A Sabbath for the Earth and the Poor: The Challenge of Pope Francis
10th February 2017 - by Ellen Teague
The next National Justice and Peace Network of England and Wales annual conference will be held 21-23 July and take the theme: A Sabbath for the Earth and the Poor: The challenge of Pope Francis. The venue will be: The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire.
It is being organised by NJPN in partnership with Church Action on Poverty, CAFOD, Caritas Social Action Network, Vincentians in Partnership, Operation Noah, and Columban JPIC.
“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’ para237)
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, 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 for a different value system; and provide a space for creativity, celebration and contemplation.
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.
Fr Peter Hughes SSC. has spent most of his life as a missionary 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.
Plus Poverty Hearings —hearing from those with direct experience of poverty.
CONFERENCE CHAIR: Susy Brouard, Theology Programme Advisor for CAFOD since 2002.
CELEBRANT: Fr Sean McDonagh SSC, world-renowned eco-theologian.