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  Echoing the Word July 2016  
  Vol. 15 No. 3 Caring for Creation    
Our Common Home
Anthony Kelly explores Laudato Si’ and examines theological issues in the encyclical letter, particularly the questions of “integral ecology” and “ecological conversion”.
 Editorial
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Caring for Creation
Editorial
The Church has a long history of seeing the glory of God in creation. In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis echoes the Church's tradition in calling for care and stewardship of the environment. We are called to hear the cry of the poor and the cry of the environment.
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 Scripture
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An Environmental Apocalypse?
Stuart Moran briefly explores the biblical messages concerning the environment. On the one hand creation is seen as “very good” and on the other hand God seems to willingly destroy creation in such stories as the divine flood. The reader is reminded of the importance of understanding the Bible in context and as a whole.
 
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 Theology
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Giving Trees a Voice
Tony Densley reflects on trees, from references to trees in the Bible to our use of trees as symbols of remembrance, our own childhood experience of trees. Trees play a vital role in our lives as Christians and as inhabitants of Earth.
 
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Liturgical Symbols and Creation
Denise Braddon reminds us that Christian liturgy already has many references to creation. This includes the beautiful symbols we use: oil, water, bread and wine. There are also days throughout the liturgical year that can help us focus on creation, such as Earth day and the feast of St Francis of Assisi.
 
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 Social Justice
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The Cry of the Earth, the Cry of the Poor
Peter Arndt applies the teachings of Laudato Si’ to the Australian issues of protecting the Great Barrier Reef, the Adani coal mine and the effects of rising sea levels on the Torre Strait islands. Students are encouraged to understand the problem and apply Church teachings.
 
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 For the Catechist
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Caring for Creation
Teaching Tips
Alison Newell looks at various ways we can teach students care for the environment, from prayer to Scripture stories to nature sacred spaces in the classroom. The environment is a great tool for applying Christian teachings to everyday life.
 
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 Movies
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Selma
Jan Epstein reviews the inspiring historic movie Selma. The movie dramatises the historic USA civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, in 1965.
 
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 Religious Literacy
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Teaching Young Children to Know and Appreciate Their Relationship with Creation
Jan Grajczonek writes about the importance of teaching children to know creation and to appreciate our relationship with creation. She uses the two creation stories of Genesis, the example of Saint Francis of Assisi and his Canticle of Creation to do this.
 
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  Featured Articles
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Seeking to Care for Our Common Home
Joe McKay explores the misguided understanding of humanity’s place in creation that has long shaped our relationship with the Earth as well as the misunderstanding of human progress as equivalent to human fulfilment.
 
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  Reviews & Resources
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Children's Literature
Jan Grajczonek reviews Milo: A Moving Story by Tohby Riddle, Mrs Dog by Janeen Brian, and Playing From the Heart by Peter H. Reynolds.
 
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Resources for Religious Education
Melanie Dooner reviews Life Story by Virginia Lee Burton, 110 Fun Facts About God’s Creation – Is it Animal, Vegetable or Mineral? by Bernadette McCarver Snyder and Caring for Our Common Home by Bill Huebsch and Trish Hindmarsh.
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  Liturgies & Activities
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A Letter From the Pope to the Whole World
Beth Nolen uses a four step what, where, why and how process to explore Laudato si’ with students. She uses child-friendly websites and animation to give students an understanding of the key issues and teachings before exploring how they can care for the environment.
 
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Caring for God's Creation
Anne Victor begins by taking students on a nature walk. She then weaves together activities to emphasise the wonder of creation and God as creator with students; using songs, literature and images.
 
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St Francis Cares for Creation
Anne Victor uses the beautiful canticle of creation by St Francis of Assisi as a model to encourage children to write their own prayers of praise for creation. After taking time to appreciate the wonder of creation Anne leads children into an exploration of our relationship with creation and God.
 
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What Could God Be Saying About Our World today?
Beth Nolen uses the creation story in Genesis 1 to look at differences in translation and then focuses on the word “dominion”. The task then guides students through an simple exploration of Laudato Si’.
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Yes, We Hold the World in Our Hands!
Caring for Creation
Jennifer Callanan’s prayer encourages students to celebrate the Christian call to care for the earth and show respect for God’s creation. The ritual includes a lament of the harm we have done to the earth in the past and hope in a better future.
 
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