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Dossier – Creation Day Creation


									      Dossier – Day of Creation / Time of Creation


 UN Theme of the Year: Himalaya / Alps / Ecotourism
World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD) - Rio + 10
                   26 August - 4 September in Johannesburg

    Creation Day: 1 September - SUNDAY: Nature, Culture, Arts
  Creation Time: 1 September to 4 October or 1st Sunday in October
              European Car-free Day: 22 September!

                         Coalition of the ECEN
                          Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - INDEX

A:         Season-specific Materials and
           World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) 2002:
Foreword *

Statement of the World Council of Churches (WCC) regarding the World Summit on Sustainable Development
A Call to Action in Solidarity with Those Most affected by Climate Change, Statement prepared by Ecumenical
Development and Relief Agencies in collaboration with The World Council of Churches Climate Change Programme

      1.   Recommendations of the EEA2 1997, Graz
      2.   UN Theme of the Year: "International Year of Mountains" and “International Year of Ecotourism” - Facts *
                   "Mountain Reflections“, Pastor Karl Heinz Baumgartner
                   "Rice Terraces in the Philippines", Fr. Georg Ziselsberger, SVD

1. Mediation (submitted to WSSD)
2. Prayer Petitions (submitted to WSSD)
3. Monday Prayer (to accompany the preparations of the WSSD)

1. Creation Liturgy:
a)    Biblical Recommendations *
b)    Quotations *
c)    Penitential Rite - Sr. Pia Kypta, Sisters of St. Francis, Austria

2.    Creation Time:
a)       Examination of Conscience *
b)       “European Car-free Day” 22 September, Prof. Hermann Knoflacher
c)       “European Car-free Day” 22 September, tips, recommendations
d)       “Balance of Justice” - Socio-ecological Model for Praxis *
e)       “7 Days with Saint Francis”, Mag. Hemma Opis Pieber

B:         Theology / Ethics, Constant Elements for the Creation Time:

1.    Theological and Socio-ethical Deliberations to the Creation Day, Prof. Karl Golser
2.    Christian Ecology - Russian Orthodox Philosophers, Prof. Andrej Danilov
3.    Theological Deliberations to Introducing the Creation Day, Pastor Klaus Hoof
4.    Theological Rationale to Introduce a "Creation Time” into the Church Year, Prof. Lucas Vischer
5.    Ethics in Agriculture - BSE Crisis, Isolde M. Schönstein

1.     "Spiritual Exercises for Everyday Life" - Various Recommendations for Daily Behavior *
2.     Creation Day and Church Institutions *
3.     Ideas for Liturgy and Elements for Worship, Recommendations for the Liturgical Year, Mag. G. Grosinger

                                                                               * Contributions of the ARGE SVA Team
                                                                 Graphic "Jahr der Berge": Mag. art. Robert Marschall

                                              Coalition of the ECEN
                        Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Foreword

For several years Christians have been observing “Creation Day” on 1 September and by doing so follow the 1989
invitation of the Ecumenical Patriarch which he issued immediately after the First European Ecumenical Assembly in
Basel to commemorate and celebrate this day in a special way.

The European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN), a fruit of the Second European Ecumenical Assembly in
Graz, 1997, recommends a “Creation Time” in the church year arguing that the signs of the times demand a more
intensive discussion about and dedication to a responsibility for creation, and that the liturgical year has not dedicated
any particular time to God the Creator.

The ”Creation Day“ on 1 September is meant to be a common beginning for the “Creation Time” that would last
until 4 October, or the Second Sunday in October, respectively.

In this dossier you will find information about the UN 2002 International Year, facts (about environment and
development), in-depth reflections, liturgical and pastoral ideas, and recommendations for programs and actions,
theological and socio-ethical deliberations, and theological justifications for introducing a “Creation Day” and
“Creation Time”, Christian ecology etc.

A framework for action (examination of conscience) offers guidelines and starting points for a change of behavior for
the daily life of the individual person and the church as institution.

The invitation is being extended to all humans to join in the Monday Prayer started by a group of Christians; to join in
the prayer in just any place one finds himself or herself on a Monday morning, remembering the many crisis situations
and praying for solutions! In the Monday Prayer we particularly pray for leaders in politics, the economy, science, as
well as for the Church authorities, leaders and activists of NGOs and any and all dedicated and cause oriented
One third of the human population belongs to Christian churches! What could they achieve and effect?!!

The Monday Prayer is also intended to accompany the preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development
(WSSD) that will take place in Johannesburg from 26 August to 4 September.

Significantly, the Creation Day 2002, coincides with this conference! This dossier may offer you assistance for the

Pace e Bene

Isolde M. Schönstein
Leader of the Coalition "Creation Time“ of the ECEN                                        Vienna, June 2002

Note: Materials for Creation Day and Creation Time are available from:
- This dossier (German and English) is available at the ECEN web page - (
    and at the ARGE Schöpfungsverantwortung web page - (
- a Russian version is available on request through the Russian Orthodox Faculty in Minsk
-   ÖKU Switzerland, Creation Time, focuses on certain issues, many impulses, elements ... (
- "Celebrating Creation" Creation Day! Modules and songs for the community and worship, published by
    Evangelischer Oberkirchenrat Stuttgart in cooperation with the environmental officers of the
   Evangelische Landeskirchen in Baden und Württemberg
-   Clearinghouse of the Deutsche Bischofskonferenz, (
- Liturgy, Modules, Dates: Institute for Justice - Peace – Integrity of Creation at the
   Theolog. Hochschule Brixen (
- Liturgical materials, actions in The Netherlands: Tini Brugge, Kapelweg 3, NL 7218 NJ ALMEN;
    Tel. und FAX: ++31 575 43 11 33 and Nellie Smeenk-Enserink,

                                               Coalition of the ECEN
             Statement of the World Council of Churches (WCC) regarding the

         World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD)
                                            26 August - 4 September 2002
                                             Johannesburg / South Africa

Ten years after the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED)held 1992 in Rio de
Janeiro a World Summit on Sustainable Development will take place on August 26 - September 4, 2002.
Representatives of governments, international organizations, non governmental organizations (NGOs) and also
of churches and other faith communities will gather in Johannesburg (South Africa) for this event. South Africa
will host almost 50‟000 according to the expectations of the UN secretariat.

The World Council of Churches and number of representatives of member churches and World Communions have
accompanied the follow-up to the Rio conference during the last ten years and participated in the preparatory process
of the WSSD. The Ecumenical Team which was formed for this purpose will also be active at the final preparatory
meeting to the WSSD on May 27 – June 7 in Bali (Indonesia) and at the summit itself.

The WCC is for more than twenty years engaged in efforts within its own worldwide constituency to build a
faith-based understanding of the integral interrelationship between social justice, human development and
protection of the environment. Taking stock ten years after the Rio Summit in 1992, the ecumenical
community approaches the Johannesburg Summit with the deep concern that once again hope will be dashed
by unfulfilled promises. The lack of implementation of the decisions taken and recommendations made in
Rio and the unfulfilled expectations at the Monterrey Summit on Financing for Development say more about
the reality we are confronted with than promises made so far in the preparations for the Johannesburg

In the ten years since Rio, the concept of “sustainable development”, combining the need for development
with the concept of sustainability, has been undermined by the inexorable march of corporate-driven,
market-oriented economic forces and their global outreach. The underlying development paradigm, with its
strong emphasis on economic growth and market expansion, has served first and foremost the interests of
powerful economic players. It has further marginalized the poor sectors of society, simultaneously
undermining their basic security in terms of access to land, water, food, employment, other basic services
and a healthy environment. International trade, financial investments and private-public partnerships are still
operating within the same framework.

The WCC‟s perspective in the WSSD process is grounded in a conviction of the sacred nature of all
Creation, and of life as an interplay of spiritual and physical dimensions. We uphold the common human
vocation to live in right relationship with our neighbours, the Earth and the Creator, respecting the integrity
of Earth and working for the health and wellbeing of all members of the Earth community. Its sacred origin
makes Earth the common inheritance of all peoples for all times, to be enjoyed in just, loving and responsible
relationships with one another.
This understanding that developed in the WCC‟s participation in the UNCED follow-up process is
foundational for the ecumenical vision and call for an alternative approach. Instead of referring to
“sustainable development” the WCC advocates working toward the building of “sustainable communities”.
The social idea of sustainable communities implies the nurturing of equitable relationships both within the
human family and also between humans and the rest of the ecological community. Such communities imply
a just and moral economy where people are empowered to be involved in making decisions that affect their
lives; where public and private institutions and enterprises are accountable and held responsible for the social
and environmental impacts and consequences of their operations; and where the Earth and the whole created
order is nurtured with utmost respect and reverence rather than exploited and degraded.
By asserting the primacy of justice, ecological sustainability and the creation of viable communities, the
ecumenical community states that authentic human development can never be achieved when the ultimate
goal is amassing wealth and material goods, especially when these are at the expense of others in the global
community and of the health of the global environmental commons. Justice and equity must be at the heart of
any sustainable economic, social or environmental system supporting the whole Earth Community.

The WCC wants to bring Clarity, Critique and Alternatives (CCA-approach) to the WSSD negotiations and
the debate on sustainable development:
-   Clarity on how unsustainable economic practices and policies undermine lives and livelihoods especially
    of poor and marginalized peoples
-   Critique of the underlying economic paradigm and the destruction of the environment based on the
    experience of the involvement of churches in several decades of development work and on spiritual
    values for just and sustainable communities.
-   Alternatives that emerge among communities struggling for life in the globalizing economy.

Climate Change
The WCC together with church related relief and development agencies will present a statement on Solidarity with
those most affected by climate change at the WSSD. This statement underlines the need for urgent action because
climate change further aggravates floods, droughts and other natural disasters with devastating consequences for people
and their livelihoods.

For further information please look at the WCC website:
         Statement prepared by Ecumenical Development and Relief Agencies
                               in collaboration with
             The World Council of Churches Climate Change Programme:

                          A Call to Action in Solidarity
                   with Those Most Affected by Climate Change
                                        Appeal to Governments and People
                                             on the Occasion of the
                              UN World Summit on Sustainable Development (Rio + 10)
                                  in Johannesburg, 26 August - 4 September 2002

The scientific world affirms that climate change is already a reality and its impact is likely to be even more devastating
in the future.

There is growing evidence that weather extremes have become more frequent. Floods and droughts intensify. Sea levels
are rising. In the coming decades, according to the scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, even a
medium scenario predicts that changing climate conditions will turn 150 million people into refugees. A recent study,
conducted by a renowned re-insurance company, speaks of an annual damage of up to US$ 300 billion.

For us these prospects are cause for deep concern. We represent people and churches in poor communities who will be
hit by the adverse effects of climate change and concerned people and churches in materially rich countries witnessing
that global actions to combat climate change are too slow. We also represent the churches‟ network of relief and
development agencies, which have more than 50 years of experience in working in response to natural disasters and
addressing issues of poverty and injustice. We are committed to alleviate suffering when catastrophes occur. We
participate in efforts to promote economic justice. Over the years we have been engaged in numerous development
projects. Relief and development agencies are now faced with a new situation. The increasing need for emergency aid
may easily exceed the moral and economic capacities available in society, and more and more often years of careful and
engaged development will be wiped out by sudden weather hazards.

The consequences of climate change further accentuate the deep injustice already existing between industrialised and
developing countries. Weather anomalies primarily hit the developing countries, where the majority of the world‟s
population live. At the same time, the poor in these countries make only marginal contributions to total greenhouse gas
emissions and they lack the means to protect themselves against the causes and effects of changing climate conditions.
At the same time, rich countries continues to be the prime producer of greenhouse gases and it seems to be a lack of
commitment by leaders in the most powerful countries to take the necessary political and financial responsibility. The
overwhelming magnitude of the task can easily lead to indifference on the one side and to despair on the other.

Therefore, there is an urgent need for action. Every effort must be undertaken to reduce greenhouse gas concentrations
in the atmosphere.

The Kyoto Protocol is a first step in a global effort to combat climate change. The legal character and the compliance
system are a new element in global institutional life. We call on all parties to the Climate Convention that have not
ratified to do so, in particular the USA.

However, in the light of the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2000),
there can be no illusion: The impact of the Kyoto Protocol will be very small. The Protocol needs to be followed up by
much stronger efforts.

The Kyoto Protocol must be ratified but at the same we urge governments to proceed without delay with a new round
of negotiations whose targets must be determined in the light of a long-term perspective. Two basic requirements must
be met:

                 1. Stabilisation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at a level in accordance with the overall
                    objective of the Climate Change Convention.
                 2. A fair distribution of rights and obligations, i.e. establishing per capita emission rights for all
                    countries, as proposed in the „Contraction and Convergence‟ scheme.

Despite all efforts to reduce the causes of global warming, weather anomalies are bound to increase in the coming years
and decades. Since greenhouse gases have a long life and emissions are still growing, climate conditions will continue
to change. Inevitably, there will therefore be need for increased mutual assistance and help. To maintain a minimum of
justice in our world, a new sense of solidarity is called for.

We appeal therefore to all people not only to persevere in, but to contribute in new ways to, the struggle for a more just
and peaceful world.

Only on the basis of a new commitment relief and development agencies will in the future be able to carry out their

But at the same, the response of every person is required. Through our life style we can contribute to the reduction of
greenhouse gas emissions. Through our witness we can encourage governments to advance on the road towards
responsible reduction targets.

We only ask for signatures for this statement. The following text gives some background information, but is not part
of the statement as such.

Why this statement?

