Every autumn, many United Methodists do something uniquely United Methodist: they step into the little-known, creation-caring season of Kindgomtide. In 1937, the former Federal Council on Churches (now the National Council of Churches of Christ) recommended that all church denominations celebrate Kingdomtide as a way of highlighting Jesus’ teachings concerning the kingdom of God. Today, the United Methodist Church (UMC) is the only denomination that still observes this season formally. The liturgy for Kingdomtide stresses charity and assistance to the poor as well as other active expressions of faith that help to unveil God’s Kingdom among us.
We are currently in the midst of the liturgical season called Kingdomtide which begins the first Sunday after Pentecost (May 26) and ends this year on November 24. Extending over a period of 26 weeks (27 Sundays), it is our longest liturgical observance.
Because the liturgical color for this season is green and because our church is trying to expand its notion of “Kingdom” to include all of God’s creation (not only humankind) – the Creation Care Ministry suggests we observe part or all of Kingdomtide as the “Season of Creation.” The UMC General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) says, “September is the recommended month to observe the Season of Creation, since it leads to World Communion Sunday (October 7) and the Commemoration of St. Francis of Assisi (October 4).” As we observe this meaningful season may we discover new, life-giving dimensions of our call as stewards of God’s creation.