interfaith

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 CoNGO–the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations, visit www.ngocongo.org. For specific information about how CoNGO and its substantive committees (also known as NGO Committees) work on matters related to the subject of the event on this page, visit NGO Committees

The Climate Emergency: Does Religion Matter?

You are invited to “The Climate Emergency: Does Religion Matter?”, the latest installment of the Temple of Understanding’s ECO JUSTICE FOR ALL Dialogues. These are special intimate discussions about the climate emergency with international ChangeMakers.

ECO JUSTICE FOR ALL interviews and dialogues are ongoing programs presented 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!

Speakers:

Rabbi Ellen Bernstein is an eco-theologian, spiritual leader, writer and creative. She founded Shomrei Adamah, Keepers of the Earth, the first national Jewish environmental organization in 1988. Her books include Let the Earth Teach You Torah, Ecology and the Jewish Spirit, and The Splendor of Creation. Ellen also created the first ecologically-centered Tu B’Sh’vat (Jewish New Year of theTrees) seder in 1988 and popularized Tu B’Sh’vat as a community-wide inter-spiritual ecological arts celebration for all peoples. Her most recent book, The Promise of the Land, A Passover Haggadah is the first comprehensive, ecological haggadah (guidebook) for Passover (Behrman House, 2020). In 2020 during the pandemic, Ellen launched the Earth Seder movement, helping to organize several dozen world-wide Earth Seders on Zoom. Ellen continues to write and teach on the ecology of the Hebrew Bible, and serves on the advisory board of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology. To learn more please visit ellenbernstein.org and thepromiseoftheland.com.

Theodore Hiebert writes about biblical perspectives on the environment and about biblical views of identity and difference. His book The Yahwist’s Landscape: Nature and Religion in Early Israel challenges claims that the Bible privileges humans and separates them from nature, and it shows how biblical religion is grounded in the natural world. He has made contributions about biblical perspectives on nature to such works as The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, The Oxford Companion to the Bible, Earth and Word: Classic Sermons on Saving the Planet, and Interpretation. He is the author of the article on Genesis for the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of the Bible and Ecology. Ted was the lead translator of the Book of Genesis and one of the editors for the recent English translation, the Common English Bible (CEB). He wrote the notes to Genesis for the CEB Study Bible and for the New Interpreter’s Study Bible, based on the New Revised Standard Version. He is the Old Testament editor for Abingdon Press’s Covenant Bible Study. Ted also writes about biblical views of identity and difference. His book The Beginning of Difference: Discovering Identity in God’s Diverse World challenges exclusivist cultural interpretations of the book of Genesis and reveals a text that embraces and celebrates ethnic identities and differences. It contains a reinterpretation of the story of Babel as positive account of the origin of the world’s cultures. God’s Big Plan, which he co-authored with Elizabeth Caldwell, is a children’s story of Babel based on this new interpretation. Ted is currently at work on a study of the book of Genesis as migration literature. Ted is a member of the Mennonite Church and has served as pastor of the Boston Mennonite Congregation. He is a frequent lecturer and teacher in adult education programs in churches in the Chicago area. He is Francis A. McGaw Professor of Old Testament and Dean of the Faculty Emeritus at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago and lives in Homewood, IL.

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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 Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit congocsd.wordpress.com.

Celebrating Family Holiday Traditions

You are invited to join the NGO Committee on the Family for a time of Celebrating Family Holiday Traditions!

Many different cultures and religions celebrate holidays around this time of year, and the family plays a unique role in preserving and passing on these traditions. Many families create their own family customs as well, which are then passed on to the next generation, which can preserve and adapt them. These may shift and blend through the years, yet they create intergenerational links, fostering a sense of identity and self in the young who feel connected to those who came before them. In an increasingly global world, these traditions provide a connection to the past and guideposts for the future.

The meeting will provide an opportunity for cultural exchange and community experience discussing family and culture in a holiday context. Attendees will have a chance to share their own holiday traditions during the general discussion. Online participants can share in various ways, such as showing a favorite holiday treat, describing a holiday tradition, or showing your holiday decorations via webcam. As culture and food are closely connected, committee members will bring holiday refreshments from their family and cultural traditions, and in-person attendees who would like to do the same are invited to bring a dish to share. 

Please RSVP by 6pm EST on December 15 at bit.ly/NGOFamilyHoliday

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CoNGO Notes: The NGO Committee on the Family-NY is a Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations. For information about collaborative work of NGOs on the issues above and related matters, visit the substantive committees related to CoNGO. 

Faith Communities After Glasgow: An Interfaith Examen of COP26

Where did we find God in the COP26 Conversation? What is God doing with respect to our climate emergency today?

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, will end on 12 November. This historic meeting has been called the world’s “last best chance” to reduce carbon emissions and commit to a socially just plan for adaptation. Such a decisive summit merits close attention, and the focus of the world’s faith communities cannot be limited to advocacy alone. We must also prepare ourselves to discern a communal response to this important moment in history, a response that will at once be faithful to the ongoing work of God in the world and capable of seeing new things in the midst of the old. In this spirit, we will gather faith leaders for a global examen on Thursday, 9th December, 2021 to begin a communal discernment. This discernment will be guided by the central question, “Where did we find God in the COP26 Conversation? What is God doing with respect to our climate emergency today?”

Register here: us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwkc-iqqz8iG9dLJkwnL9rTzlfFXXcDyvMn

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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 Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit congocsd.wordpress.com. 

[book launch] Contemporary ecotheology, climate justice and environmental stewardship in world religions

Seasonal Greetings from Switzerland,

On behalf of the World Council of Churches’ Economic and Ecological Justice Programme, please find below the invitation to attend our upcoming ECOTHEE book launch webinar: 

“Contemporary ecotheology, climate justice and environmental stewardship in world religions” (ecothee. Vol. 6) taking place Tuesday, 14th December 2021 at 17:00 CET

Please register through this link:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIpd-2pqTorGdBLN1P6LWw67PhPNO8pDAVo

Kindly find the link on our website, for additional information about the programme: https://www.oikoumene.org/events/book-launch-webinar-contemporary-ecotheology-climate-justice-and-environmental-stewardship-in-world-religions .

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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 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 Outcomes: A Conversation from an Ethical and Human Rights Perspective

The Geneva Interfaith Forum on Climate Change, Environment and Human Rights (GIF) invites you to attend a webinar on COP26 Outcomes – A Conversation from an Ethical and Human Rights Perspective

10 December 2021 (Friday), 13h00 to 14h15 CET 

Link to join: COP 26 outcomes and debriefing – YouTube

Panelists

· Mr. Vice Yu, South Centre, Loss and Damage Lead Negotiator  for G77+China

· Ms. Eileen Mairena, CADP, Active Observer of the UNFCCC Green Climate Fund

· Ms. Amanda Kron, OHCHR Associate Expert on Climate Change

· Ms. Alexandra Goossens-Ishii, Soka Gakkai International and GIF

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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 Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bobbinassar@gmail.com or bknotts@uua.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

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.

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

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