A Season of Creation

Discussion in 'Feasts, Fasts, and Church Calendar' started by Botolph, Aug 19, 2016.

  1. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    http://seasonofcreation.com/

    My Parish Church has decided that we will keep September a Season of Creation.

    This is a sense replaces the normal liturgical cycle of the lectionary and provides a single thread through September with the Sundays being Ocean, Fauna and Flora, Storm and Cosmos. I sort of vacillate on this stuff, in some ways thinking of it as ecclesia nouveu (trendy church) and in some sense seeing it as a worthwhile variation as we ask people to think theologically about the issues put to us almost daily by the green left secular media.

    Perhaps because I am a good child of the Parish I will be supporting the endeavour, and as I am down for the intercessions of Cosmos Sunday who knows what will come out. (truly you are the saviour of the cosmos). Perhaps because I see this as an area where we are seriously under informed theologically, and I see it as a good way of connecting with things that are important in the community more generally and an opportunity for a greater connection

    I am just interested in what other people here feel about things like this where there is an intended variation from the normal lectionary for a catechetical purpose.
     
  2. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Are the scripture reading changed to accommodate these new themes?
     
  3. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Hi Lowly, yes they are
     
  4. zimkhitha

    zimkhitha Active Member

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    Some parishes here in South Africa do deviate from the lectionary to accommodate certain public holidays and causes. With some creativity, I believe any theme could be accommodated by the lectionary.
     
  5. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    This seems like Paganism to me. And changing the lectionary to displace God... that is just heathenish and inexcusable.
     
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  6. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    Define "heathenish" please, your understanding. Thank you
     
  7. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I believe he is using it to describe the nature worship prevalent in the earth-based ("Heathen" or neo-pagan) religions.
     
  8. Madeline

    Madeline Well-Known Member

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    I read two of the services, and I think that they are very beautiful and Christ-centred. I can understand people's discomfort with deviating from the lectionary. But personally, I love these services. They remind me of some of the times that I felt closest to God, when I was living in a cabin in the woods. That made me feel like I truly fit in God's magnificent creation.
     
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  9. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    If I were Anglican, I'd fear that deviation implies that the Lectionary is less than perfect and doesn't meet all requirements
     
  10. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Hi one and all, thanks for your thoughts. I am going to be positive about the Season of Creation. I think I see it as a way of making a connection between ourselves as the people who understand that the gifts that surround us in creation are gifts of our Creator, handed to us in trust, that we may hand them undiminished to those who come after us, rather than simply to exploit them for our own purposes.

    The current Australian lectionary, is based largely on the Revised Common lectionary, which itself is largely based on the Roman lectionary. To keep the Diocese of Sydney happy our lectionary focuses on providing streams of Old Testament readings that allow one to preach a series (week to week) on the Old Testament texts. I am somewhat flummoxed by the relationship between the readings that result in some particular weeks, and frankly I wouldn't mind if we just used the Roman lectionary, as there is access to lots of helpful resources, and it does mean that Anglicans can talk to other Christians (Roman or Uniting) as the lectionaries would then be in sync.​

    In Australia, and I understand it to be world wide, there is a growing 'environmental' movement, and I really believe that much of what they are on about is really a Godless lift of what we have spoken of for years as the 'stewardship of creation'. I see it as a point of connection, and hopefully some will hear about it and come to listen, or our people will have more of a positive contribution to make when these things arise in general conversation. I do understand those who have concerns, but it isn't my call - above my pay grade as they say - I offer it up that it helps some and contributes in some small way to the advancement of His Kingdom.

    And I will remind myself of the fifth mark of mission
    • To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
     
  11. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Yes that is what I meant exactly. It's like we are returning to the nature-worshipping barbarians whom Christians had taught not to worship nature.

    Thank you. I hope that indeed indeed they are Christ-centered, even if their titles and purported themes aren't. Nothing about "Ocean, Fauna and Flora, Storm and Cosmos" immediately conveys Christ, or has Christ in its center. But I grant you that the substance could be different from the seeming appearances. In this case, since as a foreigner I don't know the substance of those lectionary readings, I can only focus on their appearances, which indeed do seem pagan, and Nature-centered, rather than God-centered.

    In traditional Anglicanism the lectionary, the titles, feast days, holidays and seasons all have Christ at their center, and this has nature at its center, which seems exactly like the pagans who put the worship of nature at the center of their lives.
     
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  12. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The problem with this is that it makes the lectionary a tool for ideology. If you allow that, then you allow different ideologies to control the lectionary, rather than keeping it solely and exclusively focused on Christ, as it is supposed to be.

    Perhaps then in the future other agitators could come to power and make the lectionary be about 'workers rights' or about 'unfettered capitalism' or about 'the beauty of the planet.' Wait, that latter is already happening.

    The lectionary is supposed to be above and indifferent to all ideologies. It is to be about God, about nothing other than God, and nothing else than God. This is the definition of Christian worship, praise and thanksgiving. We worship God, not "the world".

    Rather than using this as a point of contact, the church is being hijacked as a vessel, to make Australia's 'growing' environmental movement into a 'grown' one. It strengthens it, nourishes its leaders and its values, strengthening and assuring it of its own moral superiority.

    No one converts to the church, but rather the church is what endures the conversion. This is wrong.

    In the traditional way it is the World that is to change to the way of the Church. The environmentalists are the ones who should be adopting Anglicanism and the Anglican lectionary, rather than Anglicans adopting some foreign lectionary or a pagan environmentalist lectionary altogether. This is not the way of Christ, but of the money-changers in the Temple.
     
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  13. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Hi Anglican 74. Yep I get it. But as I said it is above my pay grade. I despair of contemporary contemplative journeys to nowhere. On Sunday when they announced Hymn 747 I muttered 'I'm leaving on a Jet Plane' - and half way through the second verse of the impossibly tuned subjective song the person in front of me turned around and said 'well at least we would have been able to sing it!' We need more 'Immortal Invisible' and less 'Morning has Broken' mutter mutter mutter.

    I do see a case to be made that the Gospel does have something to say about our relationship with the environment. When someone who loves us and who we love gives or entrusts something to our keeping, how we treasure the gift says something about how we value the giver. I do not believe that we should allow 'the greens' to get away with an argument that they are the only ones who care about these things.

    I don't think we are abandoning the lectionary altogether - and I don't think the alternate readings are 'pagan environmentalist' as they are all from scripture, (though I have probably already expressed my thoughts about ours) but rather taking a four week detour for a special purpose. I would also point out, as I may have clouded the issue, that in no way do I see this program (for want of a better term) being sponsored or connected to the political green movement - (with which I personally have a few issues).

    On the other hand I think you points are entirely valid, tough perhaps expressed at volume 9, where I might see it at volume 2.

    And I will remind myself of the fifth mark of mission
    • To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
     
  14. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Thanks, @Philip Barrington. I knew that basically we were on the same page, orienting ourselves to God with a sincere heart.
     
  15. Mockingbird

    Mockingbird Member

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    I am reminded of the following passage from the writings of Fr. Alexander Schmemann:

     
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  16. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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  17. Madeline

    Madeline Well-Known Member

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    It's absolutely lovely, Philip. I too maintain the website for my church, and it can be a fair amount of work. I hope your services inspire people to feel more in relationship with God when they think of his works.
     
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