[Photo Courtesy of the Euro-Asia Division]
Russia | Alexey Popov, Responsible for the ministry in the field of faith and science in the Euro-Asian division

Every fourth Saturday in October is celebrated by the Seventh-day Adventist World Church as Creation Sabbath. What is the essence of this holiday and why should we celebrate it? Perhaps the best illustration to help answer this question is the comparison of this holiday with another well-known holiday to us - the holiday of the harvest. Harvest services are held throughout our congregations to especially thank God for all of the blessings He has given us - both physical and spiritual. The purpose of Creation Sabbath is very similar - it is the ministry of thanksgiving to God for the fact that He created this world, and you and me. By celebrating, we acknowledge God as our Creator and the implications this Biblical teaching has on our lives.

The first Creation Sabbath was celebrated on October 24, 2009, and every year since then more and more communities and organizations of our worldwide Church have joined this initiative. The Euro-Asian Division joined the Creation Sabbath celebration initiative in the year 2017. In 2021, a dedicated website was created for it ( https://creationsabbath.online). One of the features of this site is the ability to register the different events happening around the division territory to celebrate Creation Sabbath. This allows those wanting to join the celebration know of the different events going on and how they can attend. For 2021, 65 communities and organizations of the church registered their event on the dedicated website.

A feature of the celebration this year was the participation of many Adventist schools, in most of which the celebration was held in the form of the "Creation Week". During the week leading up to the Sabbath of Creation, disciples participated in activities that testified to God as Creator.

At the Solomon Adventist School (Chernivtsi, Ukraine), events dedicated to Creation took place for a whole week. There were 301 students in the school who took part in activities that spoke of the fact that this world was created by the Almighty. Some of these activities were led out by children. Throughout the week, there were seven paintings in the hallways that depicted what God created on each day of Creation Week. The students learned to name everything that God created on each day of Creation Week; they were given the opportunity to ask questions pertaining to creation; parents heard special messages on Creation during their parental meetings; and the physical education teacher composed and read a special poem on Creation.

More details about this recent celebration can be found on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ER6oOpKGQ0A

The Adventist school in Odessa (Ukraine) also hosted a "Creation Week" event. Each school day during that week was dedicated to a specific day of creation and activities corresponded to what was created on that day. The most active participants in the event were the students themselves. They sang, drew, played, went through quests, filmed videos, participated in contests, and made special stickers for the diary. 

The whole variety of events held during this school’s Creation Week can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrabAfAqBZ4

The entire school in Vinnitsa (Ukraine) was pasted over with information sheets, each of which contained one fact confirming that our Earth was created by God. Approximately 160 students, together with their parents and teachers, could access the Bible and Science website through the QR code on each information sheet. At the end of the week, a quiz was used to check how many facts supporting Biblical Creation each participant remembered.

In the community of the ASD village, in Gusyatin (Ukraine), believers reflected on the topic: "The relevance of the act of Creation by God for a secular person." Beautiful singing and joint Bible study made it possible, not only to understand the greatness of creative power, but also to glorify Jesus Christ as the Creator of heaven and earth. Attention was drawn to the fourth commandment in the Law of God, as a monument to the act of Creation, and it was concluded that it is difficult to overestimate the relevance and importance of the theme of the creation of this world by God, especially in the light of the Three Angels Message for the end time.

In the community of Protvino, Moscow Region, the celebration of Creation Sabbath has been taking place since 2017. The festive service this year was held on October 23rd. All elements of the ministry — ministry decoration, singing, children's story, and so on — were selected to provide evidence of the creative power of our God. As congregation members listened to and discussed the sermon entitled, “The Second Creation Narrative,” the congregation pondered the description of Creation Week in Psalm 103, which supplements the description in Genesis with several important details. 

Video footage of the service can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/WN2qg4TAWf8.

On October 23, 2021, a divine service was held in the 21st Kyiv community within the framework of the international initiative “Sabbath of Creation”. The theme of the sermon was "The Nature and Power of God." Because of the pandemic, about ten people attended the service in-person, but another 77 people watched the online broadcast on Facebook: https://youtu.be/RV8ZoffXfzI.

The celebration of the Sabbath of Creation was also held in the communities of Magadan (record of the ministry: https://youtu.be/-257ReepKBk ), Smolensk, Kotovsk (Tambov region), in the Church of Zaoksk (recording: https: // youtu .be / YygEUd6nqrU? t = 5408 ), the cities of Khabarovsk, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Ussuriisk, Blagoveshchensk, in the central church of Almaty, and in many other places throughout the territory of our division. The final interactive map of this holiday, which displays all registered communities, can be viewed here: Creation Sabbath - Event Search (creationsabbath.online).

The next Creation Sabbath celebration will take place on October 22, 2022, and we hope that the geography of its celebration and the coverage of our communities and organizations will be even wider. I would especially like to draw your attention to the initiative of holding a Week of Creation event, which precedes the celebration of the Sabbath of Creation in our schools. It would be very good if other schools of the Euro-Asian division joined this initiative in the coming year.

Materials that can help you plan and organize this holiday can be found on the Sabbath of Creation website (creationsabbath.online) and the Bible and Science website (geoscience.esd.adventist.org).

This article was originally published on the Euro-Asia Division’s news site.