Listening to the Earth

Listening to the Earth - October 2021 Newsletter

October 12, 2021


A Listening Year  ~ October 2021 



October 2021 Director's Column


A New Guide and Resource for Community and Classroom: Listening to the Earth 


LISTEN HERE to the Director's Column on Soundcloud


This is Michael Reid Trice, Director at the Center for Ecumenical and Interreligious Engagement at Seattle University.  


The Center began this year - starting on July 1st – in the Office of the Provost at Seattle University. 


In this – the Center’s inaugural Listening Year, as we’ve called it – we believe, at the Center, that every act of listening is also an opportunity to create with others, for the sake of our students, our staff and faculty, and for our communities around the world.    


In the month of October, we noted we would be listening to the earth around us and to the voices of those throughout religions who have something for us to hear about their commitments to the beauty of the world. 


With attention to this theme on listening – here’s what we have for you this month: 


First – The Center has completed a new online multimedia user guide on the religious response to a changing climate, titled: Faith for Earth: A Guide and Resource.  This new online guide is a collaborative effort with the Climate Action Task Force of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, and UNEP – The United Nations Environment Program.  I encourage you to view and use this new resource.  


Press the link, and you will witness a 10-section Virtual journey on the religious response to climate change.  The resource … highlights voices from around the world, frontloads the leadership of youth, upholds the integrity of culture, amplifies Indigenous leaders, and … this resource asks students at Seattle University to provide their own leadership by helping in design, in audio and visual, and in general tech creation.  


Seattle University has a commitment to supporting the 7 Goals of Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical titled Laudato Si, or Care for our Common Home.  This resource exemplifies our commitment, which is: To respond to the cry of the earth by offering ecological education and developing a deepening ecological spirituality that supports local communities.  With gratitude, we also look forward to our collaboration with the Seattle U Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability, and their leadership in this guide in the months and years ahead. 


In this spirit of response, the Center Team will be sharing this Guide from our beloved Seattle University with other Centers around the world, as a way of demonstrating our desire to be collaborative across universities and communities. 


Second – We elevate one of our Student Affiliates, Carlos Bello, who on behalf of the Center was asked to deliver the opening prayer to a major international religious event in October.  What a gift of student leadership.  We believe that Carlos’ words exemplify the genuine feeling of the Center team.  We are striving to be authentic, faithful, ecumenically minded and engaged across religions.  And we’re doing so in the heritage of an Ignatian sensibility for discernment that is sinewed with action. 


Third­ – This past week on October 4th at the Vatican, where Pope Francis organized a day-long gathering of religious leaders and scientists on the topic of “Faith and Science.”  With Pope Francis, religious leaders issued a joint appeal in preparation for the 26th Climate Change Conference of the United Nations, which is scheduled to be held November 1-12 in Glasgow, Scotland.   


So, we interviewed two leaders who were present at the Vatican last week.  The first is Dr. Iyad Abu Moghli, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program Faith for Earth Initiative, and a friend to the Center.  In that interview we discuss religious multilateralism; that is, the future of religious collaboration in the months and years ahead.  I hope you won’t miss that podcast.  


The second is Father Joshtrom Kureethadam, who serves as Coordinator for Ecology and Creation in the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development [this podcast is forthcoming end of October].


You can access these interviews in our October newsletter or on our social media throughout the month.  So please visit the Center on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn and at #CEIE. 


And Finally – Next month we will highlight our current Scholars Project, which is studying the repair of moral injury during a pandemic age.  A pandemic age includes both a viral pandemic, and so much more.  We’ll be discussing that in November. 


We’re just starting at the Center for Ecumenical and Interreligious Engagement.  And we are inviting you to join us along the way.  Reach out to me with questions or suggestions at  And on behalf of the whole team – Thank you!  




Introducing our new Study Guide: Faith for Earth: A Call for Actionin grateful collaboration with the Parliament of the World’s Religions Climate Action Task Force and the United Nations Environment Program Faith for Earth Initiative. Use in classroom and community! 




