A wonderful article in the Tablet this weekend as the G7 Summit was taking place, calling on all Christian worshiping communities to take 3 steps to bring about change – working together to bring about change.
1. Organise a Creation Celebration before the COP26 – and what better time than Season of Creation which starts on 1st September!!
2. Take up the Live Simply Award / Eco Church challenge for your community – we have a number of parishes and schools in the diocese who have already achieved the Live Simply Award and a number working towards it!
3. Encourage churches to add value to their practical commitments by signing the common Time is Now declaration, calling on the government to commit to go further faster on UK climate action, before hosting the summit.
By this combination of practical action locally, and raising our voice together nationally, we can make the biggest possible difference.
The violence in the West Bank and Gaza including East Jerusalem is deeply disturbing and must be brought to a halt before it spirals out of control and more lives are lost. Continued escalation only harms the most vulnerable people. There is an urgent need for responsible leadership ready to work for justice and peace for Palestinians and Israelis creating an alternative to this cycle of violence that divides and kills.
The latest violence was triggered by weeks of tension and clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians regarding a renewed spate of threatened evictions of Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem to make way for Israeli settlers claiming ownership as well as protesting restricted access to the Haram al-Sharif (or Temple Mount) during the holy month of Ramadan. Hamas reportedly retaliated by sending rockets from Gaza into Israel with reports saying that 5 Israelis killed and Israeli airstrikes in response have killed 35 Palestinians including 10 children.
Palestinians had been protesting the imminent eviction of eight Palestinian families (around 87 people including 28 children) from the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah which Israeli police responded to with extreme violence. The right to a home is a fundamental human right and it is a question of justice for inhabitants of the city to live, pray and work there with dignity.
CAFOD opposes the eviction of Palestinian families from their homes which is a violation of international law. We call for an immediate cessation of all violence.
Pope Francis has joined calls for an end to the cycle of violence, saying:
“I pray that the city might be a place of encounter and not of violent clashes, a place of prayer and peace… I invite everyone to seek shared solutions, so that the multi-religious and multi-cultural identity of the Holy City might be respected, and that fraternity might prevail.”
A statement by the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, said:
“The historic position of the Churches in Jerusalem is clear with regard to our denouncement of any attempt which makes Jerusalem an exclusive city for anyone. This is a city sacred to the three monotheistic religions and, based on international law and relevant UN resolutions, also a city where the Palestinian people, Christians, and Muslims, have the same right to build a future based on freedom, equality and peace.”
CAFOD believes that the only way out of the cycle of violence and for Israelis and Palestinians to be truly secure, is to revive hope for a just Israeli-Palestinian peace process, aimed at creating the conditions for a stable peace based on justice, where all must be treated equally.
Thanks to Srs Susan and Mary (Presentation Sisters) in Shirebrook for this reflection.
Earth Day, celebrated on 22nd April each year, is the annual event dedicated to awareness about the various environmental challenges that face our planet. Co-ordinated by the Earth Day Network, 193 countries around the world have their own version of celebrations. The 2021 version of Earth Day will be the 50th anniversary of the event.
History of Earth Day – The idea of Earth Day first originated among the people fighting the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill. It is said that American senator Gaylord Nelson, one of the main proponents of the event, was flying over the disaster in an aeroplane and was so shocked by the scale of it that he decided to create a Day to help prevent future cases. The first Earth Day, held in 1970, saw millions of people around the world roam the streets with the desire to make a stand for environmental change. Many think of this as being the beginning of modern environmental activism. Since then, the Day has gone from strength to strength, with the Internet helping to distribute its message further than was ever possible before.
Its crowning achievement perhaps came in 2016, when the Paris Agreement came into force for the majority of the World’s countries, ensuring increased environmental protection. Earth Day is now the world’s largest civic event.
Each year, Earth Day has a variety of themes, signifying a new focus on a particular environmental concern. In 2021, these themes include:
Volunteering: millions of people will take part in Earth Day, and it is hoped that many will volunteer to improve the environments where they live. This could involve anything from cleaning up litter to help plant new trees.
Artists for the Earth: to help spread the message of environmental urgency, art can play a huge part in capturing the public’s imagination.
Education: it is only by focusing on the next generation that the environmental fight can continue to be fought.
Events: awareness events, such as street rallies and marches, will bring the causes of Earth Day to the doorstep of homes throughout the World
WHAT CAN I DO…..
PRAY – but don’t forget – “if you pray for rain, go build a store to save every drop of water you have asked God for…..” so –
ACT – for example you could…..
Not use throw-away masks
Wear blue and green on 22nd April
Write to supermarkets and tell them you don’t want to buy fruit and vegetables wrapped in plastic
Purchase a bush/tree and plant it in your garden…
Decide that one day a week you will not eat meat
Write to your MP – encouraging support of the CEE climate bill
Buy a re-usable bag so that you don’t have to use plastic bags
Take your own cup to get your coffee
Fight food waste – compost/buy less/use local
Don’t use harmful pesticides in your garden
Use environmentally friendly cleaning products
Lessen your time in the shower by 2 minutes
Turn off lights when not in use/and turn off electric sockets
DID you Know……
On the High St. in Warsop is Mansfield Refillery – worth a visit – has lots of goods and you can refill your bottles with e.g. washing up liquid; hand lotion; food stuffs and environmentally friendly goods. Very friendly service Open Mon. – Friday, 9.00- 2.30
In Mansfield – 7 Toothill Lane; Mansfield; Notts; NG18 1NJ – BOO’s pantry also has environmentally friendly goods….
We invite you to watch this short video- Our Whole and Holy Home (www.seascapes.com) – a global world view seen through the eyes of International Space station astronauts enabling us to see earth as an indivisible wholeness…one shared place…one home for us all
Reflection: Take some time for personal reflection-
What has stirred in your heart as you watched this video
What does this ask of you in the way you respond to the cries of Earth?
How does Mother Earth nourish and expand your experience of God…open a new window into Mystery?
Jot down any thoughts that are with you. Share with a companion/friend