In a packed edition the NW NJPN Justice and Peace E Bulletin for November 2021 focuses on COP26 with the first of a series of daily reports from Ellen Teague and Jo Siedlecka for Independent Catholic News – look out for on future reports at http://www.indcatholicnews.com. Other items include a challenging speech by Pope Francis to the World Meeting of Popular Movements, an inspiring story of love and friendship, a report on Prisons Week including a short video clip which is well-worth watching, white poppies for peace, book reviews and a packed diary. Please read and pass on.
The NW NJPN E Bulletin for mid October covers a wide range of events and articles. The theme running through this issue is hope. We hear the voice of hope in the power of the human spirit in art, poetry, and stories: three Dads, former strangers united in grief, channelling the loss of their daughters to suicide to help others; 23 year-old footballer Marcus Rashford honoured in his home city for speaking out for children who live in poverty in the UK; 22 year-old Vian, who fled war in her Syrian homeland and is now continuing her training as an artist at college here; homeless people on park benches sharing their stories and building ‘community’; refugees and those who care for the dying finding hope in the belief that even ‘in a broken world, things aren’t fully broken’; hope to be found in Christ’s solidarity with the suffering earth and its potential restoration as described in a powerful article by Celia Deane -Drummond; hope, as Cardinal Vincent Nichols says, that the forthcoming synod will ‘make hopes flourish, stimulate trust, bind up wounds, and build bridges … to restore our common mission’; and hope that young people will be changemakers to create a more peaceful and sustainable world.
Please read and pass on.
In the run-up to COP26 the October issue of the NW NJPN E Bulletin features several articles on the climate crisis. You can read more on this in the Winter edition of Vocations for Justice from the Columbans (see attachment). The plight of refugees and the government’s approach to this humanitarian issue comes under criticism as well as the current plan to end the Universal Credit top-up. Also included are some innovative online resources from the Arts world, linking climate change, racism and refugees. We have advance notice of Challenge Poverty Week 11-17 October and Asylum Matters Week of Action 18-24 October plus a song and a poem for peace to celebrate Peace One Day (21 September) and look forward to International Peace Day (2 October). Look for some interesting diary dates too.
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The September issue of the NW NJPN E Bulletin leads with the current crisis in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of peace-keeping troops by the US. As the UK prepares to welcome refugees escaping persecution, Mayor Sadiq Khan condemns the immorality of hosting an Arms Fair in the London Docklands this September. Also featured this month are two important and contrasting synods: first the Root & Branch synod taking place in Bristol and by zoom from 5-12 September with discussions on ways to foster greater inclusivity for lay people, especially women, in the Catholic Church; the second the three-stage synod commissioned by Pope Francis which will culminate in October 2023. Sadly, this synod is structured in a way that gives power solely to local bishops to feedback comments and suggestions as they choose. For meaningful change to occur it’s vital for parishioners to seize the opportunity to dialogue with our bishops to make sure the views of the laity are heard and passed on. Women make up at least half of our congregations and yet the lectionary remains largely male-centric. A new lectionary compiled by a US Hebrew scholar seeks to address that imbalance, giving more focus to the role of women and girls to ‘centre’ on their stories and revealing that in the Hebrew Bible, the word for ‘Spirit of God’ (ruah) is grammatically feminine.
Included in this mailing is MouthPeace, the quarterly news bulletin for the dioceses of Shrewsbury and Liverpool. This excellent resource will shortly cover Lancaster diocese too. Many of the articles stretch beyond North West boundaries. Do sign up if you don’t already receive a copy.