Love gives everything graphic

International Solidarity Reflection

Season of Creation & Peace Prayer Service

September 2022

pdf – introduction (letter) (252 KB); pdf – prayer (263  KB)

Burning bush symbol for Season of Creation 2022

The Burning Bush
Ex 3:1-12
Listen to the
Voice of Creation



From September 1 to October 4, Christian churches celebrate the Season of Creation, during which they pray for the protection of God’s creation. They also call for all to take responsibility for God’s creation and to act. This period includes the UN International Day of Peace on September 21.


The themes “Listen to the voice of creation” for the Season of Creation and “End racism. Build peace.” for the Day of Peace at first seem to be in a certain tension: Creation as something made “very good” by God; racism made by humans. The symbol for the Season of Creation, The Burning Bush, reflects this tension. The thorn bush in the book of Exodus is a place of God’s encounter with Moses. In the symbol, it seems as if the world is set on fire. This reflects the reality of our earth. God’s creation is on fire! If we continue reading about God’s encounter at the thorn bush, we see that God heard the cries of his afflicted people and of creation. God sent Moses and now us to lead the people out of their distress.

What We Can Do

Pope Francis, in his message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation 2022, urges us to repent and change harmful lifestyles and systems: “The sweet song of creation invites us to practice an ‘ecological spirituality’ (Laudato Si’, 216), attentive to God’s presence in the natural world. It is a summons to base our spirituality on the ‘loving awareness that we are not disconnected from the rest of creatures, but joined in a splendid universal communion’ ( ibid., 220).” Are we able to recognize in any of our actions

  • … that we do it on holy ground?
  • … that we are in the presence of God?
  • …that each human being is the dwelling place of the divine?

It is becoming more urgent each day to respond to the challenges of climate change. We can start in small ways with choices we make daily. Let us think about what we need to do in our communities, families, work places and public institutions to counteract the burning of all life in our planet . It is incredibly exciting to also consider this with younger children.

We also hear about people who are deprived of their human dignity because of racism. The theme of this year’s International Day of Peace “End racism. Build peace.” is an invitation for us to consider to what extent we have contact with people who are victims of racism. Is our knowledge of this reality based only on what we see in the media or also on what we personally experience? Let us take heart and invite people from diverse backgrounds (different nationalities, cultures, social classes) to a personal exchange about their life situations. The important thing is that people feel that they are respected and that they have a human dignity given to them by God. That is certainly of great value in contributing to peace.

Creating a Prayer Setting

We suggest creating up a prayer setting for the Season of Creation and the International Day of Peace. Create a Burning Bush made of thorny branches to be a central element in the chapel or prayer space until the end of the Season of Creation, October 4. All visitors are invited to help create this bush by hanging colored flames or the name of a particular concern about the environment or violations of human dignity, on the dry branches, the Burning Bush.  We also suggest posting in the chapel or a larger public space an invitation for a prayer for creation in conjunction with a prayer for peace.


Season of Creation & Peace Prayer Service

 Song: Here I am Lord (Daniel Schutte) or another song, which is well known in your area.


(Psalm 19)

Listen to creation tell of God, listen to God’s Word in scripture

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of God’s hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.

Listen to creation tell of God, listen to God’s Word in scripture

They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.

Listen to creation tell of God, listen to God’s Word in scripture

The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.

Listen to creation tell of God, listen to God’s Word in scripture

The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.

Listen to creation tell of God, listen to God’s Word in scripture


(Exodus 3, 1-10)

After a short silence, participants are invited to share with their neighbor what they have heard, especially the questions: What am I/are we sent to do? Who are – figuratively speaking – the Israelites today to whom I am/we are sent?

Intercessory Prayer

Each participant is invited to have a candle lit and hold it in his/her hand during the petitions. One participant lights her/his candle on the candle lit at the thorn bush and then she/he lights the candle of the person next to her/him and so on. In this way the light passes from person to person.

We pray the following petitions and then each one is invited to pick a flame hanging on the thorn bush and read the concern on it.

    • Almighty God and Creator, You are the Father of all people on earth. We beseech You to guide all the nations and their leaders in the ways of justice and peace.

God of peace, hear us and help us.

    • Protect us from the evils of injustice, prejudice, exploitation, conflict and war.

God of peace, hear us and help us.

    • Help us to put away mistrust, bitterness and hatred.

God of peace, hear us and help us.

    • Teach us to cease the storing and using of implements of war.

God of peace, hear us and help us

    • Lead us to find peace, respect and freedom.

God of peace, hear us and help us.

    • Unite us in the making and sharing of tools of peace to overcome ignorance, poverty, disease and oppression.

God of peace, hear us and help us.

    • (Add the concerns written on the flames from the thorn bush)

Grant that we may grow in harmony and friendship as brothers and sisters created in Your image, to Your honor and praise. Amen

Renewal of the SSND Laudato Si’ Public Commitment.  With faith and hope we renew our commitment to become a Laudato Si’ Congregation and do it together.

Concluding Prayer

We pray together the Our Father, the prayer Jesus taught us to pray, today in a version influenced by Maori theologians.

Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echoes through the universe!

The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your beloved community of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth.

With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.

For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and forever. Amen.

(Adapted – According to the New Zealand prayer book | He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa.
This version of the Lord’s Prayer was influenced by Maori theologians).



May God who established the dance of creation,
Who marveled at the lilies of the field,
Who transforms chaos to order,
Lead us in the transformation of our lives and the Church,
To listen to the voice of all creatures,
That reflect God’s glory in creation.

(Following the CTBI Eco-Congregation Program).


Prepared by the Shalom Contacts from the European Shalom Branch for the SSND Shalom Network.
Graphic taken from the Directional Statement, 24th General Chapter. Design: Congregational Communications Office.