service featuring songs from Taiz, a monastic order of Protestant and Catholic brothers.

At the grassroots level, Christians around the world are holding symbolic actions to protect the Earth. These include an native-led water walk around the Toronto waterfront, a nun-led protest and vigil at a radioactive landfill in Missouri, Eucharist service at a polluted waterway in Swaziland, and the launch of the #BirthdayTree campaign in East Africa.

These celebrations are echoed right here in Uganda. At The University of Kisubi, students under the mobilization of Mukhaye Proscovia, the Climate Queen have partnered with The Girls For Climate movement to organize Eucharistic services on 30th September and 1st October with the intention of praying for the protection of creation. During the prayers the university chaplain will bless tree saplings that willb be planted in the University orchard and also given to birthday celebrants in the university chaplaincy.
In the same week, the climate queen will also preside over a similar celebration in Jinja where the #BirthdayTree campaign will be launched at an event dubbed Jinja Fruit Bonanza which will have primary and secondary school students, teachers, education official and environmentalists in attendance

The Season of Creation runs from September 1 through October 4.  September 1 was proclaimed as a day of prayer for creation by Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I for the Orthodox in 1989, and was embraced by the other major Christian European churches in 2001 and by Pope Francis for the Roman Catholic Church in 2015.  In recent years, many Christian churches have begun celebrating the “Season of Creation” between September 1 and October 4, the date of the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi that some Western traditions observe.  

Although the observance of the season is well established, global events this year give it extra significance.  The 500th anniversary of the Reformation is an occasion to reflect on the values shared by all Christians, and care for our common home is a prominent shared value. Additionally, decisions in the United States to pull out of the Paris climate treaty and to roll back environmental protections, including major climate regulations, contradict the message of environmental stewardship embraced by the united Christian family.  

John Hillary Balyejusa, the Director of Girls For Climate, which is organizing the events said, It is time for the christian community to step up the fight to solve the climate crisis. Its our world, we need to protect her from destruction”. He further said, “The Season of Creation is a perfect window for us to launch our ambitious Birthday Tree campaign.We have already had over thousand people planting trees on their birthdays since April and we hope this launch will encourage more people to embrace the campaign” 

The convening organizations that are leading the Season of Creation promotion efforts are World Council of Churches, Anglican Communion Environmental Network, Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer), the Global Catholic Climate Movement, and ACT Alliance.


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