We are very pleased to share a post from Resource Link which profiles first hand the discoveries and experiences enjoyed by the attendees of our recent 'Animators for Sustainability' program, held at the Santa Teresa Spirituality Centre.
If you ever had any questions, or were looking for insight, into the ASSISI program then this is a fantastic place to start. The respondents have been open, honest and the questions are diverse in nature. Worth a read.
Resource Link: http://resourcelinkbce.wordpress.com/
Nine animators for sustainability participated in the intense residential formation program at 'Winbourne', Mulgoa, 9th to 12th October. Catholic Education Wollongong was well represented together with Paul from Santa Sabina and Sr Kateie from the Pacific Calling Partnership.
During the four days, Megan Seneque and Luke Edward, from Catholic Earthcare Australia, invited the participants to join them on an inner journey as well as unpacking relevant social theory [such as Theory U] and praxis in the light of their particular contexts. Key topics included an exploration worldviews and critical self reflection, the invitation to particpation, generative conversation and dialogue, connecting with wisdom and Catholic tradition, articulating the characterisitcs of change and transformation at systems level.
On Friday morning participants presented their vision and aspects of their 'starter kit' and intial planning for promoting ecological conversion and greater ecological sustainability in their context.
Comments from the participants include:
'The most valuable thing that I took away from this wonderful course was that with positivity, anything can be done. It was an excellent program that helped you value dialogue in its deeper form and with it comes a generative change to your perspective and others around you.'
'I believe that the invitation to explore questions of sustainability that the program offers is very much answering our call as Catholics to “read the signs of the times”'.
'The program challenged, supported, affirmed and encouraged realistic planning and action.'
'I am leaving with a concrete plan of action to take back to my area of work.'
'In particular, the theological dimension has enhanced my knowledge of the topic.'
Catholic Earthcare Australia is offering an ASSISI Formation Program - Animators for Sustainability in Brisbane March 12th to 15th and Tasmania April 9th to 12th.
Click on the following to download the documents
Click on the following to download samples of core readings
“...someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides, and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, humanity will have discovered fire.”
(Pierre Teilhard de Chardin)
Are you wondering ...
I would like to invite you to participate in the ASSISI Animator for Sustainability Program and, secondly, to pass this invitation to others in your network for whom this might be applicable.
The Animators for Sustainability program is intended for those who are in leadership positions and those who have the capacity to lead change. Our experience in offering this program to date, has taught us that the ideal number of participants from any given organisation would be three or more.
Catholic Earthcare Australia offers ASSISI as a comprehensive and holistic sustainability initiative for organisations to achieve ecological sustainability. This intensive residential program is central to the formation experience for Animators. Participants are required to do some individual preparatory work prior to the program and some follow-up work with peers after the program.
During the course of the formation experience, participants are exposed to contemporary ecological theology, scientific understandings of sustainability and transformative social processes that are aimed to inspire and support you and your organisation on the journey of ecological sustainability. Participants will be invited to become part of Catholic Earthcare’s national network and the participant group will be invited to form a learning community for sustainability as a source of ongoing support.
Would you like to join with others to seek, discern and transform a new way of being that responds to the call for ecological conversion through participation in our ASSISI Formation - Animators for Sustainability program?
Yours in hope and peace,
Catholic Earthcare Australia
Participants from eleven diocese came together for the Creation and Reconciliation program at Mulgoa. A team drawn from the partnership with The Broken Bay Institute, Catholic Schools Office Broken Bay and Catholic Earthcare Australia faciliated the six-day residential program. During a field trip, Father Eugene Stockton shared his intimate knowledge of the landscape of the lower Blue Mountains. Father Denis Edwards explored the link between ecology, Christianity and Eucharist while Gerard Goldman opened up a theology of reconciliation. Megan Seneque lead a key process assisting all to embody creation and reconcilation into their 'Big Work', ie that mission particular to each individual.
One participant described the program as 'the best conference I have ever attended'.
The impetus for the program came from exposure to a similar program run in South Africa. Catholic Earthcare Australia looks forward to developing the 'Creation and Reconcilation' program in partnership with others in various Australian diocese.
A PREZI of the Creation and Reconciliation experience can be viewed by clicking here.
The formation program, 'Animators for Sustainability', was recently held in Victor Harbor, South Australia and Blackmans Bay, Tasmania. Luke Edwards and Megan Seneque facilitated both programs. Participants agree that 'this is an intensive program' and one which 'enables sustainability and catholicity to sit comfortably together'.
