Season of Creation September 1 – October 4

The Season of Creation begins on Tuesday. The theme for this year 2020 is ‘Jubilee for the Earth.’ Lots of resources are available for your information, reflection, and prayer. I love the symbolism behind this logo

The orb of the logo is planet Earth filled with the waves of God’s Spirit. The veins of the leaf suggest the web of creation. The leaf forms a tree of life that is also the cross of Christ. Leaves from the tree of life are for healing (Revelation 22:2).

THE SEASON OF CREATION – 2020     Series A: The Spirit in Creation
September 1     Creation Day
September 6     1st Sunday in Creation –  Forest Sunday
September 13   2nd Sunday in Creation –  Land Sunday
September 20   3rd Sunday in Creation – Wilderness/Outback Sunday
September 27   4th Sunday in Creation – River Sunday
October 1         St Francis of Assisi Day – Blessings of the Animals

The Dominican Center has prepared a liturgical guide for each of the Sundays in the season.

This text from Laudato Si #109 gives us the rational for being attentive during the season of creation “We are faced to by two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both environmental and social. Strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature.”

Australian Religious Responsible for Climate Change ARRCC – a multi-faith network committed to action on climate change have prepared Climate Change Action Kits, for your faith, to empower people from different faiths to assist their communities to respond to climate change and care for the earth – Buddist, Christian, Hindu, Islamic and Jewish

Creation Justice Ministries has an interesting site outlining 52 ways to care for creation.

September 1: Creation Day/World Day of Prayer for Creation

Creation Day, also called the World Day of Prayer for Creation, opens the season each year. Pope Francis, Patriarch Bartholomew, the World Council of Churches, and many other leaders have called the faithful to celebrate this day. Globally, Christians are invited to join the online prayer service to come together in a joyful celebration of our common cause. More information will be updated at Season of Creation If you wish to participate you need to register The website and resources are in different Languages – French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian and there are specific links for different dominations. They have published a Celebration Guide and have set aside one week September 19 – 26 to act globally for the SDG’s. The list of other events can be seen HERE including regional webinars. The World Day of Migrants will be a focus on September 27th. A season of creation calendar has been published. If you check it out you may find local events that are of interest to you or you may be interested in hosting your own event.

Below are some advocacy points are outlined from page 32 of the Celebration Guide.

A reflection on COVID 19 and creation can be accessed at the ARRCC outlining 6 learning from COVID that can help us better care for creation. Literature, writings, suggestion, abound. What is important is that you choose one action to commit to. Happy Season of Creation to all readers!

Short Video – Web of Life

Earlier this year a report was released in which it was shown that around 1 million plant and animal species are threatened with extinction. Read more here “The Report also tells us that it is not too late to make a difference, but only if we start now at every level from local to global,” Sir Robert Watson, Chair of Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES),said. “Through ‘transformative change’, nature can still be conserved, restored and used sustainably – this is also key to meeting most other global goals. By transformative change, we mean a fundamental, system-wide reorganization across technological, economic and social factors, including paradigms, goals and values.” See the animated video showing the 5 direct drivers of change in Nature with the largest relevant social impacts so far.

Climate Emergency!

The Season of Creation is the time of year when the world’s 2.2 billion
Christians are invited to pray and care for creation. It runs annually from September 1 through October 4. The theme for this year is ‘The Web of Life.’ It was first proclaimed by the Patriarch Dimitrios 1 for the Orthodox in 1989 and endorsed by people Francis in 2015. See letter of 23 May 2019 and letter of 5 June 2019 Visit their website and explore many resources it holds The website is in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese

The UN Secretary General António Guterres has convened a Climate Summit for Monday 23rd September 2019. This will take place during the opening of the 74th Session of the General Assembly September 17th – 30, 2019. UN Secretary-General is calling on all leaders to come to New York on 23 September with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050. Climate Week in New York City is September 23 – 29 in collaboration with the United Nations and wants to urge accelerated action for climate change.

Climate Week NYC 2019
UN Website for Climate Action Summit 2019
The website is in Spanish and French

Action porfolios

In order to ensure that the transformative actions in the real economy are as impactful as possible, the Secretary-General has prioritized the following action portfolios, which are recognized as having high potential to curb greenhouse gas emissions and increased global action on adaptation and resilience. 

