On the journey to 2030
On the journey to 2030
Getting the team together
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.
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.
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..
Hosting a Global Healing screening. Follow up with those who attended and see what actions follow.
Form a Laudato Si’ 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.
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.
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.
If you have a large parish group already and want to work on a large range of projects, pick some actions from The Journey to 2030 Parish Guide and use the resources to accompany you on your way.
Could your parish take part in the Livesimply award by CAFOD?
WORDS OF WISDOM
Some ideas to get you started
Here are some great small actions to get the ball rolling in your parish, visit The Journey to 2030 Parish Guide to Laudato Si’ for even more ideas!
Host a global healing screening
Everyone loves a film club! Especially if there are refreshments and a chance to chat. The Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales and CaFE have produced an excellent series of films that allow you to do just that. They lead you on a journey to explore Laudato Si’ and the Christian responsibility to our ecological crisis. They do so in a thought-provoking way that allows discussion and encourages further action. It works well as an evening activity with a meal or catch parishioners unawares with an impromptu screening during coffee after mass!
You can find all the resources you need including free downloads of the films on the CaFE website.
REFRESH YOUR PARISH NOTICE BOARD
Notice boards are notorious places! Often filled with old leaflets, irrelevant information, and advertising for past events. With proper management, however, a notice board can be a wonderfully simple way of capturing your parish’s attention and imagination, and communicating your exciting projects. Grab an organised person or two and get to work! Here are some ideas to spruce it up:
- Be ruthless – parish notice boards are not just “free advertising”, but should be used as a way to involve people and communicate the mission of your church. Depending on the state of your notice board, you might want to implement a policy/process for people who want to use it!
- Depending on the space you have, consider sectioning the board into clear areas of parish life – e.g. Volunteering/Outreach, Catechises, Liturgy, Environment, etc.
- Capture your parishioners’ imagination! Use posters and resources designed to inspire your community – such as the Reimagine our Common Home Poster – make your displays colourful and engaging!
- Share your news and updates on the board, as well as clear ways for people to get involved in parish projects.
BECOME A LIVESIMPLY PARISH
The LiveSimply Award is an accreditation from CAFOD that invites parishes to engage with Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’. It is a simple framework for action, and a great way to get your parish involved in projects and initiatives to care for our common home.
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