Climate Justice

Many in our region are concerned about the present and looming climate crisis, wondering how they can influence it to avert catastrophe and live abundant lives.

At the conclusion of the discussion and action series (see below) we agreed to support the Climate Welcome that 350.org is planning for Nov 5-8 at the Prime Minister's residence in Ottawa. 

Our group decided to send a blanket, a symbol of peace, and water from the confluence of the Columbia and the Kootenay Rivers.

Square to be sewn together to make a blanket

Image: Courtesy BlueFeatherArchangel
If you can knit 6"x6" (10cm x 10cm) squares and bring them to the church by Sunday, Oct 25, they will be sewn together into a blanket so the demonstrators can keep warm.



Climate Discussion and Action Series



Overview
The 6-week series followed the 6-chapter structure of the teaching letter issued by the Roman Catholic Pope Francis. 

Week 1 (Sep 8): WHAT IS HAPPENING TO OUR COMMON HOME

Week 2 (Sep 15): THE GOSPEL OF CREATION

Week 3 (Sep 22): THE HUMAN ROOTS OF THE ECOLOGICAL CRISIS

Week 4 (Sep 29): INTEGRAL ECOLOGY

Week 5 (Oct 6): LINES OF APPROACH AND ACTION

Week 6 (Oct 13): ECOLOGICAL EDUCATION AND SPIRITUALITY

The summary of the teaching letter is available here.

Outline

Each session will follow this outline:
  1. Introductions and welcome
  2. Recap of the reading (the relevant section of the letter)
  3. Reflection
  4. Discussion questions posed
  5. Discussion (this is the bulk of the gathering)
  6. Reflection
  7. Closing

A few notes about process

We will espouse three core elements that the Northwest Earth Institute has found to be helpful: collaborative discovery, personal reflection, and opportunity for action

The circle group model is collaborative and self-facilitated. There is no expert, and everyone shares their ideas and insights while respecting one another’s views. It is also meant to be a safe place to express your opinions. We value diverse opinions and perspectives. It is imperative that the groups are affirming and nonjudgmental. This is not the place for individual rants and specific agendas. These groups are non-prescriptive, meaning that we are not seeking to build consensus, but instead are exploring possibilities.

The circle process allows everyone to have a voice. No one should dominate the discussion. After the opening, the facilitator begins with an opening question around the circle so that everyone gets a chance to speak. Other discussion questions are listed, but these are just guidelines; letting the discussion flow organically is the best approach. The groups are not expected to get through every question – although they can if it works that way.

Each session starts with an opening, where someone volunteers (in advance) to recap the chapter that was 'assigned' at the previous gathering. The person leading the opening then shares a personal story of an event in their life with which the chapter resonated. This starts the session with personal connection to the reading for the week. The person leading the opening may offer a symbol or talisman or light a candle to offer a physical focal point.

Facilitation is shared. Sharing the leadership role empowers individuals to become more involved in the group – and helps participants better value the format. The facilitator’s role is to:
• keep track of the time
• be sure everyone has the opportunity to speak
• ask discussion questions to get the conversation going
• keep discussion focused on the week’s topic, without being too forced
• prevent cross-talk, interruptions, or judgmental views

We expect the format will enhance the group's leadership and adaptive capacities while minimizing oppression.