Posts Tagged ‘LIFE’

News from the LIFE Project

LIFE (Local Initiative for Faith and the Environment)

LFE is a bridge which brings people together around two of the most vital pillars of peace-building in society today: climate change and inter-faith dialogue.

In September 2009 we launched LIFE as a ‘pilot’ in the borough of Lambeth, building on already existing links between churches, mosques and temples in the area. It emerged as an all-women venture, from an Islamic point of view this simplified things and meant that we could really engage with local Muslim women in an open way. As we started to gather, eat, share views and discover how we can be more engaged, creative and joyful about the environment, we began to see that awareness about the global dilemma begins with the local. The route into this is friendship, and the bumps and delights of building relationships, regardless of differences in opinion, style, background, beliefs.

As LIFE unfolds, we are finding that a holistic response to changes in the earth’s environment and economy provides a common ground for people from different backgrounds to work together to a positive end. It transcends fixed beliefs and renews faith in life itself. LIFE provides intimate, open, creative spaces for women to dialogue about issues and practical application that is fun, inclusive and offers opportunity for sharing skills with time for reflection. We welcome you to LIFE!

Reflection on Hands-to-Gather I, 2 June 2010

It was half term week and our theme was ‘Simple living – A practical workshop exploring the environmental & social benefits of re-use’. We drew closer to the experience of the women who came to participate than we could have imagined: many of our LIFE ladies have up to seven children, often all under the age of 12, who were in tow as it was holiday time. As the hall slowly filled, it was clear – the life of a mother is far from simple! Issues to do with finding appreciation of what we have and how we explore re-use becomes an issue when we are not only responsible for our own waste, but those we bring into the world. Threaded through this jamboree of talking, making, eating and soul-reflecting was that passing on the message of ‘waste matters’ to the next generation is vital.

Children are often known for making exasperating demands on their parents for more ‘stuff’. But they are also most inspiring in their resourcefulness; watch any child in a garden or playground and they will find a game! How can we challenge patterns of wanting and competition and tap into the playful capacity that makes something found into something new and beautiful?

Many thanks to Catherine Bourke (Lambeth’s Waste Development Manager) for sharing ideas about recycling (the fonesforsafety project, uses old mobiles to create hotline phones for women suffering abuse). Also to Hannah Lewis for showing us how to make funky purses out of used tetrapaks. Also to the combination of artists who inspired us to reflect on how ‘waste it’ or ‘remake it’ is a moment-by-moment choice that we make, in deed and in thought. The afternoon finished with some remembering of verses from Christian and Muslim scriptures, showing us that, when faith is planted in our hearts, it is possible for the things that we perceive as waste (our ‘failures’ and misguided choices) to be transformed into something good.

The Hands-to-Gather Programme – July to December 2010

Please note these are women-only events! Each includes a delicious life-giving vegetarian lunch, donations welcome.

Hands-to-Gather 3: Wednesday 21 July 2010: Finding Our Common Ground, with LIFE-maker Tini Brodie & Sue Sheehan, (Lambeth’s Green Community Champions Officer). To include a walk on Tooting Bec Common and visit Hyde Community Farm. After lunch discussion: ‘Faith and Belonging: Wisdom of the Desert (‘no man’s land’) in different spiritual traditions.’ Children welcome – Creche provided.

Details: 10.30 to 14.30 at 32, Emmanuel Road, Balham, SW12 0HF. Getting there: Tube or bus (155 /355) to Balham Station then 15 min walk down Balham Station Road towards Tooting Bec Common. No. 32 is about halfway along. Or: buses 57, 109, 118,133, 159, 417 to Streatham Hill Station. Walk down Sternhold Avenue and take the path diagonally across the Common.

Hands-to-Gather 4: LIFE-out-of town: A 24-hour Retreat, Saturday 31 July – Sunday 1 August
A 24 hour LIFE-giving retreat at The Quadrangle, a beautifully converted barn in Kent, an easy train ride from South London. Starting mid-morning on Saturday and finishing mid-morning on Sunday, we will breathe fresh air, walk, explore ecology, do yoga and eat together in relaxing surroundings. A unique chance to sleep in a dormitory together and share LIFE stories! If you are interested in coming, the cost will be on a donations basis, depending on how much you can afford.

Hands-to-Gather 5: Wednesday 22 September 2010: Food-growing Workshop at Brockwell Park Community Gardens. 10.30 to 14.30. Details to be confirmed.

Hands-to-Gather 6: Wednesday 20 October 2010: Preparing for Winter“ Ecology and Mental Health” an exploration in mindfulness.  How can we keep growing in faith during dark times?
10.30 to 14.30. Details to be confirmed.

Hands-to-Gather end of year Celebration: Celebrating Eid, Advent and sharing the hidden lights of mid-winter. Details to be confirmed.

Contact: Rebecca Brewin, 07896 936625 (Project Coordinator)
or Sadaat Yusuf, 07939 325032 (Muslim Outreach Worker)

Rebecca Brewin
LIFE Project and Christian Muslim Forum