The statement has been motivated by the recognition that the consequences of climate change are not given enough
attention. Climate change is already a reality and will affect people in all countries, especially in the South, in
devastating ways. But will there be the moral and economic resources to respond to this new situation?

The scientific community is issuing more and more pressing warnings. The Third Assessment Report of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2000) concludes that “The Earth‟s climate system has demonstrably
changed on both global and regional scales since the pre-industrial era.” We have to reckon with more and more
unexpected weather extremes. They will bring suffering on many people, especially in the South.

The negotiations on the implementation of the Climate Change Convention are advancing at a slow speed. The Kyoto
Protocol is certainly a beginning but it will not prevent climate patterns from changing. Since emissions continue to
increase, weather hazards are bound to occur more often.

A few examples may serve as illustrations:

Southern Africa is hit by a severe drought, causing food shortages in Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and neighbouring
countries. Erratic weather for the last few years, marked by
alternating periods of flooding and drought, has laid the foundations for the current crisis in what are already some of
the world's poorest countries.

The Pacific Churches are concerned with the issue of Climate Change. Changing weather pattern and excessive high
tides in most of the low coral islands indicate the reality of the issue which threatens the lives of people in the Pacific,
and especially those living in low coral islands and coastal areas. The Pacific Christians believe that their land is their
heritage from God to live happily and peacefully on it. Man was give the responsibility to administer and balance the
environment, but decline in maintaining this because of his pride to gain more economic development through the use
of gas emissions which has an impact on the lives of other people. PCC through some of the Churches in the Pacific
have taken a step forward in raisin g awareness on the issue at national and local level. PCC have also encouraged its
Member Churches and National Councils of Churches to raise the issue with their own governments and to take the
issue for further discussion at regional and international levels and to appeal for all industrial countries in the world to
ratify the Kyoto Protocol. It is also envisaged that each country and government in the Pacific will work towards
making necessary legal acts that protect and reduce the import of items form overseas that contribute to the building up
of gas emission in the region.
(This text was written by the Pacific Council of Churches)

These prospects leave the churches, and especially their relief and development agencies, in a deep
dilemma. They have to respond to more and more catastrophes. But can they count on the continuing
support of their efforts? There is the distinct danger that the readiness and the resources to respond to
unexpected events and setbacks will no longer be available. It is for this reason that the World Council of
Churches and related Relief- and Development Agencies initiated this appeal, inviting all who share these
concerns to join.

Over the past years the insurance business has carefully assessed the risks involved in climate change.
Their representatives have spoken out in favour of more consistent action. They have made clear that they
may find themselves obliged either to increase primes or to refuse covering certain risks. The churches‟
relief and development agencies offer a comparable signal. Action is urgently required to avoid suffering.
They will not abandon the tasks of solidarity but they call for the support of all parts of society to be able
to carry out their task.

The dilemma clearly indicates an urgent need for action. The Kyoto Protocol needs to be ratified as
quickly as possible. Despite its deficiencies it provides at least a legal and institutional framework within
which further negotiations can be conducted. The “Call to Action” highlights two requirements:

                  1.   Stabilisation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at a level that is in accordance with the
                       overall objective of the Climate Convention.

                  2.   A fair distribution of rights and obligations, i.e. establishing per capita emissions rights for
                       all countries as proposed in the „Contraction and Convergence‟ scheme.

The goal is to prevent increasing dangerous interference with the natural climate system. The IPCC Third
Assessment Report indicates that the six Kyoto greenhouse gases, measured as carbon dioxide equivalents, should
not exceed the level of 450-550 ppm.
This leads us to the conclusion that the next commitment period must start building a system for targets related to a
specific “secure” greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere and an equity burden of the emissions that allows
for this. We foresee targets related to per capita emissions. Proposals of the Global Commons Institute (United
Kingdom) on “Contraction and Convergence” have gained support from churches and Christian development
agencies. For high emitters this would lead to a step-by-step approach over the commitment period during which the
emissions are reduced, while for the least developed countries and low emitters, a step-by-step approach for the
possibility to increase emissions, while at the same time building up and investing in sustainable energy use, could be

Ultimately, the statement appeals to every single person. In order to act, governments must be able to rely on the
support of the public. Each person‟s witness counts. Through a renewed life style people can contribute to advance the

Reference: For a more detailed presentation of the issue, see the WCC publication „Solidarity with Victims of Climate
Change‟, January 2002, Geneva.
    Dossier – Day of Creation / Time of Creation

            DAY OF CREATION
            TIME OF CREATION

                A Contribution of the
Coalition Day of Creation / Time of Creation

   of the European Christian Environmental Network

                 Isolde M. Schönstein
               ARGE Schöpfungsverantwortung

                  Coalition of the ECEN
     Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Recommendations                           for Action
Excerpts from the documents for a new praxis of ecological responsibility in the churches

    (B45) History teaches that the churches have to start the necessary conversion process with

                       RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTION
                   Second European Ecumenical Assembly (EEA2), Graz, Austria - 23 to 29 June 1997

A new practice of ecological responsibility now and with regard to coming generations

5.1. We recommend that the churches consider and promote the preservation of creation
as part of church life at all levels. One way would be to observe a common Creation Day,
such as the Ecumenical Patriarchate celebrates each year.
Rationale: The seriousness of the ecological dilemma for the future of the human race means that the
churches' consciousness of it must be raised. Commitment to preservation of the creation is not a side issue
among many others, but an essential dimension of all church work.

5.2. We recommend that the churches encourage the development of lifestyles guided by
the principles of sustainability and social justice, and that they support all efforts towards
an economy which meets the same criteria.
Rationale: Ecological responsibility must guide personal as well as political and economic actions. The
criterion of sustainability gives continued weight to saving energy and to discovery and use of renewable
forms of energy. Christians, supported by their congregations and their church, should strive for a lifestyle
which sets an example of freeing oneself from the pressure to consume and of valuing a true quality of life.

5.3. We recommend that the churches join the Agenda 21 Process and connect it to the
ecumenical or conciliar process for Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation.
Rationale: Agenda 21 offers an internationally agreed basis for action which has important aspects in
common with the conciliar process for Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation. It can be especially
helpful in stimulating and organising cooperation with those holding social and political power at the local

5.4. We recommend that CEC and CCEE create a network of persons with environmental
responsibilities and recognise them as partners in church activities.
Rationale: If the preservation of creation is to be anchored within church life in a politically effective way, it
needs to be substantiated by professional competence. The CEC member churches and the CCEE Bishops'
Conferences should appoint their own officers for environmental issues, and create a network for them in the
form of a suitable organisation with which they cooperate as a partner.
   CCEE: Consilium Conferentiarum Episcoporum Europae ( Rat Europäischer Bischofskonferenzen)
   CEC: Conference of European ChurchesECEN:
   ECEN, EUROPEAN CHRISTIAN ENVIRONMENTAL NETWORK is the fruit of EEA2 Graz 1997, works in issue specific Coalitions
    on European and international levels

                                            Coalition of the ECEN
     Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - UN      Theme of the Year 2002

                      International Year of Mountains and Ecotourism

One third of the Earth‟s surface are mountain regions, about 10 per cent of all humans live in these
mountain regions, and every other human being is directly affected by changes occurring in the

In order to highlight the significance of the mountains and to instill it more strongly into the public
consciousness, and to establish a link to the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, the United Nations have
declared the Year 2002 to be the “International Year of Mountains” and the “International
Year of Ecotourism.” The intention is to draw attention to the concerns of the mountain regions
and to raise awareness about the necessity of sustainable modes of tourism.

The process for sustainable development in the 21st century initiated by the Earth Summit in Rio de
Janeiro in 1992 is one of the foundations and inspirations for the International Year of Mountains.
181 UN member states signed the Agenda 21 then: ten years later it is time to take stock - what has
been achieved? What synergetic effects will result from it for Ecotourism?

Finally, on the one side tourism holds an enormous potential for an economic net product for the
people living in the mountain regions, on the other side an ecologically, economically, and socially
destructive potential.

For Christians, the mountains are much more than a potential for an economic net product. They
are, as the Psalms profess, “formed by His power” (65:7), and “the mountain heights are in His
hand” (95:4).

“The mountains rose at their designated places” (104:8) and “ You water the mountains from Your
abode” (104:13). The “high mountains are for wild goats, the cliffs a refuge for badgers.” (104:18),
and “the mountains bring prosperity, and the hills peace and integrity.” (72:3)
God says, “I own all animals - all of them that dwell in the forest, all that roam my thousand hills.“

In times when the mass tourism industry grows and disturbs mountain animals in and out of season
up to the remotest reaches and when those very sensitive habitats are being destroyed through the
effects of global warming (and additionally through the snow canons during spring), we urgently
need to reclaim an awareness of the whole world being the creation of a loving and generous God.

Certainly, one can encounter God “in the forest“ - on 1 September - Creation Day - after a
solemn “creation liturgy”!

Because: „Let rivers and lakes clap their hands, hills and mountains sing with joy.” (Ps 98:8)

                                       Coalition of the ECEN
     Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - UN           Theme of the Year 2002

                    UN International Year of Mountains and Ecotourism

                                  Mountain Reflections
                                      Pastor Karl Heinz Baumgartner

                                "I lift my eyes to the mountains -
                                from where shall come my help ?
                                 My help comes from the Lord!"
                                             Psalm 121: 1 - 2a

Who says that , who prays like that?
A believing person in the tradition of King David about 3000 years ago!

I look outside:
The mountains lift my horizon
beyond the undergrowth of my daily life.
My heart opens up wide and high, I take courage.

Wild are those silhouettes - indeed!
The well-groomed, green alpine meadows and the mountain pastures, however, show signs of
neglect! Too many peasants have left. No one to continue their culture creating work. Everywhere
the turf breaks open, on the mountain pastures audacious weeds grow over the richly diverse alpine

Help us, O God, to find ways on how to sustain the beauty of our alpine world!

The will to protect God‟s creation knows two logical options:
Either we all change, bridle our greed and avarice, or we split away as the "good ones" from the
“bad ones” and put a stop to their game.

We must follow both paths: to insist that all change - and to play the role of the “well-intended
human” so well that the critics will soon be laughing on the other side of their face!

A stop has to be put to the game of those who starve out the mountain peasants, those misshapen
figures, those who torture animals, those possessed cable car constructors, those getting rid of
nature and tradition - yes, but perhaps also a poem should be put on their desk; e.g. one by

                    Die Erde hat ein freundliches Gesicht, (The Earth has a friendly face)
         So gross, dass man`s von weitem nur erfasst. (so big that one can catch it only from afar)
           Komm, sage mir, was du für Sorgen hast .(Come, tell me, what worries do you have.)
   Reich willst du werden, warum bist du`s nicht ? (You want to become rich, how come you are not yet?)

                                            Coalition of the ECEN
     Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - UN          Theme of the Year 2002

                       International Year of Mountains and Ecotourism

           The Ifugao Rice Terraces in the Philippine Cordillieras
                                         Fr. Georg Ziselsberger, SVD

A marvelous part of the one third of the mountain regions that cover the surface of the Earth are the world
renowned rice terraces in the Northern Philippines. More than a thousand years ago the Ifugaos have begun
with this enormous architectural feat. Through this work humans have created a beautiful and diversified
human–earth relationship that, at the same time however, is fragile and prone to disturbance.

The Ifugao rice terraces are known as the ”Eight Wonder of the World“ and as the “Staircase to Heaven.”
For the native population that staircase leads to a pantheon of gods rivaled in numbers only by the Hindu
pantheon. Through various rituals and celebrations, particularly during the rice planting and harvesting
seasons the Ifugaos reassure themselves of the favors and the benevolence of the spirit world while at the
same time they know about their own responsibility to safeguard the fragile mountain ecosystems from
destruction. Until a few decades ago this sacred bond between „heaven and earth‟ has worked quite
successfully. The awareness of living in a sacred universe has been motivating the native mountain folks to
do this Great Work. Unlike the other Wonders of the Ancient World, this agricultural achievement has been
accomplished by a free people without any slave labor. It has been a free decision to till and care for the
Earth in a sustainable manner. (cf. Gen 2:15)

The wisdom of the Ifugaos in the Cordillieras in the North of Luzon, the biggest Island of the Philippine
archipelago, reflects what the author of Psalm 104:13 writes: “You water the mountains from your abode …”
In order to have the mountain springs bring forth the blessings of water continuously so that it can flow
through an elaborate irrigation system through the terraces, the forests on the mountain tops must be well
preserved. Various taboos regulating the utilization of the forest resources give witness to a profound eco-
spiritual wisdom that resembles the one in Psalm 95:4 – “In his hand are the depths of the earth and the
mountain heights.”

A mutually enriching human-earth relationship has ensured that “the mountains bring prosperity, and the
hills peace and integrity” (Ps 72:3) that have only begun to be disturbed through socio-economic changes
during the last few decades brought about, among others, by an increasing mass tourism industry. A growing
number of people abandon their ancestral rice terraces out of economic despair. That leads to increasing
damages of this fragile mountain ecosystem. When the rice terraces are not being irrigated, tilled, and cared
for, they disintegrate and with it one of the greatest, and so far sustainable, agricultural achievements of

The magic word is „Ecotourism“. It should help to preserve the wisdom of the Ifugaos for our and for future
generations. However, purely technocratic solutions are insufficient to achieve that.

The foundation for preserving the ”Staircase to Heaven“ as a ”Wonder of the World” is a new sense of
reverence that knows and loves the world as a sacrament and the creation of God!

