|‘So I am sending you’|
“The doors were locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews [but] Jesus came and stood among them and said…’Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you…Receive the Holy Spirit’.” (John 20.19-23)
The disciples’ encounter with Jesus, risen but still wounded, is a parable of this moment. Into our closed room, Jesus comes. He breathes the Holy Spirit on us and sends us. But to what, to whom, how, when? That is for us, his disciples to discern.
The pandemic finally seems to be levelling off, restoring our confidence to love and serve the world. One thing is for sure: we can’t go back to the way things were. The world we were in before has changed. We have changed. Our own parish has changed. Christ does not send a people who are no longer ‘here’ to a world that’s no longer ‘there’. If we listen attentively, to each other, the local community, the world, we’ll discover how he sends us now.
This edition of Grapevine brings you opportunities for that discovery. We’re planning Here: Now: Us workshops in every part of the diocese – if you’d like to host one in your parish, let us know. If you’re thinking of opening the parish hall to welcome whoever comes, we can offer a network for mutual support. And in the week after a hard-hitting UN report on climate change, our hearts are called to reach to the ends of the Earth.
Programme Leader for Social Action
Diocese of Nottingham
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In this issue
– Here: Now: Us – host a workshop in your parish
– 2 September: A forum for anyone opening a parish place of welcome
– Climate change – no time to lose6 September: the Cry of Creation webinar
– Nottingham Open Homes seeks hosts for young people
An invitation to host a parish workshop
Here: Now: Us is a one-day workshop to help you put Catholic Social Teaching into action. Developed by the charity Together for the Common Good and brought to you by Caritas in the Diocese of Nottingham, it helps lay people grow in confidence and leadership, and reach out to their local community.
We can help you bring the workshop to your parish. As we emerge from lockdown Here: Now: Us will enable you to:
• Seize the opportunity build the Common Good
• Listen for how God is calling you to live the Gospel
• Join with others to let the Kingdom of God break in.
After months of social distancing, hosting the gathering in your parish will help it to re-weave, repair and grow as a confident, outward-looking missionary community.
The workshop works best with a group of 8 to 20 people from your own parish, or in collaboration with a neighbouring parish. Talk to your parish priest and fellow parishioners, and if you’d like to find out more about hosting the workshop, click below to send us an email.
Download a flyer for more details
Get in touch about hosting Here: Now: Us
Organising a drop-in? Come to the Caritas Drop-ins’ Forum
Thursday 2 September
3.30 – 5.00 p.m. on Zoom
Several parishes are opening a Covid-safe and simple drop-in or community café in their parish hall. The aim is typically to offer people in the neighbourhood, regardless of faith, welcome and hospitality. They are beacons of what Pope Francis in Fratelli Tutti calls ‘social friendship’.
The idea is simple, but the rewards can be profound, both for the organisers and those who visit them. These are places of encounter where isolation can be dismantled and lives enriched, one conversation at a time.
Caritas is offering a forum for anyone who is running, or thinking about opening, such a facility. It’s an opportunity to meet others who are reaching out to the wider community, pick up ideas and build mutual support. We have our second meeting on Wednesday 2 September. We’ll be joined by diocesan health and safety adviser Catherine Scholes for those tricky questions about Covid precautions.
Whatever stage you’re at in your planning, you’d be welcome. If you are planning to cater to people who have a specific need, such as parents and toddlers, or those experiencing bereavement, you are also welcome.
Click the link below or email us at email@example.com, and tell us a little about what you’re planning. That will help to plan a conversation that meets your needs.
Image credit: Wyverstone Community Cafe
Email us to book for the drop-in forum
The Season of Creation kicks off on Wednesday 1 September, and runs up to St Francis’ Feastday on 4 October. Is your parish marking it? We’re hearing of a few parishes holding a Creation Mass or Climate Sunday. Please let us know if yours is one – and send us a photo we can share in Grapevine!
Read case studies of parish environmental action
Click for ideas to mark a Climate Sunday
Climate report: ‘grim and disturbing’
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) this month published a hard-hitting new report on climate change. In its ‘sixth assessment report’ (AR6) the UN body published the latest scientific evidence and the action needed.
