Happy New Year! It’s an exciting time in our office as we plan educational resources, webinars, and creation care programs for the year. Do you have a particular idea or need for your community? Let me know!
In this email, you will find a list of Ten Creation Care Resolutions. If we all tried to keep these, we’d be well on our way to solving our ecological problems. Also, don’t forget to submit a comment supporting the Clean Power Plan! The deadline to submit comments is January 16th.
How will you take action?
A PRAYER OF GRATITUDE FOR CREATION (Thanks to Catholic Health Association)
God of the universe, We thank You for Your many good gifts-
For the beauty of Creation and its rich and varied fruits,
For clean water and fresh air, for food and shelter, animals and plants.
Forgive us for the times we have taken the earth's resources for granted,
And wasted what You have given us.
Transform our hearts and minds
So that we would learn to care and share,
To touch the earth with gentleness and with love,
Respecting all living things.
We pray for all those who suffer as a result of our waste, greed and indifference,
And we pray that the day would come when everyone has enough food and clean water.
Help us to respect the rights of all people and all species
And help us to willingly share your gifts.
Today and always. Amen.
— Fiona Murdoch, Eco-Congregation Ireland
Check-out the new webpage Celebrating Our Creation Care Teams where the focus is on YOU and your work! Please send me your stories and photos so we can add them to the website and celebrate your CCT!
Also, be on the lookout for an email in early February with information on this new resource: 2018 “Creation Care” Lenten Calendar. This daily devotional is created by the Interreligious Working Group on Extractive Industries, and gives those looking to nurture their spirituality daily prayer, educational, and action-oriented activities. You’ll strengthen your relationship with God, with your sisters and brothers, and with all creation. The calendar will be available in early February.
Plan to host an Earth Day Program in April (or another date of your choosing). Now is the time to schedule the one-hour Earth Day program. Brainstorm date/time/location. Do you need to talk with pastor, principal, office staff? Register now to receive the 2018 Earth Day program in mid-to late February. Beyond a Throwaway Culture: Reduce Waste-Grow Community will complement the Earth Day Network’s A World Without Plastic Pollution campaign. The Earth Day guide will help you plan a one-hour program for your parish, school, or religious community. Let's work together to inspire, equip, and mobilize the Catholic community to reduce the amount of disposable plastic it uses and switch to sustainable alternatives. Register here.
New Year Creation Care Resolutions (Adapted from https://sojo.net/articles/8-simple-new-years-resolutions-creation-care)
1. Do a creation care devotional. All good practices start with prayer. Make a commitment to a daily devotional in your home, or start the next meeting of your church group or committee with a creation care devotional. Check here for prayer resources.
2. Go outside and connect with God’s creation! See creation with a child-like sense of wonder. Take a walk in the woods or a stroll on the beach. Take in the stars or the sounds of the birds. Be with God outdoors. Use the meditation guide found in the 2017 Feast of St. Francis program.
3. Watch an eco-focused documentary such as Before the Flood. Another highly recommended documentary is Custody + Creation, produced by NET TV, a cable network featuring news and information with a Catholic point of view, and part of the communications and technology arm of the Diocese of Brooklyn.
4. Give away/donate one of your Christmas presents. One of the easiest ways to live simpler is to keep less stuff, and if you can give away a gift you don’t need, you’ll lighten your impact and brighten someone else’s day.
5. Reduce your phantom load. Plug your devices — the TV and DVD player, or the computer and printer — into a UL-certified power strip; switch the whole group off for the evening to prevent phantom electrical draw.
6. Focus on your thermostat and put on a sweater. If you add an extra layer while you’re around the house — cozy up under a blanket, put on your slippers — and lower the thermostat one degree, you’ll save energy. Use a programmable thermostat to lower your home’s temperature at night and/or when you are away. Our electricity use accounts for 40 percent of our climate change pollution, so every sweater and degree counts!
7. Join the Meatless Mondays (and/or Fridays) movement. Meat production is another major source of climate pollution — one-fifth of the problem, to be exact. Cutting out meat just once a week lowers your carbon footprint, plus it’s healthier, cheaper, and a good excuse to try out new recipes. Extra credit: Go vegetarian or vegan!
8. Bring a reusable bag. Plastic bags are made from fossil fuels, and they create more trash. By bringing your own bag with you on shopping trips you’ll use fewer resources and make a statement.
9. Swap your lights. LEDs and CFLs are much more energy efficient than regular incandescent lights. Use LEDs or CFLs in places where you leave the lights on, such as entryways or church bathrooms.
10. Calculate your carbon footprint and schedule an energy audit for your home or parish. Check out the work of Catholic Energies and see if it could be a resource for your community.