Abridged notes of the 57th Meeting of the National Justice and Peace Network Environment Group May 2020
Conference 23-25 July 2021– Action for Life on Earth
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic 2020 conference has been postponed until 23-25 July 2021.
Plans are being made to provide webinars, through ZOOM, on the weekend of 18th-19th July (date of the original conference). Rome is likely to announce a new Vatican programme towards sustainable development over a seven-year period, this could well feature in the above webinars.
The 2020 planning group will continue to guide next years conference. Future planning will take into consideration the ‘signs of the times’ over the coming year and make amendments to the programme accordingly.
Laudato Si’ Week (16-24 May)
This was a time of reflection and activity to mark the 5th anniversary since the publication of Pope Francis’ encyclical in 2015. Pope Francis feels we have not done enough in the last five years to halt the destruction of the ecosystem that sustains us and so he has renewed his urgent call to return to this document to step up our efforts to protect and preserve our environment.
Operation Noah announced that of 42 faith groups internationally who this week pledged to divest from fossil fuels, 21 were from the UK. These include the Jesuits in Britain, the Sisters of St Joseph of Peace (UK) and the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton, the third diocese in England and Wales to confirm divestment, see the links below and the Operation Noah website for more information
The Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) organised a series of webinars that attracted thousands of Christian environmentalists from around the world. Below are the recordings:
Laudato Si’ Retreat (17 May) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMWgaMBibdo
‘Laudato Si at 5 – As Prophetic and Relevant as Ever’ (18 May) with Lorna Gold, Fr Augusto Zampini, Christiana Figueres: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssYIOWjG87k
‘Deepening our Communion with Creation’ (19 May) with Mary Evelyn Tucker and Amy Echeverria
‘Time for the Church to lead by example’ (20 May) with Yeb Sano https://youtu.be/_twko0-0N58
Season of Creation 2020
The theme for the Season of Creation 1 Sept – 4 Oct will be ‘Jubilee for the Earth’.
CAFOD and the Columbans have excellent resources. See https://seasonofcreation.org/
for more information.
A new annual CLIMATE SUNDAY is being introduced across the Christian denominations from 6th September 2020, during Creation Time. The positive feedback from parish and J&P groups to the Global Caring programme (available at www.ourcommonhome.co.uk), means that, this initiative will now form part of the Season of Creation resources.
Journey to 2030
‘Journey to 2030’ is a great resource for helping to mobilise the Catholic Church to act on the ecological crisis. It has the support of the CBCEW. Website – https://journeyto2030.org/. And see The Ecological Conversion group website- https://theecg.org/. John Paul’s blog is at: www.theecg.org/blog
Follow the Ecological Conversion Group facebook @EcoConversionGroup.
The NJPN Environment Group will monitor regularly and sign up to ‘Journey to 2030’.
NJPN Executive to consider inviting John Paul De Quay to run a study half day on the initiative at a networking meeting.
Green Christian – Radical Presence
Green Christian has launched a platform for Christians to develop mission and advocacy for a world at the ‘tipping point’. ‘Radical Presence’ is a new course of seven online group conversations on the pandemic and its aftermath. Over seven sessions, Radical Presence stimulates conversations which draw on the Bible, Christian faith, experience, science and analysis. Churches groups can participate free of charge and share their conclusions with each other. In this way Radical Presence will build a consensus to guide the nation’s emergence from lockdown and will equip Christians for mission and advocacy in a changed world.’ www.radicalpresence.org.uk.; https://greenchristian.org.uk/resources/
Green Christian Monthly Prayer guide
Email Monthly – Have an email sent to you announcing when the monthly guide is online or
Email Daily – Arrange to have emails sent for daily prayers/meditations
Bishops’ Conference is continuing to push for both Diocesan Environmental Policies and a dedicated Diocesan Environment Contact in dioceses. Exciting things have been happening in Liverpool recently with a high-level group taking creation care forward.
Sign up to a free newsletter of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales at: https://www.cbcew.org.uk/
CAFOD is very busy with a virus programme work, an emergency appeal and a coronavirus petition. (The petition already has 3,500 signatures and will run until September.)
CAFOD’s three-year campaign is ‘Our Common Home’ and the theme this year is, ‘Generations Unite’. Materials are available and templates for Creation Liturgies, meals and quizzes.
There are now 74 LiveSimply awardees: 56 parishes, 16 schools, 1 organisation and 1 university. See http://cafod.org.uk/Campaign/How-to-campaign/Livesimply-award – as well as, campaigning initiatives which are available on CAFOD’s website – https://cafod.org.uk/Campaign/Latest-campaigns.
