EarthConnection

Celebrate an Earth-Friendly Christmas

Christmas is a time of great joy; a time to gather with family and friends and celebrate the birth of Jesus and to remember that God is always present among us. The preparations often involve running from place to place to buy gifts, writing out Christmas cards, decorating the house and a million other last-minute preparations for the holidays.

This year think about celebrating an earth-friendly Christmas. Here are a few ideas:

Earth-friendly gift-giving ideas

  • Shop locally. Support local craft persons and artisans;
  • Buy gifts made of recycled materials;
  • Make your own gifts;
  • Have a white elephant gift exchange: everyone gives a gift they find around the house without spending any money;
  • Buy fair trade items; a few good sources:

www.tenthousandvillages.com        

www.serrv.org

www.thelittlemarket.org

Make your own Christmas cards

The following sites provide excellent ideas:

www.pinterest.com/explore/easy-christmas

www.bhg.com/christmas/cards/make-your-own-christmas-cards/

Spend an evening making Christmas ornaments with the family

www.hgtv.com/design/make-and-celebrate/handmade/20-easy-handmade-holiday-ornaments-and-decorations-pictures

www.pinterest.com/explore/christmas-ornaments/?lp=true

www.ofdesign.net/interior-design/christmas-tree-decorations-made-from-natural-materials-20-ideas-to-make-your-own-2447

Make a Christmas wreath

www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/christmas-ideas/how-to/g1253/diy-christmas-wreaths/

www.marthastewart.com/276349/how-to-make-a-wreath

www.bhg.com/christmas/wreaths/

Bake Christmas cookies

http://allrecipes.com/recipes/841/holidays-and-events/christmas/desserts/christmas-cookies/

www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/dishes/cookie-recipes/christmas-cookies

www.delish.com/holiday-recipes/christmas/g2177/easy-christmas-cookies/

www.goodhousekeeping.com/best-christmas-cookies-recipes/

Give a donation in someone’s name as a gift

A few ideas:

heifer.org

kiva.org

microfinancingafrica.org

www.internationalmissionforchildren.org/

Most important of all take time to prepare yourself.

The following are some youtube sites for personal reflection and prayer:

A reflection on the names of Jesus
www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqU7h2om18I

This Christmas could be different
www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIOuga8LBZc

Relaxing Christmas music:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=DChDhKFHVO4

www.youtube.com/watch?v=-__PcqLe0tc

www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEcRxAGHxoA

A few quotes for reflection:

“Incarnation names and celebrates the embodiment of God in the whole of creation.”

– Diarmuid O’Murchu

“God never gives someone a gift they are not capable of receiving. If he gives us the gift of Christmas, it is because we all have the ability to understand and receive it.”

– Pope Francis

“Christmas is the day that holds all time together.” –Alexander Smith

All of us here at EarthConnection wish you and your families a very blessed, joyous and peace-filled Christmas season. May the Miracle of Christmas fill your lives now and always.

Sr. Winnie Brubach, SC – Facilities Coordinator
Sue DiTullio – Administrative Assistant
Sr. Caroljean Willie, SC – Program Director

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Everything is Interconnected

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Caroljean (Cj) Willie, SC

As the NGO representative to the United Nations for the Sisters of Charity Federation for eight years, I had the opportunity to visit many countries throughout the world and learn first-hand the havoc that climate change is causing, especially among those who live in conditions of extreme poverty. 

Pope Francis’ recent encyclical, Laudato Si’, is a challenge to recognize that care for creation is not something optional, but rather an essential element of a faith-filled life. He reminds us repeatedly throughout the encyclical that everything is connected. “Everything is interconnected, ” he says, “and this invites us to develop a spirituality of that global solidarity which flows from the mystery of the Trinity.” He states clearly that “the ecological crisis is also a summons to profound interior conversion.”

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Sister Paula Gonzalez, Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati

Paula Gonzalez, SC

EarthConnection was founded by Sister Paula Gonzalez, SC, Ph.D., as a center for learning and reflection about living lightly on Earth. Today EarthConnection will continue Sr. Paula’s mission by offering programs throughout the year, on our site or yours, that will not only provide participants with current information about climate change and environmental sustainability, but also make the connection between sustainability and spirituality, ecospirituality.

Ecospirituality calls us to integrate our growing understanding of the Universe Story in the context of our faith lives. It views science and theology as complementary, each playing a key role in an evolving consciousness of the interconnectedness of all Creation. It challenges us to restore a sense of the sacredness in our lives and expand our consciousness of the Divine Mystery who is at the center of all.

This website is designed to complement the program and experiential offerings at EarthConnection. It will provide information about sustainability, voices that challenge us to live more sustainably, quotes to ponder, and multiple resources, videos, books, and bibliographies for further reflection and study.

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This diagram is taken from the following website: http://healingearth.ijep.net/introduction

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