Indoors, houseplants graced the altar beneath a bright banner at Chicago Community Mennonite Church. Outdoors, yellow members of the Asteraceae family romped in a community garden. Both contributed to the congregation’s Season of Creation during the month of September. In an increasing number of churches, September is devoted to creation just as worship in December focuses on Advent.

Sermons explored themes of creation and un-creation, destruction and reclamation.¬† Transitional Pastor Tim Peebles began the series by challenging hearers to view themselves as “priestly artists” with a vocation to approach the world around them with “care and cultivation, not command and control.”

Janeen Bertsche-Johnson, an MCCN Member from Goshen, Ind., offered a guest sermon on Jeremiah 32 in which Jeremiah takes the counter-intuitive step of buying land while his country is under siege.