Season of Creation
Jubilee for the Earth
Each September Christians around the world celebrate the Season of Creation. This is an initiative of an ecumenical steering committee, which was formed to help Christians respond to the environmental crisis which continues to grow across the globe. Christian churches have been called to strengthen their united response. The theme for 2020 was Jubilee for the Earth.
So, what can you do to help save the planet and the vulnerable? The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed that if we slow down our use of resources and commit to rekindling the earth we can renew it.
So let’s make a difference!
Season of Creation 2020
Making a change for our earth never stops. We are called each and every day to make a change for our earth; to live consciously and sustainably, to care for the world we live in, and for the people who share the world with us.
You may wish to take some time to consider these two questions:
- What is one sustainable area that you can focus on to make a difference? Maybe reducing energy or plastic usage, or being a more conscious consumer.
- How will you share these messages with those around you?
We must continue to be Jubilant for our Earth, making new rhythms and a new hope for our future.
Social Justice at work in our Parish
Working together to improve the lives of those around us…
The Gift of Water
Let us remember that water is a gift of God. Water is mentioned 722 times in the Bible and yet how often do we actually preach about it? As Christians we became part of the family of God through the waters of baptism and yet we do not treat it as our sacred element.
What would a more simple lifestyle look like in practice? The impact of climate change as well as population growth will lead to increasing water shortages in the years to come. What can we do?
Water is a precious gift from God, let us protect it.
By Canon Dr Rachel Mash, South Africa
Reduce Plastic Use
Plastic waste takes decades and sometimes centuries to degrade. While recycling and reusing plastics can help reduce this impact, there are other steps you can take to avoid using plastic.
Check out the Zero Waste Living website for some tips and ideas for living waste free in 2020.
Reduce Energy Consumption
The energy we use in our homes can make a big impact. The average Australian home uses about 20 kW/h of electricity per day, which equates to about 9 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
Cool Australia identified the need to provide our current and future generations with relevant and engaging information about the three pillars of sustainability: social, economic and environmental. Check out Cool Australia – Learn for Life who support environmental education!
The Season of Creation is not only about encouraging sustainable practices. Catholic social teachings urge us to look out for the needs of our brothers and sisters across the world. Here are just three examples of Catholic social action.
- ACRATH: The Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans aims to eradicate modern slavery. Consider your individual and community role in stopping slavery by visiting the ACRATH website.
- Aboriginal Catholic Ministry: This Victorian group fosters the valuable presence of our Aboriginal brothers and sisters within the Catholic Church. Visit the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry website to learn more about their work and to volunteer.
- St Vincent de Paul Society: This organisation assists members in our community facing poverty and hardship. Find out more about volunteering for Vinnies by visiting the Vinnies website.
There is Enough for our Need, not for our Greed
What the Hebrew people still have to learn and what we still have to learn is that there is enough. But in order for there to be enough we have to share. And whatever we hoard goes bad. In this Season of Creation it is easy to fall into despondency: the earth and its creatures are doomed. However, the promise from the story of the Exodus is that even in the wilderness, there is enough, if only we will take just what we need and no more.
by Rev Dr Janet Trisk, South Africa
Protecting the Commons
As we focus on the environment during the Season of Creation, we are called also to look at common property within the community and on the planet for example the oceans, the air, fresh water and open spaces. These places are not owned by anyone, but their survival depends on all of us working together. Our failure in the past to protect common property has lead the near-collapse of ecosystems throughout the world. Who cares for common property? Do we have an interest in the places we do not own? Do we recognise the importance of common property for the good of the community?
By Rev Shaun Cozett, South Africa
The purchases we make can have a significant impact on the world and the treatment of our brothers and sisters around the world.
Consider where and how your clothes are being made:
- Are they made ethically? That is, are the labourers paid fairly for their work?
- Are they produced in a way that is environmentally conscious?
- Do they test on animals?
You can find out how sustainable your favourite brands are by searching for them on the Good on You website.
World Clean Up Day
This civic movement unites countries and millions of peoples across the world to clean up the planet … in one day. Volunteers and partners worldwide come together to rid our planet of trash – cleaning up litter and mismanaged waste from our beaches, rivers, forests, and streets. In 2020 people were encouraged to do a digital clean up of devices as it’s surprising how much energy is consumed by the apps we no longer use!
Check out the World Clean Up Day website for more ideas and information.
Zero Waste Challenge!
While we’re going to provide tips and suggestions of how to make more sustainable choices, it’s important to consider the good things that we’re already doing. How many zero waste alternatives in this image, do you already implement? You might be surprised!
According to the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC), limiting your consumption of meat has many benefits. In fact, if all Australians ate 150 grams less of red meat per week, each person could reduce greenhouse gas pollution by 300 kg each year. That’s the same as taking an eighth of Australia’s cars off the road!
For more information visit the ARRCC website.