CRCE Pt 6 16 9 150x 100

Christian Responses to the Climate Emergency

Session 6: Living Out Ecological Conversion

The information below compliments this video

1 Some quotes and keywords


Pope Francis on the need for “ecological conversion” in a “throwaway culture

“It must be said that some committed and prayerful Christians, with the excuse of realism and pragmatism, tend to ridicule expressions of concern for the environment. Others are passive; they choose not to change their habits and thus become inconsistent. So what they all need is an ‘ecological conversion,’ whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them. Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.” —Pope Francis, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home (Paragraph 217)

“Turning Points” (Trevor Hudson on experience & (theological) reflection):

“We don’t learn from experience; we learn from reflection on experience.”

Jennifer Ayres on “theological composting” and “everyday visionaries”

“ It is a theological composting of sorts. Turning over one bit of earth, debris, waste at a time, these . . . practices invite intimate knowledge of the scope and depth of the problem, and yet also the potential to discover new life buried within its layers.” —Jennifer Ayres, Good Food, 162

2 Permaculture & Designing for Ecological Conversion

  • a concept forged from “permanent” and “(agri)culture”;
  • the art of making useful connections and designing beneficial relationships (Patrick Whitefield);
  • an ecological and regenerative design approach that seeks to respond to human needs/capacities by observing and working with natural processes

3 principles of social permaculture and . . . ecological conversion

  • Observe & interact (invitation / opportunity/ a “crack in the system)
  • Produce no waste (gathering up “the discarded* / reincorporating)
  • Tend edges (showing up / crossing over/”being neighbours on purpose”)
  • the ‘edge effect’

“Bringing the Garden With Us” (Ched Myers on learning to love our place)

“We won’t save a place we don’t love; we won’t love a place we don’t know; and we can’t know a place we haven’t learned”–Ched Myers’ paraphrase of Senegalese activist Baba Dioum’s

Guiding Questions for Design Exercise or Reflection


  1. Think of a “turning point” in your ecological conversion. What was decisive about that experience/encounter?
  2. What difference has it made for how you live?What is being wasted, neglected, or “rubbished” in your community that could be reincorporated as a gift to your community?
  3. What kinds of edges am I dealing with? What would it take to transform a harmful edge into a beneficial one?