November Newsletter

Greetings from FEN, the Faith Ecology Network, an Australian hub for strengthening an interfaith dialogue between science and religion.



FEN is proud to announce the launch of art posters of the Ten Ways Faith Groups Care for Biodiversity.  
The launch was on Friday 28th October at the Coal Loader Sustainability Centre at Waverton on the shores of Sydney Harbour. As a site where once coal was loaded onto ships for export, the Genia McCaffrey Room was an appropriate place to gather for this occasion. Genia was the Mayor of North Sydney who oversaw the conversion of this place from one of coal dependence to a centre in the middle of a big city which is a place of learning ways we can tread more lightly on earth.
The timing was also appropriate as the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in Montreal, Canada on the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework process will happen soon on Dec 7 – 19
Things have to change to protect accelerating biodiversity loss.  Harmful systems have to change. We have to change. FEN calls on faith groups to better learn from and care for biodiversity.
Faiths and the sciences share an attitude of wonder about life and our world. Jewish Rabbi Abraham Heschel once said, “Awareness of the divine begins with wonder”. Environmental scientist and FEN friend, Haydn Washington, titled one of his books “A Sense of Wonder Towards Nature: Healing the Planet Through Belonging.”
The 10Ways to Care is a change-making tool to assist communities in growing the WILL and some WAYS to care.  We want it to also generate income to help us employ a part-time co-ordinator so FEN can be more sustainable into the future.
During the launch, participants contributed valuable ways they might use this resource to animate, educate and activate their communities.
Now let’s get it out there and being used.
Learn more about it and how to order it.
Share with us how you use it as together we grow this movement from these humble beginnings.
Whatever we do, whatever choices we make, others and the earth itself are affected.
Anne Lanyon, Faith Ecology Network Co-ordinator
Please use this link for your donation. We appreciate any support you can give.


 Learn More

Where did “Ten Ways” Come From?
The original was compiled by Sue Martin, Anne Lanyon and Jason John as a framework for communities, in particular faith communities, using a process of  

  • Listening and Learning
  • Reflecting and Contemplating
  • Acting

The process and content grew out of Sue’s experience as an environmental educator and FEN workshops through 2020-2021. It features Australian examples from First Nations peoples, scientists, activists, community groups and diverse faith traditions, and was launched in our July Newsletter.

We wanted to present this in an engaging way on the website and other media. We wanted our network of networks to have a great and compelling resource.

FEN Steering Team member, David Low made contact with artist and permaculturist Brenna Quinlan after seeing her work on Gardening Australia. He thought: “There is a Jewish concept in worship, from Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel:
keva the structure and details, e.g. liturgy
kavanah the spontaneity of our heart, e.g. joy in song
The result of David’s contribution is the meaning-filled poster of the Ten Ways plus individual posters of each one of them.
David asked:
How can we add “kavanah” to this wonderful ”keva”?
How can we bring the Ten Ways to life?
We now have posters of the whole 10Ways as well as each individual way.

Using the Posters

1. View the video
2. To Order them in A3 Size or A4 Size, Click Here
3. View the Ten Ways content
4. Use them wherever you can to animate, educate and activate communities.

FEN Member News

Your Stories (We want to share stories from anyone caring for biodiversity. Please email them to

Cherishing the Web of the Universe by Gillian Coote, Sydney Zen Centre

We learnt about the web of life at school, back in the l950’s, yet right now the world is rapidly losing species in a horrifying man-made extinction.  This ‘web' may have had its genesis in the metaphor of the Net of Indra from ancient India, a vast net, in which each being occupies a node, each being a gem whose many facets reflect all the other gems and their reflections too, back and forth infinitely - the world interwoven in such a way that each node of its living net contains all mysteries; there’s no need to climb to heaven to find the sacred, when the part contains the whole, just as the hologram does, where each tiny speck of an image contains the whole.  Christian poets like William Blake have said it too – to see the world in a flower, and heaven in a grain of sand….
Mahayana Buddhism, of which Zen is but one strand, emphasises the realisation of the Buddha that all beings are interdependent, not separate, isolated and defended.  As Joanna Macy put it, ‘we inter-are.’  Zen students practice zazen – sitting meditation – opening to the experience of this!  which goes beyond an intellectual knowing.  Joanna’s work was inspired by the despair round the Cold War, her seminal book, Despair and Empowerment in the Nuclear Age.  It's time to focus on despair and empowerment in the climate change age.
Caring passionately about biodiversity and climate change can be heart-breaking, when mineral companies present their extractivist point of view that what matters are human jobs, not ecosystems, when politicians can say they put people before plants, attitudes that can create despair and apathy.  

