Thursday, June 14, 2018

Church leaders endorse Season of Creation in rare ecumenical joint letter

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has joined leaders of other Christian churches in a joint letter encouraging participation in the Season of Creation. The annual celebration of prayer and action to protect the environment emerged from a proclamation by the Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I in 1989. He called on Orthodox Christians to observe 1 September each year as a day of prayer for creation. Many churches across the world from different traditions began celebrating a Season of Creation between that date and 4 October 4 – the feast of St Francis of Assisi.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Anglicans Support Nature: Stewardship of the Environment Survey Results

The Stewardship of the Environment Committee (SEC) is pleased to release the results of our poll sampling Anglican's views about the natural world.

The SEC created this survey to help inform a series of three videos we are preparing as part of our mission priorities for 2018 and 2019.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Faith Communities Offer Hope This Earth Day

Sunday, April 22, marks the start of Earth Week and as we approach the half-century mark for this important event we are forced to confess that while we have made some important strides, we have not been good stewards of God's creation.

Religious groups are celebrating Earth Day in record numbers. Many faith traditions are offering toolkits and environmental resources. Hindus are engaging in environmental action through the Bhumi project and Buddhists are discussing ecology. Both Muslims and Sikhs released statements on climate change and Jews shared ways of tracking environmental action in synagogues.

Many people including Anglicans feel called by their faith to act on environmental degradation and climate change. It therefore follows that faith communities are at the forefront of efforts to respond to one of the most serious crises humans have ever faced. As people of faith, we are called to engage by taking personal responsibility and sharing this important message with others both within and outside of our faith traditions.

Earth Day 2018 Message from Anglican, Lutheran Leaders

In recognition of Earth Day on April 22, 2018, we invite you to join us in praying for the humility and discipline to use Earth’s resources wisely and responsibly.

We begin by praying the Rule of Life, from Gospel-based Discipleship of Indigenous Ministries of the Anglican Church of Canada:

Creator God, we acknowledge and give thanks that:
In Jesus we know we belong to a Sacred Circle with the Gospel and Baptismal Covenant in the centre.

In this Sacred Circle:
We are all related;
We live a compassionate and generous life;
We respect all life, traditions, and resources.
We commit ourselves to spiritual growth, discipleship, and consensus.1
Amen.

As we read this prayer today, we are reminded of the importance of relationships, including our relationship with Mother Earth. We are also reminded that through prayer God calls us to action.

Consider what you might do to use Earth’s resources more responsibly. Some possibilities are:

Being more mindful in your use of water;
Eating locally grown food when possible and eating meat less often.
Taking more trips by walking, biking, busing or car-pooling in order to reduce your carbon footprint
Reducing your use of plastics by not taking a straw or a shopping bag. See 17 Tips to Use Less Plastic for more ideas;
Consider what your faith community might do to nurture responsible and sustainable relationships to water, land, home, and each other. Some possibilities are:

Finding ways for your community to reduce its environmental footprint. Greening Sacred Spaces offers a variety of resources.
Listening to children, youth, adults and elders to discover innovative approaches to the challenges that we share.
Joining with partners in your community and neighbourhood who are inspiring and implementing new ways to care for the earth.
Making safeguarding the integrity of creation a regular part of your worship life by using worship resources that celebrate God’s creation.
Consider what we all might do to advocate for a more equitable world that recognizes the need for communities to define their own development goals and objectives. Some possibilities are:

Encouraging your Member of Parliament to support Bill C-262 which would insure all Canadian laws are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Upholding the principle of free, prior, and informed consent for all communities impacted by resource extraction
Commending the recent announcement of a new Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Business Enterprise.
Recent important legislative initiatives are a reminder for all of us to continue to work for human rights and to care for creation every day. As the recent collaborative report from Auditors General across Canada highlights, there is need for much stronger federal and provincial relations to meet important emissions reductions targets in order to begin addressing the very real impacts of climate change already being felt in Canada and around the world.2

On this Earth Day, let us pray together:

Creator, we stand in awe and wonder at God’s great creation, at the diversity of beings, and at the intricate balance of relationships that sustains life. We recognize the need and basic human right for each person to have a place to which to belong.

Inspire in us the will to live in responsible and sustainable relationships to water, land, home, and each other are part of realizing our full humanity.

Gather us together for the love of the world, and send us out, with patience and persistence, to act as your disciples. Amen.

We are confident that through your prayers and discernment you will discover a multitude of ways to learn, raise awareness and make difference for the Earth.

The Rev. Mark MacDonald
National Anglican Indigenous Bishop, Anglican Church of Canada

The Rev. Susan C. Johnson
National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

The Most Rev. Fred Hiltz
Primate, Anglican Church of Canada

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Anglicans Gave Up Plastic for Lent

Bishop Mary in the Anglican Diocese of Montreal heeded the call from the Church of England to give up plastic for Lent. As the Diocese of London explained, "This Lent let's give ocean creatures a better chance to renew themselves, free of our trash!"

Each year millions of Christians fast or give up something for Lent. This year many Christians opted to give up single-use plastic because of its destructive environmental impact. More than 300 million tons of plastic is created each year and around half is single-use plastic.  A total of 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic has been created since the 1950s.

Much of that waste ends up in our oceans and waterways.  Eight tons of plastic is dumped in the sea every minute. This plastic is forming massive plastic patches on the surface called gyres.  It is also ubiquitous beneath the waves. This plastic does not biodegrade making it deadly to wildlife. The problem is so vast it is interfering with the aquatic food chain.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Easter and the Environment: Spiritual Transformation

The symbolism of Easter offers an opportunity to reflect on the importance of the natural world and the shift of consciousness required for the survival of life on this planet. If we are to find a way forward we urgently need to address climate change and environmental degradation.  To alter our perilous trajectory we need to assume responsibility for the state of our world. Science alone will not take us where we need to go. We need a spiritual transformation that will enable us to address the wide range of human activities that are adversely impacting the Earth's geology and ecosystems.  James Gustave Speth is an environmental scientist who believes that science cannot solve the crisis we face.

"I used to think the top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought that with 30 years of good science we could address those problems. But I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed, and apathy." Speth said, adding, "to deal with those we need a spiritual and cultural transformation - and we scientists don't know how to do that." Speth is the dean and professor in the practice of environmental policy and sustainable development at Yale University’s School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

Monday, March 5, 2018

What Does Nature Mean to You? Let Us know by Completing a Short Survey

What is your connection to nature? The Stewardship of the Environment Committee in the Anglican Diocese of Montreal has created a short survey to help us to get to know more about how people feel about nature and by extension the environment.

We intend to incorporate the results into a series of three videos we are shooting as part of our mission priorities for 2018.

This very brief survey takes only a minute to complete. It is comprised of 10 easy to answer questions about you and your relationship to nature.

Please complete this short survey and consider sharing it with friends. There are no names so your answers will be kept strictly confidential.

To go to the survey click here.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Call to Come Together to Safeguard the Health of the Planet

Faith groups and others must unite to address environmental degradation and climate change. