Tree of life motage

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His Holiness, Pope Francis, is urging us to act:  “I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.” (14)

The Tree of Life activity is designed to enable dialogue and invites everyone in your community to participate. It has been successful in Schools, Parishes and Catholic Agencies. The Tree of Life offers a fantastic opportunity for our church to celebrate the gift of Creation, to get creative and make a personal commitment, a communal pledge to action, to care for our common home. Why not plan a celebration in June for World Environment Day and the 1st Anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical or at any other time during the year to actively respond to Laudato Si’ and care for our Common Home?

 

A step by step guide:

Materials needed:

  • Paper or cardboard in multiple shades of green
  • Paper printed with a bark pattern (template available here)
  • Scissors
  • Blue tack
  • Felt tip pens
  • Butchers paper (optional)
  • A wall in the school, church or office.

 

Method

Find a large blank wall

This is where you will create the tree. If you’re concerned about sticking materials directly onto the wall, or you intend to move the tree at a later date, attach a large piece of paper to the wall first.

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Create the trunk

Print copies of the bark patterned paper provided (don’t forget to use recycled paper!), trim the white edges and stick it to the wall using blu-tack to create the tree trunk and branches. Be creative, it doesn’t need to be perfect. Better yet, why not try painting the trunk and branches onto brown paper?!

 

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Make the leaves

Invite each person to cut out their own leaves from different coloured paper.

Alternatively, you can purchase leaf shaped post-its online (check out eBay).

 

Lead a dialogue

Encourage dialogue about what we can each do to protect and care for our common home. Share some of the recent Church teachings from Laudato Si’ – these can be found on our website here. To get the dialogue going you might like to start with these statements on your leaves: “I pray we act to protect…”  “Laudato Si’ calls us to…” “I pledge to take action by…” “Our community will respond to Laudato Si’ by…”

Make a commitment

Invite each person to write a personal commitment, a personal pledge, on their leaf that is an action and if appropriate add community actions for your school, parish or agency.

20151205_162749Watch the tree grow!

Invite the community to add to the tree. Revisit the commitments on the tree later in the year and discover how the journey is progressing. Contact Catholic Earthcare Australia if you require assistance, support or a dialogue partner for further action.

 

Tree of life bannerTake a photo of your tree as it develops

Take photos as your tree comes to life and of the various leaves that people have put on the tree. Send a selection to Catholic Earthcare Australia at: admin@catholicearthcare.org.au

 

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Our aim is to inspire, guide and support a collective journey to a more sustainable way of being in the world.
Help us continue to bring Laudato Si’ to life by making a donation when you use this resource.

 

 

Download Bark graphic = Tree Trunk Download the Full Resource

Important Announcement

Catholic Earthcare is the part of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference which promotes ecological conversion to achieve a loving and sustainable relationship with the natural world. It uses environmental education, national and international links and advocacy to achieve this goal.

In May 2017, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference decided to incorporate Catholic Earthcare Australia into its sister agency, Caritas Australia. This change was made to strengthen the capacity of Catholic Earthcare Australia, particularly in advocating and educating about the principles of Holy Father’s 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si, and to achieve synergies with Caritas Australia’s extensive education and advocacy work around Australia, including parishes, schools and the wider Catholic community on environmental issues such as climate change.

Caritas Australia is the Church’s international aid and development agency.  As part of the global Caritas confederation operating in 190 countries, it works alongside marginalised communities in many countries and with 11 First Australian agencies here in Australia.  Promoting the principles of Laudato Si is at the centre of the global confederation and of Caritas Australia.

This website is being refined to reflect the new administrative arrangements for Catholic Earthcare Australia. For all enquiries in relation to the work of Catholic Earthcare Australia or to request assistance, please call  1800 024 413 or email CatholicEarthcare@caritas.org.au.

Thank you for your ongoing support of Catholic Earthcare Australia and your commitment to combating climate change and protecting the environment and ecosystems from degradation and pollution.