Noirin Lynch sent ECI this report:
It was a pleasure to welcome the Eco-Congregation Ireland Climate Justice Candle to the Margaret Aylward Centre on 29 February for a special conference entitled ‘Beyond a Throwaway Culture: Finding Good Questions for Faith Leaders’. This gathering was aimed at urban communities who might be unsure of how to proceed on the theme of eco-justice, particularly in economically deprived areas where the cry of the poor sometimes seemed to overwhlem the cry of the earth. We aimed to find the link between the two and to encourage leaders with resources and networks to choose small local steps that both respected peoples local reality and the earths call for healing.
The gathered group had participants from across Dublin and beyond, from parish, community groups and local services. We had excellent input from Dr Eoin O’Mahony (Geographer on urban neoghbourhoods), Dr Ciara Murphy (Environmentalist with the Jesuit centre for Faith and Justice, on the connections between social justice and care for the earth), Brenda Farrell (liturgy, prayer and workshop on spirituality and nature walks), Frank Greally (Athletics Ireland ambassador for the Daily Mile) and Nadine Cunningham (teacher and gardener who has created a beautiful school garden with students).
We began and finished in prayer, and the Eco-Congregation Candle provided a beautiful centrepiece together with a local crab apple tree which was planted in our biodiversity garden in honour of the event. Each participant was given some Irish wildflower ‘seedbombs’ to take home with this instruction:
We had planted our tree to grow and thrive here now we give you Irish seed bombs to take home. These seeds contain the mystery of life the energy of God with our care that energy will unfold. Under our care these seeds will grow and bloom and thrive we will become co creators with God. On this lovely note we went out – to listen to the cry of the poor and the cry of the earth, and to make constant small positive steps in our local area to care for our common home.