Summer greetings CCT members! I hope you are making time to relax and connect with God’s creation during the summer months.
We are so grateful to all of you who have helped persuade your Catholic institutions to sign onto the Catholic Climate Declaration. As of today, 651 Catholic institutions have signed on, including 41 archdioceses and dioceses.
We are also delighted to announce that the Catholic Climate Declaration is now open for individuals to sign! If you are interested in signing on, please go to this link, and share it with others!
This email focuses on the importance of connecting with God’s creation, and planning for the Season of Creation and the Feast of St. Francis.
How will you take action?
"Get out in those hills and really be in the midst of nature a little bit! That is not only legitimate, it is in a certain way necessary.... The woods and nature should be part of your solitude, and if it's not periodically part of your solitude I think the law should be changed." —Thomas Merton
Do you or your Creation Care Team schedule time to connect with creation? Do you see that connection as part of your spiritual life?
Thanks to many of you, over 700 Catholic institutions have signed the Catholic Climate Declaration. Now it’s your turn! We welcome signatures until September 12, 2018, the start of the Global Climate Action Summit.
Individuals are now invited to sign! Please consider signing, and inviting others (friends/family members/parish members) to sign. We will present all signatures (Institutional and individual) at the Global Climate Summit.
SIGN CATHOLIC CLIMATE DECLARATION
Has your parish, school, or religious community signed the Catholic Climate Declaration? You can check here, and if not, invite them to sign!
Schedule a Nature Walk
Nature walks tangibly uplift within us the awareness of the beauty, sacredness and necessity of creation. Through this essential connection, we also grow in our understanding of our need to protect God’s creation and our shared future, from the local and global threats to the very health and sustainability of our earth.
During the summer and fall months, a great idea for Creation Care Teams is to organize, host, and lead a nature walk. These walks shouldn’t be seen as fitness hikes, but as leisurely and spiritually enriching walks. The goal should be to foster a more deliberate and attentive connection with creation. You might consider bird walks along wetlands and bayshores, wildflower walks, or walks along trails in nearby State and County Parks. Or perhaps walks that embrace the Japanese tradition of shinrin-yoku ("forest bathing").
Tips to plan a nature walk:
- A walk leader plans and leads the outing. If no one in your CCT feels comfortable leading a nature walk, you may be able to find a walk leader within your community. Is there a state or county park nearby? Call the park offices and ask if there are any guides available. Perhaps ask in the bulletin if there are any community members with expertise on local hikes.
- Try to pick a place that is not too far from the community yet provides opportunity to immerse oneself in nature.
- Include some prayer/meditation time in the walk. Resources found here and here.
- Invite parish/school/community members to register for the walk.
- Encourage them to invite friends or neighbors to join the walk.
- Of course, encourage carpooling.
Plan for Season of Creation
The Season of Creation can be a time to introduce your community to creation care through sermons, prayers, educational programs, and children programs. The season starts on September 1st which Eastern Orthodox Patriarch Dimitri and Pope Francis have designated as a day of prayer for creation. Celebrated by Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox churches, the season ends on October 4th, the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. This year’s theme is “walking together”.
The Global Catholic Climate Movement has online resources to help you host and plan an event including a downloadable celebration guide. Another great site for resources is from the Uniting Church in Australia.
Feast of St. Francis
Now is the time to plan your Feast of St. Francis event.
This year the Feast of St. Francis program, “Who Is My Neighbor In A Climate Threatened World" focuses on the interconnections between immigration, refugees, and climate change.
Register to receive your program guide here.
Reserve a space in your parish/school for October 4th (or a date of your choosing). The educational program is 90 minutes. You should plan to reserve the space for at least 2 hours.