GOING GREEN IN SUMMER -Part 1

The following suggestions can be adjusted to your particular circumstances and needs. You probably have many other practices that you already do. Discuss with your local living group/family other ideas that you could do to raise awareness. Make changes in a step-at-a-time fashion—adding a new focus or practice each month. Be patient and persevering—the Planet is worth it. We are all in it for the long haul.

PRAYER

  1. In daily personal prayer spend contemplative time outdoors or looking out a window praying with and for the EARTH.
  2. Allow current issues, like climate change, the scarcity of fresh drinking water in some parts of the world, the destruction of our forests due to fire or unchecked lumbering practices, and the pollution of our oceans be a focus of your prayer.
  3. Pray that all humanity remembers and responds to its responsibility to care for the Earth.
  4. The EARTH needs our prayers more than we know. It needs us to acknowledge its sacred nature and to remind ourselves and others of this truth.
  5. Whenever possible use the outdoors as a setting for group prayer.
  6. In your ministry–within parish, school, family or volunteer activities raise up EARTH concerns when you are gathered for prayer.

PERSONAL PRACTICES

  1. Buy no bottled water. Instead buy a metal or glass water bottle, fill it from the tap and keep it in the refrigerator to use for outings.
  2. Instead of running water from the tap until it is cold enough to drink, keep a jug of water in your refrigerator
  3. Combine trips to town/store/doctor, etc. for yourself and/or carpool.
  4. If your destination is a mile and a half or less, walk instead of driving
  5. Take public transportation or bike for local trips whenever you can.
  6. When traveling for vacation, consider going by car or train rather than plane to cut down on carbon emissions.
  7. While staying in a hotel or even at home, consider reusing your towels
  8. Look for eco-friendly products like clothing, swimsuits, sandals, towels, and skin care
  9. Mend clothing when you can, or ask a seamstress friend to help.
  10. Dry your clothes on a clothesline
  11. Limit the use of all plastics to emergencies.
  12. Use reusable bags at the grocery store or choose paper over plastic
  13. Go shopping in mid-afternoon, the hottest part of the day, and enjoy the air-conditioned stores.
  14. Shop at garage sales and thrift stores
  15. Spend the summer outdoors when you can: gardening, walking/hiking, reading, etc.
  16. Avoid overexposure to the sun by wearing hats and using eco-friendly skin protection products
  17. Take your car to a car wash that recycles its wash water. If washing your car at home, use a bucket of water and sponge. Rinse quickly at the end. Never allow the hose to run continuously.
  18. Avoid recreational water toys that require a constant flow of water.
  19. Maintain tools and equipment for safety and efficiency.
  20. When watering inside plants do not use tap water that runs through a water softener as it will destroy the plants.  Use water from outside water tap.
  21. Saving plastic pill containers after use, removing labels, washing them and dropping them off to a local church to be sent to third world countries so medication can be placed in them for safe distribution.
Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Peace and Justice Updates 6.23.2021

Statement on Juneteenth Observation
While we are all grateful that the celebration of Juneteenth will now be recognized as a federal holiday, we believe that there is still much to do to end the sin of systemic racism and ensure justice for all people. The following statement was released on our social media channels on Friday.

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We are honored to join our black sisters and brothers in the first official commemoration of Juneteenth – the date that marked the final end of slavery in the United States. This recognition is to be celebrated but is also bittersweet, as we realize that there is still much to do to heal the damage done by racial inequality and the systemic racism still in place in our nation.

While we pray with gratitude for this recognition of Juneteenth as a federal holiday, we also ask God to move each of us, as Christians, citizens, and leaders, to work for equality in education, housing, voters’ rights, the legal system, and employment.

We pray for the souls of those who died in slavery, and for those who died fighting for equality. May they experience the everlasting peace and justice of the Kingdom of God, and may we work towards that same peace and justice here on Earth.

The Interfaith Power & Light Film
Interfaith Power & Light will be sharing Other Side of the Hill, a hopeful, inspiring look at local leaders in rural America who are leading climate action in their communities.

This 30-minute film will be available for free online viewing July 10 – 25. Registration opens July 1.

You can watch the trailer and sign up to get a registration reminder here.

A screening kit from Interfaith Power and Light will be available on July 1.

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Peace and Justice Updates 6.16.2021

Tell Your Representative – Approve a Climate-Friendly Budget
President Biden’s 2022 budget prioritizes protections for our air, water, lands, biodiversity, wildlife, and oceans. The $6 trillion budget increases investments by over $14 billion for climate action, compared to 2021—across nearly every agency. EPA will get a 21% increase, and there are historic funding levels to secure environmental justice for communities that have been left behind.

