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CCTF, JCC: Addressing the issues at hand

The Climate Change Task Force, an arm of the Sisters’ Justice Coordinating Commission, will introduce its Providence Climate Agreement during the sisters’ Annual Meeting this year.

The Justice Coordinating Commission (JCC) and the Climate Change Task Force (CCTF) have worked for many months putting together actions to come from the Sisters of Providence mandate: To address pressing issues related to the environment and environmental justice.

The CCTF was created by the JCC as the commission’s first task force in order to take the lead in addressing these issues for the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana.

The formal purpose of the JCC is to focus the efforts and amplify the impact of the Sisters of Providence and their partners in the ministry of justice. The commission serves as the coordinating team to address critical issues as directed by the Congregation and to respond to the emergence of new issues.

First and foremost, we decided that we would need to address climate change – not only as an urgent issue in its own right, but as a factor for nearly every issue of concern, including the suffering of marginalized women and children, and the future of clean and abundant water.

This summer during the sisters’ Annual Meeting, the CCTF will present the Providence Climate Agreement, a pledge to reduce collective emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) by 2 million pounds by June 2019. It is an ambitious goal, but a goal that can be achieved.

In order to formalize this pledge, Sisters Rosemary Nudd and Ellen Cunningham drafted the Providence Climate Agreement Manifesto, a brief statement that expresses our deep concern about the urgent problem of climate change, and our strong resolve to make immediate changes in our own lives as well as to involve those in our communities and social circles in positive change.

We then developed a pledge sheet to help focus on the simplest and most effective ways to start making immediate change. During the Annual Meeting this year, we’ll discuss the pledge sheet and learn ways in which we can each take small steps to reduce our own carbon footprint – even beyond the steps we’ve already taken. Task force members will guide anyone through the personal pledge checklist, help set personal goals for carbon reduction over the next year, and provide resources and educational opportunities that will help take those steps over the course of the coming year.

We’ll also be asking for everyone within the community of Providence to reach out of their circles of influence – their family members, friends, neighbors and community members – and ask that they join us by making their own pledge and by helping to spread the word. The more people we can reach and incorporate into the effort, the more easily and quickly we can reach and even surpass our 2019 emissions reduction goal.

Sister Mary Lou Dolan, CSJ, and I would like to thank the members of the CCTF and JCC for their often grueling work to bring us this far. We’ve all kept patience and compassion in mind as we hashed through many discussions about our direction and how we will work together. We’re all very glad to be moving forward on an achievable and inspiring goal. We hope you, too, will be inspired by our first efforts and will join with us in working toward this first goal.

For those of you who would like more information, or to get involved with the CCTF, feel free to get in touch with Sister Mary Lou, me or any other member of the task force. Please contact us at cctflist@spsmw.org.

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Ben Kite

Ben Kite is a Providence Associate candidate with the Sisters of Providence. He has lived in many places, but was born and raised in Terre Haute, Indiana, where he now lives with his partner Jeanne Rewa, also a Providence Associate candidate.

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1 Comment

  1. Marsha Speth SP on June 29, 2018 at 6:51 am

    Thank you, Ben, and all JCC members! I look forward to hearing more and taking the next step together.

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