                                           Coalition des ECEN
                Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Meditation

                                   Meditation on
        World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD)
                       in Johannesburg
                                       "Rio + 10"
                               26 August - 4 September 2002

                           on Creation Day 2002
                                      Let us pause
                                     Step back one step
                        To grasp the larger reality that surrounds us

Signs of time - new phenomenona

When we look to the evening at the sky waiting for the safety of darkness to
descend, so called “nightshining clouds” prevent the breakthrough of the healing
Separation of day and night cancelled? We ask ourselves, who has done

In many areas of the sea there are not too many fishes and other marine life forms
left, but there are a lot of pollutant particles and refuse...
Where is the richness of food? Is there a shore?
A nourishing island in this world? Is there still one piece of the lost paradise
left? For how many?

The speed of some sea currents is reduced, like the life-stream of some unhappy
souls, who only see suicide as a way out of the ecological crisis,
Other desperate people accumulate greedily and criminally the last things left until
their arteries burst…
Who gives back the breath of life, the joy at creation?

Storms roar inexorably and mercilessly over the disfigured regions of the earth, no
one can stop them, no wood, no tree and underneath the earth bubbles
uncontrollable atomic waste, how long?
False promises of false prophets, gamblers who put their own momentary
profit above everything else, risk everything, no one claims responsibility -
are they are not being recognized?

                                  Coalition of the ECEN
                 Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Petitions

Understanding, Remorse and Conversion

Let us deal with our knowledge and our ignorance in such a way,
that where there is experimentation, reversibility will have priority over
irreversibility, that galloping developments will be slowed down that in cases of
wrong decisions countermeasures can be taken

Let us deal with old and new knowledge in such a way,
that health prevention and health sustaining measures will have priority over
expensive and high risk technologies,
that achievements in medicine, technology and economy will benefit, in harmony
with sustainable production and use of such goods

Let us deal with knowledge and guilt in such a way,
that words of apology are followed up by acts of „debt forgiveness“, and that a
mentality of unlimited possibilities and limitless consumption will be replaced by
quality of life, deeply felt joy of life, and the joy of freedom

Let us deal with knowledge and our common heritage in such a way,
that our off-springs can detect traces of honest endeavors and wisdom in our legacy,
and not despair because of the unbearable burdens they might be condemned to take
upon themselves

Let us use both our words and paper economically because
What counts are our deeds

                                  Coalition des ECEN
              Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Prayer      Intention

                                 MONDAY PRAYER
                                      Invitation to Prayer
               to prepare and accompany the UN - Conference in Johannesburg
                            and every Monday throughout the year

significantly influenced UNCED 1992 in Rio and thus lives on in that way even though
unrecognised. Much too little lives on in our churches.
One third of the global human population are members of Christian churches - what could they
move if they were to realize it and took their responsibility for creation seriously!

We are concerned, but not without hope!

Like at the beginning of our initiative so now again do we invite to a regular MONDAY PRAYER:

                        Every Monday Morning between 6 and 8 a.m.
                          Every one in the place where she or he is.

Our Prayer Intention:

"Conversion" away from self-destructive processes and indifference/apathy toward "Responsibility
for Creation".

We know about the needs of many a people working in citizens‟ initiatives and in the church‟s
environmental work;
and we pray for them, as we pray for the authorities in church, politics, business and science.

Prayer Recommendation *:
For the next days of prayer we propose Psalm 119 and look forward to the communion in prayer
and action.

                             "Your commandments are forever just:
                          Give me discernment, that I may live by them."
                                             Ps. 119:144

                                                                           * more information: ARGE SVA!

                                      Coalition of the ECEN
             Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Biblical       references

                    Recommended passages for reflection:

Mt 16:12       "Signs of the Time" - Interpretation

“Then they understood that he was not talking of yeast for bread, but of the teaching of the
Pharisees and Sadducees.”

The signs of our times: climate change, ozone hole, floods, crop failure, streams of refugees.... can
we and do we want to learn a lesson from it?

Mt 11:29       "The Yoke" - The Lightness of the Yoke

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart; and you will find

It is indeed a heavy yoke to stand up against the spirit of the times and the illusion of a mentality of
“everything is possible. Looking at Jesus we will gain the virtue of calmness and composure
(Gelassenheit) - and can bear the yoke.

Mk 6:34        "When Jesus had Planned Something Else" - Compassion

“As Jesus went ashore he saw a large crowd, and he had compassion on them for they were like
sheep without a shepherd. And he started a long teaching session with them.”

Oftentimes, we, too, have planned something else, have enough concerns of our own. And yet we
should still care for the environment? However, understanding the necessity will generate the
necessary powers for action!

Mt 24:43       „The Hour“ - Vigilance and Alertness

“Just think about this: if the owner of the house knew that the thief would come by night around a
certain hour, he would stay awake to prevent him from breaking into his house”

Do we want to wait until the ecological disaster will strike with full force? Do we hope to simply not
live to see it? Or do we have a sense of responsibility for the future generations?

Mt 7:21        "The action is what counts"

Not everyone who says to me: Lord! Lord! will enter into the kingdom of Heaven, but the one who
does the will of my Father in Heaven.

It is not enough to praise and worship God, the Creator, in our Sunday services without respecting
in our daily lives and behavior the order and purposefulness of creation!

                                         Coalition des ECEN
                  Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Quotations


 The „pre-ecological human being“ is to the „ecological human being“ – which they have talked about for
                     more than hundred years – like the „blind“ to the „seeing“ (using biblical imagery).

                  The principle of „Sustainability“ has its base already in the Old Testament (Deut 30:19)
         “I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore, choose life that you and your
                                                                                   descendants may live…”

The state of knowledge about development, crisis, and catastrophes is not enough to change course, despite
                                                                 our powerful information technologies.”

„We find ourselves at a point at which the dimensions of the catastrophe cannot be grasped any longer, so
                                                             there is only the escape into self destruction“

                    „The earth can be compared to a space ship where provisions and places are counted“

                                             The sun rises on the good and the bad - so does the ozon hole.

                                            The devil has conspired against us and is leading us in a circle,
                                                         we got lost in the snow, I don‟t know a way out.”
                                                                            Pushkin (in Dostoevsky‟s Demons)

                                                                               Good measure and order lost
                                               Walking in circles instead of living within the natural cycles
                                                                         Confusion is reigning in the world

   A person who is not ecologically sensitive, which means someone who doesn‟t have a relationship to the
                                        natural environment or doesn‟t respect it, is spiritually incomplete.
                                                         A spiritually incomplete person cannot be happy.

                                        Coalition of the ECEN
                   Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Penitential               Rite

                                            Penitential Rite
                    Based on the Canticle „Brother Sun, Sister Moon‟ by St. Francis of Assisi

               A Contribution to a Creation Liturgy, by Sr. Pia Kypta, Sisters of St. Francis, Austria

The Canticle, in its deeply moving simplicity is certainly the most beautiful song of praise that has ever been
sung on this earth to God and his creation

By wrapping our confession of sins with some verses of this hymn we don‟t do it to amplify the recognition of
our sins in it light. We do it as a sign of hope against all forms of resignation in the face of the power of evil.

The little lights that we are going to light will both encourage and remind us:
We are not responsible for the whole world, but for what can be done within our sphere of influence. It all
depends on my light and yours that no one else can light on our behalf.

The poor and humble St. Francis has shown his light to the world and set a fire ablaze that until today
ignites enthusiasm in millions for God and his creation.

I.      Most High, all-powerful, all-good Lord, All praise is Yours, all glory, all honour and all
        blessings. To you alone, Most High, do they belong, and no mortal lips are worthy to
        pronounce Your Name.

           +       Not any longer before you, the most high and all-mighty God do we bend our knees in
                   humility. We have turned away from you. We have taken control over creation into our own
                   hands and leave a trace of destruction. We have given in to the temptation: “You will be like

           +       We eat from the tree of life and banish ourselves from paradise: designer-plants, designer-
                   animals, designer-food at the cost of species diversity and the diverse life forces of creation.
                   Science nowadays even dreams of the designer-human.

           +       We produce seeds, whose fruits don‟t sprout anymore. Only an economic thinking obsessed
                   with power and without conscience could think of a monopoly on the basic ingredients of
                   our food. Power in the hands of a few corporations in a few countries that can turn into a
                   potential weapon of any future warfare.

Petition for Forgiveness:
Most high, all-mighty and good Lord! Forgive us our sin of not resisting the temptation:
"You will be like God."

All: Lord, forgive us our sin!

                                             Coalition of the ECEN
                   Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Penitential            Rite

II.        Praised be You my Lord with all Your creatures, especially Sir Brother Sun,
           Who is the day through whom You give us light. And he is beautiful and radiant with great
           splendour, Of You Most High, he bears the likeness.
           Praised be You, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
           And fair and stormy, all weather's moods, by which You cherish all that You have made.
           Praised be You my Lord through Brother Fire,
           through whom You light the night and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.

           +      blinded by a consumerist greed we have destroyed the ozone layer. The sun that used to be a
                  life giving and life sustaining power has become a threat to a healthy life of all creatures.

           +      Greenhouse gases, slash and burn farming and cutting down the virgin forests as well as
                  other forms of madness are changing the climate, warm the seas, cause natural catastrophes
                  of alarming proportions. Migration, hunger, thirst are the consequences in large parts of the

           +      Climate conferences! Their results are meager because we are not willing enough to make
                  sacrifices, to share, to translate our rich and available knowledge of renewable energy
                  sources into practice, wind power and above all the power of the sun that is free and
                  available in unimaginably huge amounts.

Petition for Forgiveness:
Most high, all-mighty, and good Lord! Forgive us our sin of delaying resolutions and their translation into
practice for the salvation of the global climate.

All: Lord, forgive us our sins!

III.       Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
           In the heavens you have made them bright, precious and fair.

       +          Sun, moon and stars determine the rhythm of day and night, of work and celebration. Life‟s
                  rhythms are endangered by the goals of the economy to have people work round the clock,
                  human labor is being exploited. How much destruction of bodily and social health are we
                  willing to accept without protest?

Petition for Forgiveness:
Most high, all-mighty, and good Lord! Forgive us our sin of being not vigilant enough and unwilling to fight.

All: Lord, forgive us our sins!

                                           Coalition of the ECEN
                Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Penitential                  Rite

IV.    Praised be You my Lord through Sister Water,
       So useful, humble, precious and pure.

       +        For thousands of years, water was holy, and well guarded common good as a source of life
                for all creatures. We have taken hold of it, made it into a consumer good to be wasted. By
                polluting it we have taken its power to be a universal source of power

       +       and thus we have fighting going on, often to the extend of wars over this life‟s good.

Petition for Forgiveness:
Most high, all-mighty, and good Lord! Forgive us our sins of careless use of water!

All: Lord, have mercy on us!

V.     Praised be You my Lord with all Your creatures, Praised be You my Lord through our Sister,
       Mother Earth
       who sustains and governs us, producing varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs [that provide
       shade in the heat of the day.]
       Praised be You my Lord, through all the animals.
       We have sinned heavily against these fellow creatures as working animals, test animals, fur-animals and house

       +     Traditional and most of all biological agriculture characterizes a still largly undisturbed
             human-animal relationship that Jesus takes as his starting point in the parables of the good
             shepherd: creatures taken care of according to their species‟ needs, loved and not nameless
             creatures, usually fed with the produce of one‟s own land.
             But buying habits neglect an ecologically responsible agriculture that produces in closed
             cycles. We want extremely cheap basic food items so that as victims of the advertising
             industry we can afford as much as possible of what is not essential to life.

       +     Through our buying and consumption habits we invest in the continuation of million-fold
             animal suffering in animal factories and animal transports.

       +     In the process we also become guilty of the misery and homelessness of many people in the developing
             world where powerful land owners acquire the land of the poor through methods that are violating
             human rights. Paying starvation wages to their workers, adhering to no health and environmental
             standards, they produce the feedstuff for our partially landless meat factories

                                               Coalition of the ECEN
                 Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Penitential              Rite

        +        BSE has opened our eyes to see how powerless our politicians are faced with the big
                economic powers that control the food production globally, but BSE has also opened our
                eyes to see how much power we have as consumers if we stood together. The initial shock
                and the knowledge have not changed our consumption habits in a permanent way.

        +       we do not eat any longer according to the seasons and the natural or bio-region. We demand
                the products of the entire globe and that at the whole year round. For this we are willing to
                take inconceivable risks for our children and the whole creation.

        +       Slowly, however, we become aware of the unstoppable dying under our hands.

Petition for Forgiveness:
Most high, all-mighty, and good Lord! You have equipped the earth and the human spirit with sufficient
power to produce enough food so that no one would have to go hungry or starve.

All: Forgive us, that we allow greed without concern for the looming risk to destroy everything for all! Lord,
have mercy!

VI.     Praised be You my Lord through those who grant pardon
        for love of You and bear sickness and trial. Blessed are those who endure in peace,
        By You Most High, they will be crowned.

        +       long before us people in environmental and peace organizations have dedicated themselves
                with their lives and resources to build just relationships with the creatures of this earth.

        +       often they were left alone on the streets with their life saving interventions – the signature of
                many is still missing till today, only one signature …

Petition for Forgiveness:
Most high, all-mighty, and good Lord! Forgive us our sins of negligible dealing with knowledge because
there is no shortage of it today!

All: Lord, forgive us our sins!

                                          Coalition of the ECEN
                 Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Penitential                Rite

VII.      Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death,
          from whom no living man can escape.

          +      St. Francis could call death his sister because Jesus was the centre of his life and the goal of
                 all his longing - Jesus, who said: “I my Father‟s house there are many rooms. I go to prepare
                 a place for you. … And as I go now to prepare a place for you, I shall come again and take
                 you to me, that where I am, you also may be” (John 14:2-3)

          +      We have dismissed God, who calls everything he creates “good” and loves everything
                 without exception, as our centre and our goal of life, but also as the ruler of life and death.
                 We bend our knee before the merciless and unscrupulous human made idols of the filthy
                 lucre: technological progress and global economic growth.

