Local response to Pope Francis’ environmental call

An event to be held in Newcastle on 17-20 May is effectively part of a response to the call of Pope Francis in his encyclical letter Laudato Si’ (2015) for ‘care for our common home’. Pope Francis wrote, “Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded.” (#13)

Inspiracy 2: A Climate for Change Sustainability Festival is an initiative of the Social Justice Committee Hunter Presbytery (Uniting Church), led by Rev Rod Pattenden. The festival, now in its second year, will provide a unique conversation around justice, climate change, spirituality, music and art. This conversation seeks to find ways to work for the common good, where diverse communities reclaim the future in hopeful and creative ways.

The local Uniting Church community is widely recognised for its strong commitment to the environment, justice and peace through creative expression and exploration.

Inspiracy 2 encompasses a Youth Film Competition and Family Saturday (19 May) as well as conversations, addresses by specialists in various areas, panel discussions and workshops.

The keynote presenter will be Phil Glendenning, President of the Australian Refugee Council. Phil’s title is “Working for the Common Good ‒ The Challenge and Hope for Australia and its Citizens”.

The name Trish Watts will be familiar to many as a composer of liturgical music. Trish will lead a workshop titled “Sacred Earth, Sacred Voice”. Enjoy singing with other voices who are seeking peace, freedom and justice.

Community gardens are a great way to connect with nature, produce food organically and reduce your carbon footprint. A workshop led by Mark Toohey and Lawrie Hallinan will use the experience of a number of community garden enthusiasts to share experiences growing community – and vegetables! ‒ in their neighbourhoods.

Neil Ormerod is Professor of Theology at Australian Catholic University and will speak on “Laudato Si’ – an urgent call for action.”

Thea Ormerod is the President of Australian Religious Response to Climate Change. Thea will lead workshops on Interfaith Activism and Laudato Si’.

To learn more, click here.

Image courtesy of Penny Dunstan, ‘Earth Bowl’ 2015 – Self mulching earth from the Hunter Valley. © Penny Dunstan

Tracey Edstein Image
Tracey Edstein

Tracey Edstein is the former editor of Aurora Magazine, the official magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

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