religion

20th YMCA World Council: “Ignite”

On 3 July 2022, the 20th YMCA World Council will begin. For the first time ever, it’s going to be a hybrid event. We will meet in person in Aarhus, Denmark, and online. We continue to monitor the COVID situation, and try and do the right thing. The priority is for as many as possible to meet, one way or the other, at another vital moment for the global YMCA Movement. Why?

Because our world and our YMCA has been turned on its head by this pandemic, and we need to reconnect: we’ve missed each other. We’re ready to respond to new learning, new imperatives, new roles, and new methods in supporting young people and their communities.

Which is why the World Council theme in 2022 is simply ‘IGNITE.’ It’s a moment to provide the spark and light the flame to take us forward. Specifically, we’ll be igniting our vision, our collaboration, and our solutions. The World Council itself is the global YMCA Movement’s highest decision-making body, bringing together all 120 National YMCA Movements. More than that, it’s the biggest and most important shared space we have.

What do we hope to achieve? At least four things:

First, agreeing and adopting a new Movement-wide strategy, as we look towards a 2030 horizon. Imagine: wherever we are in the world, we all agree on a common vision, mission and goals. Our ‘North Star.’

Second, showcasing ‘solutions’, and specifically ‘youth-led solutions, sharing what we’ve done in identifying, supporting and seed-funding young people’s responses to their own challenges in their own communities, in areas like climate, jobs and mental health and working together – ‘collaborating’ in ‘co-labs’ across the generations – to develop and launch new youth solutions in line with Vision 2030.

Third, strengthening our governance as we elect new officers.

And fourth, just enjoying ‘family’ and fun, as we celebrate and enjoy who we are and where we’re from. Imagine: the ‘great global good’ of the YMCA at play. We really do refuel at World Council….before we ‘IGNITE.’

In person, we’ll do all this in Aarhus, Denmark’s second city. A green and beautiful place, an old city with a young population, a port city with a view on the world, and the stunning conference facilities of the city’s world-famous Concert Hall. We’ll keep you posted about all the practical details. Register from 1st November here.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com. 

Climate and nature: The Role of Faith-Based Organizations in Securing an Equitable, Net Zero Emissions and Nature Positive World for All

Dear friends and colleagues,

On behalf of the Faith and Biodiversity UN Coordination Group, we are delighted to invite you to this hybrid events we are hosting and livestreaming at COP26 in Glasgow. This discussion will explore the role that faith-based organizations can play in advocating for strong action on climate and biodiversity. It will explore the theological and philosophical basis of the current environmental crisis, and offer insights into how humanity can re-orientate itself to being in harmony and balance with nature. The event will also explore the connections between COP26 and the CBD COP15, and how faith groups can help advocate for a strong Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework to secure an equitable, net-zero emissions and nature-positive world for all.
Speakers:
  • Sister Jayanti, Brahma Kumaris
  • Karenna Gore, Center for Earth Ethics
  • Debra Boudreaux, Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation
  • Gopal D. Patel, Bhumi Global
  • Moderated by: Gavin Edwards, Global Coordinator, WWF New Deal for Nature and People
Live streaming will be available at: youtube.com/user/WWFClimate 

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit congocsd.wordpress.com.

Informal Interfaith dialogue in the spirit of the Talanoa Dialogue

Ahead of COP26, the Interfaith Liaison Committee to the UNFCCC is pleased to invite you to an Informal Interfaith dialogue in the spirit of the Talanoa Dialogue. This hybrid event will include:

For more information, check out the ILC Website or ILC Facebook / ILC Twitter, which will be updated with the Talanoa Dialogue flyer & info for registration.

The plenary and Interfaith Service will be livestreamed on Youtube & Small-group discussions via zoom registration. Register here: lutheranworld-org.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAqf-GprjwsE9bnl2fvmbUTGiiDS_ErqQNN

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org

What the world religious leaders are doing about the climate crisis

Hosted by the Temple of Understanding, on Oct. 28. Rev. Fletcher Harper and Rev. Brian McGurk will dialogue about the recent “Faith and Science Toward COP26” meeting convened by Pope Francis with 40 world religious leaders and also comment on the Interfaith program called “Faith Plans for People and the Planet” which aims at leveraging religious groups’ assets and investments.

