The Spirit is a deep impulse breathing life into creation, suffering with creation and renewing all creation. The Spirit series correlates with the Matthew series of the church year. These liturgies are offered for your use in whole or in part. We invite you to adapt them to your context!

Forest Sunday

This Sunday we worship with creation in a forest, remembering that God created humans from Earth and planted a forest garden to be a home with the rest of their kin in creation. Consider having your congregation worship out of doors in an actual forest or thicket of trees! Otherwise, a forest can be experienced within a church building by locating living trees, ferns, and other forest plants throughout the church, including the sanctuary. 

  sample sermon from 2014 by John Paarlberg, First Church, Albany NY
with material from Jim Robbins’ book The Man Who Planted Trees:
A Story of Lost Groves, the Science of Trees, and a Plan to Save the Planet. 

“Out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight…” ~Genesis 2:9

Land Sunday

This Sunday gives us the opportunity to worship with the land, soil, and land creatures. Scripture proclaims Christ as the second Adam who came to overcome the sin and death caused by Adam, including the curse imposed on Earth. Consider having your congregation worship outdoors, in a garden, a field, or a park. Otherwise, worship with land and soil a church building by placing living plants, vines, grasses and soils at key points throughout the church, including the sanctuary. 
   Land Sunday Liturgy 1 (pdf)            Land Sunday Liturgy 2 (pdf)
“…for three days and three nights the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth.” ~Matthew 12:40

Wilderness Sunday

This Sunday we are invited to worship in the wilderness, with the creations and the creatures of the wild.  Just as Jesus experienced life in the wilderness, we too have an opportunity to worship with all God’s wild life. This week a desert area or a rugged terrain would be a great location for worship. Yet the wilderness can also be experienced in a church building by using bold symbols of the wilds – rugged rocks, tough grasses, and desert life – located at key points throughout the church, including the sanctuary. 
“We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now…” ~Romans 8:22

River Sunday

We worship this Sunday beside a river with all the water life residing around it. Consider having worship take place beside a river or a waterfall. The mysterious world of a river can also be experienced in a church building by using symbols of the fountains, streams, and rivers that fertilize our land. These may include reeds, fish, frogs, and other creatures. We hear this week that when creation is restored, a river will flow directly from God with trees of life growing on either side to bring healing to all nation on Earth. 
River Sunday Liturgy 1 (pdf)          River Sunday Liturgy 2 (pdf)
“Then the angel showed me the river of life…flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb…” ~Revelation 22:1
Feast of St. Francis
The Season of Creation typically concludes with the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, on the Sunday nearest to October 4. This is a perfect occasion for Blessing of the Animals. (See this sermon by David Rhoads.)
We also recommend resources from Catholic Climate Covenant. Their 2016 study guide was titled “Dial Down the Heat: Cultivate the Common Good for our Common Home.” It is described this way: By hosting a Feast of St. Francis event, you and your community will engage with Pope Francis’ call for constructive dialogue about our place in God’s creation and the environmental impacts on poor people and communities. Your experience can become a model for civil dialogue beyond your Church community. Follow this link to download a program guide, which includes facilitator’s guide and power-point presentation, prayers, short video with discussion questions, advocacy activities, and more.
Calendar for Season of Creation 2023
September 3
First Sunday in Creation Forest Sunday Liturgy 1 (pdf) Forest Sunday Liturgy 2 (pdf)
September 10 Second Sunday in Creation Land Sunday Liturgy 1 (pdf) Land Sunday Liturgy 2 (pdf)
September 17
Third Sunday in Creation Wilderness Sunday Liturgy 1 (pdf) Wilderness Sunday Liturgy 2 (pdf)
September 24 Fourth Sunday in Creation River Sunday Liturgy 1 (pdf) River Sunday Liturgy 2 (pdf)
October 1
St. Francis of Assisi Blessing of the Animals 1 (pdf) Blessing of the Animals 2 (pdf)