Energy transition, Climate finance and carbon pricing, Industry transition, Nature-based solutions, Cities and local action, Resilience
  • Finance: mobilizing public and private sources of finance to drive decarbonization of all priority sectors and advance resilience;
  • Energy Transition: accelerating the shift away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy, as well as making significant gains in energy efficiency;
  • Industry Transition: transforming industries such as Oil and Gas, Steel, Cement, Chemicals and Information Technology;
  • Nature-Based Solutions: Reducing emissions, increasing sink capacity and enhancing resilience within and across forestry, agriculture, oceans and food systems, including through biodiversity conservation, leveraging supply chains and technology;
  • Cities and Local Action: Advancing mitigation and resilience at urban and local levels, with a focus on new commitments on low-emission buildings, mass transport and urban infrastructure; and resilience for the urban poor;
  • Resilience and Adaptation: advancing global efforts to address and manage the impacts and risks of climate change, particularly in those communities and nations most vulnerable.

In addition, there are three additional key areas:

  • Mitigation Strategy: to generate momentum for ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and long-term strategies to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.
  • Youth Engagement and Public Mobilization: To mobilize people worldwide to take action on climate change and ensure that young people are integrated and represented across all aspects of the Summit, including the six transformational areas.
  • Social and Political Drivers: to advance commitments in areas that affect people’s well-being, such as reducing air pollution, generating decent jobs, and strengthening climate adaptation strategies and protect workers and vulnerable groups.
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Check out each of the nine areas – see the countries that are working on a particular thematic area and who are supporting. While the graphics only illustrate 6 areas the one that we are most interested in is Social and Political Drivers ensuring that the economic, environmental and social aspects of the transformation of economies and societies towards greater sustainability are managed in ways that maximize opportunities of decent work for all, reduce inequalities, promote social justice, and enhance country’s efforts to improve the people’s health.

One heading on expected outcomes address gender equality and climate change focusing on national climate change plans with gender action plans.

Where does one start? It can all seem so vast and out of our reach. A very good place to begin is with the position paper – See especially Page 15 for the critical action points.

Position Paper English
Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd Position on Integral Ecology Page 14
Toolkit PowerPoint Part 1
Toolkit Powerpoint Part 2
Prise de Position
Notre-Dame de Charité du Bon Pasteur : Position surl’écologie intégrale Page 14
Boîte à outils Powerpoint Partie 1
Boîte à outils Powerpoint Partie 2
Documentos de Posición
Posición de Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Buen Pastor sobre la Ecología Integral Page 14
Toolkit Powerpoint Parte 1
Toolkit Powerpoint Parte 2
How would you rewrite with todays’s understanding
‘A person is of more value than the world’ ? St Mary Euphrasia
A person and the world are inaleinable, one is not of more value than the other!
The Paris Agreement
L’Accord de Paris
El Acuerdo de París 

Are you aware that there are Regional Weeks on Climate? One in Latin America and one in Asia preceding the Summit in New York. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Climate Change Conference will take place in Santiago in December 2019 More information HERE Website in French and Spanish.

UNFCCC Website
English: French: Spanish

Online Prayer Service – World Day of Prayer for Creation-Thursday, September 1

On September 1, Christians from around the world will be praying as part of Creation Day and the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. If you are unable to join a service in your local community, you can join our prayer service online or through your phone. Representatives from Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, and Episcopalian churches will guide us in a 30 minute service of prayer, silence, and reflection. There will also be a chance for participants to share their own prayer for creation and our brothers and sisters.   Check here for the details

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Have you been reflecting on ‘Laudatio Si’? HERE   Are you following the ratifications of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change?  HERE  Signatures without ratifications leave the agreement unfulfilled.  Sustainable Goal 13 is on Climate Action  ‘Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.’  Read more on this here

laudato_si 2SDG 13

 

Reading the Gyeongju Action Plan

The action plan is three and a half pages long, and is currently in English only.  Four Good Shepherd Sisters were among the participants to the conference and contributed significantly to the document with the inclusion of two important concepts – that of gender equality and spirituality.  It is unthinkable for us that education for global citizenship would not include both education for gender equality and spirituality.

The UN Women website has some facts and figures

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and read 10 things you should know about women and the world’s humanitarian crisis of May 23, 2016   All of our ministries throughout the world are addressing gender based violence in one form or another.  South Korea is no exception with services to women and children who experience domestic violence, services to pregnant girls and  young women, shelter accommodation for individuals experiencing crisis and shelter for trafficked women.

