“Called to unity – Towards an ecology of relationships” was the title of the online workshop promoted by the Together for Europe (TFE) network. Representatives of various Churches, Movements and Communities organized the event, with the aim of highlighting one of the “7 Yeses” of the journey together: the “Yes to creation”.

The challenges for the protection of creation and an integral ecology are growing exponentially throughout the world and the Together for Europe network dedicated an entire day to this theme during a recent online workshop. Professionals and Christians from various Churches belonging to different Movements, from 9 European countries, spoke at the Seminar entitled: “Called to unity – Towards an ecology of relationships”. It was an engaging “journey”, in which in an atmosphere of growing convergence, the speakers presented their research and their commitment to environmental protection, then entering into dialogue with the approximately 130 people present in the “virtual room”. The experiences already ongoing in many places and the encouraging good practices, easily imitated, highlighted the desire and commitment to respect and preserve creation for future generations. This was a bond of unity that is strengthened among Christians and connects everyone with others.

The heart of this event was: to deepen one of the “7 Yeses” to which the Together for Europe network committed during the Stuttgart Congress in 2007. A “Yes to creation, defending nature and the environment, gifts of God to be protected with respectful commitment for future generations”.

Prof. Nicolaos Asproulis, Deputy Director of the Academy of Theological Studies of Volos (Greece) was one of the speakers who explored the theme of an Ecology of Relations from different angles, saying, “Nothing, no creature exists outside of relationship, every being is inconceivable without communion”  Stefania Papa, Professor at the University of Campania, introducing the day had highlighted the “‘logic of relational harmony‘ that frees us from selfishness by promoting the first and most essential form of ecology”.

Gerhard Pross, moderator of the network, said: “For many of our movements the theme of ecology has great value and today we connect it with our charism of unity, of relationships.” It is about reaching a holistic vision of our relationship with nature, with creation and with its creator. In summary, we could also call it “ecology of the heart”, summarized Pross, citing the writer Johannes Hartl.

The seminar was part of a project supported by the European Union “DialogUE” Project. Workshops provided the opportunity for an intense exchange of testimonies and experiences of people from various Churches and then the European Green Deal document was presented. This is an ambitious project, in which the European Union has developed some of the strictest environmental standards in the world. The contents of the Webinar and the responses of the participants to the questionnaires related to this event will help to develop a KIT with concrete suggestions for the European Union. On 16th October 2024 it will be presented to the European Institutions in Brussels (Belgium), together with the results of the previous workshops on communication and social policies, held in 2023 and likewise co-funded by the European Union.

More information is available on the website: Together4Europe | A European Network of Christians, to Unite People and Cultures.

All the speakers’ interventions can be accessed here: Our common Yes to the protection of creation | Together4Europe

Maria Wienken, International Secretariat of Together for Europe

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