Last weekend (from 23rd to 25th July), Mariapolis Luminosa received 30 young adults for an interreligious teach-in about “Earth, Faith and Peace” organized in collaboration with Religions for Peace (USA). We were eight young adults of the Focolare Movement active in EcoOne.
Using care for the environment as a common concern, we experienced an atmosphere of deep and free dialogue. The program included some talks, panels, work groups and a “hands on” visit to the Hudson River estuary. The speakers, belonged to different faiths (Catholic, other Christian denominations, Muslim, Jewish and Sikh) who shared with us their ideas and experience working with climate change issues and the reasons why this discussion is a peace issue, and why we need a multi-religious effort to face the challenges. Some scientists, who are also men and women of faith, shared with us many experiences about the intersection of Science, personal life and Earth care. Following each session, together with these speakers, we could develop and work on strategies to increase our ability to dialogue and to make choices which could impact the Earth.
We want to make this commitment to care for our "common home", to work together promoting the “original God-Person-Nature relationship” as Chiara taught us and to act in a way that we can live in harmony with creation.
Here you can find some comments from “Earth, Faith and Peace”:
Manuel Lopez, a summer EcoOne intern from Cadiz, Spain, came to the meeting with a different perspective: “I am a business major and a very practical person. It is the first time I went to an environmental conference, and I did not know what it was going to be like. I hoped to gain a new perspective, but also to help develop practical solutions and take concrete action. To make progress, we need to find ‘win-win-win’ approaches that everyone can agree with that are good for the planet, good for the people, and good for business.”
Fernanda Faria, an environmental engineer from Sao Paulo, Brazil, enjoyed the action-oriented nature of the meeting: “When we were all together as a group, there were speeches and experiences, with ideas, but shared on a more theoretical level. In our sharing groups, we tried to translate this knowledge into practical action; to go from theory to practice.”