          +      These idols have divided human beings into:
                 Those who are welcome and those not welcome, those worth living and those not worth
                 living, those productive and those not productive. …
                 We allow decision over the life and death of the unborn happen because our love is too little
                 to help those future mothers to carry their burden.

          +      The outcry of many people against the “use of embryos” – what a weak expression for
                 “killing / murdering” – it remains unheard and unanswered because it is too weak.

          +      Wir machen uns mitschuldig an zu frühem Sterben Unzähliger, die sich für unseren
                 Wohlstand zu Tode schuften.

          +      We are partly to blame for the premature death of innumerable people who are forced to do
                 slave work for our welfare.

          +      The preoccupation with progress and welfare is suppressing the deep sense of pain and
                 death. Faith, hope, and love are not any longer the pillars of support for such border
                 experiences. We have legalised a presumable solution .

Petition for Forgiveness:
Most high, all-mighty, and good Lord! Forgive us our arrogance to decide ourselves over life and death.

All: Lord, forgive us our sins!


God, through our faith in you give us the power to love, that born of its own hope, is capable of
accompanying humans when they reach the end of their journey and to allow them a life worth living and a
death worth going through. Give us this helpful love reminding us that:
”When God calls us home, this will be a celebration!”

A celebration for that we will ”praise, honour, thank and serve God in great humility”.

                                           Coalition of the ECEN
       Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Examination                    of Conscience

                              Exercises for daily life praxis
                               Using the check list below

Every Christian, no matter where he/she is on this day - on holiday, work, at home, university, church,
hospital… - is invited to reflect on the meaning and purpose of creation and one‟s own being as a member
of creation / a creature and to set a sign:

                            "We must realize that it is superstition to believe,
                         that God will act while we remain idle“ (M. Luther King)


   -   Morning Reflection in daily life – who am I before God and other people
   -   Understand mobility and its consequences, chose a new mode of transportation (public transport,
       bicycle, walking, car sharing…) (increasing ground ozone during the summer!)
   -   Stop! Before buying and consuming! think about the necessity, and the method of production, of each
       item, considering eco-social aspects (e.g. flowers are often grown under health-endangering working
       conditions) and how it was transported; animal specific facilities? Animal experiments? Economic use of
       resources! Visit an ecology-conscious shop, inquire about local and regional suppliers…
   -   Avoid waste in house hold and work place – think about what do I really need and what am I entitled to?
       What happens with my waste – plastic and aluminium?
   -   Look at nature und non-nature (city-dweller: a tree is quietly dying in our midst, a blade of grass is
       breaking through the asphalt)
   -   Courageous behaviour with regards to abuses and dangerous developments:
       Bio-politics, development of the economy, growth, nuclear danger, climate change, genetic engineering
       experiments, patenting of life
       Set a sign: e.g. sign appeals if necessary and participate in doing something, give your vote to the weak
       and marginalized people.
   -   Literature and Information about development, economic growth, climate change, agriculture, species
       variety, landscape protection, water, soil, mountains… (special libraries, book shops, magazines and
       journals, official government data…)
   -   Dialogue with other people, seek for an objective and constructive discussion about these topics - and
       stay friendly!
   -   Dialogue between religions, begin a dialogue with members of other religions, and work for translating
       the church teachings on creation spirituality and ecological pastoral into practical life.
       Pedagogical, what can we learn from others? What can we learn from environmental and peace
       Guilt, is the integrity of creation a pastoral topic? What is a "trivial offence"? "The one who is careless is
       already a brother of the one who tears down" (from the Jewish tradition). For even if you only toss a
       battery over your shoulder, you are attacking the health and consequently the life of others. Crime scene:
       L I F E!
   -   Constraints and fears, what roll does the socio-cultural environment play where I live? "Life is an
       adventure, an expedition into reality."
   -   Daily reflection – evaluating one‟s life, which is part of creation and the corresponding responsibility
       flowing my being a creature among many other creatures…
       Common end of the day of creation with a prayer or a liturgical service

                                             Coalition des ECEN
      Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Car                  Free Day, 22 September

                EUROPEAN CAR FREE DAY: 22 September
                                  In 2002 the "Car Free Day" is a Sunday

The primary cause for the rise of the greenhouse gases is vehicular traffic. The rate of increase of CO 2 is up to
30 % (Central European Data).
Judging from the latest results of the Climate Conferences, the reduction of CO 2-emissions by 28 % till 2010 will only
be attainable under drastically altered circumstances.

      A change in circumstances is something that can be created by "a change in daily behavior” of the citizens.
      Christians are exempted neither from the above circumstances nor from the responsibility to change course.

A rise in the number of casualties of traffic related air pollution raises the casualty figures of persons killed by vehicular
Particularly during the summer months the ground ozone level rises (caused by car exhausts fumes), posing an
additional health risk for small children.
Christians contribute to these developments. Consequently, they are called to take up the challenge posed by the "car
free day” to search for healthier and sustainable modes of mobility and to translate them into practice.

   Car-fast, clarify the purpose and necessity
   Car-sharing, share cars, establish car sharing groups
   Season tickets for public transport, incentive for transfer from private to public
   Fit and Mobile, allow for walking and jogging paths and trails
   Bicycle, fast, manoeuvrable means of transportation for shopping and briefcase
   Check vacation destination !
   Balance of expenses, how much does my mobility cost ?
   Going to church („Kirchgang“), does this have something to do with going, i.e. walking?
   Information and advocacy campaigns, e.g. using bicycles
   Walking to the kindergarten? “look at the flowers growing along the sidewalk!”

Recently, a study has been published about the increase in cases of injuries of children. According to the study, injuries
have increased by 20% over the past few years. The study explains this with a lack of exercise in daily life. Less
walking in our daily lives leads to a degeneration of the muscles and, as a consequence, more frequently simple falls
and dislocations cause injury

We recommend to the churches to celebrate a ‚creation liturgy‟ on the "car free day" Sunday,
                  22 September 2002 followed by a blessing of bicycles


                            Prayer liturgy for the traffic victims of the last years

                  "Go and live attentively, respecting and actively participating in the life of the Earth,
                   because God who lives in the wholeness and integrity of creation is going with you.

                                                Coalition of the ECEN
       Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Car                       Free Day, 22 September

              EUROPEAN "CAR FREE DAY": 22 September
                  an initiative of the EU Commission beginning 2002
                  previous themes:          "Shopping without car" (2001),
                                            "Soft mobility - enjoy your leisure time" (2002)

                   EUROPEAN week of sustainable mobility: 16 to 22 September (starting 2002)
                              Initiators of the "car-free days": France and Italy

Utilizing Human Living-space for Humans
Car free days are the first timid attempts to begin utilizing human living space for humans after they had been
transformed into parking and moving space for vehicles during the last 70 years. During car free days, citizens are given
the opportunity in more and more European cities to experience their living-space as humans - and these are pedestrians
- , breath clean air and to move around without noise and air pollution and. These programs have succeeded to bring
back to an increasing number of people in the cities an awareness on how they can move around comfortably by
partially or totally dispensing with their cars without any loss of quality of life. People can meet again, and on this day
in the year they have time to reflect on their own „mobility and traffic behavior“. As part of the LIFE-Programme the
European Commission succeeded in organizing a European-wide day with the theme: "Into the City –Without my Car".
This action day has led to the re-discovery of the city and encouraged a great number of the people, to enjoy a
development independent from the car. Cyclists and public transport get that space they are entitled to. To stroll around
while shopping has become safer again and one can enjoy sightseeing without stress.

The data are in favor of a „car free day“: Around 80% of the car rides in cities could be accomplished without any
difficulty by other means of transport. Thoughtlessness and lack of information make people prisoners of their private
cars. One purpose of the car free days is to help those people be released from that imprisonment and become free for a
safe and worthwhile future. Come to think of it in this context, had God wanted to have motorists people would have
grown wheels and not legs!
Today there is a plethora of publications and information available on the internet, e.g. in Austria - Klimabündnis
Österreich, die Energieverwertungsagentur and the Information about European car free day.

More and more people participate in this activities. It goes without saying that it is the duty of individual Christians and
the Church to actively participate in such activities, not only because it benefits the creation. But also because it saves
human lives. That is a duty demanded by the Commandments!

                                                                                                            Prof. Hermann Knoflacher

References:       "Gottes leise Reisewege" OeKU Schweiz, CH 3001 Bern, PF 7449, Monbijoustr. 29
                  " Vorfahrt für die Schöpfung" Arbeitsgemeinschaft Christlicher Kirchen in Baden Württemberg (ACK),
                  D 70184 Stuttgart, Stafflenbergstr. 44
                  "Autofasten" ARGE Schöpfungsverantwortung
                  Alternative Verkehrs Clubs, Klimabündnis, Umweltberatung
                  "ECEN Klimabroschüre" (deutsch, englisch) homepage ecen
                  "Autofasten - heilsam in Bewegung kommen", Pressestelle des Bistum Trier (00490681/61583)

      Above all, never lose your desire for walking! I walk every day for the sake of my well-being ... I have had my best
                              thought while walking, and I know of no trouble whatsoever that cannot be „walked away“

                                                                                 Vor allem verliere nie die Lust am Gehen! Ich gehe jeden Tag
                                                                              zu meinem Wohlbefinden... Ich habe mir meine besten Gedanken
                                                                                  ergangen, und ich kenne keinen noch so schweren Kummer,
                                                                                                 den man nicht weggehen kann. (Kierkegaard)

                                                   Coalition of the ECEN
           Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - “End-results                        of Justice”
                               A practicable model for the everyday life of a Christian

                              „We can do something about it!“
                   The project “End-results of Justice” (Bilanci di Giustizia)
                                         A practicable model for daily life
                                for the Regulation of Production and Working Conditions

Overshadowed by the proliferation of war activities in the Near East it is often forgotten, that these conflicts arise due to
the scarcity of resources (or rather out of desire to control the limited natural resources), and not so much because of
religious motives.

Water shortage, contaminated soil and grounds, the fishing ground of oceans exploited and emptied, in other words, the
destruction of the life support systems, are the primary reasons for violence and war. In the First World with its surplus
of resources, the idea of “lack of resources” sounds abstract and frivolous, when it means that, e.g. a particular Chilean
wine or particular Japanese rice crackers are not in stock in our supermarkets.

Does it make any sense to us to do without things, that we don‟t really need? Can we change something in the world, if
the actual problems don‟t have anything to do with us, but are thousands of kilometres away?

Someone, who had to find his way through the horrible exhaust fumes of the traffic pollution in Istanbul, Bangkok or
Sao Paolo will, with the integrity of the atmosphere in mind, probably ask what he or she can do for the protection of
the atmosphere when he or she goes to his or her daily work on a bicycle in a small Austrian town instead of taking the
car. All the more, when their neighbours use their cars with a 100 PS engines just for buying breakfast bread at the
bakery around the corner! Can I really change something as an individual? Is it not always the same people who try to
do without unnecessary things?

What starts small can end up big
The “end results of justice” (bilanci di giustizia) challenge us as individuals to step out of the daily rut of life and
change our fixated life habits. Thus we can create a common vision or direction, or in other words a role model for
everyone, who feels inspired by a sustainable lifestyle but couldn‟t translate it into action yet.

In view of the very transparent method of the program that makes it is easy to understand and the great effectiveness
which are the basis of the “end results of justice” (bilanci di giustizia), we want to reach out to people inclined or even
interested in practicing more self control and move towards a change of behaviour believing that it would be to difficult.
This way of living consciously sustainably and economically can eventually trigger an actual paradigm change in our
welfare society.

It may sound very utopian and unworldly-idealistic, but a great amount of examples show that recent social trends could
bring about great changes: renewable energies, alternative individual transportation systems, organic pest control,
organic food, eco-tourism – all of that is already happening in this world. What has been established in the First World
will have its effect on the rest of the world more quickly than in earlier times thanks to the global information network.

                                                                                            Mag. Georg Zimmermann MAS

The “end results of justice” (bilanci di giustizia) began in Italy at the initiative of Don Gianni
Fazzini, and at present 600 families or individuas have become members of the movement. The
ARGE Schöpfungsverantwortung has adopted this concept and initiated a similar initiative in
Austria. We invite you to participate!

Find more about it on our homepage:

                                                 Coalition des ECEN
                 Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - St.             Francis

                  “What St. Francis has to tell us today”
                                    7 Days with St. Francis
                                   Mag. Hemma Opis-Pieber, ARGE SVA

1. Day: Sun, Moon and Stars

           Go for a walk
           Look at the sky at night, silently
           Think about something wonderful for another person

2. Day: Wind and Weather

           Breathing consciously for 5 minutes
           Ask yourself honestly what you absolutely don‟t like
           Avoid air pollution (e.g. walk)

3. Day: Water

           Write down how much water I need for a day
           Stand at an open window while it is raining
           Ask yourself who needs your help

4. Day: Fire, Warmth, Light

           For one time feel the cold consciously
           Light a candle and look at it
           Try to live “blind” for 15 minutes

5. Day: Earth

           To recognize the signs of the seasons
           Eat consciously
           Touch real earth and feel it consciously

6. Day: Forgiveness and New Beginning

           When you go to sleep exhale everything negative
           Think consciously positive of a difficult person
           To be aware of the “cross” of another person and help carry it

7. Day: Death

              To give away something which means a lot to you
              To look at pictures of deceased family members or friends and be thankful for their lives
              Deal with your own death

Mark the days you want to try experiment! Keep a diary to note down how you feel about it, cope with it…

                                        Coalition of the ECEN
    Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Theological           and Socio-ethical

      Theological and Socio-ethical Comments on the Creation Day
                                           Prof. Dr. Karl Golser

The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople invites all Christians to celebrate a Day of
Creation on 1st September, the beginning of the liturgical year in the Orthodox Church. This
is certainly in reference to the first day of creation in the first chapter of the book of
Genesis, i.e. the creative act of God, that first of all separates light from darkness and thus
creates the beginning of human time by dividing it into day and night, months and years.
(Gen 1:3-5). All our time is in God’s hands. And we must not forget the seventh day, the day
God had completed his work and on which he rested and thus blessed that day and the
entire work of creation. (Gen 2: 2-3).

