The word that came to Jeremias from the Lord, saying: Stand in the gate of the house of the Lord, and proclaim there this word, and say: Hear ye the word of the Lord, all ye men of Juda, that enter in at these gates, to adore the Lord.
Thus saith the Lord of hosts the God of Israel: Make your ways and your doings good: and I will dwell with you in this place. Trust not in lying words, saying: The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, it is the temple of the Lord … you put your trust in lying words, which shall not profit you:
To steal, to murder, to commit adultery, to swear falsely, to offer to Baalim, and to go after strange gods, which you know not. And you have come, and stood before me in this house, in which my name is called upon, and have said: We are delivered, because we have done all these abominations. Is this house then, in which my name hath been called upon, in your eyes become a den of robbers? I, I am he: I have seen it, saith the Lord.
If Jeremiah was preaching at a gateway like this, he would get noticed; even if other preachers were getting pushed to the side by impatient passers-by.
Occasionally there are preachers around Canterbury Cathedral’s main Christ Church gate: mostly they seem to be ignored, as the churches themselves are much of the time. People say I’m too nice to them if I stop and chat, or engage with the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Someone Else called the Temple a den of robbers, and drove the moneychangers out of the courtyard. They were no doubt raking in a tidy profit, in effect making Mammon, or money, at home in God’s House; going after strange gods, as we are tempted to do today. We may not be directly sacrificing children to Baal or to Mammon but there are many children whose all-but slave labour contributes to our comfortable lifestyle. Think of clothes and shoes made in Asian countries.
Willy-nilly we are caught in a web of sinfulness and can do little to escape it. At least there are some fair trade products on the market that we can buy, and we can hope that the shops we use do indeed check all the way back along the supply chain to see that workers are treated fairly.
Did you know that of the 39,000 capsules produced worldwide every minute, 29,000 end up in landfills. Only you can help reduce that number through using a french press! They don’t require a filter and the grounds are fully compostable. Also, aim to buy fairtrade coffee beans as they can sometimes come in plastic-free packaging!
I have to admit that I did not recognise this name, ‘French Press’. But it seems to be the good old cafetiere (as below) that Mrs T invested in years ago. It does make good, fair trade coffee!And it’s much simpler than machines and pods.The ads with these posts seem to have arrived with the links to the posts.
Lent is just under way and the Fair Trade Foundation are talking about a Festival starting next week. Read all about it Here! The site is well worth a visit and may well inspire you to change your ways a little during Lent, for the love of God, and the Planet, and all life upon it. Read on!
Latest News from Fairtrade Foundation. This post follows naturally from our series on Slavery: has abolition made everything right? No. We are sharing a bulletin from the Fair Trade Foundation that explores this continuing injustice; the first paragraph follows, with a link to the main article.
For a long time, most sugar sold in the UK was grown using slave labour in British colonies. Direct action from enslaved people, determined campaigning and a mass consumer movement won historic changes in the 1800s, which mean, thankfully, this is no longer the case. But sugar – like many other Fairtrade staples – remains a multi-million pound industry. One that condemns too many farmers and workers in former colonies to extreme poverty. READ DE-COLONISING TRADE
Respect for the Planet’s Resources We pray that the planet’s resources will not be plundered, but shared in a just and respectful manner.
I typed in Pope Francis’s intention earlier in the year, little thinking how the world would have changed by September. It was noticeable how much cleaner the air was when there was far less traffic on the roads of Kent, and I expect you noticed something similar. Fresh air is one of the resources tat should be shared, not plundered for industry or personal travel.
But still, it’s September and we should be thinking of Harvest Festival and how
All good gifts around us
Are sent from heaven above;
Then thank the Lord,
O thank the Lord,
For all his love.
And yet, it’s a bit rich to proclaim our thanks unless we take account of the sinfulness that clings to our fingers when we buy non-fair trade chocolate or coffee, or indeed absolutely any mobile phone, with all the rare earths that go into them, possibly mined under conditions of near slavery and lack of safety in the workplace. And where our brothers and sisters are exploited, the planet will be also.
Another post from the Preda foundation in the Philippines. Father Shay Cullen shares this photo; it’s clear that there need be no conflict between looking after the environment and for the best interests of the human beings who live and work there, including those on the margins, not least these former prisoners. Laudato Si!
There are 3,958 Mango saplings ready for sharing to the Aeta communities for planting on denuded hillsides in Zambales Philippines.
The rich elite cut the rain forest, deprived thousands of species their habitat and the Aeta people also.
They now are subsistent hill farmers and Mango is an important annual income bought by Preda fair trade for mango puree.
Here in the photo Preda boys rescued from jails help in the planting.
We cross the Atlantic to Nicaragua to meet our third Fairtrade Farmer.
Teresa Riviera Palaciosa
Teresa Riviera Palaciosa, a coffee farmer in Nicaragua calls on communities around the world to join the fight to tackle the climate crisis.
“I invite all the producers of the world to organise themselves into co-operatives and to look after the environment; to stop burning the forests, clearing the land and polluting the water and to stop using banned chemical products which are harmful to coffee consumers, animals, and the environment. Chemicals also kill the organisms in the soil and lead to erosion.
“We are responsible for the erosion of our soil – sometimes by thinking that we are improving and will produce more, over time we can end up not producing anything at all.
“So if all the small producers organise themselves in co-operatives, we will really benefit and we will really value the world that God has gifted us.”
These farmers – who have done the least to cause the climate crisis – must not be left alone in facing the consequences.
And you can help – share this message from Ebrottié, Zeddy and Teresa on Facebook, Twitter or by email to spread the word that the changing climate really is an emergency for small farmers all around the world.
The second Fairtrade farmer introduced by the Fairtrade Foundation.
Zeddy Rotich, a coffee farmer in Kenya
Zeddy explains how Fairtrade has helped her take action on the climate crisis locally.
“Climate change is affecting us because the weather patterns have changed. We fear low coffee production in future because of it. But through Fairtrade we have received training on climate change and we are taking action. However, we still need more, because we need to train other people who are not aware about climate change.
“We also need more tree nursery beds, so that we can plant more trees as a way of tackling climate change.”
There is a need for more tree cover in our own country too, extending rural forests but also in towns where we need their green lungs.
The Fairtrade Foundation invited readers of their website to share the next three stories from their farming partners; given in their own words.
“Climate change is a global issue. We, the farmers, have to deal with its consequences every day. For instance, this year we lacked food because of the heat. The production decreased this year too, so this affects the economy. People harvested less and received less money. So we all suffer from the negative consequences of the climate: it impacts the environment and our economy.
“There will be a food shortage because of the heat whereas, before, there were a lot of forests, the rains were regular and the seasons were well divided. It was easier. There were four seasons, now we don’t know anymore when we should plant and when we should stop.
“Climate change has an impact on crops which results in less money and food available. There is also a lack of workforce, because the cocoa farming is not profitable anymore. Young people who used to work with us do not come anymore. The farmer is left with his family, struggling to keep the production because of the negative effects of climate. These are the difficulties we currently face.”