religion

Preserving Life on Land: Plans, Projects, Pitfalls and Partnerships for Rainforest Preservation

Dear UN partners and participants at the HLPF,

On behalf of co-sponsors The Episcopal Church, Interfaith Rainforest Initiative Colombia, World Council of Churches, and the Parliament of the World’s Religions, you are warmly invited to a virtual parallel event on the occasion of the HLPF review of Goal 15 – Life on Land:

“Preserving Life on Land: Plans, Projects, Pitfalls and Partnerships for Rainforest Preservation”

Monday, July 11th, 1 – 2:30 pm EDT

Register here: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJItfu6tpz4vG9Q-XsUmPdh2r5SPPQ4H8CRv

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

Leadership for Change: A Call to Action from Sisters Supporting Vulnerable Communities

This side event will address SDGs 14, 15, and 17 – under review at this year’s High-Level Political Forum – by featuring panelists with expertise in creating environmental initiatives that serve and support our planet’s most vulnerable communities. Panelists will include Sisters engaged in grassroots advocacy, speakers from civil society sharing best practices for partnerships around the SDGs, and representatives from Member States with experience of collaborating to make the 2030 Agenda a reality for all. With this event, we aim to model effective implementation of SDG 17, Partnerships for the Goals. UNANIMA and UISG are partnering to produce a concise and powerful call to action, drawing from the experiences of Sisters as development leaders, with concrete policy recommendations on achieving the relevant SDGs.

Join live here on July 7 at 1pm Eastern / 7pm CET:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82672796766?pwd=uuOs9L9gjyMT_WOZAq3SV38ZlU4CWs.1&mc_cid=13e5b4d572&mc_eid=e1bba69d46#success

Through this event, UNANIMA International and the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) will bring to Member States the distinctive voices of Catholic Sisters – women leaders supporting marginalized communities around the world – with a strong call to action on SDGs 14, 15 and 17, under review at this Forum.

The Goals:

SDGs 14 and 15 were established by the UN in 2015. Life Below Water aims to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.” Life on Land was created to “protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.” The Earth’s delicate ecosystems sustain and nourish life for all humans.

However, extractive industries, plastic pollution, and many other toxic practices are disrupting the relationship between people and our planet. Marginalized groups, Small-Island Developing States, and countries in the global south are particularly reliant on oceans and land for food security and wellbeing. Habitat loss caused by rising sea levels, deforestation, and other climate-related factors is wreaking havoc around the globe, forcing people to seek out temporary, crowded, and unsafe shelters where illness and infection spread quickly.

Climate injustice – including the loss of homes, biodiversity, and essential food and water supplies – is one of the most pressing obstacles to achieving the SDGs. Indigenous and local communities suffering from changes to their environments can often provide solutions to the challenges we face below water and on land: their insights will be essential in caring for the Earth as we approach 2030.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-NY, a Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship at the United Nations, please visit  ngocsw.org. 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 Status of Women-Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva, please visit  ngocsw-geneva.ch.

Dispelling Misconceptions & Myths: Faith Actors Advancing Gender Equality & the Empowerment of Women and Girls

Dear friends,

You are warmly invited to an HLPF side event organized by the UN Multi Faith Advisory Council, Dispelling Misconceptions & Myths: Faith Actors Advancing Gender Equality & the Empowerment of Women and Girls.

The event will be held virtually, Thursday 7th July 7:30 – 9:00 EDT.

Please register here!  We hope you will be able to join us.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-NY, please visit  ngocsw.org. 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 Status of Women-Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva, please visit ngocsw-geneva.ch. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org

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

Committee of Religious NGOs at the UN (CRNGO) Annual Membership Meeting

Venue: Online and Baha’i International Community (866 UN Plaza, Suite 120)

RSVP required: https://bic-org.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEvf-uorDkuH9GvRCtVkcF-JfCsuk8EOTY5

As we emerge from a pandemic-induced hiatus during which the Committee of Religious NGOs at the UN (CRNGO) largely carried out its activities through the CRNGO Climate Working Group, the CRNGO Bureau invites its members to come back together, in community, in a moment of reflection, to be together for its first Annual Membership Meeting in three years. 

The event will be hosted in a hybrid format in recognition of the fact that the pandemic is still ongoing, and each individual’s comfort level with gathering in physical space is different. 

The purpose and objective of the Annual Membership Meeting is to help foster community and facilitate learning and interaction among religious and spiritual NGOs working at the United Nations as well as those interested in engaging with the UN.

The Annual Membership Meeting will open with welcoming remarks by members of the Bureau, followed by a consultative process where participants are invited to reflect on how their organizations have successfully engaged with the UN in the past three years, and share their perspectives on some of the challenges to creating change at the UN.