A budget is a statement of values. It is good to see a budget more in line with our values of caring for Creation, loving our neighbors, and being good stewards of God’s precious creation, but now we need Congress to begin the process of taking up this budget proposal and passing it into law. Click here to let your representatives hear from you.

What is Juneteenth?
While many Black Americans have celebrated Juneteenth for years, it has sadly been minimized in most history books. Click here for an explanation of our “Second Independence Day” from The National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian.

The Washington Post is presenting a series of webinars on race in America as part of its Juneteenth observance. They are open to the public.

How Religious Sisters Work for Racial Justice
The Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange featured their racial justice efforts in a recent episode of their podcast, Sister Storylab. Click here to listen

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Peace and Justice Updates 6.9.2021

Racism as Soul Sickness
June 14 – June 16, the Oblate School of Theology will present a series of lectures and discussions examining the issue of racism by drawing upon the experience of Black, Hispanic, and Asian Americans. F
eatured speakers will be Rev. Dr. Bryan Massingale, Dr. Teresa Maya, CCVI, and Dr. KimOanh Nguyen-Lam. For more information or to register, click here. 

Black Americans in the Church
Father Bryan Massingale presents the findings of a recent Pew Research Center on the state of Black faith in America. He says that we are witnessing an exodus of African Americans from the Catholic Church – and he thinks he knows why. Click here to read the article from US Catholic.

Week of Action to Eliminate Child Labor Trafficking – June 12 – 17
USCSAHT is committed to ending all forms of human trafficking, including child labor trafficking. We join with the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and International Labour Organization (ILO) during the week of action to Eliminate Child Labor Trafficking June 12 – 17.
Child labor trafficking can be seen in many forms ranging from bricklayers in India, to the cocoa fields in Africa, to homeless youth forced to work as street beggars or roving magazine sales in the States. USCSAHT, as an organization, has made a Pledge to End Child Labor and we encourage you to take ACTION of your own.  

To mark this week of action, the USCSAHT offers these learning opportunities.

Members’ Sponsored Webinars:

  • Wednesday, June 9 at 1:00 p.m. EST
    In honor of the World Day Against Child Labor (June 12), join us on for a 60 minute Interactive Webinar on the problem of child labor and the work of Sr. Mary Vertucci, MM, and her colleagues at the the Emusoi Centre in Tanzania, which focuses on educating young women to provide pathways out of poverty and early marriage. The webinar is being organized by the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, Lay Missioners, Sisters, and the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns. Click HERE for more information and to register for the webinar.
  • Monday, June 14 at 8-10am EST 
    To celebrate the World Day Against Child Labour, the Good Shepherd International Foundation and Bon Pasteur Kolwezi present: “What works in eliminating child labour in artisanal mining?” We will share lessons and results from our mission, since 2013, to eliminate child labour in the artisanal mines in and around Kolwezi, the DR Congo’s copper and cobalt belt. REGISTER HERE.
  • Monday, June 14 from 11:00AM-12:30PM EST
    You are invited to join the NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons and the NGO Committee on Migration for our event in commemoration of World Day against Child Labor: “Improving Outcomes for Migrant Children at Risk of Trafficking.” The event will take place virtually on Zoom on . Register for the event at this link.
Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Peace & Justice Updates – 6.2.21

Attend Wear Orange 2021
We participate in Wear Orange events to remember lives lost to gun violence and to raise awareness about this public health crisis.  Every day, more than 100 Americans are killed with guns and more than 230 are shot and wounded.  These survivors are faced with a life-long process of physical and emotional healing.

Gun suicide claims the lives of over 23,000 people in the United States each year.  More than 14,000 people die in gun homicides.  The United States gun homicide rate is 25 times higher than that of other high-income countries.

Firearms are the leading cause of death for children and teens in the United States.  Every year, more than 3,000 children and teens are shot and killed, and another 15,000 are shot and wounded – an average of nine children and teens shot and killed and 42 shot and wounded every day.

Fifty-eight percent of American adults or someone they care for have experienced gun violence in their lifetime.  Approximately three million American children witness gun violence every year.

Together, we can build a future free from gun violence.  Stand up, speak out, and participate in Wear Orange events to raise awareness.

Join us as we honor survivors of gun violence this National Gun Violence Awareness Day and Wear Orange weekend from June 4-6.

Click here to find a Wear Orange event near you.

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates