Environment

'Justice up' your home!

“Proclaim the good news to all creation!” (Mark 16:15) To all creation? Yes, but sometimes we need to remind ourselves first. The idea of this activity is to share challenging and encouraging messages amongst our families. And by taking time to choose which quotes to display and considering different ways in which they might present them, your family will explore the messages and give them time to sink in.  

Copyright Carissa Rogers 

Copyright Carissa Rogers 

‘‘Justice up’ your home!’  is a simple activity – and it can take as long as you wish. The big idea is to decorate your home with justice and peace quotes and images to inspire and encourage all who see them.

Most activity pages of this website should have a justice and peace quote displayed on it – you could start with choosing your favourites of these and thinking about how you might display them in your home.

Be as creative as you like! You might start with decorating your fridge, bathroom door or bedroom. How about justice and peace-themed bunting for a family BBQ or party?

For younger children

Choose simple, easy to understand quotes such as ‘Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9) or “You are my disciples if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).

Talk with your child about what the quote you chose means and how they might show this on a poster – then make sure to show your works of art off to all your family and friends!

You might also consider ordering posters from CAFOD or other organisations.

As they grow older

Look in the bible for relevant quotes, for example where Jesus shows concern and care for those who are poor and vulnerable.

Ask them to get creative in how they display the quote. They might like to make justice and peace-themed greeting cards to send to relatives and neighbours (or even your MP).

Another fun idea is to use these quotes as a hunt around the house or to place them inside cupboards as an inspiring surprise! 

Praying with Newspapers

As Christians we are called to listen to God in multiple ways. For example, we can hear His message to us in scripture, at church, in nature, in each other and by “reading the signs of the times”.

This activity is what it says it is! Using newspapers is a great way of looking at the world, drawing out current justice issues for your family to pray about.

  • Newspapers
  • Candle
  • Reflective music

Begin with the sign of the 

Using two members of your family as a call and response

Newspapers and prayer?
                                         God in the world!

If there’s hunger?
                                         Pray for food and water

Where there is bloodshed?
                                        Pray for peace

Story about politicians?     
                                        Pray for our leaders

Some good news?
                                        Thank the Lord

Oppression and injustice?
                                        Invite in God’s spirit

Now spend some time in silence praying as a family with newspapers. Read, find an article, cut or rip it out, pray about it, then place it by a candle. Bring these stories to God and let God bring these stories into your hearts. Look at what you each chose and consider asking your family to explain why they picked particular 

Close with this prayer using two family members to read the below. Alternatively write your own prayer as a family.

Loving Father, thank you for being active in our world.

Loving Father, thank you for sharing in our concerns.

Loving Father, thank you for the opportunities you give us to serve you through serving others. 

Loving Father, thank you for opening our eyes to all your children’s needs.

For younger children

With younger children, instead of newspaper articles try using pictures.

The BBC and others publish news pictures that reflect the daily news.

As they get older

Why not chose some articles to discuss after prayer? Draw out together the injustices you find in the articles. Invite each family member to pray aloud for each of these issues.

Praying with Maps

Ours is a global faith; “God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). From the very beginnings the Christian community has been international. At Pentecost, for example, the Holy Spirit came to the disciples and they went out to preach: “a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken” (Acts 2:16).

Using a map (or a globe) and the internet in prayer can help your family to visualise the world. It can highlight global connections and the importance of being one family, God’s family.  

Copyright CC0 Public domain

Copyright CC0 Public domain

  • Globe
  • Map poster
  • Stickers or Post-it notes

Useful Websites 
Online Globe 

Amnesty International country profiles 

BBC country profiles 

BBC World news

 

Using BBC world news or similar, identify together justice issue affecting an area of the world. Perhaps consider global issues connected to climate change, peace or migration.

Using the map/globe and the internet, find out more about that country  (for example, language, flag, national bird/animal, interesting facts, climate, …). Finish by writing a prayer together for that country and its people.

Prayer example: Loving Father we bring before you (the area), we pray for the people of (name of place), and in particular (a certain justice issue that is prevalent in this area). 

For younger children

Use a simple map - posters can be picked up fairly cheaply online or in most pound shops. Pick an area of the world you would like to pray for and ask a family member to place a sticker on the map marking its people.

As they get older

Use a more detailed map and do more research about the country. What social justice issues are prominent? As a family write a prayer for this area. Consider making a specific time each month for family prayer for this area of the world.   

The Beatitudes

These scripture based activities contain a passage from the Bible for families to read and explore together. However, don’t feel limited by what’s here! There are so many other passages you could use, including choosing from the readings of the day or the readings from the Sunday mass.

One way of exploring scripture as a family is reading the passage together before a meal and then discussing it while eating. 

Matthew
5:1-11

“Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.
He said:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

The beatitudes are simple but challenging descriptions of what it is to be holy; the attitudes we should have in order to live life to the full! The call to be ‘peacemakers’ always stands out to me as it calls us to an action, not simply to be ‘peace-wishers’ or ‘peace-keepers’.

  • What images might you draw to represent each beatitude?
  • What beatitudes would you write aimed at children, teenagers, parents or grandparents? (e.g. Blessed are the mothers who…, Blessed are the sons that … ). Try to reflect principles of justice, charity, peacemaking and so on.

Calling for Action on Climate Change

God has given us an abundant world to tend and share. Yet all over the world we can see how we have failed to protect our planet.  

In communities where CAFOD partners works, many are suffering from more frequent and extreme floods, storms, or droughts, pushing the most vulnerable people further into poverty. Farming families are struggling with more unpredictable seasons, meaning crops fail and livestock die because of a lack of food and water. Pope Francis says if we think about the world we are leaving for future generations, “we look at things differently; we realize that the world is a gift which we have freely received and must share with others”. Out of love for our sisters and brothers worldwide, we are called to respond to climate change.

  • Access to the internet
  • Some sheets of paper to cut into heart shapes
  • Scissors and pens
  • You might like to buy some CAFOD campaigns stickers by visiting the CAFOD shop

Explain that you are going to make a difference to people who live in poverty by changing your life to take better care of our resources. Watch the age-appropriate video (see links) and discuss it together.

Copyright CAFOD

Copyright CAFOD

  • Think as a family how you could help look after the world
  • Write prayers and/or pledges of actions you will take on heart-shaped pieces of paper.
  • Display these hearts somewhere prominent in the house (fridges or bathroom mirrors are nice and visible.
  • Take a photo and email the photo, explaining what you did to cafod@cafod.org.uk and maybe even tell your parish, family and friends!
  •  If the owner of the house doesn’t mind, stick CAFOD ‘Turn me down’ or ‘Switch me off’ stickers on electrical items.