In her Editorial, Ellen Teague says: “In this year of UK leadership of COP26 in Glasgow, the UK must take the lead. A huge discussion is going on regarding Individual Lifestyle Change versus System Change. Both are important and linked, but I feel we in the Justice and Peace Network must particularly address System Change. It is a popular call at young people’s climate strikes.” The newsletter centrespread shows key asks at COP26.
The Columbans feel a successful COP26 will be a success for the poor. Parish and school action has been building up during the current Season of Creation and the Church is amplifying the demands of the poorest nations where climate impacts are most devastating. It is our moral duty to do this. Moreover, what may first become apparent amongst the most vulnerable will, in time, impact everyone.
The newsletter also launches the Columban Schools Media Competition 2022 which takes the theme: ‘Anyone can make a difference: 21st Century Changemakers’. It is based on a quote from young climate activist Greta Thunberg and suggests that we can all do something towards building a more sustainable future. Inspiration is taken from the Young Christian Climate Network’s Relay to COP and Camino to Cop which have been making their way to Scotland, raising awareness along the route. Columbans joined the walks in London and Birmingham. There is a flagging up that Operation Noah will announce the next tranche of divestment by religious groups on 25 October. And the Columbans support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill, described by Melanie Nazarth of Christian Climate Action as, “a ground- breaking blueprint for serious climate and ecological action in the UK.”
Columban Education worker James Trewby highlights the seeds being planted with schools and youth to engage with the Season of Creation and with COP26. He is planning to be in Glasgow with a young adult group and helping to plan a 24-hour vigil, assembling material for it internationally. Columban eco-theologian Fr. Sean McDonagh and Ellen Teague will also be there.
‘Vocation for Justice’ is a 12-page magazine sent out three times a year since 1986 to around 7,000 readers. The Columban editorial team comprises Fr. Peter Hughes (JPIC Co-ordinator), Ellen Teague (Media), James Trewby (Education), Fr. Daniel O’Malley, Roberta Kim and David Madden.