Biodiversity Apocalypse and COP15
January 7, 2023 Forum
There were a dozen participants in the January 7 OneEarth Jubilee Forum on the crisis of biodiversity loss. We began with the serenity prayer and a startling quote from scientists:
“…of the many dimensions of anthropogenic global change … the most critical, complex and challenging is that of biodiversity loss,” the researchers said. (The Guardian, 12-7-2022).
One Forum participant, Lauren Van Ham, had recently returned from COP15 where she was part of the contingent of faith-based organizations and Indigenous peoples. As she shared her experiences, she gave us the following resources from the event. Learn from them and use any you can.
1. A 3 min video from the non-profit org, Avaaz, that does a good job, I think, of speaking to the “half-earth” goal and why biodiversity is essential: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKejAO2-dco&t=11s&ab_channel=Avaaz
2. A Tree Growing guide for faith groups from WWF. This guide is available now, in English and will be available in 9 other languages in early 2023. Download the guide HERE. And have some fun playing on restor, a great map of the world’s green spaces/ecosystems actively being restored: https://restor.eco/about/
3. A Guidebook for faith groups to convene consultation groups with multiple members in your city, town or community to analyze, plan and restore an ecosystem in your area. This resource offers case study examples about addressing a variety of different local concerns (water, food, air, species, & cities) through thoughtful ecosystems restoration projects. You may download the guide (in English) HERE.
4. Faiths Press Statement on the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF): https://www.biodiversity.faith/media/faith-communities-celebrate-a-global-deal-to-protect-nature-while-calling-for-governments-and-civil-society-to-ratchet-up-ambition
5. Faiths Press Briefing on the GBF: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sl72B_KJnA0
6. Youtube Channel with Faith Pavilion COP15 events: https://www.youtube.com/@faithsatcop15/streams
Immigration — Serving Migrants in Tapachula, MX
This past November a message came from Edman Lopez to John Michno about the Jubilee immigration work in Tapachula, Mexico, a hub for people crossing the border from Guatemala. —Hello John, greetings again from Chiapas, Mexico. Exactly, I am carrying out my ministry in this border area of Tapachula. Every day we see hundreds of migrants pass by and the truth is that we have been overwhelmed because there are many needs that arise.The only thing we have been able to do as a family is support them with some food, praying to God for their lives and help them receive the money that their relatives send them from their country of origin, because they cannot approach just anyone to trust them with their money that they send them. For the rest, land for migrants has been purchased but it has not been possible to build a shelter due to lack of money. Under these conditions we are now working in Chiapas. Greetings and blessings to everyone there.—Edman and Rosie
Lindsey Marks 10 Years of Living in San Cristobal, Chiapas, MX
Lindsey Mercer Robledo, Jubilee board member and activist in the San Cristobal Jubilee Circle in Mexico posted the following to Facebook on January 3, 2023.
Today I am celebrating 10 years in Chiapas, Mexico. I guess some could call me an expert on all things Chiapas, however there is still so much more to experience, many more amazing individuals to meet, and just be in awe of God’s creation. I’ve had many, many highs and many, many lows during these past 10 years. I’ve fallen in love and created a family. I’ve been deceived by someone who I thought I could trust. I’ve had times when money was coming in troves, and other times just trickles. There have been times when I felt the whole world was supporting me, and other times when I felt truly alone. I found my purpose here after many battles, and love to see the alternative in everything. I cherish all the friendships I have made during this journey from people all around the globe. But the most important thing of all, I’ve grown to know God in ways I’ve never known possible before coming here. I see his beauty, his love, his cries, and his presence. God is still speaking in Chiapas, Mexico (and beyond). Here’s to another 10 years…a new book with new adventures!
Visit Edman and Lindsey (above articles) Personally When You Go on the April 14-23 Jubilee Trip to Mexico … and More
Registration forms and itinerary sketches have gone out to people who’ve expressed interest in going on a Mexico trip. You still have time to register too. We prefer to go with smaller rather than larger groups so everyone is readily included.
Those who live simply in the Mexican culture, as the OneEarth Jubilee Circles do, teach us so many things, including how to live life in fullness without being part of a world of over-consumption. The trip gives us opportunities to open our hearts to a different way of doing things, including how to live well with less.
But people in Mexico are quick to say how much they love receiving us into their lives and activities. They love showing what they do and how they live to people who are eager to know. Plus, our presence gives much to the Jubilee People in Mexico. Like everyone, they get discouraged in their work. For us to travel from the U.S. to be with them as learners affirms them and their work. Just by going, we give them a huge emotional and spiritual benefit.
So let’s go and show some love to Mexican friends. Even if you aren’t sure, but just want to think about it, ask us to send you a registration form and itinerary so you have more information as a basis for your decision.
Financing OneEarth Jubilee Ministries—But Not without You
The Bank Balance Has Become Thirsty; You Are Needed for 2023
The bank balance at the end of 2022 contrasted with recent years, and not in an upswing kind of way. The end of year balance was more than $9000 less than in recent years. Your donations in 2022 have become enormously important. Thank You!!
Because JEM had enough buffer from earlier years all the redistributions to Mexico, and all San Diego commitments were fulfilled in 2022. But now the bank balance has dropped below $20,000. There is a strong reason why JEM needs to keep at least that amount in the bank: To keep ministries going steadily through lean donor months—especially the summer.
The sad new is that Circles in Mexico will have less to work with in 2023. It’s not a decision the board wants to make. Not ever. But JEM is committed not to go into debt but to be responsible for effective ministry with what we are given.
So you understand the context in which all your donations will be received in 2023. Each dollar will bring great joy and will be translated into what the prophet Micah said God requires of us all: To love mercy, to do justice, and to walk humbly with God.
We are taking initiatives to find at least 10 new donors in 2023, be it cash, stocks, IRAs, or other methods. We are also looking for grants from sources especially interested in faith-based ministry in the U.S. and Mexico. Perhaps you can help us find these.
From the Network
11-29-22 “Keep up the good work!” – Dan and Carol Urban, Illinois
From JEM supporters Greg and Kathy Oakley, Florida— A quote from Francis of Assisi: “Preach the gospel at all times and when necessary, use words.”
Funding Trees —Carolyn and Richard Lief like to donate to some tree-planting undertaken by OneEarth Jubilee to compensate for some of their travel miles. JEM sent them this calculator (click to open link) to use to calculate how much to donate given the miles they traveled. Then they sent a check to the JEM Tree Fund which supports tree-work locally and in Mexico.