The Day of Creation, now being celebrated in the Christian churches should therefore exude
something of this peacefulness, of a wider comprehension and contemplation of the created order
to which we belong. Particularly the concept of the Sabbath, resting from work, has an eminent
ecological significance.
The socio-ethical tradition, particularly the Catholic social teachings, has enhanced the status of
human work, not only as something necessary to sustain one’s physical life, but also as self-
development of the human being. The human being as the subject of work is being emphasized to
counteract any capitalistic exploitation of work, work as an object, saleable good in the
The economy calculates the cost of production by aiming to make a profit. It is important that this
calculation does not only include capital and labor but also the natural environment that had not
been considered an economic cost factor by impacting on the air, water, soil, climate, biodiversity
etc. To introduce a socalled eco- or energy tax, no matter what its technical details, is a matter of
justice (polluter-pays principle). This would contribute to lowering the cost of work and in the
process lead to some reduction in the unemployment rates.

We must also confront the question whether some of us are not working too much, whether
we see our work too exclusively as income generation and in the process forget that we
humans are not primarily called to do a job but to be engaged in an occupation that
comprises all fields of life and also knows moments of rest and contemplation. It is not by
accident that we understand creativity and thus participation in God’s ongoing creative
work as artistic occupation.

Wish that the Day of Creation may help us to better understand our responsibility for God’s
creation that has been entrusted to us and may it help us to arrive at a new synthesis of time and
space, work and rest, economy and ecology so that we may live wisely by tilling and caring in
God’s house. (Gen 2:15) And let us not forget that, ultimately, we cannot preserve the creation –
being limited it will have an end at some point in time – although we now have the the power to
destroy it and particularly life in it. Neither fear nor resignatioin should mark us Christians, rather
hope in God who through his creative power has established a continuous covenant with all
creation, a God who is a „lover of life“ (Wisdom 11:26).

                                        Coalition of the ECEN
     Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Russian                  Orthodox Philosophers

               The Ecological View of Creation of Vladimir Solov'ev
                                                Prof. Dr. Andrej Danilov

During the last few years the ecological problematique has become one of the most important and most widely
discussed topics in theology. A new field of inquiry in theology has been born: Christian ecology. It seems that just a
few decades ago, theologians did not deal with this issues at all. But even ecology is a rather new discipline. However,
this perception must be corrected. The conception of a Christian ecology begins to be articulated during the last quarter
of the 19th century at the interface of orthodox anthropology and a religious philosophical doctrine about the „all-
For the first time the conception of a Christian ecology was articulated in the works of the great Russian thinker
Vladimier Solov‟ev (1853-1900).
The conceptual approach of this philosopher to the problem of a necessary mutuality between humans and nature
preceeds the intentions of the contemporary ecological thinking by a century.

Summary of Solov‟ev‟s conception of an environmental awareness in the following points:

1.   Natural material reality and the spiritual are essentially different realities; however they exist and develop in
     organic unity. Nature, the creation, participates in the divine processes of the Transfiguration, the Ressurrection
     and the Ascencion. Humanity together with created nature "groans and suffers the pangs of birth“ (Romans 8:22-
2.   Subjugating and conquering natur are the only two phases of development of the relationship of humans with
     nature. The present attitude related to the conumption and exploitation of nature, her destruction for the sake of
     artificially fashioned purposes has to be transcended for the sake of the survival and development of humans. We
     need to restore the true rights of the material nature. Humans ought to develop respect for nature and the subhuman
     world has to be included in the moral solidarity. Nature does not only serve instrumental or functinal purposes
     (utility) but has inherent values and the rights of matter. She is no mere means to achieve an end, rather a specially
     privileged member of the aim and goal of human existence. Material nature is an integral part of the human person.
     Material nature is entitled to being transformed into its potential spiritual nature.
3.   Humans have the duty to learn to see and understand the inherent value of nature, to care for her, and cultivate her
     for her own sake. Nature needs humans for her completion, humanization and spiritualization.
4.   Love of the creator is being realized through his creation (nature). Not only humans are neighbors to other human
     beings but also the natural environment.
5.   The Catholicity of the church reflects the all-unity of being of which the material nature is an integral part. The
     growth of the human being spiritually and ecclesiastically is predicated on the spiritualization of nature. Das
     Wachstum des Menschen in der Spiritualität und der Kirchlichkeit setzt auch die Vergeistigung der Natur voraus.
     One of the examples given is the sacrament of the eucharist when bread and wine – fruits of the synergy of humans
     and nature - are being filled by the Holy Spirit and consecrated into the divine eucharistic gifts.
6.   The church ought to teach people solidarity with nature and respect of creation. She ought to participate actively in
     the formation of a new and ecological life style. Responsibility for creation is the maxim of Christian life.

Solov´ev directly links the ecological to the feminist issue, "The immoral exploitation of the Earth", he writes, "cannot
stop as long as the immoral exploitation of women continues". These are the two sides of the relationship with the one
house: the outer and the inner.

                                           Excerpt from a talk given on the occasion of the conference "Culture of Life",
                                                                        the complete text is available at the ARGE SVA

                                               Coalition of the ECEN
   Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Theological            Reflections

To Celebrate the Creator and the Creation! - Theological Reflections on
         Introducing a Creation Day in the Church Calendar
                                      Pastor Klaus Hoof

Crisis of understanding the human self and the world
Today’s environmental crisis is not a crisis of the creation but of humanity! Creation is not
endangered – it is marvelously adaptable – the future of humanity is at stake. Ultimately,
this human crisis is a crisis of the understanding of the human self and the world, and the
„surrender of God“ (Gottvergessenheit).
Assuming this analyses is correct, then more is required – particularly from the churches –
apart from a dedicated and active engagement for the integrity of creation: Based on their
very beliefs the churches have the task to articulate the crisis of understanding the human
self and the world and to contribute to the healing of this crisis.
An indispensable part of this contribution consists in regularly celebrating and bringing into
our present life circumstances the salvation of the cosmos and of humanity as is being
contained in the profession of faith to God the creator and sustainer of the world. Salvation
wants to be celebrated. It wants to be experienced, appropriated and validated anew. Its
celebration needs cultic-ritual forms and patterns. This way it assumes a place in the life of
the individual and the community and can effect the understanding of the human self and
the world.

Trinitarian challenges for a new human self-understanding that can be celebrated
Biblical creation theology cannot get far without re-discovering the Trinitarian God. Thus the
ecological guidelines of the Evangelische Landeskirche in Württemberg emphasize: „The
responsibility for the created world is a consequence of the profession of faith to the
Trinitarian God.” But what does this mean?
A fundamental aspect of the traditional teaching on the Trinity in the early church states:
Father, Son and Holy Spirit live with one another, for one another, and in one another. They
live a vivid relationship in the highest degree of perfect communion and love among and
between themselves. This Trinitarian vision of God reveals an image of the human being
apart from the concept of the human being as image and likeness of God. Humans live
their being a images of God when they live vital and life supporting relationships, when they
live community: in community with God and fellow humans, in community with all creation.
This cannot simply be approached and discussed theologically. Relationships must be
shaped and lived. Where in the church is this understood to be a task for the liturgy?

It will not remain without consequences for the church and Christians whether they deal
with these questions regularly or not. Will not a church that does not in ever new ways
reassure herself of these tenets of faith lose her sensitivity and competence for these
issues and her authority to give a credible witness?

                                  Coalition of the ECEN
   Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Theological              Reflections

The NT is very clear: God, the Father creates through the Son in the power of the Holy
Spirit: on this basis Paul can say: “For everything comes from him, has been made by him
and has to return to him.“ (Rom 11:36). All things and all life forms are created by God,
given form by God and exist in God. God can be seen, heard, tasted, smelled, and
experienced in the world. This is the real mystery of the incarnation of God.
This mystery of a healing presence of God in creation cannot ultimately not be understood,
it wants to e experienced, felt, and celebrated. Only by the experience that in all that is and
exists and lives, God’s life giving Spirit and will is present allows to develop a respect of all
that is and lives. That this can be experienced ritually is one of the basic spiritual and
liturgical tasks of Christianity.

A Critical Look at the Liturgical Year
„I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth“ – when in the liturgical
year do we regularly celebrate and bring back into our presence this experience of our
faith? Theologically it is clear: Professing God as the creator must be assumed and
inclusively reflected when we celebrate our salvation in Christ and the coming and working
of the Holy Spirit. But it is striking that this profession of faith to God as creator has not
been made the direct objective of celebration and reflection of any feast in the course of the
liturgical year.
Traditionally, this first article of the creed plays an important role in harvest feasts and
thanksgiving celebrations. But the harvest feast has its own particular purpose: the core of
the harvest feast is the gratitude for the life giving gifts of God. The profession of faith to
God the creator of heaven and earth, however, includes more than the importance of such
gratitude for the fruits, and food, daily bread, clothing, work and livelihood.
The question remains: When in the church year do we commemorate and celebrate the
fundamental themes of us humans being creatures and the cosmos as creation? The
questions of human relationship to heaven and earth, to light and water, to sun and moon
and stars, to plants and animals; questions regarding the human body and human identity
as male or female, the human beings’ trust or forlorness in this cosmos; the questions of a
wise and prudent living within the given order of creation or necessary transgressions of
such orders, questions of shaping the future of the world and the standards to follow in
doing so – where and when do we commemorate, celebrate and reflect these central
themes? Also the questions and issues that deal with understanding the world in the widest
sense need such a place, like for example the question of the origin of life and the cosmos,
questions regarding the direction of history and life, or whether they move in eternal cycles

Ecumenical Reflections
In the Orthodox churches there has been an increase in theological works dealing
with a theology of creation and the integrity of creation over the last several years.
The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople in 1989 has declared 1 September as
the „Day of Creation“ and invites us every year anew to celebrate this day
accordingly. Since in the Orthodox Tradition the church year starts on 1 September,
there is a very clear sign of appreciation and valuation of the Christian creation faith
and the first article of the creed in the Orthodox churches.

                                   Coalition of the ECEN
          Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Theological           Reflections

       The Second European Ecumenical Assembly in Graz in 1997 calls on the Conference of
       European Churches (CEC) and the Council of European Catholic Bishops Conferences
       (CCEE) to: „die Bewahrung der Schöpfung als Teil des kirchlichen Lebens (auf allen
       Stufen) zu betrachten und zu fördern....Ein Beispiel: KEK und CCEE fordern ihre
       Mitgliedskirchen und Bischofskonferenzen auf, einen Tag der Schöpfung einzuführen, wie
       er vom ökumenischen Patriarchat gefeiert wird“ (Handlungsempfehlungen 5.1).
       In Germany the Evangelisch-methodistische Kirche (EmK) celebrates a ’Day of God’s
       Good Creation’ since 1986. The EmK has a working group to prepare aid materials for the
       celebration of that day in the communities.
       In Switzerland, the 4 weeks before the harvest thanksgiving feast are observed as creation
       time according to a proposal of the Ecumenical Working Group Church and Environment
       (OeKU). The observation of this creation time should help the communities to prevent the
       harvest thanksgiving feast to regress into a purely folkloristic commemoration of times past

       To Celebrate Salvation! – We need a „Day of Creation“ in the Church Year
       Christianity can make an important contribution to a human self-understanding that
       is crucial to the future of humanity. Based on its faith in God the creator and
       sustainer of the cosmos and of all life, Christianity knows of the human participation
       in all creation events. In the course of the church year, the churches should create a
       fixed space in which they can live this faith and listen to the biblical traditions
       dealing with it. It is a rewarding challenge to the communities and the theologians, to
       create rituals and liturgical elements that can help people experience and celebrate
       their interrelatedness with all of God’s good creation.

     A Feast,
1.   that lets people experience community with God and fellow human beings and with the whole
     created order,
2.   that lets people celebrate God as creator and themselves as creatures,
3.   that makes them open their eyes, ears and all senses for God’s creation,
4.   that allows them to discover anew the mysteries of life,
       that gives shape to salvation that is grounded in the creative and sustaining work of God an
       allows the faithful to appropriate it in a constantly new way,
       that is what is missing in the course of the liturgical year!

Many church groups and circles create liturgies and action days with Integrity of Creation as their
theme. To canonically introduce a ‚Day of Creation’ into the liturgical calendar of the ecclesiastical year
would give a better theological grounding, new focus, and broader basis to such activities. That would
have consequences in two directions: Internally, within the churches themselves, in which competence
and common understanding would grow in relation to such issues, and externally, in society in which
Christian convictions about responsibility for creation would be present more strongly and
professionally! Both would be desirable for the sake of a clear Christian witness to its creation faith.