ARocha and Eco Congregation Scotland have environmental audits which might suit some LiveSimply applicants. See https://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/ and https://www.ecocongregationscotland.org/materials/ideas-for-action/church-check-up/
The Summer 2020 newsletter Vocation for Justice took the theme ‘Jubilee for the Earth’.
Ellen Teague commented: “Our amazing planet is in peril from climate change and the loss of habitats and species. And yet this moment of eclipse, where darkness is passing in front of our normally ordered lives, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stop, and to say that real, lasting change is possible. We have stopped for a virus. Let’s use this time to think hard about what we want the world to look like when we come out the other side.” https://columbans.co.uk/publications/vocation-for-justice
The Columbans’ 2020 Young Journalists’ Competition
In mid-March – a week before lockdown – winners were announced of the third ‘Columban Young Journalists’ Competition’ on the theme, ‘Tackling our Throwaway Culture’. Around 100 young people entered between Britain and Ireland, and in England alone more than 20 schools were involved. Four winning articles at: https://columbans.co.uk/category/justice-peace/education. Four winning videos at: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC5w6L2-OVQfo_D7_cHn6p1f_1lMJecs
Synod on Amazonia and Biodiversity
In the leadup to the next international conference on biodiversity in China, Columban JPIC international is currently planning for a podcast series which will be released during the Season of Creation.
NJPN Universe Column
Columns on environmental justice and Laudato Si’ Week have been written or will be soon recently by Colette Joyce, Andrew Rollinson and Ellen Teague. The next rota will run from July if any of the group would like to sign up – let Ellen Teague know.
A tribute was written (in the Tablet) to Sir John Houghton, a co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) scientific assessment working group and lead editor of the first three IPCC reports. He gave great support to Operation Noah’s work to move the Church to engage with the Climate Change.https://www.thetablet.co.uk/texts-speeches-homilies/4/1426/a-tribute-to-sir-john-houghton-1931-2020-
Caritas Internationalis warns of post-pandemic aftershock
The after effects of the pandemic are, “even more complicated and more deadly than the impact of the virus itself, especially for the most vulnerable communities in the poorest countries,” Caritas Internationalis warned in a statement on 6 May. https://www.caritas.org/2020/05/post-pandemic/
The issue of ECOCIDE is becoming more prominent as the UN contemplates introducing the atrocity crime of Ecocide. And Pope Francis is considering adding ‘ecological sin’ to Catholic teaching: https://www.energylivenews.com/2019/11/18/pope-francis-considers-adding-ecological-sin-to-catholic-church/
London Mining Network is highlighting the worst aspects of extractive industries and they have also lobbied that mining companies observe lockdown and stop going into rainforests, particularly in Ecuador. http://londonminingnetwork.org/
Trade agreement with US must be based on environmental and social aims
European Christian Environmental Network
ECEN has an excellent resource section on its website www.ecen.org. The Biodiversity section, for example, aims to promote nature conservation in churches and properties, and lobby for the protection of biodiversity.
Bishops’ Conference Theology Resources
A comprehensive list of theology resources are available at:
Time to Act – Christians in Extinction Rebellion Jeremy Williams
Christian Climate Action involves Christians committed to prayerful direct action and public witness in response to climate breakdown. There are short essays on the biblical and theological basis for Christian action and stories of people engaged in protests.
Finding God in a Leaf: The Mysticism of Laudato Si’
Brian Grogan SJ
Brian Grogan brings the background of Ignatian spirituality and a lived appreciation of God’s creation to this book. Read slowly each morning, it could give a focus for living the day in recognising God in all things, and the call of God to be a co-creator of his beautiful world each day.
Climate Generation: Awakening to Our Children’s Future
by Lorna Gold
Lorna Gold shares her personal journey in understanding what those two words ‘climate change’ mean for her as a mother seeking to protect her children and, by extension, the world of which we are all a part. ISBN: 9781847308412
Saying Yes to Life
Draws on the Days of Creation, relating themes of light, water, land, seasons, other creatures, humankind, Sabbath and resurrection hope to environmental, ethical and social concerns.
On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal
by Naomi Klein
A compelling case for a comprehensive Green New Deal that would create the potential for improving and even alleviating most environmental and social problems. She documents the need for such a program and convincingly lays out her case for adopting a Green New Deal now.
Future Meetings in 2020: Wednesday 9 September; Wednesday 25 November