The Religica Theolab serves as the Center’s Laboratory, with a commitment to public theological engagement for a new generation. In the month of October, we are focusing upon listening to the Earth in conversation with Iyad Abumoghli, Director of the United Nations Environmental Program Faith for Earth Initiative.  We are also listening to the stories of healing what is broken through the pandemic from Diane Tomhave, a Member of the Center Advisory Council. Take a listen by clicking the images below!  


The methods and resources tested and refined in the Religica Theolab assist the Center’s engagement in classroom & community.  Engage the Religica Theolab


We also recommend our Religica Response to a Changing Climate for further engagement. 



Listen to this Podcast



Listen to this Blogcast 



A Month to Engage: Each month we seek resources that are relevant and meaningful for communities to engage in the role of religion as related to our current times.  


October –The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew (of the Christian Orthodox tradition) and Pope Francis, issued A Joint Message for the Protection of Creation.  The Message emphasizes both the protection of marginalized peoples and the unwavering need for what a number of colleagues refer to as ‘religious multilateralism.’  We need to work together across every religious, spiritual, and philosophical difference; where there is goodwill, religions have a role to play in caring for the world all around us.


October 16-18 – Parliament of the World’s Religions – Virtual International Convening! Student Rates.  Still Time to Register!


October 31 - World Council of Churches – The 11th International Assembly will take place in Karlsruhe, Germany Summer, 2022.  Present a Workshop on diverse arrays of religious topics.  Must apply by October 31, 2021!


A collection of resources to engage on climate:


The United Nations 26th Climate Change Conference UK will take place from Oct 31 to Nov 12, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland


United States Conference of Catholic Bishops - Laudato Si: On Care for our Common Home


Listening to Earth – A Prayer for Earth based on Pope Francis’ Encyclical, Laudato Si


Commonweal Magazine – Laudato Si in an Old-Growth Forest


United Nations Environment Programme - Al-Mizan: A Covenant for the Earth


Seattle University resource within the campus - Get Involved with the Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability   



Religious traditions, Spiritual pathways, and Indigenous wisdom are active in communities around the world.  Each month we share new ways to engage.


United Nations Foundation – Countries commit to Climate Action on Earth Day 2021, hosted by the United States, convening more than 40 world leaders


Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development – Eco Infographics on species of the planet


The Review of Religions – Amazon Rainforest – A blessing being depleted


World Wildlife Fund – Enumerates 10 ways to save our planet


British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Coverage on Positive Impact on the Environment with Coronavirus


Annual Review of Environment and Resources Publication – Religious Engagement and Climate Change


Interfaith Rainforest Initiative Interfaith - Guide on Rainforest Protection for religious communities


Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs– Nature conservation as a community


Seeker: Various religious perspectives on the environment


American Academy of Arts & Sciences - Judaism view on Nature 


Insight Meditation Center - Buddhism practices caring for the Earth


One Earth Wisdom – Buddha and the Sacred Earth


Huffpost - 10 Hindu Teachings of the Environment


Himalayan Institute - Ayurvedic and Yoga science explains the Healing Power of Five Elements of Nature


Earth Org - Insights from naturalist, David Attenborough’s documentary on ‘A Life on Our Planet’



October 2021 


Oct 3 - Christianity – On World Communion Sunday: Holy Communion as a global faith community


Oct 4 – St Francis Day is World Animal Day, as patron saint of animals and the environment


Oct 7 –14 – What is Navaratri and how is it celebrated? – Hindu


Oct 11 - Indigenous Peoples’ Day 


Oct 15 – Dassehra/Dussehra (Vijay Dasami) celebrates the victory of good over evil – Hindu


Oct 18 – Mawlid an Nabi (birthday of The Prophet Mohammad) - Islam 


Oct 20 – The Annual Recognition of Holy Scriptures of Guru Granth – Sikh  


Oct 31 – All Hallows Eve  


Oct 31 – Reformation day - Protestant Christian


Oct 30-Nov 1 – Samhain – Pagan/Wiccan 


Nov 1-2 - All Saints' and All Souls' Day


Graphic of Megan Anderson with Quote for the Center for EIE


Coming in November!

We will be Listening to our Center Scholars as the Center reflects upon its ongoing major study: Injury, Repair and Gratitude in a Pandemic Age.  More to Come! 

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