This year’s Season of Creation at Church of the Redeemer, Bloor St., begins with its annual EarthSong service on Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. This in-person and livestreamed service of sacred and secular music, readings and prayers will feature Alanna Mitchell, acclaimed Canadian science journalist, author and playwright, as the speaker. Ms. Mitchell will address this year’s Season of Creation theme, “Listen to the Voices of Creation.”
Ms. Mitchell is eminently qualified to speak firsthand on what is happening to creation. Her book Sea Sick describes how the ocean is “undergoing vast chemical changes at the hand of man and why that matters.” While the climate crisis grabs news headlines, the crisis in the oceans should. As she says, “some of the carbon dioxide we are putting into the air by burning fossil fuels is being absorbed by the ocean. That puts it into a state it has not been in for millions of years: more acid, warmer, and more prone to vast oxygen-deprived dead zones. At risk is the very structure of life in the ocean and therefore on the planet as a whole.”
While she was doing the research for Sea Sick, Ms. Mitchell began giving talks about her adventures and discoveries. These were so powerful and profound she was commissioned to write a play. Franco Boni and Ravi Jain of The Theatre Centre in Toronto worked with Ms. Mitchell to write Sea Sick. The Play. She performed this play in venues across Canada, Europe and beyond over several years to critical acclaim, including a Dora Award nomination. Ms. Mitchell will no doubt present a compelling message encouraging EarthSong participants to listen and, we hope, to hear the voices of creation.
A Season of Creation has been celebrated annually by Redeemer, Bloor St. over the past six years. This liturgical season is a time for us to delight, with joy and humble gratitude, in our experiences of the immense beauty, detail and surprises of creation; to lament for the harms we have inflicted, knowingly or unknowingly, to fellow humans, entire communities, species and ecosystems; to repent for our own destructive and wanton treatment of the Earth’s resources; to hope we have the resolve to step forward and, listening to the voices of creation, work together tirelessly to care for our common home.
After the EarthSong service launches Redeemer’s Season of Creation, the Sunday 10:30 a.m. liturgies during October will expand on the theme: listen to the voices of land; the voices of air; the voices of water; and what we have learned from listening to the voices of creation. Join us for any or all of these services. For full details, visit www.theredeemer.ca.