‘Listen to the Voice of Creation’.
“I have heard their cry … I know their sufferings…Come, now! I will send you … I will be with you” (Ex 3:1-12).
This theme for the Season of Creation 2022 focusses on listening to those voices, which are not heard. They include women and girls, Indigenous Peoples, migrants, youth, the economically marginalised and people suffering from systemic racism.
These are the diverse voices of those who have the least, whether they live in developed or developing nations. Many are already responding to climate change related catastrophes and the loss of biodiversity. They have contributed the least to the climate crisis yet suffer the most from climate injustice such as environmental racism and gender injustice.
(From the ‘Celebration Guide for Season of Creation 2022 – page 20-24).
In our times (and in these very days) we know these voices, from our daily encounters with life around us and through being with those who are our neighbours and friends, and with others whom we hold in compassionate prayer, seeking an understanding of how to advocate on their behalf and how best to act.
The piece continues:
They [the diverse voices of those who have the least] have voices, and they have raised them, but what they have said has not led to enough action at the global level.
We are called to amplify their voices through advocacy. Advocacy based on evidence is meant to influence powerful decision-makers to address the root causes of injustice, fulfil human rights, and promote the well-being of all. Evidence includes what those affected have to say, their experiences and their solutions.
The passage goes on to explain that ‘Advocacy’ is not the same as speaking on behalf of someone, but is rather, the ‘lifting up’ of what they have said, and making sure it is heard by those who hold power.
Advocacy can be a potent way for us to amplify the voices of those who are too often silenced or ignored, a way of showing solidarity, and a way of living our faith. [Proverbs 31:9]
Faithful to Nano’s Legacy
Faith communities or faith-based organisations continue their work with the marginalised who are most impacted by climate change and the loss of biodiversity. The marginalised form the basis and the voice of the advocacy we do at a global level as Presentation people. Advocacy begins with careful listening and dialogue, moves through contemplative reflection and leads to action.
As Presentation people we continue living out the unfolding legacy of Nano Nagle our founder, through our social and political advocacy for those made poor. Advocating for the least. You can discover and uncover the reality of this work through contact with Presentation people wherever they exist (in 20 countries across the globe) and by getting to know the work of the International Presentation Association (IPA) a vital conduit between ‘lived justice & advocacy’ on the ground ‘through working for personal and systemic change for People and Earth’ and sharing this reality with and through the relevant and appropriate structures in the United Nations see https://globalpres.org/
The IPA is ‘inspired by Venerable Nano Nagle, who founded our congregation and ‘who saw that justice flowed from spirituality’.
- The IPA’s Vision is of a world in which the oneness and sacredness of all life is honoured
- Their Mission is to speak and act in partnership with others for global justice from a contemplative stance, in a spirit of oneness with the whole of creation (Seventh Assembly, 2017)
- Their Goal is to honour and advance the rights of Women and Children, Indigenous and Tribal People and the Earth.
“The mission of the International Presentation Association (IPA) is to speak and act in partnership with others for global justice from a contemplative stance in a spirit of oneness with the whole of creation.” – Mission Statement from the 2017 IPA Assembly.
See Our Global Work for Justice
See the work of the Presentation Sisters Justice Desk for Ireland and England – Justice Desk Facebook Page and also HERE
See also a link to the work of our Justice Peace & Integrity of Creation Commission (JPIC) for the North East Province (Ireland) on the Justice pages of our website e.g. – HERE
Advocacy at the global level: COP 27 and COP 15
It is also vital to ensure that human rights, social justice and the integrity of creation are at the centre of the response to the current climate and biodiversity crises. Two important global events are planned for the third quarter of 2022. Both can benefit from the knowledge and solutions of marginalised communities, those whose voices are not heard. Both events can make a huge difference in their lives.
COP27: Climate change
Important policies are decided at the United Nations’ annual climate change conference. Here the world comes together to make binding promises on how to lessen climate change and support the most vulnerable countries and communities as they suffer the impact of a changing climate.
COP27 takes place in Egypt November 7 to 18. In the lead up to COP27, and at the event, you can advocate for necessary funds for marginalised communities to help them implement the many solutions that will work in their circumstances. Particularly important this year is securing adequate financing for communities to adapt to the loss and damage done to land, livelihoods, cultures, species and peoples by the effects of climate change, and ensuring that the needs of marginalised women are at the centre of all climate plans.
The Fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties on Biodiversity (COP15) will be held in Kunming, China, later in 2022. It is time to hear and amplify what Indigenous peoples, women and girls, migrants, youth and the Earth are saying about their experiences with biodiversity. The world must hear the knowledge of these communities in order to find solutions to the impacts of climate change and the loss of biodiversity.
You can continue to get ideas as to what you can do as an individual or as community this #SeasonOfCreation (on pages 20 to 24) and so much more besides, in the SOC-2022-Celebration-Guide-Final-English
May God who established the dance of creation,
Who marvelled at the lilies of the field,
Who transforms chaos to order,
Lead us to transform our lives and the Church
To listen to the voice of all creatures,
That reflect God’s glory in creation.
(adapted from the Churches Together in Britain & Ireland (CTBI) Eco-Congregation Programme).
(Note: Image in banner adapted from a painting by Mike Moyer 2013 entitled ‘Hallelujiah!’).
Other links – #SeasonOfCreaton2022 are:
See Protect and heal God’s creation
And A new season