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February 2024 Newsletter

Greetings from FEN, the Faith Ecology Network,

an Australian hub for strengthening an interfaith dialogue between science and religion.

Home of the Ten Ways Faith Groups Care for Biodiversity Resource.

FEN relies on the generosity of supporters like you.
Partner with us by making a regular or one-off financial contribution today:

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2024 brings many opportunities for individuals and groups who are part of the faith and ecology network. Biodiversity loss and species extinction is a symptom of our disconnect from the natural world where we often don’t realise the impact of our actions on ecosystems and other-than-human life. In our learning together to reconnect as kin with the natural world, FEN, as a network of many networks, reaches out and brings together diverse people and groups so we can collaborate in listening, learning, reflecting and acting. It is inspirational and encouraging work.

This eNews features some examples of how we are doing this. I hope you find them useful and encourage you to join in.

FEN is a volunteer network. We need another $20,000 to reach our goal of $30,000 by the end of the year to employ a part-time Co-ordinator to assist us. We appreciate any assistance in achieving this goal.

Thanks for your interest and support. We'd love to hear what you have been doing in your faith and wider communities, and welcome your feedback at anytime! Please email us at [email protected]

Anne Lanyon, Faith Ecology Network Co-ordinator

FEN Local News

Ten Ways To Care

Announcing FEN's "Ten Ways to Care" Workshops for 2024!

Join our amazing new workshop series on caring for biodiversity with other committed, inspirational people from ecological and faith communities. Bring your ideas, concerns, hopes, and friends along and collaborate with others who want to use or are already using the Ten Ways to Care for Biodiversity. Get involved in these practical ways to make connections and deepen relationships!

For your diary, look out for the mostly online events with dates to be confirmed very soon, and share with your networks:

1. March: Become an Eco Citizen & Be An Active Voice

2. May: Grow in your Sense of Place & Listen to the Wisdom of the Elders

3. July: Grow in the Wonder of Nature & Bring Nature into Worship

4. September: Learn from the Sciences & Observe a Seasonal Calendar. 


Make a Submission to the Fed Govt’s draft new Nature Positive Plan

After writing to the Federal Minister Tanya Plibersek as suggested in our October FEN ENews, we are now urging you, dear reader, to make a simple submission to the draft reform of the ineffective old Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act.

The Department of Energy, the Environment, Climate Change and Water website says that they have developed a Nature Positive Plan. Learn more at EPBC Act reform. The 2023 budget outlined funding for elements of the plan. Now there is a consultation period where everybody is invited to share their views. YOUR VIEWS about BIODIVERSITY protection MATTER, no matter how simple, especially sharing them from your faith perspective.

Submissions CLOSE Saturday 30 March 2024. Go to Click on Start Survey. On Page 2, make your submission. Say who you are, what changes you want to see and why. The Biodiversity Council’s 10 Essential Elements of National Environmental Law Reforms is a good guide.


Contemplative Nature Engagement Practices – A New Guide.

Thanks to connections made at the FEN event, Deep Listening in the Natural World, members of our network were invited to collaborate in the Melbourne University School of Psychological Sciences’ new practice guide published on 15th January 2024. The guide focuses on contemplative nature engagement practices as a strategy to help individuals experiencing eco-distress.

By integrating practices such as meditation, reflection, and sensory interaction with nature, contemplative nature engagement has the potential to encourage healthy outcomes for individuals, communities, and the natural world.

Read and Share Contemplative Nature Engagement Practices to Support Individuals and Communties Facing Ecological Distress.


Jesuit Contemplative Nature Engagement Project

By Sue Martin, Being With God in Nature Co-ordinator and member of the FEN Planning Team.

Being with God in Nature is a contemplative nature engagement project run by Jesuit Ignatian Spirituality Australia. We have just released the first edition of our quarterly Being with God in Nature newsletter where we delve a little deeper into the practice of “finding God in all things in nature and being found by God in all things nature.” One of our programs is “Quiet Time in the Bush” to be held throughout 2024 in Pymble NSW and Kew, VIC.

People canCome away to a quiet place and rest awhile (Mark 6.30) to spend 1.5 hours of quiet time for a guided reflection and gentle, personal time for prayer, to sit and/or walk in nature or just be outside and experience a sense of the sacred. “There is a mystical meaning to be found in a leaf, in a mountain trail, in a dewdrop, in a poor person’s face”. (Pope Francis Laudato Si´ n.233) Click HERE for more info and bookings.


Christians and Muslims Fasting from Plastic during Lent and Ramadan

By Anne Lanyon

Plastic pollution does serious harm to marine life. Turtles become “floaters”, suffocate and die from swallowing balloons and other plastic waste. With Lent and Ramadan coming up (Lent Feb 14-Mar 31) and Ramadan (March 10-April 9), Christians and Muslims have the opportunity to care for marine creatures, including turtles, by “fasting” from plastic.

IFEES/EcoIslam is promoting the awareness of this issue by encouraging as many Muslims around the globe to host a #PlasticFreeIftar to educate people during Iftar of the impact of plastic waste on the planet.

