In June 2005, the Sisters of the Living Word endorsed the Earth Charter. One year later, the Associates of the Sisters of the Living Word also endorsed the Charter. Since then both groups have realized how the Charter impacts their lives. The Living Word Center group related the Charter to the SLW Constitutions. Jean Krieter, SLW invited other SLW to support each other in the application of the Charter principles. At first they shared small sections of the Charter and website information about tending Earth. This led to micro financing as a way to effect change. Now they are bringing this action step to other SLW and friends. At the 2006 Assembly SLW shared the experience of reflecting on the Charter. An outcome is that the SLW and SLW Associates receive information on a regular basis regarding actions for change in individual lives, governmental policy, etc. Various Associate groups are also studying the Charter. Lynda Rink, SLW and Debbie Bergeron, SLW facilitated a day of reflection for the Associates in the New Orleans area. Several groups in the Chicago area have read the document and shared how this motivates action in their lives, like being more conscious of nature, asking grocery stores to watch for earth-friendly packaging. One group has sponsored women in countries with fewer resources through an organization called Women to Women. Another is being introduced to the micro financing idea. The ripple effect keeps touching more lives.
- Barbara Mass, SLW
Since a mandate from the 2002 Assembly, the SLW Community focused energy on racism. Crossroads, an interdenominational organization, was engaged to direct the education of the members into the institutional racism that is part of our culture. Introductory sessions were held at the Living Word Center in January, 2004. Many SLW attended 2 and one half day workshops on the history and pervasiveness of racism in the United States in the next year. A task force was formed to gather a team of SLW and members outside the Living Word Community who would guide the Crossroads study. This has not happened, but other events keep the mandate in the workings of the members. At the 2005 Assembly, the Ministry Committee sponsored a session to heighten the awareness of unintentional racism. The internal newsletter carries titles of books and movies that can open the SLW to this issue. Click here to view pictures from the 2011 MLK dinner.
Families for Peace
For the past eight years, the SLW join Families for Peace to silently protest the Iraq War. At the initiative of Georgene Schumacher, SLW, the SLW became a part of the group. You can join us every second Saturday of the month from 3 - 4 pm at the corner of Northwest Highway and Arlington Heights Rd. in Arlington Heights. Click here to view pictures.
SLW, Stella Stacken and Barbara Mass, join the 20 others for the silent vigil for the end of the war in Iraq
May Peace Prevail on Earth
SLW, Geneieve Shea and Joanne Grib, write their intentions for peace on the Prayer Flags.
Click here for photo gallery.
In 1996, the member communities of women religious in the Leadership Conference for Women Religious (LCWR) joined together to effect political change for women and children in the state of Illinois. The Director of Project IRENE watches the bills moving through the Illinois House and Senate. When a bill effects women and children, she alerts the members of Illinois LCWR to call their legislators and express their support or opposition to the bill and reasons for this to happen. In the ten years of existence, Project IRENE members helped to pass positive legislation for child support, child health care and many other issues related to women and children.
IRENE is an acronym for Illinois Religious Engaged in Non-Violent Endeavors. The name Irene was chosen to honor an early Christian woman who was tortured for her faith and imprisoned in very deplorable conditions. Below is the Mission Statement of the Project. In 2003, an artist was engaged to create an image of what the Project means for the women and children of the state of Illinois. The words that describe the sculpture are included with the picture.
Illinois Religious Engaged in Nonviolent Endeavors
IRENE, as Earth Mother,
celebrates an environment
where the prairie grasses dance
and the crops grow free of toxins.
As Life Bearer,
she ushers women and children
into a world of nonviolence
where all life thrives.
We members of LCWR Region 8
pray that women and children will thrive
in a healthy, safe and peaceful environment,
where the Gospel call for nonviolent living
is heard and celebrated
throughout the land.
Sculpture: Pat Willems, CSJ
Photograph: Patricia Peters, ASLW