                                        Coalition of the ECEN
           Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Theological             Rational

                                    A Time of Creation
                                          Prof. Dr. Lukas Vischer

At the Second European Ecumenical Assembly in Graz, 1997, one of the resolutions adopted was the
following: "We recommend that the churches consider and promote the preservation of creation as part
of church life at all levels. One way would be to observe a common Creation Day, such as the
Ecumenical Patriarchate celebrates each year. Rationale: The seriousness of the ecological dilemma
for the future of the human race means that the churches' consciousness of it must be raised.
Commitment to preservation of the creation is not an issue among many others, but an essential
dimension of all church life."1

This recommendation is a delayed response to a suggestion which was made by the Ecumenical
Patriarch Dimitrios I as much as ten years ago. In a message released on 1 September 1989, we read:
"Therefore we invite, through this our Patriarchal Message, the entire Christian world to offer together
with the Mother Church of Christ, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, every year on this day prayers and
supplications to the Maker of all, both as thanksgiving for the great gift of creation and as petitions for
its protection and salvation. At the same time we paternally urge on the one hand the faithful in the
world to admonish themselves and their children to respect and protect the natural environment, and on
the other hand all those who are entrusted with the responsibility of governing the nations to act without
delay, taking all necessary measures for the protection and preservation of natural creation."2

How can the recommendation from Graz be implemented in the life of the churches? How can the
responsibility for God's creation find a place in worship, and especially in the church year? What room
is there for the Ecumenical Patriarch's proposal?

1. God as Creator in the church year
It is obvious that God the Creator does not occupy any central place in the church year as we have it.
The great festivals of the Christian calendar are about God's "mighty acts" in Jesus Christ: the
Crucifixion and the Resurrection, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and Christ's birth as a human being.
In the course of the year Christendom celebrates the foundational events of the revelation of God in
Christ. However, there is no day and time when we remember God as the Creator. The church year is
concentrated almost entirely on the second and third sections of the Christian creed.

Is this state of affairs acceptable in view of the ecological crisis? Is it not time to reconsider the
sequence of the church year? Certainly belief in "God the Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth" is
presupposed in any church celebration. How could we celebrate Epiphany or Trinity Sunday without
also thinking of God as Creator? But is this information sufficient? In view of the criticism that the
Judeo-Christian tradition has substantially contributed to present-day destructive ways of treating
nature, there are more and more calls for a reform of the church year. For, even though it can be
demonstrated that this criticism is based on a biased interpretation of the biblical texts, the absence of
God the Creator in the succession of Christian festivals is something to be considered. If it is true that
worship rather than the church's teaching has the most influence on the consciousness of believers,
then our belief in the Creator of heaven and earth must be given expression as such. The whole of the
creed must be expressed in worship.

                                        Coalition of the ECEN
            Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Theological               Rational

2. The revelation of God in history
The succession of Christian festivals is embedded in the changing seasons of the year. Every year the
cycle ends and begins anew. To this extent the rhythm of nature provides the framework for the church
year. However, the content of the festivals is not the rhythm of nature; instead they commemorate the
events connected with God's revelation in Christ. The circling year recalls the turning point in history
brought about by Jesus.

This tendency can already been seen in Israel's traditions. The great festivals celebrated in Israel were
originally rooted in the cycle of nature. The Passover originated in the nomadic period, as a spring
festival at which the firstborn lambs were sacrificed. Three other feasts have their origins in the
Canaanite context and had to do with the cultivation of the land: a) the festival of Mazzoth, the
Unleavened Bread, was celebrated at the time of the barley harvest; b) the festival of the wheat
harvest, Shabuoth, celebrated seven weeks after the Feast of Mazzoth, was also called the festival of
Weeks; and c) the festival of Booths or Tabernacles, Sukkoth, was the feast of the wine and fruit
harvest, and could also be called simply the Festival. The original meaning of these festivals is
especially recognisable in the customs which were observed. At the Feast of Mazzoth a first sheaf of
grain was offered, and at the Feast of Weeks the first loaves of bread. The use of branches at the Feast
of Tabernacles goes back to a grape-harvest festival celebrated in vineyards and orchards.

All these festivals were given new meanings in Israel. At Passover the Exodus from Egypt was
remembered. The Feasts of Mazzoth and Tabernacles also served to recall this history. The use of
unleavened bread was now explained as a recollection that the Israelites, forced by the Egyptians to
leave in a hurry, had no time to let that morning's bread dough rise and thus had to bake it as
unleavened cakes the first time they camped (Exodus 12:34,39). The Feast of Tabernacles was to be
celebrated according to Yahweh's commandment "so that your generations may know that I made the
people of Israel live in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God"
(Leviticus 23:39-43). The Feast of Weeks was seen in later years as the festival recalling the revelation
of the Law on Sinai.

This does not means that Israel was thereby forgetting its relation to the creation. The Sabbath, which
was observed every seven days, was fundamental to the consciousness of Israel. Whatever was the
origin of this day of rest, in the course of Israel's history it was brought into relation to God's work of
creation. "For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested
on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the seventh day and consecrated it." (Exodus 20:11)
The Sabbath was a day of rest not only for people and cattle, but also for the earth. The extension of
the Sabbath rhythm to sabbatical and jubilee years makes this especially clear. In the seventh year
there was to be a sabbath of complete rest for the land; neither sowing nor harvesting was allowed
(Leviticus 25:4). But even as festivals were given new meaning in the light of historical experience, their
roots in the cycle of nature was not entirely lost. How could gifts of first fruits be offered without thinking
of the Creator?

                                          Coalition of the ECEN
            Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Theological             Rational

The giving of historical meaning to festivals continued in the Christian church. From now on, the
decisive event for all others was the resurrection of Christ. In the Christian communities it became the
custom to gather on the evening of the first day of the week, that is, on the day of Christ's resurrection,
to celebrate the breaking of the bread. Gradually, this Day of Resurrection, the Lord's Day or Day of the
Sun, absorbed the Sabbath tradition. The Sabbath, for Christians, was moved from Saturday to
Sunday. But this also changed its meaning. The central content of this day was now the celebration of
Jesus' victory over death. The congregation gathered to celebrate the Lord's presence in the Word,
prayer and supper and to await his second coming. The reference to the creation was pushed into the
background. Certainly there was a reference to the creation in the Lord's Supper, since the bread and
wine can be seen as God's gifts. However, the primary meaning of sharing the supper was the
communion with the crucified and risen Christ.

The Jewish festivals were to some extent no longer observed, or were replaced by Christian festivals.
The reference to the creation which was still present in them was thereby lost.

3. The gradual development of the church year
The church year as we know it today is the result of a long and complicated development. It was not put
together all at one time. Thus it is not a construction which is consistent in every way, but rather reflects
the ideas and viewpoints of various historical periods. "Differing orders and spheres of time, tied to rival
calendars and their cycles which overlap, have resulted overall in a highly complex construct of dates,
observances, feasts and festival periods - a bewildering, artfully layered architectonic structure."3 The
divisions among the churches have led to differing ways of shaping the church year. Each confessional
tradition has its own peculiarities. First it was East and West which went separate ways, but the
divisions which appeared with the Reformation in the 16th century also had particular consequences in
this regard. Thus it cannot be taken for granted that the various confessions will be able to agree on the
ordering of the church year.

Various cycles determine the basic pattern of the construct. The first cycle is the sequence of Sundays.
As it was for Israel, for the church too the unit of seven days is decisive, and forms the basis of the
church year.

Second in importance is the Easter cycle. Easter, the Feast of the Resurrection, was the first Christian
festival to be celebrated annually. Around Easter, other festivals developed at various points in time:
before Easter, Lent, Palm Sunday and Holy Week, especially Good Friday; after Easter, the Easter
season with Ascension and Whit Sunday (Pentecost); around the year 1000, Trinity Sunday was added
as a festival which sums them all up. Since Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full
moon after the spring equinox, its date varies, and with it all the dates of the Easter cycle.

The third cycle, that of Christmas, is distinguished by two feast days, those of the birth of Christ and of
Epiphany on 6th January. In contrast to Easter, Christmas is fixed on a particular date in the solar
calendar, and therefore is not a movable feast and does not fall on a Sunday in every year. Since the
Christmas and Easter cycles are based on different systems of reckoning, the length of the period
between them varies from year to year. The number of Sundays between Epiphany and the beginning
of Lent, and also the number of Sundays between Pentecost and the beginning of Advent, are different
from one year to the next. Other festivals are scattered throughout the year, some loosely connected
with the great cycles, others, such as the Feast of the Transfiguration (6th August), having no
immediately visible connection with them. A few festivals such as Reformation Sunday are memorials,
others, like New Year, are fixed in the civil calendar.

                                         Coalition of the ECEN
           Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Theological             Rational

The fourth cycle is that of the saints' days. Early in the history of the church the custom was already
being established of remembering our "cloud of witnesses" on certain days of the year. The lists of the
saints are not the same for all churches; they are different in East and West. In the churches of the
Reformation, the calendar of saints lost much of its meaning when the veneration of the saints was
condemned. The saints' days became merely memorials or were forgotten altogether.

4. A changing order
Solidly as these fundamental cycles are rooted in the life of the church, the church year is not an order
which has been concluded for all time. Construction is still going on, with each century making its
contribution. Festivals whose position at one time seemed unshakeable have ended up in the
background, and new ones have been added. Excesses which have developed are swept away by
radical reforms, most radically at the time of the Reformation. Gentler reforms, such as those of the
Second Vatican Council, seek to eliminate inconsistencies and to make the ordering more

Thus the endeavour to include a time in the church year especially to honour the creation and its
Creator is legitimate.4 Why should the church not see to it that, in the face of the ecological crisis, its
confession of God as Creator finds a clearer expression in its liturgical life? Individual churches have
already taken steps in this direction. In numerous churches, especially in rural areas, there are harvest
festival traditions: today one finds here and there attempts being made to revive these traditions. In the
Roman Catholic Church the day of Saint Francis of Assisi on 4th October is being given an increasing
role. In ever-widening circles the need is being felt for God's creation and its preservation to be an
explicit theme in worship.

5. The Ecumenical Patriarch's proposal
There is particular significance in the Ecumenical Patriarch's proposal to celebrate

1 September as a day of "thanksgiving for the great gift of creation and petitions for its protection and
salvation". What is behind the choice of this date?

 For the Orthodox churches, 1 September begins the church year. This regulation has a long tradition,
going back to the way time was reckoned in the Byzantine Empire. It was based on indictions, which
are periods of a certain number of years. Official documents always gave the indiction and the year
within the indiction. This system of dating was introduced under the Emperor Diocletian in the years
297-98, and was declared obligatory under the Emperor Justinian I in 462-63.5 The year began on 23
September, which was changed to 1 September in the second half of the 5th century. An indiction was
at first five years long, later changed to 15 years. At the end of each indiction the next began. The
church also used this system of reckoning time. The beginning of each year, and especially of a new
indiction, was ceremoniously observed. In Constantinople, the Patriarch announced the new year of the
indiction. After celebrating the liturgy in the basilica of Hagia Sophia, the Patriarch and the members of
the Holy Synod gathered in a great hall. Following prayers and liturgical hymn-singing, the Patriarch
named the new year and granted absolution to all. He then confirmed, by signing the official document,
the beginning of the new year.6

                                        Coalition of the ECEN
           Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Theological            Rational

With the end of the Byzantine Empire this tradition lost its practical significance. However, the church
preserved the date, and the Orthodox churches today still celebrate 1 September as the beginning of
the new year, even though it does not carry any weight in the life of the church. The year is not
structured according to its beginning on 1 September.7 This festival is one of the relics left over from
calendars used in the past. The Ecumenical Patriarch in his Message scarcely goes into the traditional
meaning of this day at all; he merely mentions it, without further explanation.

Thus the Patriarch's proposal is to be seen as an endeavour to give a new content to a festival which
has largely lost its ancient meaning. The church year is to begin with reflection on God the Creator, the
gift of creation and our responsibility before God and towards our fellow- creatures.

6. What new points of departure are possible?
How can we increase our praise of God as Creator in worship? What new points of departure are
possible within the framework of the church year?

Sunday is without doubt the most important element. It was not right to allow the relation of the
Sabbath, or Sunday, to the creation to be pushed into the background. There is no doubt that the
central meaning of Sunday is Christ's resurrection and victory over death; Sunday is a sort of "little
Easter". But this newer content need not be understood as irreconcilable with the Old Testament
meaning of the Sabbath as day of rest, analogous to God's rest on the seventh day of creation. God's
new world is the fulfilment of the creation. As God's creatures, we praise the Creator who called this
world into being and preserves it, is concerned for all creatures and gives them their food in due
season, and puts an end to death with the in-breaking of the promised reign of God. Sunday reminds us
of our responsibility towards other persons and all other creatures. It puts limits to our blind busyness,
and makes us take a step back and realise again who we are, before God and the entire creation.
Sunday is a criticism of human self-realization which shuts off the access to God's new world.

But is there not also room in the church year for certain "days of creation" or, perhaps even more
appropriately, a special time to remember God as Creator? Would it not be meaningful to celebrate 1
September, or Harvest Festival, or 4 October as this time? A certain uneasiness appears almost
instinctively. In recent decades a great many new Sundays have been introduced into the churches to
remind us of particular ethical obligations - days for refugees, for persons with disabilities, Human
Rights Day and so on in this vein. One could almost say that a second, ethically-oriented church year
has developed. Should this series of days have Ecological Responsibility Sunday added to it?

 But this is not a matter of adding another Sunday. It is a matter of giving clearer expression to a
fundamental part of the Christian confession of faith. What we need to do is to show, as the Second
European Ecumenical Assembly said, that "Commitment to preservation of the creation is not an issue
among many others, but an essential dimension of all church life."

