The sun shone down on Petersfield on 6 March to welcome everyone to St Laurence’s special Stewardship of Creation day. Twenty parishioners gathered to reflect on living simply and being stewards of God’s creation on a day specially organised by Monica Taylor from the Society of St Gregory.
Monica, the Portsmouth representative for the Society of St Gregory in this diocese, joined forces with fellow member Theresa Conlon to write the special liturgy of the day and organise the beautiful hymns which helped us all appreciate the use of music in the liturgy and thank God for creation in our worship.
Canon Hetherington led the group in morning prayer, beginning with a simple chant invitation and response, followed by the hymn ‘Praise the Lord! Ye heavens adore him’. Lynda then ran workshops based around the ‘Call of Creation’, a document written by the Bishops of England and Wales in 2002. Each group was given a series of six photo cards with images from around the world. Each picture told a story; the cards gave further information and asked questions which the groups considered. What choices should we make? How might our decisions alter the the light of what we had discovered today? Groups discussed shopping habits, Fairtrade, packaging, and how the environment is treated today.
Mo Griffiths then gave a short talk on the Society of St Gregory and encouraged more people to take a look at their publication ‘Music and Liturgy Journal’ and go to their special Summer School.
This was followed by a lovely soup lunch and, as it was donated by those who produced it, donations in lieu of payment enabled a cheque of £120 to go to CAFOD to further its work.
The visual focus for prayer and reflection on the day was a depiction of ‘earth, fire and water’ which included a copy of Genesis 1 open next to a candle, and large pebbles representing the earth on a green base with spring primroses. From this emerged a river which flowed into a pool (a Baptismal Font, which is a beautiful ceramic bowl decorated with doves and fish) and then on to the wider sea which were bigger fish, connecting Genesis with the gospels.
The day closed with a special prayer of commitment, led by Canon Hetherington, and with everyone singing ‘The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended’.
A great day for one and all! Thank you so much Monica for inviting us to take part!
(The Powerpoint Call of Creation used by Lynda can be downloaded from http://www.cafod.org.uk/worship/environment. The Call of Creation toolkits (the cards, a special liturgy and a copy of the Call of Creation) packs cost £3 and can be ordered from CAFOD on 020 7095 5680.)