A Sabbath for the Earth and the Poor: The Challenge of Pope Francis

  • National Justice and Peace Network

The 2017 Annual Justice and Peace Conference will take place from 21 to 23 July 2017 at The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire. The theme will be “A Sabbath for the Earth and the Poor: The Challenge of Pope Francis”.

“Sunday, like the Jewish Sabbath, is meant to be a day which heals our relationships with God, with ourselves, with others and with the world.” (Laudato Si’ para 237)

We live in a world where people and nature are more often valued according to their economic capacity or usefulness to humans, rather than their intrinsic value as God’s creation. In order to be liberated from this commodification, consumerism and utilitarianism, the Sabbath reminds us to rediscover a sense of awe and wonder, and to see the beauty in creation and also in relationships, especially with the poor and marginalised. The conference will seek to: help us understand current realities; find ways to live out and advocate a different value system; and provide a space for creativity, celebration and contemplation.

The keynote speakers will be:

Dr Ruth Valerio is Global Advocacy and Influencing Director for Tearfund, working to mobilise churches around the world to become agents for change and equip them for integral mission. She is the author of Just Living: Faith and community in an age of consumerism, and L is for Lifestyle: Christian living that doesn’t cost the earth. She lives in Chichester with her family.

Fr Peter Hughes, an Irish Columban priest, has spent most of his life as a missionary based in Peru, working in some of the most impoverished communities in Lima. He is an advisor to the Instituto Bartolome de las Casas, working in programmes of leadership and social justice. A former executive secretary of the Department of Justice and Solidarity of the Council of Latin American Bishops, he continues to be a theological advisor.

Kathy Galloway is an ordained minister of the Church of Scotland and was leader of the Iona Community from 2002-2009. She is currently head of Christian Aid Scotland. She is also a published poet, author and hymn writer.

The conference will also hear from people with direct experience of poverty through a Poverty Hearing.

Workshops are planned around the themes of care for creation, justice for the poor, commitment to society and interior peace – the elements which Pope Francis identifies as making an ‘integral ecology’. In addition there will be space in the programme for creative, relaxing and contemplative activities. A Just Fair Market Place will provide information and resources from a wide range of organisations. There will be programmes for children and young people.

The conference will be chaired by Susy Brouard, Theology Programme Advisor for CAFOD, and Fr Sean McDonagh ssc, world-renowned eco-theologian, will celebrate the Mass.

To book: Download a booking form at: www.justice-and-peace.org.uk/conference/

Or for more information contact:

The Administrator, NJPN, 39 Eccleston Square, London SW1V 1BX Tel: 020 7901 4864; Email: [email protected]

Tags: NJPN, NJPN Conference, Laudato Si

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