December 2021: Solidarity letter with Fiji young people: The Integral Ecology Committee sent a letter of solidarity to young people in Fiji who marched for action on climate change in November. The letter told the young people who marched that they had been seen and heard. “We see that young people of the Pacific understand and perceive clearly the threat facing the whole of creation.”
October 2021: Prayer walk for Te Awa Kairangi: A group from parishes of the Hutt Valley walked the length of Te Awa Kairangi, the Hutt River, from Akatarawa to Petone on Sunday 3 October to mark the Season of Creation. The group sang, prayed, picked up rubbish, rested, and left stones for others to find with messages reminding finders of the importance of the river for life.
October 2021: Kaitiaki at Ōtari: A combined ecumenical prayer service was held by members of the parishes of Wadestown Presbyterian, St Luke’s Anglican, St Anne’s Anglican and Ōtari Catholic parishes on Sunday 3 October at Ōtari/Wilton bush to mark the Season of Creation.
September 2021: Cardinal McKeefry School Garden to Table programme: Cardinal McKeefry primary school in Wilton, Wellington has run a garden to table programme since 2018. On Wednesdays students in years 4, 5, 6 spend time in the garden and in the kitchen preparing the food they have grown. Read more about their work: Cardinal McKeefry Garden to Table
August 2021: Integral Ecology Committee resources for the Season of Creation 2021 – 1 September to 4 October: Members of the Integral Ecology Committee of the Wellington EJP Commission have prepared resources to assist parishes, families, communities and groups of the Archdiocese to join in deepening our commitment to care for creation during the Season of Creation. These have been prepared for use by parish liturgy groups or for people in Covid-19 bubbles, depending on the level of restriction throughout the Season. Week 1 resources / Week 2 resources / Week 3 resources / Week 4 resources/ Week 5 resources / Season of Creation full notes / Season of Creation prayer
August 2021: Ōtari parish recycling – every small action reduces our carbon footprint: St Thomas More church community in Ōtari parish has joined together to collect and recycle small items not otherwise accepted by the usual kerbside recycling collection. They share their story and invite other parishes and workplaces to join them
August 2021: From bread bag to fence post – a lockdown reflection from Catherine Gibbs: Integral Ecology Committee member Catherine Gibbs is using the August 2021 Covid-19 lockdown to make a small change to her life that will make a difference for others. She has learned that her bread bags can be turned into fenceposts when using soft plastics recycling bins and encourages others to do the same.
June 2021: Integral Ecology Committee submission on Transport Emissions: The Integral Ecology Committee of the Wellington EJP Commission made a written submission to Hīkina te Kohupara – Kia mauri ora ai te iwi: Transport Emissions – Pathways to Net Zero by 2050. The submission welcomed consultation about changes to transport systems to enable the transition to a zero-emissions economy. The submission said affordability of public transport is key in encouraging people to shift away from private vehicle use.
May 2021: Ōtari parish members measure household carbon footprints: Estelle and Stuart Henrys from Ōtari parish have shared at the 2021 Three Dimensions of Laudato Si’ Day and 2020 Mission Expo about their experience measuring their household carbon footprint. In May 2021, many Ōtari parish members committed to measuring household carbon footprints as a first step towards becoming more informed about their personal impacts on climate change. Please feel to adapt this information from the Ōtari parish newsletter for other parishes.
Tracking your household carbon footprint
March 2021: Submission to Climate Change Commission: The Integral Ecology Committee made a submission on the Climate Change Commission’s interim advice to government, supporting their recommendations. The submission recognized that human activity is changing our climate and that change is required at all levels of society. A three-decade transition to zero-carbon emissions requires a strong social contract – a duty of care. This includes supporting people to overcome barriers to change, such as to different forms of transportation, and facilitating the recovery of people affected by the transition.
March 2021: Three Dimensions of Laudato Si’ Day: On 20 March, around 80 people attended a day of formation on the spiritual, lifestyle and public sphere dimensions of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ on the care of our common home. Hosted by the Integral Ecology Committee, and representatives of the Ōtari, Plimmerton and Upper Hutt parishes who had run formation programmes in 2020, participants took part in workshops, and listened to groups talking about ways that care for creation is being put into practice in parishes and schools of the Archdiocese. Wel-com story on Three Dimensions of Laudato Si’ Day
September 2020: Archdiocese of Wellington election forum on environmental and climate change issues: The Archdiocese of Wellington EJP Commission hosted an election forum with representatives of six political parties. The forum was hosted by Dr Areti Metuamate and featured young people asking questions on environmental issues. It was attended by a small live audience and watched online by over 500 more people. Wel-com article on 2020 Election Forum
September 2020: Nelson parish Laudato Si’ formation series: Understanding how environmental and social issues are connected was a key insight for participants in Laudato Si’ formation which took place at Holy Family parish in Nelson/Stoke in the week of 21-25 September, during the Season of Creation. The series took the title “WE change begins with ME change”.
Laudato Si’ – Nelson parish formation series September 2020
September 2020: Season of Creation: Ecumenical walks were held in the Ōtari-Wilton Bush reserve and Plimmerton beach in September as part of the Season of Creation 2020. The walks symbolically visited the Genesis creation story – stopping at seven ‘stations’ to recall the story from Genesis, with readings from scripture, reflection and prayer.
May 2020: Reflections on Laudato Si’: Integral Ecology Committee members wrote reflections on Laudato Si’ for the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical on care for creation.
March 2020: Laudato Si’ formation during Lent: Ōtari and Upper Hutt parishes adopted environmental themes for Lent 2020. Ōtari parish hosted three evening sessions on the theme Hear the cry of the earth – Whakarongo ki te tangi a Papatūānuku: We can make a difference. St Joseph’s parish of Upper Hutt chose water as a focus, seeking commitment to new ways of caring for their local area. Some sessions had to be postponed because of the Covid-19 lockdowns.
October 2019: St Mary’s College students sustainable young enterprise group: St Mary’s College students undertook a young enterprise project aimed at reducing plastic waste by marketing plant based wax food wraps. Wel-com story on “It’s a wrap” project
July 2019: Submission supporting Climate Change Response Bill: The EJP Commission’s Integral Ecology Committee made written and oral submissions to Parliament’s Environment Select Committee supporting climate targets which will keep temperature increases below 1.5 degrees celcius. Wel-com story on Climate Change Bill submission
June 2019: Gathering of student environmental groups with Cardinal John Dew: Representatives of student-led environmental groups from Catholic secondary schools of the Archdiocese met with each other and Cardinal John to share their projects and experiences, learn about and discuss Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’, and plant a totara tree together.
June 2019: Tree planting for World Environment Day: Several schools of the Archdiocese planted trees for World Environment Day, including Sacred Heart primary school in Petone and Holy Family school in Porirua. Wel-com story on 2019 World Environment Day activities
March 2019: Stronger together – Plimmerton parish climate action series: St Theresa’s parish of Plimmerton held a Lenten series of talks aimed at assisting parishioners to deepen their understanding of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ and to identify ways to take action locally. Wel-com story on Plimmerton climate action series