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Advent calendar 2023 - 20 December

Ivanilde lives in one of the most heavily deforested regions of the Brazilian Amazon.

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness, the world and all its peoples. It is he who set it on the seas; on the waters he made it firm.  

Psalm 23:1

Throughout the Bible we hear of God’s great love for all that he made and today the psalmist tells us that the earth and everything in it belongs to God. We are reminded that human beings are just one part of the ever-unfolding story of God’s creation. 

Yet, our common home, the earth, is now in deep environmental crisis due to human neglect and selfishness. As Pope Francis puts it in Laudate Deum: “Everything that exists ceases to be a gift for which we should be thankful, esteem and cherish, and instead becomes a slave, prey to any whim of the human mind and its capacities.” (LD, #22) 

Ivanilde is a mother and farmer, living in a small patch of rainforest in a heavily deforested region of the Brazilian Amazon. More than once, her trees and crops have been ravaged by fires started on land owned by wealthy cattle ranchers.  

For 19 years, Ivanilde has been at the forefront of the struggle to protect our common home. With support from local experts from our church network she has replanted and restored the land. With her neighbours, she has fought a lengthy legal battle for the right to stay and protect the place she calls home.  

This Advent, let’s stand in solidarity with Ivanilde as we face the climate crisis. Let’s live in a way that recognises the interconnectedness of all creation and our duty to nurture it. And let’s stop to give thanks to God for all that he has made.

Advent prayer

God of new beginnings, 
help us to cherish and esteem your gift of creation.  
Be with us as we respond  
to your call to care for the earth, 
working alongside our sisters and brothers 
who also stand at the frontline of climate change. 


Pray for those like Ivanilde who fight to protect God’s creation even at risk of their own lives and livelihoods.