Participants are drawn from all sectors including education, financial management and health services.
Catholic Earthcare Australia supports participants in the development of a project to prototype and through the setting up of learning communities for sustainability. A Wiki page has been set up to enable the Victor Harbor Animators to support one another.
Dates and venues for further ASSISI Formation - Animators for Sustainability are being finalised.
Catholic Earthcare Australia has partnered with CarbonSystems to provide Catholic organisations with the means for measuring and reporting on their environmental performance as a part of the ASSISI sustainability initiative. The purpose for this partnership is firstly, to enable Catholic organisations to measure their ecological footprint and secondly, to reduce their footprint using the intelligence gained from the audit tool 'ESP - Enterprise Sustainability Platform'
ESP is being offered through Catholic Earthcare Australia to all Catholic organisations including Catholic Schools, Education Offices, Diocesan Offices, Parishes, Agencies, Universities, Health Organisations, Religious Congregations and Orders. The ESP system can aggregate and report on all of these diverse areas and over time will enable Catholic Earthcare Australia to report on the environmental footprint of the Catholic Church in Australia. Click here for the environmental audit brochure.
Click here to LOGIN to the Catholic Earthcare personal ecological calculator.
At a meeting in Sydney on 14 July, Catholic Earthcare's executive director, Jacqui Remond briefed Mr Gore on Earthcare's mandate from the Australian Bishops' to affect an 'ecological conversion' to an environmentally sustainable church in Australia.
Ms Remond said Earthcare's ecological sustainability model 'ASSISI' (A Strategic, Systems-based Integrated Sustainability Initiative) was now being piloted in Catholic schools and parishes in NSW and Queensland, in the Franciscan congregation in Australia and New Zealand, and in St John of God hospitals.(PDF 456KB).
Story by Dan McAloon
ASSISI (A Strategic, Systems-based, Integrated Sustainability Initiative) constitutes the Australian Catholic Bishops' sustainability initiative. It is a new, ongoing, large-scale intervention developed by Earthcare. It provides a theological, spiritual and practical base for implementing Earthcare's ecological vision for Catholic schools, parishes and church communities, agencies and congregations. It is a useful model and a roadmap for the way to achieve ecological sustainability for the Catholic Church in Australia.
The overarching aim of ASSISI is to provide a foundation for and a pathway to best practice in achieving ecological sustainability in Catholic schools, parishes, church agencies and organisations and congregations in Australia. The definition of ecological education which has been put forward for Catholic schools is relevant and appropriate for all Catholic organisations and agencies: a life-long process of recognising values and clarifying concepts in order to develop skills and attitudes necessary to understand and appreciate the inter-relatedness of all creation, and to know of creation as a gift from God which requires equitable sharing and right relationship. It also entails practice in decision making for living a life that is ecologically and ethically sustainable.
The approach we take in achieving our aim is not one based on compliance with externally imposed models and frameworks. The 'learning communities' approach involves a co-created process that enables organisations to work meaningfully with broader sustainability frameworks and make autonomous decisions appropriate to their own context and that link with their strategic intent. This enables the ecological conversion required for full ownership and embedding of ecological sustainability into all aspects of organisational life in the context of, and in collaboration with, the broader community.
Earthcare has embarked on a strategic partnership with Carbon Systems Australia to institute a system across the whole Catholic Church in Australia, in order to measure, track and report on energy, water and carbon performance on an ongoing basis. The Enterprise Sustainability Platform (ESP) is a low cost automated data collection tool for tracking, monitoring, benchmarking and reporting each Catholic organisation's ecological footprint. This provides essential information for decision making and driving reduction programmes.
Jacqui Remond, Director of Earthcare, is assisted by Megan Seneque in program design and facilitation. This is a long term approach, inspired by Catholic teachings, values and beliefs. It is aimed at developing, implementing and monitoring the processes needed to facilitate the development of a spirituality of communion that is at the heart of achieving ecological conversion and ecological sustainability in the Catholic Church in Australia.
To register your interest in this sustainability initiative complete your details in the registration box below and click 'submit'.*Required information.
(Your details will not be disclosed to any third party)
Are you interested in being a part of a local network of people to generate support and momentum for a transformation to ecological sustainability?
If you are interested in joining these groups or would like to establish a Community for Transforomation in your own diocese, register your interest at email@example.com. For more information, ring 02 89200719