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31 August 2020

Dear Lucia,

In August’s Pollinator, Ed Brown introduced the Season of Creation (1st September – 4th October) and this year’s theme ‘Jubilee for the Earth: new rhythms, new hopes’. As I (Dave Bookless) been representing Evangelicals on the global planning group for the last couple of years, I thought it would be good to dig deeper into the concept, and this year’s theme:
Why have a Season of Creation? Evangelicals often avoid annual calendars of church events and seasons, perhaps feeling a danger of formal ritual and ‘churchy-ness’. However, God’s people in scripture clearly based their whole lives around the rhythms of the year. Almost all the biblical festivals were linked both to God’s actions in history (eg Passover) but also to the seasons of sowing, harvesting and rejoicing in God’s provision through creation. As our societies have become more urban and our worship has become more wordy, we lose our sense of total reliance on God through the gift of creation. So, over the past 30 years, the 5 weeks from 1st September to 4th October, including Northern hemisphere Harvest and ending with St Francis’ Day, have been celebrated by more and more churches: Orthodox, Anglican, Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Reformed, and now many evangelicals too. I’ve found it a great privilege and a welcoming online community to plan this with colleagues from many countries and church backgrounds.
Why ‘Jubilee for the Earth: new rhythms, new hopes? This year’s theme was chosen long before COVID-19 changed our world, but it feels even more relevant now. We tend to use the term ‘Jubilee’ to celebrate anniversaries, but of course its biblical roots lie in a radical reset every 50 years, a social, economic and ecological world rebooted. The shock of the coronavirus pandemic, and the terrible suffering it has brought, have – in a strange way – given us an opportunity to look anew at our relationship with the earth, with each other, and with God. There are some great resources in the Season of Creation pack: theological, worship ideas and practical suggestions, and you can add your events to the website too.

A Rocha has produced a lovely short film based on Psalm 65 to accompany this, which could be shown in worship (online or in person) (See link in the story below). Perhaps one of the things that God is saying to us most clearly from this time is that we need to change our ways. We need to de-tox from the travel, consumerism, busyness and shopping. Jubilee is a reminder that more is not always better. There is a time to stop consuming, stop accumulating, and just stop. Take our Sabbath once a week. Take time to pause and celebrate and be aware of our context, our world, our impact. Discover new rhythms of life, closer to the ones God has written into the sun and moon and seasons. In doing so, discover new hope, rooted in the good God who creates so abundantly, gives so generously, and redeems so radically.

With prayers and hope,

Dave, for the LWCCN Family
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Echo’s 27th International Conference is coming 

For twenty-six years, ECHO in south Florida has been providing instruction, training, and encouragement for agricultural workers at their home base every November. Thanks to Covid-19, ECHO’s 27th International Agricultural Conference will be open to participants from around the world, no visas or airplane tickets needed. The conference will be streamed worldwide on November 19. […]
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Season of Creation Worship Aid: Psalm 65 video 

Our friends from A Rocha around the world have put together a sweet two minute video, reading Psalm 65. Enjoy it here, and download to share with your own church family during this Season of Creation:
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Sacred Ecology advanced degree program at Fuller 

Fuller Seminary has just announced a new Sacred Ecology and Cultural Regeneration Cohort will be included in their Doctor of Global Leadership degree program beginning in the spring of 2021. This sounds like an amazing opportunity for anyone who wishes to combine advanced studies with an interest in and passion for God’s creation. Here’s the […]
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Creation Care and Frontier Missiology 

The ever-prolific Bob Sluka has strayed slightly from the comfort of his ocean work with A Rocha International to explore environmental missions from a new angle. Here is his summary of his recently published article in the International Journal of Frontier Missions: The article is trying to articulate how creation care enhances FrontierMissions as currently […]
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New documentary film: Virginia’s Calling 

“When her faith is challenged by a hurricane, a young evangelical mom must find a new way forward.” Virginia’s Calling is a new documentary film of her story. From the website: A homeschooling mom’s picture-perfect life is shattered when her home floods.  Just as she hits rock-bottom, an unlikely spiritual guide appears. A warm, intimate […]
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