Dear First Name,
When pondering social change, I often recall the metaphor of steering an ocean liner: it takes a lot of work to coax it to turn one degree in the direction you want it to go. But when it does, it ends up—many leagues late—in a far better place than where it was initially headed. So it is with the Church and climate change. The Covenant works intentionally to try and move the Catholic community a degree or two closer towards climate action, care for Creation, and Laudato Si'.
Last week, we launched a Catholic version of the We Are Still In Campaign. It is another degree of action to move our Church to a new place. See below (Action of the Month) for more, but please do what you can to add your parish or other institution to the Catholic Climate Declaration.
Finally, I want to give you a heads-up about our spring fundraising campaign which also takes on the theme of a journey. One of the Covenant’s board members will be running (yes, running!) the Camino de Santiago in June to raise funds for Catholic Energies. Stay tuned!
Founding Executive Director
Catholic Climate Covenant
Action of the Month
Help Gather Signatures for Catholic Climate Declaration-Catholics Are Still In Campaign
Last week, Catholic Climate Covenant launched a new nationwide campaign (Catholics Are Still In) to garner the U.S. Catholic community’s support for climate action. With our partners, we developed the U.S. Catholic Climate Declaration to express the Catholic imperative to protect and promote human life and human dignity, especially among the poorest and most vulnerable peoples, by protecting our common home and acting on climate change.
This is a unique opportunity to let the world know that the U.S. Catholic community is saying “We Are Still Inthe Paris Agreement"! To be successful and reach as many Catholic institutions as possible, we need YOUR help between now and June 11th (deadline for institutional sign-ons to Catholic Climate Declaration)
1) If you lead a Catholic organization (e.g., parish, school, college/university/institute/center, health care facility, etc.), you can sign your organization on to the U.S. Catholic Climate Declaration here.
2) If you are a member of a Catholic organization/institution/community, you can urge your leader (priest, bishop, president, CEO, etc.) to sign the U.S. Catholic Climate Declaration. For more information on how to do this, we have prepared several documents:
a) Step-by-Step Guide
c) Leave-Behind document that includes the text of the Declaration and information about the Catholics Are Still In campaign, all in a two-pager you can give Catholic leaders as you urge them to enroll their institutions on the Declaration.
Also, to answer any questions and clarify the campaign ask, staff and partners will host a webinar this week: Thursday, May 3rd at 1:00 pm (eastern). (See below)
Catholics Leading the Way
A Webinar to Help You Participate in the Catholics Are Still In Campaign
Join us for a webinar on Thursday, May 3rd (1:00 pm eastern) to learn how you can be a part of the campaign by learning:
- Why we created the Catholic Climate Declaration
- How it is related to the We Are Still In campaign
- What our next steps will be, and
- How you can help enlist Catholic leaders to sign the declaration
Earth Day - Next Steps
A huge thanks to the almost 1,800 supporters who downloaded the “Beyond A Throwaway Culture” 2018 Earth Day program. Though produced for Earth Day, the one-hour educational program can be used at any time. If you are looking for a program/project to energize your faith community in the coming months, consider implementing one of the disposable plastic reduction ideas in the program. We encourage you to “register” your project here! In exchange, we will send you extra resources and tips throughout the spring and summer. Then, during September, let us know how much plastic waste (we’ll provide a calculator) your community was able to divert from landfills and oceans, and we’ll let the world know how Catholics are caring for creation. Need more info? Email us here!
Learn more About Catholic Energies
Catholic Energies is thrilled to be able to offer Catholic organizations a single place to go to get all of its energy questions and projects addressed. Thinking about solar? Want to upgrade to LED lighting? Need to address that failing boiler? We can help - with no upfront investment required! Visit our website or contact us for more info!
Catholic Energies Webinars: Join us today at 1:00 pm (eastern) for a webinar to learn more about Catholic Energies. Can’t make it? No worries, we’ll send a recording to all who register, Also, check the recording of a previous webinar here.
Support the Covenant Every Time You Shop on Amazon
We're excited to share a new way for you to support Catholic Climate Covenant. When you shop thoughAmazonSmile, the company donates 0.5% of the purchase price to Catholic Climate Covenant: same products and service, only with a bonus donation to the Covenant. Bookmark the linkhttp://smile.amazon.com/ch/81-1503864 and support Catholic Climate Covenant every time you shop!
Faithful Action on Climate Change
Earth Day - Creation Care Teams in Action
We are blown away by the creativity and commitment of all who hosted Earth Day programs and activities. We are sharing a small sampling of some of the amazing Earth Day events that Creation Care Teams in Catholic parishes and schools hosted this year. (Keep sending us your stories and photos!)
The Our Lady of the Lake Church’s (Sparta, NJ) Care for God’s Creation Ministry, teamed up with the parish’s CCD teachers, Respect Life Committee, the Legion of Mary, and the Knights of Columbus to host an amazing Earth Day parish-wide event honoring the beauty of God’s creation, and the need to protect it.
A highlight of the Earth Day event was the display of the 95 poster contest entries that drew participants came from public school students enrolled at CCD religious classes in the parish, Reverend Brown Elementary School and Pope John XXIII Middle and High School. Here are some of the winning entries from the middle and high school categories.
Residents of the Department for Persons with Disabilities were invited to share the day and participate with the children in a variety of activities including planting seedlings, painting rocks for the new Children’s Garden in the parish, upcycling Tee shirts, learning how to sew and mend clothing, recycling sorting activity and taking the “Garbage Island Challenge Quiz.”
Attendees were also encouraged to sign letters encouraging schools and towns to install easy filling water stations at schools for children to refill a reusable container to avoid the need for plastic water bottles. Such stations would update and improve the existing water fountains that are often malfunctioning. Another set of letters encouraged towns and schools to establish community-based composting for proper disposal of residential organics, school lunch leftovers and other compostable materials. Kudos to all for such a creative and successful event!
St. Pius X Creation Care Team, in Granger Illinois, with support from the Knights of Columbus, and the help of several St. Pius middle school classes, some Boy Scouts, and many wonderful parishioners planted about 200 trees on parish grounds. In addition, Phil Sakimoto demonstrated the positive impact of solar panel use. (See photos of St. Pius X Earth Day event below)
St. Pius X (Granger, Il) Earth Day Activities
St. Columbkille Creation Care Team (Papillon, Nebraska) hosted an Earth Day event where attendees were encouraged to sign up to reduce the use of single-use plastics, take the Laudato Si’/St. Francis Pledge, and children made bird feeders out of pipe cleaners and cherries.
St. Columbkille, Papillon Nebraska
National Catholic Reporter “Reducing Waste” Earth Day Series
National Catholic Reporter staff writer, Brian Roewe has published a great three-part series looking at the challenge posed by plastic pollution — the theme of Earth Day 2018 — and how Catholic parishes and communities are taking steps to reduce the waste and change lifestyles. Several Creation Care Teams are featured, as is the work of Catholic Health Association member hospitals.
You can access the three-part series here:
Reducing waste: 'Throwaway culture' in spotlight as Earth Day targets plastics
Reducing waste: Catholic parishes, hospitals see results from efforts to reduce and recycle
Reducing Waste: Parish change begins with awareness, bins and reminders
As Creation Groans: Worshiping God on Holy Ground, Yale University, Institute of Sacred Music (June 13 - 15, 2018)
An ecumenical conference for pastors, musicians, other parish leaders and interested laypeople focusing on how worship, music, and art draw congregations into faithful relationship with God and creation.