The Rev. Fletcher Harper is an Episcopal priest and the Executive Director of GreenFaith, a global multi-faith climate and environmental justice network. An internationally recognized author, speaker, and pioneer of the worldwide religious environmental movement, he has been a leading voice in the faith community’s response to the climate crisis for the last two decades. He has worked with diverse faith leaders around the world, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. Rev. Harper is the co-founder of “Shine”, an international campaign that brings together bold innovators to overcome the threat of entrenched poverty and climate change, and to achieve universal access to affordable and reliable energy. He spearheads the faith-based fossil fuel divestment movement around the world, is one of the faith leaders of the “People’s Climate Marches”, and plays a leading role in the “Interfaith Rainforest Initiative”, a campaign organizing religious communities to fight tropical deforestation and protect Indigenous Peoples’ rights. Rev. Harper is the author of “GreenFaith: Mobilizing God’s People to Protect the Earth.”

Rev. Brian McGurk has served as the Rector of St. Christopher’s Church, Chatham, since 2003, and as the Dean of the Cape Cod and Islands Deanery (2004–14). In the Diocese of Virginia he was the Chairman (of the Board) of the Peter Paul (Children and Youth) Development Center (Richmond); Co-chair of the Virginia Diocesan Commission for South African Partnership; a member of the Overseas Mission Committee and the Diocesan Executive Board. He has led and participated in several mission trips to South Africa and Kenya, and is a graduate of Trinity College and Yale University Divinity School.

ECO JUSTICE FOR ALL interviews and dialogues are ongoing programs produced by the Temple of Understanding, incorporating our outreach in the area of environmental awareness and advocacy. We present a diverse range of perspectives, from scientific to spiritual views, on the climate emergency and offer a variety of solutions that we can all do easily and effectively in our everyday lives. World religious and spiritual visionaries, Indigenous leaders, scientists and social scientists, environmental activists, artists, musicians and writers, youth and elders, local and global people, all come together to address the urgency of the climate crisis through these ongoing interviews and dialogues.

Register here!

__________________________________________________________________________________________CoNGO Notes: For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit facebook.com/groups/1637987226437203. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit congocsd.wordpress.com.

Episcopal Church Climate Advocacy at the UN: COP26 Kick-Off with Bishop’s Delegation

Dear UN faith-based and civil society partners in climate action at COP26,

You are warmly invited to Episcopal Church Climate Advocacy at the UN: COP26 Kick-Off with the Presiding Bishop’s Delegation,” this Thursday, October 28th, 1 – 2:30 pm Eastern, as well as our subsequent events on November 6th and 12th.

Find all the information here: The Episcopal Church’s presence at COP26.

Kind regards,

Lynnaia Main |  OFFICER, EPISCOPAL CHURCH REPRESENTATIVE TO THE UNITED NATIONS  | Mission | The Episcopal Church

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit congocsd.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org

COP26, Fossil Fuel Divestment and a Just Transition for All

Around the world, faith institutions are supporting a just transition from fossil fuels to clean energy by divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in climate solutions.

More than 500 faith institutions have made fossil fuel divestment commitments, including the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, the Methodist Church of Great Britain, the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, American Jewish World Service, the Islamic Society of North America and Sydney Buddhist Centre. In 2020, the Vatican recommended that Catholic institutions divest from fossil fuel companies.

Join this interactive webinar the week before COP26 in Glasgow to hear from inspiring leaders on the steps that faith institutions are taking on fossil fuel divestment and investment in climate solutions.

The webinar will highlight the recent call from Southern African Anglican Bishops for an immediate end to oil and gas exploration in Africa. You will also hear from faith institutions demonstrating leadership on investment in climate solutions, including the Church of Sweden.

We are delighted to welcome the following speakers:

  • Keynote speaker: Bishop William Nolan, Bishop of Galloway and Lead Bishop on the Environment for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Scotland
  • Bishop Hugh Nelson, Bishop of St Germans in the Diocese of Truro (Church of England): The Diocese of Truro decision to divest from fossil fuels and invest in renewable energy
  • Rev. Dr. Rachel Mash, Environmental Coordinator of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (Green Anglicans): The call of Southern African Bishops for an immediate end to fossil fuel exploration in Africa
  • Gunnela Hahn, Head of Responsible Investment, Church of Sweden: Fossil fuel divestment and investment in climate solutions
  • Sunita Viswanath, Co-Founder of Hindus for Human Rights and GreenFaith Fellow
  • Richard Brooks, Climate Finance Director, stand.earth
  • James Buchanan, Bright Now Campaign Manager at Operation Noah, will join the speaker panel for the Q&A

Webinar chair: Prince Papa, Africa Programs Coordinator at Laudato Si’ Movement

It will provide an opportunity to find out how your Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish or other faith organization can join the next global divestment announcement in the spring of 2022.

This webinar is organized by Laudato Si’ Movement, Operation Noah, World Council of Churches, Green Anglicans and GreenFaith.

