Contact and Inspiration day “Heal and protect the Earth”


The Hague, Netherlands, May 13, 2017

On a bright and sunny Saturday afternoon, we met in The Hague for our latest ‘Contact and Inspiration day’. The subject this time, was “Heal and protect the Earth”. Carola and members of the new CC Women’s Group Amsterdam, provided the opening. Using (semi-precious) stones we tuned into the earth and listened to the message of the stones.


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Listening to the songs of the Native Americans…. and the stones


Ari followed with a word about URI and our aims and the importance of networking and cooperating with other groups.  We also heard updates from participants from earlier contact days and in particular about the progress with the book about “Interfaith & Religious Education” which is being edited by Duncan and reaching completion.

Morgana continued with an exercise using the “Orbis NASA Earth Ball”. The ball was placed in the centre of the table and everyone sat around it. Based on the Sufi story, “The Whole Elephant Revealed” everyone was asked to look at the globe and describe what they saw. Most people noted how much water, how much blue there was and relatively little green. Indeed, and yet only 2% of the water on the Earth is potable. Continuing to reflect on what they could see everyone was asked to note down 3 words which came to mind. These words would be used later.


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‘How blue my Earth...’


We then watched a TED Talk with Tshering Tobgay talking about Bhutan “This country isn't just carbon neutral — it's carbon negative” It certainly gave us food for thought!

Our guest speaker was Aren van Muijen, from Greenpeace NL. In his presentation, he outlined the need for greater awareness of ‘Climate Change’ and how we can help to prevent further pollution and destruction of the ecological system, so necessary for the well-being of not only the Earth but for humanity. He also told us a little bit about Greenpeace, as a campaigning and activist organisation.

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In the circle discussion, we heard how people view the Earth and Nature from their religious conviction and spiritual point of view.

Then, thinking back to the 3 words we had written down from the Earth ball exercise and from all that had been said in the discussions, we set about compiling a manifesto, to ‘Heal and Protect the Earth’.  How can we engage actively? What are important considerations? What is ethical? What are the green, sustainable, alternatives?


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Leaves on the tree.


When everyone had placed their suggestion as leaves on the tree, Duncan read each one and invited the contributor to elaborate. It was truly heart-warming to see how engaged people were and how many diverse suggestions, and intentions, were made. Later the leaves were collected and worked into a manifesto… see separate sheet.

The manifesto will be sent to all the participants and will be used to inspire other people to become more aware of the effects of climate change.  And to take action!

Ari closed the afternoon with thanks to everyone for making this a wonderfully inspiring day!


Morgana, URI Netherlands, May 2017