In fact the report said little that was not already known, and stressed that the time for delay is over. It said : ‘unless there are immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting warming to close to 1.5°C or even 2°C will be beyond reach’.
Lead Bishop for the Environment in England and Wales, Bishop John Arnold of Salford, said “The grim and disturbing findings of the AR6 report only reinforce the message of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si – we must do everything we can, and now, to protect and defend Our Common Home.”
In our diocese, we’re developing an environmental policy and action plan, to support parishes in their journey to zero-carbon. It’s scheduled for approval next month, and there is no time to lose in implementing it. More on that soon!
The Cry of Creation
Laudato Si’, the IPCC, and their challenge
to us in the Diocese of Nottingham
Monday 6 September
7.00 – 8.30 p.m. on Zoom
Whether it’s wildfires, flooding or the depletion of wildlife, news is coming in thick and fast of the changes our planet is undergoing. The world’s poorest, who are least responsible, are being hardest hit – but all of us are beginning to feel the impact.
Back in 2015 Pope Francis issued his groundbreaking encyclical Laudato Si’, ‘On Care for our Common Home’. How well have we grasped its message? And how can it ignite us for action in 2021 as the environmental crisis deepens?
This online workshop will be an opportunity to:
– get a handle on the key messages of Laudato Si’
– hear the latest evidence from the IPCC
– re-assess how Laudato Si’ challenges us anew in 2021
– help to shape our response in our parishes
– hold the COP26 climate summit and other decision makers to account.
Join us for a curtain-raiser for a major diocesan conference on Saturday 20 November 2021, when we hope to launch the diocesan environmental policy (see below). Our keynote speaker in November will be Lord Deben, chair of the UK Climate Change Committee.
Register for ‘The Cry of Creation’, 6 Sept
Climate pilgrims cross the diocese
A relay of young (and not-so-young) walkers, supported by CAFOD, is travelling through our diocese at the end of August and in early September. The Young Christian Climate Network set off in July from the G7 summit in Cornwall, and are heading to the United Nations’ COP26 climate summit in Glasgow. They are walking for an end to the injustice of climate change – and indeed for their own future.
Read more about the relay here
We’re blessed to have these young people passing through our diocese. Could you be a blessing to them in return? There are a variety of ways you can help, especially If you are on the route through the diocese. They set off from each of the following places on the morning shown:
– Netherseal – 30 August, arriving the previous evening from Tamworth
– Melbourne – 31 AugustAston-on-Trent – 1 September
– Nottingham – 2 September
– Hucknall – 3 September
– Sutton-in-Ashfield – 4 September
They’re urgently looking for accommodation overnight near Aston on Trent on 31 August – can you help? They also welcome people to cheer them on in between, and many other kinds of practical help which can be done from anywhere.
Your spare room could change a life!
An online open evening on offering supported lodgings in Nottingham, Tuesday 14 September
Do you have a spare room that you are looking to rent? Do you enjoy meeting new people? Do you have a heart to help homeless young people? Open Homes Nottingham provide accommodation for homeless 16-25 year olds in trained hosts’ homes.
They currently run two projects. Nottingham Nightstop provides emergency overnight placements on a night-by-night basis, responding to the immediate crisis when a young person becomes homeless.
Supported Lodgings, offers longer term placements of 6-12 months with the host, where the young person pays rent and a contribution towards utility bills. There is a dedicated Supported Lodgings Worker who will support the young person to claim benefits, look for work or education, help them develop independent living skills and support them to find long term accommodation.
This session will give you more information about how the schemes work and what impact it has on the young people who have accessed the services. There will also be an opportunity to meet some of our current hosts and to ask any questions you may have.
Register for the open evening with Nottingham Open Homes
A prayer for Afghanistan
Lord, compassionate and merciful,
you hear the cries of all peoples,
formed as they are in Your own image.
Reach with into the hearts of all who call Afghanistan home;
of all her people in this time of trauma;
of all who flee, and all who can give them shelter;
of all who have given of themselves in the cause of peace;
and of all who have taken the nation in their hands.
We pray for tranquillity, dignity and freedom;
for the women, men and children of Afghanistan; and
for wisdom and generosity in the international community.
Jesus Christ, prince of peace, hear our prayer.
Picture: Mazar-e-Sharif (Marko Beljan)
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