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Loretto Earth Network Offers New Community Announcement Series

Posted on September 1, 2020, by Loretto Community

By Julie Kerber

In January 2020, the Loretto Earth Network Coordinating Committee (LENCC) gathered for a face-to-face meeting to reflect, brainstorm and plan its goals for the upcoming year. One of the questions LENCC asked itself: Is LEN (Loretto Earth Network) necessary anymore?

When LEN was first established 30 years ago, it provided an important vehicle for Loretto: It brought “working for justice and acting for peace” for Earth to the forefront. Since then, Earth justice has become a very integral part of Loretto commitments and mission, including establishing an Earth Education and Advocacy Coordinator staff position, filled by LENCC member Jessie Rathburn. As LENCC members explored and discussed the future of LEN and its role in and for Loretto, we came to the conclusion that the foundation and roots established in the past 30 years give nourishment to LEN, and, yes, it should indeed continue to thrive and provide into the future in four succinct ways: collaboration, education, communication and rejuvenation!

Providing Community members with information that would be the basis for taking small, regular actions to help Earth came during that January meeting. LENCC member Beth Blissman mentioned “Fridays for Future,” Greta Thunberg’s sit-in movement to raise awareness of the climate crisis. This inspired a name for a weekly Community Announcements series: “Fridays For Earth” (F4E), four opportunities each month to challenge ourselves “to learn and do” something daily for that week, for Earth.

A monthly theme related to caring for Earth is chosen, with weekly subtopics explored through a simple practice and an online resources link. The weekly practices range from doing a breathing meditation on the gift of warmth and light from the sun, to digging in the dirt, to eating or cooking with specific ingredients, to monitoring food packaging that goes into our garbage. The resources link offers articles, videos, music and other ways to learn about the monthly theme and subtopic. So far the themes have been water, food waste, the sun, biodiversity and soil. There is so much rich information and learning to do about each one of these, it is likely the same theme will be used several times with different weekly sub-topics.

When the F4E series began in April to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, little did we know that our world would soon be turned upside down by a tiny virus, the image of which is actually quite beautiful to behold, so small it cannot be seen with an optical microscope. The intersections between infectious disease and ecological disaster are numerous. It is our hope that during this time when we can’t be together physically, Fridays for Earth can provide a way for us to connect around our love for Earth. As we do these weekly practices and further educate ourselves about the gifts we receive from Earth and about the ways we have not taken care of these gifts, together we can work toward our shared goal of giving back to Earth.


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Loretto welcomes you

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