Getting the team together

We recommend starting with the ‘Building a Caring Community’ poster pack, as it has been designed to help with all the content on this page. However this ‘getting the team together’ page aims to serve as a general aid to get you going. Enjoy.

Where do I begin?

Addressing our global ecological crisis is a daunting challenge, to say the least! But have no fear, you are not alone. Chances are there are many others in your parish or community who are ready to act but looking for company. In starting with small actions, momentum inevitably builds, and before we know it, we’re changing the world!

It may be helpful to remember that Jesus did not exactly choose the A-team.

This page gives you some ideas to ways you can link up with others in your parish and work with your community to get some projects started.

The aim should always be to serve God in recognising the dignity of others and the beauty of his creation. We are aiming to create a consistent culture of care towards life.

fIND out who's interested

Have a chat with your priest about how the parish might respond to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. Maybe you already have a small project idea in mind. Ask him whether he knows anybody else in the parish who would also like to be involved.

Think about people you already know in the parish who might be interested in joining you. These could be people who you know are already involved in other initiatives, people with particular skills, or just someone you know would be willing to help out!

Your parish may already have a thriving SVP, Justice and Peace or even flower arranging group – start a conversation at your next meeting to see how your existing great works could help address our ecological and social crises.

Remember. Projects do not need to be ‘environmental’ to build a better world. Caring for the homeless, the unborn, the sick, refugees etc. are ALL essential.

Start small

A project can start with just a few people.

Choose an action to start. This could be unambitious but manageable. It does not need to be corporate restructuring or a lifelong commitment.

Do not try to control the parish. There is so much excellent work happening already. All good works help demonstrate the building blocks towards a better world. Many groups doing many small actions is often the most effective and genuine way forward. Allowing each to give freely.

Be visible

All actions if visible will create an interest and attract others.

Some projects such as an allotment are naturally visible and create curiosity. More hidden things like a parish policy will need highlighting.

Once you have a small team. Start a small activity and decide how you want to reach out for wider involvement. Some actions are good for this that raise awareness of the injustices you valiantly aim to battle at the same time. For example..

Community film screening:
Hosting a Global Healing screening. Follow up with those who attended and see what actions follow.

Form a Catholic Social Teaching Reading Group
This is a great way to get a core group of people together to explore deeply why as Christians the ecological and social crises are so important to our faith and spiritual lives

Make an announcement after mass and a notice in your newsletter inviting parishioners to get in touch with you if they are interested in getting involved.

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FORMALISE YOUR TEAM

You should now have realised that you are not alone and have gathered a group of keen people ready for action.

Spend some time getting to know your new team and praying together on your plans for the parish.

Find your groups’ gifts/skills/gifts of the spirit/superpowers.

  1. What are you good at?
  2. What is the work that needs doing?
  3. What brings you joy?

Look around you

It is important when trying to save the world, to recognise the needs around you. Do you have environmental, ecological or social issues in your neighbourhood that need addressing?

Try and create projects that address both these environmental and social needs. For example, could you grow organic food for the hungry? Address fuel poverty with access to renewables?

Building coalitions in our wider community can strengthen civil society and bring lasting change. What other groups in your local area do you need to team up with? What bridges could your projects build with the local community.

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Inspiration for team building

'How to find joy in climate action'

  1. What are you good at?
  2. What is the work that needs doing?
  3. What brings you joy?

explore our website for more ideas

'Building a Caring community' parish guide

This section of the website looks at the different areas of parish life and provides reflections, resources and stories to help inspire you.

'Let Us Dream' Creative challenge

We need to take dreaming and imagining seriously if we are to create the hope the world needs to see right now.

'Building a Caring community' poster activity

Our poster activity to get you started, or refresh your existing community mission  with the lens of integral ecology.

Getting started guide

A collection of useful resources that are helpful for community engagement, project planning and learning.

WORDS OF WISDOM