At the meeting, annual membership dues will be collected, the results of the election of the new Bureau will be presented and it will launch a process to create our 2022 to 2024 programme of work, striving to deepen the Committee’s religious community engagement with the UN. 

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CoNGO Notes: The Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations is a Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations. Likewise, for more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns, please visit csvgc-ny.org.

Two years after the death of George Floyd: Antiracism, #BLM and the United Nations

As people continue to challenge the systemic racism that has devalued the lives of Black and Brown people globally, many are asking the question: why do some of these tragic events spark a stronger call for change than others?

Floyds murder also revived the concept of antiracism. The webinar will explore, in practice, what it means to be antiracist. Participants will also be invited to reflect on the role played by Christian nationalism in reinforcing white supremacy and racial subjugation, thereby fueling racism, xenophobia and racial discrimination.

As a follow up of its 1 June 2021 webinar marking the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, the World Council of Churches Commission of the Churches on International Affairs will host this webinar on the sides of the 30th session of the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, which will be taking place in New York city, USA, from 23 to 27 May 2022.

Speakers:

Moderator: Rev. Chebon Kernell, ordained elder in the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference

  • Gaynel D. Curry, member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on People of African Descent
  • Rt. Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • Rev. Dr. Leah Gunning Francis, vice president for Academic Affairs and dean of the Faculty at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis
  • Prof. Gay McDougall, member of the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)

Register here to join this webinar live on Wednesday, 25 May, 3:30 pm CEST / 9:30am EST.

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

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. 

Racism, Land, and Food

Warm greetings from Geneva!

On behalf of our colleague, Dr. Manoj Kurian, Coordinator of the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA) of the World Council of Churches, we are happy to share with you an invitation to attend an upcoming webinar on Racism, Land, and Food.

New York, Bogota 09:00-11:00; London 14:00- 16:00; Geneva 15:00-17:00, Johannesburg 16:00-18:00, Nairobi 17:00-19:00, New Delhi 19:30-21:30, Bangkok 21:00-23:00

Objectives for the Webinar:

• Explore the intersections of food, land and racial injustice.

• Discern key lessons from initiatives and good practices that work to overcome the impact of racial injustice and inequity on food sovereignty.

• Reflect on how the Holy Scripture can assist and guide in bringing justice, dignity and rights to marginalised communities with regard to food and land

Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEvduGspj4iHtceXhhER9aLh9wJeRPv1hB1

Background documentshttps://seafile.ecucenter.org/d/d35a42625eaf40b29c9b/

Languages: English and Spanish

Brief description:

Worldwide, communities are increasingly experiencing poverty due to severe climate changes and lack of access to fertile farmlands and the deploying of fertile farmlands for cash crop farming at the expense of food production. In fact, in many countries, especially, former colonies, the most productive farmlands are shared by the very rich, normally descendants of the colonisers/ other privileged classes and castes and some indigenous elites, while the masses continue to try to eke out a living from their inherited but tired lands that have been farmed without rest over decades if not centuries. In some instances, the rich have used their access to financial and material resources to coerce poor farmers to plant and grow cash crops for the export market at the expense of growing staple crops, however, the rewards from cash crops are great for the merchants and exporters while starving the poor farmers who are left without any significant returns from their cash crops and without food.

This webinar seeks to explore the intersection of these two injustices across the globe. It helps to consolidate the analytical, advocacy and practical resources, to explore, understand and expose the effects of the combined force of food, climate and racial injustice.

Resource persons

· Rev. Chebon Kernell, Indigenous Perspectives  Executive Director, Native American Comprehensive Plan, United Methodist Church, USA 

· Dr. Fransina Yoteni, Gereja Kristen Injili Di Tanah Papua (GKITP)- Evangelical Christian Church in Tanah Papua, Member of the Central Committee of the WCC, West Papua, Indonesia

· Dr. Betty Ruth Lozano Lerma, Director of Research, Fundación Universitaria Bautista (Unibautista)Colombia

· Dr. Mervyn Abrahams, Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice & Dignity Group, Republic of South Africa

· Mr. Angelious Michael, Coordinator, Partnership and Youth Desk at Jeypore Evangelical Lutheran Church, Orissa, India

· Rev. Elton Williams, Pentecostal Minister championing Food sovereignty, Antigua and Barbuda

· Dr. Angelique Walker-Smith, Senior Associate for Pan African and Orthodox Church Engagement, Bread for the World. Member of the Central Committee of the WCC, USA

Moderators Ms. Katlego Mohuba (South Africa) Mr. Tsiry Nantenaina (Madagascar)

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

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. 

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