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MGA Cosmology/Eco-justice Committee Report from Newfoundland June 2017

June 15, 2017

 In all our programs this year at the Mercy Centre for Ecology and Justice, using the lens of the Universe Story as depicted in the Cosmic Walk, we have been walking back in time to take the long evolutionary and relational view of who we are and where we are going. Our focus in particular for the remainder of the year will be on water, one of the first elements to flare forth in the universe, the first molecule of life, and which has journeyed through deep millennia to this moment and has become conscious in us humans.

The Sustainable Development Goals:

From the perspective of water, we have identified two of the Sustainable Development Goals to which our attention will be directed:

Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

At a recent conference of Canadian Religious held in Toronto, Ontario guest speaker Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians, challenged Canadian Religious Communities to become Blue Communities by June 2018 and to encourage other faith communities and municipalities to be involved. This was seen as an urgent action for the protection of water commons which continues to be at risk of being sold or privatized. The goals of the Blue Community are

1. to recognize water and sanitation as a human right;
2. to ban or phase out the sale of bottled water in municipal facilities and at
municipal events;
3. to promote publicly financed, owned and operated water and waste services.

The Blue Communities’ Project Guide can be found here

At the above-mentioned conference, we were reminded by Elder Josephine Mandamin, Ojibwe Grandmother and Initiator of the Mother Earth Water Walks, that women, as life-givers, have a special responsibility to protect the water as sacred, as the “lifeblood of Mother Earth”. She emphasized the need for all of us to really listen to whatever water is close to us – lake, river, ocean - and spoke of water as having the same rights as humans to be respected and cared for.

From the very beginning of the Mercy Centre for Ecology and Justice the involvement of youth has been recognized as being essential to our ministry of ecology and justice.

The Cosmic Walk provides an opportunity for youth to realize their profound and intimate connection with nature and the need for responsible action in the care and protection of all life. One of the underlying principles behind the Walk is to provide an opening to recognize the reflection of God’s energy in the world and to engage youth in identifying with this spirituality. It offers an invitation for young people to view their Earth Home as a living organism rather than as a machine, or as a resource to plunder, or simply as an object. Experiencing the Cosmic Walk can lead them to discover that the fundamental reality in life is that of relationships rather than that of disconnected objects.

To extend the Cosmic Walk into the community, in addition to the more stable structure of the Cosmic Walk on the grounds of the Centre for Ecology and Justice, a portable program has been designed for use in parks, schools, church grounds and other faith communities. It is our hope that youth will take a leadership role in promoting our embedded identity in the one community of all life.

Summer Camp:

We are looking forward to our Summer Environmental Camp for children in Grades 2,3,4,5. Presently we have all 36 students registered and our teacher-facilitators and program in place.

Vegetable Garden Project

Students from the Language Training School for the Association for New Canadians are eagerly awaiting sunny warm days to celebrate the blessing of the land and the planting of the vegetable garden.

Messages to: Mary Tee rsm