The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Environmental Ministries invites congregations to join ecumenical partners around the world in recognizing and supporting Sept. 1, 2015, and subsequent September firsts, as a World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.

Recently Pope Francis and the World Council of Churches affirmed that the date would be set aside as a day to pray for all of God’s people and the whole creation. In his affirmation, the Pope said that it is our responsibility as Christians to resolve the current ecological crisis and was included in his recent encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si. The symbolism of September 1 dates back to 1989, when the Orthodox communities through Ecumenical Patriarch Demetrios urged the faithful to embrace actions that honor and respect God’s creation.

“While there is much that still separates Christians, people of faith and people of no faith, we share life in this created world and are called by God to be stewards of the created order,” says Robina Winbush, PC(USA) Director of Ecumenical Relations and Associate Stated Clerk. “We welcome the opportunity to join with our Orthodox and Roman Catholic brothers and sisters in praying for the whole of creation and committing ourselves and our resources to act and live in ways that respect and care for the world entrusted to us and generations yet unborn. The World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation on September 1 is an opportunity for an ecumenical witness that impacts the whole inhabited earth”

Rebecca Barnes, Associate for Environmental Ministries in the Presbyterian Hunger Program, comments “Our certified Earth Care Congregations, and other Presbyterians around the nation, hope to join with global sisters and brothers through prayer on this blessed day, praising God who is Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer of all and in thanksgiving offering our lives in service to caring for God’s good creation.”

Sunday worship resources including a bulletin insert, a hymn written by the Rev. Carolyn Winfrey Gillette and Pope Francis’ prayer from his June papal encyclical on the environment can be found at http://www.pcusa.org/blogs/eco-journey/2015/8/25/sept-1-world-day-prayer-care-creation/