This might be reason enough to have, instead of one day, a season of creation. It could begin on 1
September, or the first Sunday after 1 September, and last until 4 October, or the first Sunday after 4
October. This would be a way of bringing together the days belonging to different traditions. This is also
the season of harvest celebrations in many parts of the world. Such a season of creation would fit
without strain into the existing church year. Before the observances of the great events in the history of
salvation begin, from the birth of Christ to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, we would be reminded of
God as the source of all life. And after following through the succession of God's mighty deeds, we
would be led back again to the God whose hands encircle all times.

                                        Coalition of the ECEN
            Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Theological               Rational

A possible difficulty might be that this season comes at different times of the year in the northern and
southern hemispheres. When Europe is harvesting, spring is coming to Argentina, South Africa and
Australia. But is a day for the Creator dependent upon the seasons? It could be connected with the
springing to life of nature just as well as with its fading. Just as Christmas is not necessarily tied to
winter, nor Easter to spring, praise for the Creator does not have to be connected with a particular
season. It will only mean that meditations in different places will bring out different aspects.

7. Alpha and Omega
A time for creation in the church year! It would have the advantage of bringing faith in God as Creator
into relation with the whole creed. The talk of ecological responsibility today easily gives the impression
that this is a new task, a political one. It is still not clear to many Christians that we are talking about an
imperative of the Christian faith. The way the gifts of the creation are treated today amounts to a denial
of God. Whenever this responsibility is isolated from the entirety of the faith, it is faith which is being
played down.

A time for creation prepares the ground for a deeper understanding of Christmas, Easter and
Pentecost. The structure of the creed is replicated in the church year. God as Creator of heaven and
earth is the pre-condition and the background for everything that follows. In becoming a human being
God enters into the creation, and through the resurrection makes new life break forth, and pours out the
gift of the Spirit upon humankind and the whole creation. The time for creation would make possible a
deeper understanding of the Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The time for creation is both the beginning and the end of the church year. In reflecting upon the
Creator, our attention is directed to God's new creation. God's creation cannot ultimately be fully
understood without its fulfilment in Christ. Over the horizon of this creation, from the beginning, shines
the light of God's reign. In the time for creation we celebrate both the origin and the fulfilment - Alpha
and Omega.

Above all, the time for creation reminds us that we too are creatures, among many others. It gives us an
occasion to think about the way we have used God's gifts, and how we will do so in future. It gives the
church an occasion to put a new, more responsible lifestyle into practice. The Ecumenical Patriarch's
message says with great urgency: "We must attempt to return to a proper relationship with the Creator
and the creation. This may well mean that just as a shepherd will, in times of greatest hazard, lay down
his life for his flock, so human beings may need to forego a part of their wants and needs in order that
the survival of the natural world can be assured. This is a new situation - a new challenge. It calls for
humanity to bear some of the pain of creation as well as to enjoy and celebrate it. It calls first and
foremost for repentance - but of an order not previously understood by many." If a time for creation
contributes to this conversion, it has fulfilled its task.

                                          Coalition of the ECEN
            Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Theological                Rational

  . Reconciliation, Gift of God and Source of New Life, Documents of the Second European Ecumenical
           Assembly in Graz, 1997. CEC and CCEE, Graz, 1998, p. 57
  . Message of His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios on the Day of the Protection of the
           Environment, in: Orthodoxy and the Ecological Crisis, 1990.
  . Karl-Heinz Bieritz, in Handbuch der Liturgik, Hans-Christoph Lauber and Karl-Heinz Bieritz, eds., Leipzig
           und Göttingen 1995, p. 453
  . Ibid., p. 487
  . Corpus Iuris civilis, Nov. 47,2
  . V. Grumel, Indiction, in New Catholic Encyclopedia, New York 1967, vol. 7, pp. 466-468.
  . "The idea of the year as a unit and as a real time within which the church dwells for the purpose of its
           fulfilment is so weak that the Byzantine list of months begins with September, a month which in our
           present calendar has no special liturgical 'significance' whatever." Alexander Schmemann,
           Introduction to Liturgical Theology, London 1966, p. 136

                                          Coalition of the ECEN
            Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Ethics               in Agriculture

                                      Ethics in Agriculture
    The crisis of agriculture in the wake of a progressive detachment from religious references and ethical norms
                                     BSE - Hunger - Loss of fertile soil

                                                Isolde M. Schönstein

                                           „Every creature will either become your sacrifice or your idol“
                                                                                         Georg Hamann, 1730 - 1788

The BSE-scandal in Europe and beyond it has led to an awakening from the centuries old delusion of
unlimited technological progress, and a mentality of “everything is possible,” and a limitless exploitation of
the planet. Mining of resources and reduction of bio-diversity have not only upset the balance in agriculture
but even more so brought about catastrophic situations. The meat production for the privileged sectors of the
population is a major cause for the misery and hunger of the others, as J. Rifkin vividly demonstrates in his
book „Rinderwahnsinn“:

„1,28 billion heads of cattle inhabit the earth today, they graze on 24 percent of the total land area,
worldwide about one third of the total grain harvest is fed to animals, while at the same time one billion
people starve and suffer chronic malnutrition.
In the developing countries millions of peasants are being driven from the land of their ancestors and their
traditional subsistence economy must give way to commercial-industrial animal feed crops.
While the people in the Third World hunger due to lack of sufficient staple grain, millions of people in the
industrial world die of socalled “diseases of the affluent society” (Wohlstandskrankheiten) like heart attack,
stroke and cancer because they eat too much meat of animals, particularly cattle, fed with grains” 1) [private

This awakening has further been dramatized by the appearance of the Hoof and Mouth Disease (HMD), the
hormone meat scandals and other related diseases to be expected in the future.
In this context, it was unavoidable to assume a holistic view of intensive agriculture, of the increasing
demand in chemical fertilizers and pesticides and of the risks related to it.

News reports about new BSE cases and, related to it, the growing number of Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease (CJD)
related deaths due to eating BSE-contaminated beef, triggered panic with consumers, meat producers and
dealers, and politicians.
According to scientists, the current number of casualties might just be the tip of the iceberg as this disease
can have an incubation period of up to several decades.

When in 1986 first reports came out in England about the cattle disease BSE (Bovine Spongiform
Encephalopathy) it made people listen and take note. Scientists studying BSE fear that it could spread to
Asia, America, and the rest of the world in the near future. Contrary to all warnings, government authorities
delayed to work on a ban of animal flour as animal feeds, and till October 2000 animal flour was exported
globally. It found its way to Eastern Europe, the Far East, North Africa and as far as Indonesia, Thailand, and
Only in January 2001 did the European ministers of agriculture reach an agreement on a ban to sell
“separator meat” (“poor-people‟s meat”).

                                            Coalition of the ECEN
            Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Ethics            in Agriculture
Mad Cow Disease has been caused, presumably, through the scrapie pathogenes crossing species borders as
infected sheep meal was fed to cattle, which led to a new variety of this brain destroying disease. Scientists
are in agreement that the spread of BSE to cattle in England and Continental Europe had been caused by the
wide spread practice of feeding infected cattle protein to cattle in order to accelerate their growth and
consequently shorten their rearing period.
In the early 1980s for the first time in history, socalled „cattle cannibalism“ has occurred, meaning that cattle
was forced to consume animals of the same species in the form of meat and bone meal.

But already in the early 1920s the anthroposoph Rudolf Steiner in a public lecture proposed the theses that
„if the ox would suddenly begin to turn into a meat eater it would get filled up with all kinds of toxic
substances, particularly with uric acid and uric acid salts. Now, such uric acid salts have their particular
force of habit and these are their weakness for the nervous system and the brain. And the consequence would
be that the ox would eat meat, huge amounts of uric acid salts would accumulate in its organism; they in turn
would reach the brain and the ox would go mad. If we could perform the experiment of feeding a herd of
oxen with doves, we would get a completely mad herd of oxen. That is the case, despite the fact that doves
are very gentle, the oxen would go mad.” 2)

He was not listened to, like so many prophets are not being listened to!

This gross neglect of the health of humans and animal as it occurs today, followed by panic and new forms
of neglect makes the demand for ethics in agriculture increasingly imperative. The challenge to the churches
in this context is to reclaim a sense and awareness of the order of creation and the human vocation within

“What we have to learn from the crisis is the insight that the organized maltreatment of animals has become
a great risk for ourselves. To force herbivores to behave like carnivores, and even worse to feed them with
the remainder of their own species and thus turn them into cannibals is detestable and contradicts all ethical
principles.” 3)

Where and how did the breach happen?
The Accusation of Anthropocentrism in Christianity has a new Actuality, it must be dealt with, Conversion
is demanded.

The special human position - in its misinterpretation - has led to a separation from nature and the world
around, to ruthless exploitation and destruction, and finally to self-destruction.
In the search for the causes it is unavoidable to also critique the concept of “environment,” a concept accused
of being responsible for many forms of wrong behavior.

Anthropocentrism has not stopped at Christianity. Eugen Drewermann considers Christianity as an
accomplice in bringing about the ecological crisis inasmuch as it allowed “the anthropocentrism of the Old
Testament to be sublimated and radicalized to such an extent that eventually its morality of compassion and
humanitarianism would poison the sources of piety, and human beings be left in a godless and homeless
world without purpose and support.” 4)
Environment as a concept had often had a counterproductive effect in society and church. In the beginning
when faced with the ecological crisis the churches were at a loss as they were called upon as emancipated
partners in the events of the world to confess to wrong developments and to start changing course under the
paradigm of SUSTAINABILITY that was to take priority over a short-term-profit mentality. In the search
for a name for the new phenomena the secular concept “environment” - “environmental crisis” was adopted,
a concept that could not match up to the Christian understanding of creation. It had taken a long time before
the positions of the Christian churches were clearly and unmistakably presented in the concepts creation and
responsibility for creation.

                                           Coalition of the ECEN
            Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Ethics             in Agriculture

A lot of water has flowed under the bridge by now, we can‟t direct its course but we have determined its

Appropriate animal husbandry, healthy nutrition, species protection and preservation of nature, just
distribution of goods are as much a Christian obligation as it is for the rest of the global population. We need
a strong educational program and a clear interpretation of the signs of the time based on our biblical calling -
this will be a matter of survival this and future generations. Our prayers will have to be accompanied, will
have to become prayerful actions born of the awareness of our being creatures among creatures.

Humans will have to either understand that they exist within this world or will not exist at all.

The protestant theologian Jürgen Moltmann expects a conversion understood as an “ecological reformation“
and puts forward the following demand for the near future:
„We will only be able to bring history back to a human and natural order when the anthropocentrism will be
replaced by a new cosmological theocentrism. The non-human natural world does not exist for the sake of
humans but humans exist to give glory to God on behalf of the community of creation. ... The crown of
history is the Sabbath. Without the stillness of the Sabbath history turns into human self-destruction. The
Sabbath rest sanctifies history with the divine order and blesses it with human measure.” 5)

The biblical creation stories refer to a communion of all creation and every creature‟s inherent value.
However, humans do occupy a special position – one of responsibility: humans have to respond like a
shepherd to his steward. Humans are called forth to till and to care, to co-operate creatively in God‟s
creation, to promote life in all its expressions – that is the purpose and calling of humans in the world.

The Old Testament contains a good number of agricultural instructions and rules regarding the treatment of
animals - something that had vanished from our awareness for a long time - They are to be companions and
helpers to humans, they are the humans‟ “older siblings“ as Eugen Drewermann calls them. 6)

They are created in wisdom and together with humans are covered by a special blessing of God. Clearly,
they should be granted the sabbath rest and extended care by humans.

According to the tradition of the biblical creation myth, God made a covenant with all humans and all living
beings as can be clearly seen in the covenant words addressed to Noah (cf. Gen 9:10). Interestingly enough,
both humans and animals share the same “breath of life“ and the instruction, largly not adhered to by both, to
take only “every green plant for food“ (Gen 1:30) 7)
The story of the Great Flood speaks a clear language of the intimate fate of man and beast as they are to be
rescued together, only together can they survive, “they are all in the same boat“ 8)
The breach happened when humans stopped to entrust themselves to God without fear and questioning but
wanted to be like God. “When the human-God relationship is being broken other relationships are being
disturbed in the process, and rivalry and violence takes over. Gen 6:13 states the historical reality: “... the
earth is filled with violence because of them“, filled with a structure of violence that contains the seed for its
own downfall that will come about unless healing counter measures are being taken. 9)

                                           Coalition of the ECEN
            Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Ethics             in Agriculture

In the new version of the German animal protection law a change can be observed, as it articulates as
supreme guideline in §1 that animals are fellow creatures and thus have to be respected as such and be
treated accordingly, i.e. as it accords their particular species. 10)

The necessity for legislation indicates the loss of personal responsibility, the loss of an animal ethics in daily
life, in animal husbandry, and in food production because the daily practice up to now is very different

What must be done?
Can the BSE-scandal and other forms of madness that have now been exposed like hormone meat, salmon
transfer, exhausted fishing grounds, brutalized animal transports... effect a conversion in our fundamental
attitude and ways of thinking?
The facts are known, the call goes out to all, consumers, keepers of animal, food producers. Are dogs, cats
and hamster as the most popular pets really better off?
Forced into a life of virtual immobility and isolation many of them receive special food from the animal feed
industry to substitute for the loss of a life quality appropriate to their species. These products are guarenteed
first class quality as the advertising industry certifies and many a pet animal owner does not shun the
expenses for such a cost. By the ton, aluminum is being used for pet food packaging without questioning the
origin and production of that material. Waste of resources is as much accepted as the destruction of
agricultural land due to monocultures for the production of animal feeds. Everything is sacrificed to the
companion of the human, idolatry is booming!