Green Anglicans have a daily calendar for fasting from plastic during Lent.


Environmental Integrity

Excerpts from a FEN blog by Sandra Nichols from the Brahma Kumaris community and FEN Planning Team Member.

Applied to the environment, integrity means keeping ecosystems intact and applying our moral principles, which means valuing all forms of life equally.

An ecosystem is a biological community of interacting organisms, such as plants and animals and their physical environment……Niche species work together for the benefit of the whole.

Our First Nations people managed ecosystems sustainably for many thousands of years…..Regrettably, much of this knowledge and environmental integrity has either been lost or ignored over the years since European settlement.

We live in a world where intact ecosystems are becoming rarer and rarer with each passing day.

There is also a lack of knowledge about the complexity of ecosystems and their importance for maintaining life on Earth as we know it. Scientists are still discovering new species and the role they play in ecosystem health.

Key indicators for the loss of environmental integrity include the loss of species. Australia has the highest extinction rate of mammals of any country in the world.

It is encouraging to know, however, that some acts to maintain or improve environmental integrity can work.

We need to respect the environment as essential for our wellbeing down to the level of each animal and plant….Personal integrity is essential so that others can trust you to lead them in the right direction towards environmental integrity…..We also need to spend time communing with nature.


Earthkin Events 2024

By Valda Dickensen, Parramatta Sisters of Mercy Earthkin Project. Earthkin is a network committed to loving, reverencing and celebrating the Earth Community.

Online Earthkin events for 2024 will feature aspects of the 10 ways Faith Groups Care for Biodiversity. Please put these dates in your diary:

  • Feb 24 – Listening to Elders - (Ancestral Grace with Diarmud O’Murchu from Ireland. Join via ZOOM here:
  • April 13 – Learn from Science – Citizen Science – (What we can do - Platypus Talk with Sue Martin and Streamwatch, Jessica Lumbroso)
  • June 8 – Nature and Worship (with Kathleen Deignan and Libby Osgood).
  • August 24 –Local Groups – (Community Gardens, Ecological Justice Hub Brunswick, Landcare  with Anne Lanyon, Sally Neaves, Permaculture, learning from eco-warriors)
  • October 19 – Be an Active Voice – (Pacific Young Voices, Australians being good neighbours to climate refugees, Timor/New Guinea, COP31)


Feeding Wild Birds

From Birdlife Australia

Is it ok to feed our wild birds?

Feeding wild birds is a controversial issue, especially in Australia. In some countries, it’s actively encouraged – but in Australia, official advice from councils, environment departments and conservation and wildlife rescue groups warns against the dangers of feeding wild birds. In Western Australia, it’s even illegal to feed native fauna, including birds, without a licence.

Still, millions of well-meaning Australians continue to enjoy feeding the birds in their backyard. Unfortunately, many don’t realise that feeding wild birds can do more harm than good for our feathered friends – and if done incorrectly, can lead to serious problems including malnutrition, disease and unbalanced populations.

Learn More at


FEN Partner News


Faiths 4 Climate Justice

ARRCC is part of a global week of action. From 3-12 May 2024 people of all faiths around Australia will join publicly with others all over the world calling for a clear plan to move boldly and rapidly away from coal and gas and towards a sustainable future. There will be various aspects. Register your interest at 


AELA online workshop

Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA)

Online Workshop: Introduction to Deep Ecology, 24 Feburary 2024, 11am - 1.30pm AEDT. At its core, Deep Ecology emphasises the intrinsic value of all life forms and underscores the intricate interconnection of all living beings within the web of existence. More info and register HERE


Nature For ALL

Nature is Good Medicine: FEB 9th: Register NOW at


United Religions Initiative Environmental Network (URI)

The First Gathering for Earth this year was held on 6 February 2024

This is a global gathering of Co-operation Circles held monthly, but not usually at a time conducive to our presence from Australia. This is one story from Malawi:

More TREEs Across the Network: Let’s Celebrate!

In some parts of the southern hemisphere, we are in the season of tree planting. Cooperation Circles in Malawi have been part of a country-wide effort to heal riverbank erosion, stop sand mining and reverse other agricultural practices that limit the economic and ecological wellbeing for everyone.

From Times360 Malawi News, “The government says 66% of 358,247,368 trees that were planted between 2016-2021 have survived.”  That means a total of 239,489,328 growing trees!  With more attention given to the lands where the trees are most needed and most likely to survive, the CCs are planting 6,000 more saplings this season.


Strengthening an interfaith dialogue between science and religion in the interests of advancing ecological consciousness and care for the Earth

The Faith Ecology network aims:

  • To share mutual appreciation of religious traditions regarding ecological insights
  • To discern and foster religious reasons for advocacy

Through the network we share the experience of religious and cultural diversity which enhances the depths of one’s own religious tradition. We grow in understanding of the connections between faith and ecology. We build up networks within and between faith traditions and environmentalists.

We would love your support to employ a P/T facilitator to help grow FEN. 


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