Terry Head, the music minister at Bridge St. UC has asked for the themes of Creation Time this Fall so he can prepare for worship. Terry is so organized that he would have preferred this info six months ago, but I did let him know where I was headed. We will be looking at the papal encyclical released by the Vatican in June. Pope Francis' document called Laudato Si: On the Care of Our Common Home. Laudato Si means "praise be," words which Pope Francis, has taken from a hymn of Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of the environment. While a number of popes have addressed environmental issues, this is the first encyclical, a designation which carries extra weight. The implication is that cardinals and bishops and parish priests will take this directive seriously. There has certainly been plenty of media attention to the encyclical.
Beginning with Sunday, September 13th, the start of Creation Time, we will ponder aspects of the document. I read the 67 pages while in Newfoundland during July and I made a point of sitting outdoors, with a view of the sea as I did so. This was a big commitment because July was a chilly month on The Rock! Here is what I offered to Terry:
The four themes I will develop out of Pope Francis’ encyclical will be something like this:
Praise Be to You – I will do an introduction of the encyclical which uses the Canticle of the Sun supposedly penned by St. Francis as the foundation. All Creatures of our God & King was inspired by the Canticle.
Our Common Home – Pope Francis uses this phrase a number of times, a reminder that we are all in this together regardless of our religious convictions or lack of them. He also reminds us that we are part of a greater web of creation and that humility rather than hubris is essential.
From Covenant to Conversion – There is a strong call to action and new habits at the conclusion of the encyclical and I will follow the pope’s lead. This will be world communion Sunday, so I will figure out a way to tie this in.
Now to find the scripture passages to support my preconceived notions!