The other extreme is the situation of those animals that are used for experiments, often under unnecessary
pain, for the human wellbeing, as is being claimed “These disparaties have been multiplied recently with the
possibilities of genetic engineering in plants and animals, and not necessarily only to the advantage of human
beings.“ 11)

Church - Place for Learning
The loss of awareness of the interrelatedness of life might be one of the main causes for the loss of behavior
guided by an ethics of responsibility. To counter this loss, is one of the responsibilities of the church in all
her areas of influence, proclamation, followed by a corresponding every day behavior, her diaconate and
liturgy. To achieve this requires an interdisciplinary scientific dialogue and the cooperation with
environmental and peace organisation as well as with political and business representatives.

Tried and tested church initiatives often suffer the fate of prophets, but their protest can be seen, and most of
all their pastoral and eco-social work. Based on the principles of a Christian doctrine of creation and
Christian ethics, and a creation spirituality to guide their everyday living, they have long and well established
themselves in the events of history. It is of utmost importance to support those pioneers, as they are, what
sociologists of religion call, an element of the church that engenders religiosity that is timely, and because of
their authenticity they are atttractive! 12)

We need models for translating all these ideas to a holistic, fulfilling life, and such timely models are
available, tried and tested. (cf Balance of Justice).

We need a new adaptation of tried and test, i.e. traditional virtues, a new interpretation of prudence, justice,
moderation, and courage. Ever since they have been supporting and guiding humans.

                                           Coalition of the ECEN
               Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Ethics                            in Agriculture

The Theologian Prof. Karl Golser writes:

Ethical instructions must be part of proclamation and catechesis. In the process people have to be reminded
about relevant fundamental attitudes, i.e. virtues that are of ecological relevance. Among them are counted
justice that knows about the proper order and relations in which humans are integrated, prudence that
strives for appropriate ecological knowledge, fortitude, understood here as the courage to stand up for one‟s
beliefs, and endurance, and most of all the virtue of moderation because the resources of the earth are
limited indeed, thus demanding an economic and wise use of the goods, not least so that we can pass on to
the next generation a livable earth.


1) RIFKIN Jeremy, Das Imperium der Rinder, 2001
2) STEINER Rudolf, aus einem Vortrag vom 13. 1. 1923, gehalten in Dornbach
3) RIFKIN Jeremy, Das Imperium der Rinder, 2001
4) DREWERMANN Eugen, Der tödliche Fortschritt, 1986
5) MOLTMANN Jürgen, Versöhnung mit der Natur, 1986
6) DREWERMANN Eugen, Der tödliche Fortschritt, 1986
7) WOLKINGER Alois, Erdethik, 1996
8) ROSENBERGER Michael, Wörterbuch Schöpfungsspiritualität, 2000
9) KESSLER Hans, Das Stöhnen der Natur. Plädoyer für eine Schöpfungsspiritualität und Schöpfungsethik, 1990
10) ROSENBERGER Michael, Wörterbuch Schöpfungsspiritualität, 2000
11) WOLKINGER Alois, Erdethik, 1996
12) KEHL Medard, Wohin geht die Kirche heute?

                                                     Coalition of the ECEN
          Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Spiritual       Exercises for
                                                                        Everyday Life

  Spiritual Exercises for Everyday Life - In Keeping With the Times
                             „What is important is the action“

                      Exercises for a SUSTAINABLE LIFE-PRAXIS


The Appeal to the whole of Christendom, sent out in the year of the FIRST EUROPEAN
Patriarch Dimitrios I of Constantinople, to celebrate the Creator of the world on 1 September (the
beginning of a new year in the ancient tradition), with particular gratitude and respect, praying for
redemption and encouragement, marked the liturgical opening of the 10th General Assembly of
the Conference of European Churches in 1992 in Prague

       "Almighty Lord, You have created the universe in wisdom, You protect and reign over it with Your
       almighty hand: grant prosperity and well-being to the whole Creation, and protect it from being
       harmed by pollution, because You, the Ruler, have commanded that the works of Your hands shall
       be unshaken until the end of the world, because You spoke and it came into being, and all that is
       Yours experiences Your mercy, through defense against all evil and the salvation of humankind,
       which praises Your Name, above all glory."
               (from the Vesper, Hymnograph: Gerasimos Mikrayannanitis, Monk of Athos)

On the occasion of the EEA II in Graz 1997 the RESPONSIBILITY FOR CREATION is put in
concrete terms through the RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTION

   -   Common Day of Creation
   -   Developing an eco-social lifestyles
   -   Synergy of AGENDA 21-Process and the CONCILIAR PROCESS FOR JUSTICE, PEACE
       AND THE INTEGRITY OF CREATION (that significantly influenced the conception of the
       Agenda 21!)
   -   European Network of Responsible People for the environment

       We recommend that CEC and CCEE create a network of persons with environmental
       responsibilities and recognise them as partners in church activities.
       Rationale : If the preservation of creation is to be anchored within church life in a politically
       effective way, it needs to be substantiated by professional competence. The CEC member
       churches and the CCEE Bishops' Conferences should appoint their own officers for
       environmental issues, and create a network for them in the form of a suitable organization
       with which they cooperate as a partner.
       (Point 5.4 of the Recommendations of the EEA II Graz 1997)

All of this requires deepening and implementation. The Day of Creation on 1 September of
each year should be celebrated as A DAY OF SPIRITUAL EXERCISES and become a sign of
commitment in Christians' everyday lives.

                                          Coalition of the ECEN
          Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Spiritual          Exercises for
                                                                           Everyday Life


                        ” We must realise it is superstition to assume
                           that God will act even when we don't.”
                                             Martin Luther King

                         CREATION DAY / Programme
The invitation goes out to every Christian to think on this day in a particular way about being a
creature of God and the meaning of Creation, and to do something as a signal - wherever he or she
is - on vacation, in his / her job, at home, at school, in a church or in a hospital:

      MORNING REFLECTION in and about one‟s daily life

      Consider MOBILITY: Choose a new form of transport (public transport, bicycle, fitness
       training, a walk, car pooling) which doesn't increase ground ozone in summer

      BUYING / CONSUMING: Think about the necessity, and the method of production of
       each item, considering eco-social aspects (e.g. flowers are often grown under health-
       endangering working conditions) and how merchandise is being transported; visit an
       ecology-conscious shop...

      Help to realize CONCRETE PROJECTS

      Look for relevant INFORMATION (there is no lack of it). An attempt to explain the lack
       of translation into action:

       ”1) We have not read about all these facts. Then we are guilty of ignorance.

       2) We have read them but did not understand them. Then we have tried, but are still ignorant.

       3) We have read them - and suppressed them. Then we are actually mentally ill.

       4) We have read them, understood them - and still continue to behave in the same way. The ancient
       Roman law called this "dolus eventualis" - an action with evil intent. For if one accepts an event as
       existentially negative for somebody else, and consciously accepts this, then one is doing dolus."
                                                 Univ.-Prof. Dr. Heinrich Wohlmeyer on dealing with information

                                        Coalition of the ECEN
      Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Spiritual     Exercises for
                                                                  Everyday Life

           ”He who is simply careless is a brother of the one who destroys.”
                                           Jewish Wisdom

   REFLECTIONS on nature and “anti-nature”
        (City life: a tree is dying in our midst, grass is breaking through the asphalt)

    (To be considered: What am I entitled to, where does my trash go?)

   ACTING COURAGEOUSLY against outrageous and dangerous developments. People in
    the Third Reich were accused of lack of courage, but what is the situation now?

    CHANGE? Lead the way: e.g. by giving your signature when it is necessary, by joining
    when it counts in supporting politically effective measures, by lending your voice to those
    who are weaker.

   LITERATURE: Visit a specialised bookshop, a library…

   DIALOGUE with others – and: remain friendly!

   PEDAGOGY: What can we learn from others?

    What can we learn from Jesus Christ?

    John 8:7-11: a careful approach -
    John 2:13-25: Jesus firmly confronts those guilty of negligence

 JOIN new, religiously productive movements (spiritual-charismatic, community-based-
  political), and in prophetic protest

 CONSTRAINTS and FEARS: What is the role of the environment in which I live? Be
  prepared to L e t g o!

 GUILT: Is Integrity of Creation a pastoral topic? What is a "trivial offence"? "The one who
  is careless is already a brother of the one who tears down" (from the Jewish tradition). For
  even if you only toss a battery over your shoulder, you endanger the health and
  consequently the life of others

                      THE SCENE OF THE CRIME: L i f e

                                  Coalition of the ECEN
      Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Spiritual         Exercises for
                                                                      Everyday Life

   STATEMENTS OF THE CHURCH: Where do you find their translation into action?
    Seek discussion.

    ecological commitment - in your own life, in the everyday life of the Church, in educational

   "Life is also an adventure, an expedition into reality."

   W O R S H I P at the end of the day: a rite of thoroughgoing penitence! Towards the end:
    focus on justified hope.

                                ”He who proclaims hope,
                                   must have hope.”

                       ”We present to You, O God, this day.”

                             "Praise me, revile me
                       Sing my praises or clench your fist
                       Even a curse is a kind of blessing
      If, however, you yawn at the stars then I have created them in vain“
                      (from the last notes of a rabbi in a concentration camp)


                                      Friendly reminders:

 Rules for blessings and benedictions orient them toward sustainability and “Reign-of-God
  Compatibility”! (Consumer temple? Freeways? Cable cars?...)

 Penitential practice: Deliberately aim at restoration (“restitution”) of lost habitats
  Penitential practices in the Third World countries ordering to plant coffee trees has led to the
  establishment of coffee plantations

                                    Coalition of the ECEN
                                                               DAY and
          Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - CREATION
                                                  CHURCH INSTITUTIONS

    some recommendations for church institutions / facilities:

Parishes, Monasteries, Convents, Retreat Houses, Schools, Formation Houses...

   OPEN HOUSE (a particular room, institution, place of worship, chapel, garden, open air

   MUSIC: musical compositions about creation

   LITERATURE: book exhibits with focus on theological and ecological topics and issues

   CREATIVITY: visual arts (painting), performing arts, poetry related to creation

   VISIONS and DREAMS: individual personal contributions for the realization of sustainable
    life styles (solar roofs, purchasing biological products etc.)

                              RIVERS and CREEKS

                                   Look through the microscope!

   MEDIA: provide them with information in time

   CURRENT THEMES: e.g. “International Year of Mountains and Ecotourism”

   INVITATIONS:              Environmental Organisations
                              Participants at UNCED

                 „CREATION‟ EVENING LITURGY (Creation Vespers)
                          solemn celebration (start preparing during Lent)
                   possibly on a trans-parish level, coordinate with other churches

                                       Coalition of the ECEN
                                                           for the Liturgy
         Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Ideas
                                                     Elements for Worship

                            I. Ideas for the Liturgy
                                    Mag. Gerhard Grosinger

 Eucharistic Celebrations with the 4 Elements [Penitental Rite - Water, - Liturgy of the
  Word - Air (Spirit), Eucharistic celebration - Earth, (Bread and Wine), End - Fire]

 „Pilgrimage“ with the 4 Elements:
                          Water - Liturgy of the Word / Penitential Service / Sprinkling
                          Earth - to be on the move, to feel the earth
                          Air - breath, feel regular life
                          Fire - camp fire / candles / Blessing of Fire Conclusion

 Celebration of Light (Blessing of Fire - candle light procession)

 Stations of the Cross“ of creation (ARGE SVA)

 Creation - Litany (positive and negative things can be enumerated just like with a
  regular litany, add relevant petitionary responses)

 „Creation pilgrimage“ e.g. to places, where creation has been destroyed (e.g.
  garbage dump) and where the creation is still in good condition. Use appropriate
  texts and songs.

 Vespers praying the „Creation psalms“

                           II. Elements for Worship
 Meditations with concrete things, everybody should hold something in his or her
  hands and is invited to share his or her thoughts (stone, bread, flower, garbage,
  plastic, seed, candle, ice cube, sand, leave...).

 Things to be brought forward during the offertory procession, and form certain
  designs (cross, heart, sun,...), share a few personal ideas.

 Elements one can touch, smell, taste, hear and see (incense, rose oil, incense
  sticks, bread, wine, grape juice, music, slides, dance, pantomime...).

 Visual meditation to be included (slides or little pictures).

                                  Coalition of the ECEN
                                                         for the Liturgy
         Dossier - Day of Creation / Time of Creation - Ideas
                                                   Elements for Worship

            III. Recommendations for the Liturgical Year

 Advent: longing for the return of the Lord to a wounded creation that “groans and
  suffers the pangs of birth”. Special liturgy for dawn masses.

 Christmas: Gods radical and irrevocable bond with humanity. What are its implications
  for our relations to others and creation? Organize one day in this season in a special
  way, e.g. New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day …

 Lent: reflect on how much pain I cause the creation. Conversion to a “Reign-of-God
  compatible lifestyle” Celebrate Penitential Services in view of creation

 Easter: celebrate the resurrection. Go on an “Emmaus-walk” through the awakening
  nature. Add creative elements to the fire and water rituals during Easter Vigil liturgy.

 Rogation Days - processions: well-suited to focus on creation themes.

 Pentecost: discover God’s Spirit at work in creation. Reflect on the “already and not
  yet” in the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Reign of God has begun and
  through the power of the Spirit we are able to live accordingly although the fullness of
  the Reign of God is not yet around.

 Feast Days of Saints, who lived a spirituality of creation to be celebrated in a special

 Sunday of the World Church: arrange for special activities and elements in the liturgy in
  reference to the greatly unjust relations between industrial nations and Third World

 Parish pilgrimages to be arranged and prepared thematically.

                                   Coalition of the ECEN

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