Director's Column October 2021
Center Director's Column
By Dr. Michael Trice
October 12, 2021
October 2021 Director's Column
A New Guide and Resource for Community and Classroom: Listening to the Earth
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 Tricem@seattleu.edu. And on behalf of the whole team – Thank you!