“Remember you are still part of a community … Many things have been cancelled because of the coronavirus. Love is not one of them.”
Veritas had produced a short video ‘Coronavirus: A Global Pandemic’ and I wrote these three lessons to go with it. Lir in Veritas has done a bit of design work to make them look more attractive. It includes lesson notes and templates. You are invited to send these out to your Heads of RE for use in schools. I will send the video via We Transfer shortly. They could (with minor tweaks) be suited to quite a wide age group. They give the students an opportunity to reflect on the past few months and consider, in the context of faith, what important lessons we can take from the experience. Please feel free to pass these on to anyone who might use them to help our young people.
The Season of Creation is a time to renew our relationship with our Creator and all creation through celebration, conversion, and commitment together. During the Season of Creation, we join our sisters and brothers in the ecumenical family in prayer and action for our common home.
The season starts 1 September, the Day of Prayer for Creation, and ends 4 October, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology beloved by many Christian denominations..
This year, amid crises that have shaken our world, we’re awakened to the urgent need to heal our relationships with creation and each other.
During the season this year, we enter a time of restoration and hope, a jubilee for our Earth, that requires radically new ways of living with creation.
Creation Time 2020
We have known for decades that this time will come. We have been made aware of the rapid extinction of beautiful and unique creatures. Thanks to the honest and disciplined work of climate scientists, we know (unless we fall victim to fake news) right now, that our lifestyle is unsustainable, and our dominant philosophy of ‘permanent growth at all cost’ carries the seeds of the destruction of the life that God called good.
Over and above the foolish stewardship of land and resources, yet closely allied to it, is the crisis of values, and of spirituality; a twisted and self-deceptive view of ‘profit’. The whole Christian family now has an unprecedented opportunity and calling: to bring together mission, justice, stewardship, and study: to bring out of our ‘treasure’ the determinative priorities and values that are so different from those piloting Creation towards catastrophe. And above all, to take note of, and act on, and trust in, the worth we are given (each and all of us) in Christ. The worth and encouragement we may give to our neighbour, and our fellow creature, in partnership, rather than exploitation. May we cherish and be empowered by the knowledge of our enduring and transforming worth in the sight of God. Even if, until now, we have indeed pursued ‘worthless things’.
You can download all the resources as individual weeks or as a complete set.
Our writers are drawn from a variety of church backgrounds and pastoral contexts, so do not expect that they all speak with one voice or perspective. We all share, as Pope Francis as said, a ‘Common Home’, and offer this work in trust that there is no one whose contribution is not vital to the healing partnership of Christ with God’s Creation. The God of the Bible’s tendency, observable in these readings, to ‘bring the baddies on board’ should steer us to a conciliatory approach, rather than a blame-game, fruitless denial of the crisis, or a complacent acceptance of the principles, whilst reserving exceptions for ourselves. The bottom line, is the love for your neighbour, as yourself.
I hope the new school year has begun well for you and that everyone is adjusting comfortably to the new routines in school life.
We now have the first set of lessons of the revised Fully Alive 1 online programme ready for you.
The materials for piloting consist of:
The designed version of Lessons 1 to 3, which consist of two sets of PowerPoint slides for each lesson: (1) the slides which the teachers will display for the students, and (2) these same slides with wraparound teacher notes, providing teachers with step-by-step instructions for using them.
A Word version ofthe teacher notes for Lessons 5 to 8, along with the PowerPoints that accompany these lessons. These materials have not yet been designed.
Worksheets for all lessons, which may be printed off as required.
A Glossary of the key terms used in Lessons 1-8.
A link to the Interactive Bible Library resource, which is referenced in the teacher notes.
Three separate audio files for items referenced in the lessons (a poem for Lesson 1, a song for Lesson 6, and a story for Lesson 8).
As was said in our recent zoom call, pilot material is never fully designed because of the possibility that significant changes will need to be made following piloting. However, in this case, because teachers have not used an online programme in RE before, we thought it would be important they would see what a finished version of the programme would look like.
Please emphasise to your teachers that their feedback on these lessons is essential and that you will be in touch with them to discuss their use of the lessons and any changes that they think are required.
Finally, please feel free to display this material on your website so that teachers can access it, or to use any other means by which you usually communicate with your teachers.
Best wishes, Maura Hyland
Download from here. It would be prudent to download to your own laptop so as to avoid any C2K issues that might arise. Declan