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An Ecumenical Response to Pope Francis’ Laudato Si

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Ecumenical Gathering explores an Australian response to Laudato Si'

“The earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor she groans in travail… We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts is reflected in the symptoms of the sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life. - Laudato Si’ 2.

As Christian people living in Australia, we are invited to hear what Laudato Si’ is saying, to listen with the intention of contemplative dialogue and to think about the significance of ‘Integral Ecology’ and our response to care for our common home.

LSi 1Over 50 people, including leading ecologists, scientists, economists and theologians, gathered at St Clements Retreat and Conference Centre, Galong in NSW on Wiradjuri Country, 8 - 10 March 2019. The conference looked at practical ways to implement the recommendation of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ in this land, Australia - our common home.

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Each session engaged in a cycle of enquiry that enabled participants to 'Listen – Hear - Think' about what the presenters had to say about Laudato Si. Presenters of the conference included Dr Ross Garnaut, Professor Anthony Kelly, Professor John Williams, Dianne Torrens, Dr Christina Gomez and others.

Everyone also shared in a visit to farmer, David Marsh’s Boorowa farm to witness the way he has developed the ethics of land care and work in developing an ecologically sustainable farm which won the Australian Government Individual Landcarer Award 2017; participated in a Cosmic Walk and shared together in an Australian Eucharist. The memory of Rev Prof Denis Edwards, world renowned eco-theologian was honoured. 

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Our response to environmental changes draws people together, bridging ecumenical and interfaith, cultural and national boundaries. The encyclical moves people of faith beyond a consideration, solely of their spiritual dimensions; the notion of integral ecology presses for an integrated human development in spiritual, social, sexual, psychological and environmental dimensions, as we work together for the common good. 

The NCCA partners with the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC), promotes Seasons of Creation and advocates, alongside member churches and people of good will, for caring for our 'Common Home’.

Emily Evans
Project Officer, NCCA

 

The NCCA was saddened to hear of the loss of Rev Norman Tendis, WCC consultant for Economy of Life. Rev Tendis was among the 149 passengers and eight crew members killed after Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 302 crashed six minutes after takeoff on Sunday 10 March. The plane was on its way to Nairobi from Addis Ababa where Rev Norman Tendis was to attend the UN meeting in Kenya to launch the WCC document The Roadmap for Congregations, Communities and Churches for an Economy of Life and Ecological Justice.

Read the WCC article, WCC mourns lost staff member in Ethiopian Airlines crashhttps://www.oikoumene.org/en/press-centre/news/wcc-mourns-those-lost-in-ethiopian-airlines-crash 

Find out more about The Roadmap for Congregations, Communities and Churches for an Economy of Life and Ecological Justice.