A newsletter message written for St. David's Episcopal Church, Kinnelon, NJ
You don’t have to have known me or Michael long to start hearing about our dogs. As is true for many families, they’re an important part of our family. So it’s exciting to begin planning for the annual Blessing of the Animals on the first Sunday in October. Our pets – in whatever form they take, and even in the form of those we “love but see no longer” – offer us a lot of emotional comfort, and that helps to support spiritual health. It’s only natural that we should, at least from time to time, include them in our spiritual lives.
For us at St. David’s, the animal blessing is just the first of our month-long observance of Creation Season. This season of the church year is one you may not have heard of elsewhere. It actually began here in our own diocese at Redeemer Church in Morristown, but since then has been observed in more and more places. In fact, even at this year’s General Convention, a resolution was proposed by the Presiding Bishop’s Advisory Council on the Stewardship of Creation to officially include Creation Season as a recognized observance in future revisions of the Book of Common Prayer.
You may wonder, though, why are we introducing a “new” season into the church year – a calendar that does not change very often at all! The thinking behind this observance is two-fold. First, it was recognized that the church makes space in the church year to specifically honor two of the figures of the Holy Trinity: Christ and the Holy Spirit. But there is no specific season set aside to honor and give thanks for God, the Creator. Creation Season seeks to remedy this. Additionally, environmental stewardship has increasingly become a major subject in our culture, but Creation Season is a way of recognizing our calling from God to care for creation. It unites a cultural reality with a spiritual purpose – something the church should always continue to strive to accomplish.
I look forward to hearing what you think of our observances this month!