What can we do to make a difference?   Fritz Schumacher's 'Small is Beautiful" was published in l973, and his,  'think globally, act locally ' still resonates.  In the Upper Macdonald Valley, our faith community has been practising bush regeneration since the late 90's, removing infestations of blackberry and working to prevent weeds penetrating the bushland. It's about ecological restoration, maintaining biodiversity and restoring ecosystems in which natural regeneration can occur, and where habitat for our vulnerable species is protected.   This ethic of caring for nature exists in most cultures and across most faiths and, as people realise the extraordinary heritage of the flora of Sydney Hawkesbury Sandstone, sensitivity and protective behaviour will surely grow.
 Watching a spider at work,
I vow with all beings
To cherish the web of the universe.
Touch one point and everything moves.  (1)
Yes, one person can act in spite of feelings of grief, dread and anger - one person can overcome that sense of powerlessness and inertia
in the face of what lies ahead for all beings.  One person must.
1. Robert Aitken, The Dragon Who Never Sleeps, p. 42, pub. Parallax Press, l992
Faith and Biodiversity at the UN
Anne Lanyon has been in contact with a founding member in the USA of the Faith and Biodiversity UN Co-ordination Group. She was delighted to hear about the work of FEN’s network of networks. They have brought a multifaith voice to the negotiations (however small it is) and will have a presence at Montreal.

We here in Australia can add to that voice. Read their website: Join their activities as your faith or ecology network may already have a presence at the UN. Sign the Faith Call to Action for Biodiversity

The FEN Steering Team will be following up on this and how we can collaborate globally and here in Australia.

FEN at Environmental Fair Day
FEN Steering Team Member, Sue Martin represented FEN at the Environmental Fair held at the Bella Vista Farm in Western Sydney which was co-ordinated by members of the Shia Ismaili Muslim community.

FEN and Research
FEN’s role as an external partner in the University of Melbourne research ‘Integrating nature experience and contemplative practices to address eco-anxiety’ continues as we join with other groups in sharing insights, experiences and practices
Muslim Women's National Network Australia visits Landcare Site
FEN Steering Team member, Zubeda Raihman, arranged a visit by her Muslim Women's National Network Australia to St Anthony in the Fields Catholic church Landcare site at Terrey Hills. It was a great day of interaction and learning.


FEN Partner News

AELA (Australian Earth Laws Alliance)

FEN members, David Low, Sue Martin and Anne Lanyon presented a webinar at the AELA Earth Laws Month in September, the Season of Creation.

ARRCC (Australian Religious Response to Climate Change

Members of FEN participated in the Multifaith Gathering for Climate Change action at St Patrick's Cathedral Parramatta, part of a global day of action.

Nature For All Australia
Are you a nature champion? Test your knowledge on parks and protected areas from around the world with this fun, interactive quiz.#NATUREFORALL TRIVIA GAME


URI United Religions Initiative – Youth and Biodiversity
10 young people and their leader represented Desert Bloom Cooperation Circle in a Youth Exchange program under the project “PEACE: Psychological and Eco-social Aspects of Climate Change,” hosted by Permacultura Cantabria in Penagos, Cantabria - Spain, from 18-25 Oct. 2022.

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. 

Learn more about FEN
International Biodiversity Day, May 22nd

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Faith Ecology Network · Sisters of the Good Samaritan · 2 Avenue Rd · Glebe, NSW 2037 · Australia

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