FAN’s Climate Change Webinars Held Monthly

HNP Communications Franciscan World

WASHINGTON — The second in a series of monthly webinars on climate change, sponsored by the Franciscan Action Network, took place on March 7.  It is part of FAN’s long-term effort of grassroots organizing to create political change on climate change, according to the organization’s weekly newsletter. Subsequent webinar dates are April 4, May 2 and June 6, from 4 to 5 p.m. The highly successful February event drew 145 people.

Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, of St. Camillus Church, Silver Spring, Md., a member of FAN’s board, says the monthly Franciscan Climate Campaign webinar series is a concrete way in which the organization has been engaging diverse faith communities across the country in action on climate justice.

“These webinars provide a unique and wonderful opportunity for friars and their partners-in-ministry to collaborate and to be informed, inspired and empowered to make our rich Franciscan tradition more relevant in the public square,” he said. “Climate change is a fundamental moral and spiritual issue of our time. An individual person can easily feel overwhelmed trying to respond to it. FAN’s webinars help to create and foster an intentional community of people determined to help our church and society to transition to a better future reflective of the Franciscan view of creation.”

He continued: “We must create this community not just with action, but every webinar also features insights for the integration of action and contemplation.

Jacek, who is chair of the HNP Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Directorate, recommends that the friars and lay partners in ministry promote participation in these monthly webinars through announcements in bulletin inserts, public venues, ministry websites and Facebook pages. Information can also be included in a homily.

Again this year for Lent, FAN is offering “Stations of the Cross with John Paul II: On the Path of Ecological Conversion” in both English and Spanish. FAN member Sr. Terri MacKenzie, SHCJ, is also offering “Spirituality of Soil: A Lenten Journey from Cosmic Dust to Easter Garden,” a five-week program for groups or individuals. This program is available along with other resources, on FAN’s website.

The website’s home page also provides an update about last month’s Forward on Climate rally. A photo shows a group of supporters that included Jacek, John Aherne, OFM, of Holy Name College, Silver Spring, and Fr. Patrick Carolan, OFM, executive director of FAN.

The March 4 edition of the FAN newsletter urges people to make a Lenten visit to the home office of Congressional leaders to push for immigration reform. “Congress is in recess and members are back in their home offices March 22 through April 8. Phone calls work just as well.” The Capitol switchboard number is 202-224-3121.

This weekend, FAN is encouraging participation in the Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend. Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, a coalition of nearly 50 faith-based organizations, is encouraging faith groups to hold prayer services during the weekend of March 15.

 Wendy Healy is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and frequent contributor to HNP Today.