Caritas International: World Takes Small Steps on Climate Change

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Nine Caritas members attended the 23rd session of the COP to spread their message of climate change going hand in hand with social justice and the fight against poverty. The group is trying to bring attention to agriculture, human rights and climate change, and climate finance. This article discusses progress they have made in these areas and what they believe still needs to be done. To read more click here.

Caritas International

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Caritas International has 160 members who are working in almost every country of the world. Inspired by Catholic faith, Caritas is a helping hand of the Church – reaching out to the poor, vulnerable and excluded to build a world based on justice and love. They work to transform lives and call for a better world for the most vulnerable of the world’s people who are the most affected by climate change and natural disasters. To read more about Caritas, click here.

Religion and Environment Songs: Dust Bowl Dance by Mumford & Sons

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Song Picks by Natalie

Dust Bowl Dance is a song by Mumford & Sons. The song is describing the historical dust bowl that occurred in the 1930’s in the United States. The band is describing the hardships farmers had to endure. Many were forced to leave their land and some even died from the extreme dust storms that happened. The lyrics state,

“I’ve been kicked off my land at the age of sixteen
And I have no idea where else my heart could have been
I placed all my trust at the foot of this hill
And now I am sure my heart will never be still
So collect your courage and collect your horse
And pray you never feel this same kind of remorse”

Later in the song he then says,

“There will come a time I will look in your eye
You will pray to the God that you’ve always denied”

The band is telling the story of a boy that was a victim of the times and was forced to leave his land. I think that this connects to Christianity because he describes turning to God in his time of anger. Throughout the song, the lyrics describe the people who took the land as greedy and says they cannot love the land when they took it from the hands of the poor. I think that this then leads to the lyrics listed above, where they say “You will pray to the God that you’ve always denied.” I think that they are saying by being greedy and not doing anything about the land that was being destroyed by the dust bowl, which is what forced this boy to leave his land, that they are denying God. To listen to the Dust Bowl Dance click here. To view the lyrics, click here.

Earth Ministry Songs and Hymns

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Earth Ministry created a list of songs and hymns that are related to creation. The list is meant to be a resource for creation honoring worship services. To view the all of the songs, click here.

Religion and Environment Songs: Mitakuye Oyasin by Nahko and Medicine for the People

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Song Picks by Natalie

Mitakuye Oyasin is a song by Nahko and Medicine for the People that I feel relates to spirituality and nature. The phrase comes from the Lakota language and reflects the world view of interconnectedness held by the Lakota people of North America. The phrase translates in English as “we are all related.” The song begins with the lead singer describing being thankful for receiving a greater wisdom so that we as people can help all living things and calls this a prayer. The lyrics of the song describe being thankful for all that we have been provided before and then says,

“All of the blessings I have received
How could they have been bestowed upon me?
So I’ll put it all back in the ground
Back in the soil where I am found”

The band is describing their connection to the Great Spirit, or Wakan Takan Skan Skan, which translates from the Lakota language as Sacred Great Spirit. The song ultimately describes being thankful for this relationship and returning the blessings by taking care of the earth and all its creations. To hear Mitakuye Oyasin click here. To read the lyrics, click here.

From the Smallest Seed

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From the Smallest Seed is a project from A Rocha to connect faith, ecology, and songwriting. They have created two albums, From the Smallest Seed being the first volume, and Together in the Harvest being the second volume. These albums formed from a project held by the Nashville chapter of A Rocha where a group came together over ecology and songwriting. To purchase, or get a sneak peak of these albums click below.

Volume 1 : From the Smallest Seed

Volume 2: Together in the Harvest

CAFOD: Power to be Campaign

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The Power to be Campaign is a petition to the World Bank from the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development. They believe that every child has the power to achieve great things, but this can become difficult when one in six families still live without electricity. CAFOD is calling on the World Bank to ensure renewable energy access for the world’s poorest people. To read how you can help and how to sign the petition, click here.

Laudato Si’ Animation for Children

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This video on Laudato Si’ is a resource from the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development meant to explain the encyclical in a simple and easy to understand way. It describes what an encyclical is, what is being asked, and why any of it matters. To watch the video, click here.

Laudato Si’ for Youth Leaders

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Laudato Si’ for Youth Leaders is a document from the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development. The document provides youth activities that can be done separately or together to make entire whole session. To view all the activities or read the entire curriculum aid, click here.

How to Reduce Your Kid’s Lunch Box Trash

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“And I brought you into a plentiful land to enjoy its fruits and its good things. But when you came in, you defiled my land and made my heritage an abomination.” – Jeremiah 2:7

How to Reduce Your Kid’s Lunch Box Trash is a part of the Evangelical Environmental Network Mom’s Making Changes to Help God’s Creation series. It describes five simple and easy ways to pack a child’s lunch in a sustainable way. To read the entire document, click here.