WelCom September 2023
A small and enthusiastic group of parishioners gathered in St Anne’s Church Hall Newtown, Wellington, on Sunday 23 July, for an interactive workshop led by Peter Lang of Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand.
The theme was about the need to strengthen our understanding of the connections between the cry of the environment and the cry of the poor.
Peter highlighted the effects of climate change in Wellington and the Pacific, especially Fiji and Kiribati. Sr Ruth Coleman from the archdiocese Ecology Justice and Peace Commission led prayerful reflections.
The group discussed some actions individuals can do now. Noting New Zealand’s coming general election they also discussed the importance of using the opportunity to challenge politicians about issues such as deep-sea mining, mitigating carbon emissions and sustainable recycling. The group agreed we need to make ourselves aware of each party’s policies on ecology and addressing the climate crisis. They also noted it is encouraging to see young people’s passion in facing up to and challenging decision makers to address climate change.
Other considerations and actions discussed included: encouraging clergy to bring a focus from Laudato si’ into the Sunday liturgies; supporting the Season of Creation programme as a focus change; getting involved with local initiatives, for example pest eradication, beach and river clean-ups, community gardens, curb-side green waste recycling, planting native trees and shrubs, reducing waste; and the longer-term need to welcome climate-change refugees.