Register here!

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org

Episcopal Church events at COP26

Dear UN faith-based and civil society partners in climate action at COP26,

We hope this finds you doing well as COP26 approaches. Please find yourselves warmly invited to join our Episcopal Church events at COP26 on October 28th, November 6th and November 12th. And of course, we will be in touch with you ahead of and during COP26, and beyond.

Our Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop’s delegation to COP26 also would like to share with you this letter sent today to member states, their National Focal Points, the UNFCCC Secretariat and other UN partners, in the hopes that it will help you in our collective advocacy ahead of COP26.

We invite you to share your feedback and news of your own climate action at COP26, so we can advance together and learn from each other.

Peace,

Lynnaia Main |  OFFICER, EPISCOPAL CHURCH REPRESENTATIVE TO THE UNITED NATIONS  | Mission | The Episcopal Church

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development- Vienna, please visit  congocsd.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org.

Conversation with Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief

Please join us on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, 10:00am to 11:15am (Eastern) for a conversation about Freedom of Thought with Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief.

On the occasion of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief is hosting a conversation with Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, to discuss his most recent report (presented to the Third Committee on October 19, 2021), which focuses on the Freedom of Thought. Dr. Shaheed will discuss what freedom of thought entails, how and where it is most in danger of being violated, the ways in which emerging technologies are threatening this right, how it connects with religious freedom and freedom of expression, and how it is impacted by social media, among other things.

Dr. Shaheed’s report on Freedom of Thought can be accessed here: https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Religion/A_76_380_AUV.docx

We will have time for Q+A, so please feel free to come with questions for Dr. Shaheed.

Please note: Registration is required by Monday, October 25, at 11:59pm. To register, please reply to this email with your name and organization. You will receive a Zoom link via email on the morning of the event.
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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, one of many Substantive Committees of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations, please visit unforb.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns-NY, please visit facebook.com/groups/1637987226437203. For more information on the NGO Committee on Mental Health, please visit ngomentalhealth.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org

Remembering Past Massacres: Honoring the Legacy & Resilience of the Victims

Dear ecumenical friends,

The WCC/CCIA (Commission of the Churches on International Affairs) series of regional webinars focussing on REMEMBERING PAST MASSACRES: HONORING THE LEGACY AND RESILIENCE OF THE VICTIMS will take us this time to the Pacific. We hope you’ll join us! Please share in your networks.

Date: Monday 18 October 2021

Time: 9:00 – 10:30 AM CEST (i.e. 8AM Lagos, Nigeria / 2PM Bangkok, Thailand / 7 PM Suva, Fiji / 8PM Nakualofa, Tonga)

Speakers:

  • Rev. James Bhagwan, General Secretary, Pacific Conference of Churches
  • Danity Laukon, University of the South Pacific Marshall Islands
  • Taaitulagi Tuioti, Methodist Church in Samoa
  • Rev. Billy Wetewea, Protestant Church of Kanaky New Caledonia

Register here: us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_auNIo99OSg2-BSipSLGTMA

Learn more via Twitter or Facebook.

Objectives of the webinar:

This series of regional webinars is organized by the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in collaboration with the WCC Spiritual Life. It is part of the many virtual events organised this year to mark the 75th anniversary of the CCIA. Realizing that several of these massacres have lost relevance over the years, or are simply forgotten, the purpose of these regional webinars is to reflect on how these fallen heroes and heroines are remembered and honoured today. Each webinar will be a moment of lament and will explore among others, the following questions:

  • How do we recognised these tragedies, and celebrate the survival, resistance, resilience, and heroes of these communities?
  • How do we honour their martyrdom?
  • What is done to prevent them from falling into amnesia or denial?
  • How do we memorialise these tragedies?
  • How do we transcend these past massacres and move towards healing?
  • How do we ensure that future generations learn from the past, ensuring that history will not be repeated?
  • What of reparations to descendants of these victims?
  • Are monuments sufficient even though they can be perceived as a reminder of trauma, and as memorials of symbolic reparations?

We offer these regional webinars in the hope that we will be empowered to elicit a promise and a pledge to ensure the non-recurrence of such human atrocities even as we celebrate the legacy of those who have survived these massacres.

Dates of regional webinars:

  • 27 August 2021: Africa
  • 27 September 2021: Spanish-speaking Americas
  • 11 October 2021: Asia
  • 18 October 2021: Pacific
  • 18 November 2021: Middle-East
  • 6 December 2021: Europe

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit ngocdps.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit facebook.com/NGOCoRIP.

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