E_SDG_Icons-05While we in our ministries are continually challenged with the violence experienced by women and girls in their everyday lives it is imperative that curricula for education for global citizenship address all such gender based violence.  5.1 End all forms of discrimination against women and girls. 5.2 Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation and 5.3 Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

We, in our ministries throughout the world know the cumulative disadvantage that girls and young women face that makes they easy pray to traffickers for sexual and other types of exploitation.  We know how they are oppressed, discriminated against,  controlled by patriarchical forces, robbed of their dignity, and experience day in day out countless violation of their human rights.

 

President Michael D Higgins (Ireland)  at the World Humanitarian Summit, Istanbul, Turkey, May 23 and 24, 2016. spoke to Gender Equality Listen to YouTube   President Higgins said that gender inequality remains the most persistent and prevalent form of human rights violation in today’s world.   “We must recognise…that no distorted version of culture, or mythical structures should be used to justify the most egregious violations of women’s rights in so many regions as happens at the present time”

The document is in three parts … affirmations, commitments and urging member states and united nations to act.  The challenge how to implement in diverse cultural situations.

E_SDG_Icons-04           NGO-conference-branding1

 

 

DISOBEDIENCE

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(Met some friends at the film)

Last evening a 40 minute film was premiered in New York and will be launched today across the globe.  It is a new phase in the climate movement.  It is the story of four communities preparing to participate in Break Free from Fossil Fuel actions in May 2016.

Link to the film    You can access the film in different languages HERE

If you check out this link you can get access to a discussion guide that can help initiate discussion Click the tab Posters and More

This is a natural continuation of  COP 21 which was held in Paris last December and the signing of the Paris Agreement at United Nations headquarters on Friday April 22nd, 2016.

It could be part of your celebration of Laudato Si which was published one year ago.  Naomi Klein is also interviewed on this film.  Have you read her book  ‘This Changes Everything’?

 

 

 

 

Video clips on Trade Liberalization or Climate: we must choose

The Video clip is in  English and French

The Africa Europe Faith and Justice Network have published their December newsletter.  There is some good material if you are following up on COP 21 and some more video links

English     French

Don’t forget to link it with Laudato Si and the following from our Congregational Chapter Direction Statement: To recognize our interconnectedness with the whole of creation which obliges us “to protect our common home.”

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Access to the full document

COP 21 from the women’s perspective

Following two weeks of negotiations during the Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris, the 195 parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted the Paris Agreement on 12 December 2015 (full text available here).
The Global Catholic Climate Movement
The Paris Agreement’s main aim is “Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels” (binding), and countries further agreed “to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.” (Article 2)  The Agreement also includes the pledges to cut emissions and set the long-term goal to get off fossil fuels (although there is no clear timeline). Furthermore, the Agreement creates a 5-year Review Mechanism for countries to review their emissions reduction targets and set new, more ambitious cuts. However, there is no accountability mechanism for countries’ failure to comply to the Agreement.
Combating climate change and its impacts, which has important linkages with gender equality and human rights, is included in the SDGs (Goal 13). Unfortunately, despite strong efforts from women’s rights advocates, references to women’s and human rights were moved to non-binding parts in the final draft of the Paris Agreement. The weak references to gender include the following:
  • “Parties should, when taking action to address climate change, respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on human rights . . . as well as gender equality, empowerment of women,” (Introduction)
  • “Parties acknowledge that adaptation action should follow a country-driven, gender-responsive, participatory and fully transparent approach, taking into consideration vulnerable groups, communities and ecosystems,”(Article 7)
  • Capacity-building . . . should be an effective, iterative process that is participatory, cross-cutting and gender-responsive,” (Article 11)
  • Gender balance in the Committee established in the document to facilitate implementation and promote compliance (Article 15; see also paragraph 103 of decision)
Please see further articles and resources on COP21 and women working in climate justice:

Adoption of the Paris Agreement at COP 21

Climate Conference

Link to the text of the Agreement

The Paris climate conference closed on Saturday evening by adopting a strong, clear, and honest agreement. The deal will not guarantee that the world stays within 2°C or reaches the more ambitious 1.5°C limit, but it lays out for the first time a framework for getting there. Crucially it does so without denying the reality gap between actions to date and what’s needed to save the planet from dangerous climate change.

