Facing the Challenge
“Lent is for searching,” said Father Wesley in one of his homilies. What is better than a book study?
But which book?
The Development and Peace committee of St. Stephen’s Roman Catholic Church in Cayuga, ON organized a three week, one hour discussion of the book, Living Ecological Justice: A Biblical Response to the Environmental Crisis by CPJ.
We all quite liked the book for many reasons. It is a good mix of reflections, prayers, Biblical passages, and activities. There is an emphasis on action with many suggestions as to ways for personal greening, church related activities, and advocacy with the government.
Here are some quotes from the participants:
“I was impressed with the number of contributors to the book. Everything from Mennonites to nuns and energy consultants to conservationists.” “After reading this book I am encouraged to write to the government to express my thoughts.”
“When we know that climate change is here and now, we often feel hopelessly inadequate as to how to address this very serious problem. This book gives thought provoking ideas to put into action.”
“I realize that by sharing our concerns and reading this book, we are connected spiritually and conscientiously.”
“I feel privileged to have been part of a well-informed and conscientious group.”
“For me the most valuable experience was the follow up discussions after the readings. These discussions broadened my horizons.”
We also followed up with an outdoor Mass, "Celebrating All of God's Creation," at a parishioner's farm surrounded by corn fields, vegetable garden, barns, and wind-blown trees. Father Wesley incorporated many themes expressed in our book study. We opened with the Prayer for Creation, from page 23, and closed with the Benediction on page 122.
St. Stephen’s Roman Catholic Church
Parish Study Group
I'm a parish priest in Toronto with a tradition in the summer weeks of running a backyard study group with an environmental focus. We meet in each other’s backyards, enjoy some simple hospitality, and use a book as a focus for study and discussion.
This past summer we used Living Ecological Justice, and found it an excellent resource. At each session we used a reading and one of the suggested activities. It was a good combination of reflection and hands-on learning. Map Your Meal (p. 34), for example, was a memorable exercise. Thank you for producing this very fine little book, and making it so usable.
Church of St. Aidan
Email Karri Munn-Venn at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1 (800) 667-8046, extension 223, for more information.
Copies of Living Ecological Justice can be ordered at www.cpj.ca/lej. Cost is $15 for one copy, or $63 for five copies (pricing includes shipping).