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On September 1, 1989, the first day of the ecclesiastical year, the late Ecumenical Patriarch Demetrios I issued the first message from the Ecumenical Throne on the environment, and the established September 1 as the Day of Prayer for the Creation.
“This first day of the New Year not only marks a renewal of the liturgical cycle, but, as the beginning of the year, it draws our attention to the beginning of all and to God who has no beginning,” writes Metropolitan Tikhon in this year’s message. “We are given the opportunity to offer prayers for the preservation of the earth, for the welfare of us who inhabit it, who are part of it, and who crown it, and for God to grant us the wisdom and grace to be good and faithful stewards of this earth, the Lord’s creation, given to us freely and always imparting more gifts for our nourishment, benefit, and life.”
The complete text of His Beatitude’s message may be read, and downloaded here.
To help parishes and individuals take immediate action to care for God’s Creation, the OCA’s Departments of Christian Education, Christian Service and Humanitarian Aid, and Youth, Young Adult and Campus Ministry, have produced a number of resources to be used in Church School classrooms, and at home.
Among them are the following:
- The Earth is the Lord’s: A Five Session Study Guide on Caring for God’s Creation
- An Orthodox Christian Perspective on Ecological Justice and Change
- Delighting in God’s Creation
- And God Saw That It Was Good
- Can You Hear the Beauty of Nature?
- Sanctify the Waters
- Ten Green Projects Any Parish Can Adopt
- A Creation Celebration: Building an Awareness of God’s Gift of Creation in the Church School
Numerous resources are also available from the Orthodox Fellowship of the Transfiguration.