The Guardian story reads that the Climate Agreement is the world’s greatest diplomatic success.  ‘Like any international compromise, it is not perfect: the caps on emissions are still too loose, likely to lead to warming of 2.7 to 3C above pre-industrial levels, breaching the 2C threshold that scientists say is the limit of safety, beyond which the effects – droughts, floods, heatwaves and sea level rises – are likely to become catastrophic and irreversible. Poor countries are also concerned that the money provided to them will not be nearly enough to protect them. Not all of the agreement is legally binding, so future governments of the signatory countries could yet renege on their commitments.’  Read more…

A story that show the power of a ‘word’ to make or break an agreement

Other Viewpoints:

  • David Waskow and Jennifer Morgan (World Resources Institute) – summary of the key provisions and implications of the Paris agreement
  • Positive coverage in the Economist

 

Yolanda shares her experience from Paris

Sister Yolanda Sanchez is currently in Paris, attending the COP21 climate change conference.  Here’s her update from the first week of the conference, along with lots of pictures.  Many thanks to Yolanda for representing us all in Paris!

Hermana Yolanda Sánchez se encuentra actualmente en París, asistiendo a la conferencia delcambio climático COP21 . Aquí está su reporte desde la primera semana de la conferencia, junto con algunas fotos. ¡Muchas gracias a Yolanda por representarnos todos en París!

Sœur Yolanda Sanchez est actuellement à Paris, assister à la conférence sur le changementclimatique COP21.
Voici son rapport à partir de la première semaine de la conférence, ainsi que quelques photos. Un grand merci à Yolanda pour nous représenter à Paris!

COP 21

English Text

French Text

Spanish Text

COP 21: Climate change, change of the system and paradigms.

From November 30 to December 11, 2015, 195 countries are meeting at the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) having as their main objective to review the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change

This is very important, but even more important to me because I am participating in the space called “Climate Generations” (this place gives civil society, NGOs and other participant a space to bring an alternative voice to this Summit). From this it is clear to see that there are many people with a deep commitment to climate change and to changing present paradigms regarding this.

What I lived in this first week of the COP 21? I have signed petitions, I have heard about good practices and alternative initiatives being carried out not only in the developing countries but also in developed countries to reduce the impact of climate change in large and small cities; I have shared with many people who have come from all over the planet -young, less young, religious, people of all confessions- all animated with the desire to share experiences, express a concern in front of the indifference of Governments with regard to climate change and its consequences. Brothers and sisters of indigenous people have also brought their voices and concerns for the destruction of the land that they have inhabited for many centuries.

I have also participated in prayer initiatives carried out, among them the Ecumenical prayer at the Cathedral of Notre Dame. With joy I see that churches have undertaken this COP 21 to also assume the challenges on climate change and its consequences, assuming the responsibility of taking care of “our common home”.

What I have perceived in this atmosphere of COP 21?

On the one hand there is a serious commitment of many people whoCOP 21 2 have become aware that must not only speak of climate change but also a change of system, of paradigms, of ways to consume, and of behaviors. Development must never mean destruction of nature and its resources.

Secondly, I see that the language of human rights appears in the text being discussed. It refers to respect, protection and promotion of human rights for everyone in all of the actions proposed for tackling climate change.

And what is coming after the COP 21? Although this Summit is a turning point and an opportunity to make concrete commitments this is only a part of the solution. Many communities on the planet are still being threatened by the increase in the sea level, deforestation, natural disasters, and pollution of water sources, and there are whole communities in a situation of great vulnerability who will be forced to migrate. Many multinational companies are responsible for the current crisis in which these peoples are living.

A serious and determined will by individual Governments at national level, with or without international agreement is needed to deal with all these situations in which real people are living. Someone said “we cannot wait to have an international agreement to start acting now and take action at the national level”.

Personally, I think that it is also time to engage much more in advocacy work, lobbying, pushing government policies at nationally and internationally level responding to the needs of the people. In this first week of COP 21 I met many sisters and brothers who are already actively engaged in this.COP 21 3

Finally I invite you to meditate, to deepen, and put into practice the teachings that Pope Francis brings us in the wonderful encyclical Laudato SI , it is a source of inspiration and guidance for all peoples of the planet. He invites us to act and to participate in the care of creation, accepting the challenge that he makes us in Chapter 6, number 203 and so on: Towards a new lifestyle – at all levels.

Thanks Yolanda for this write up.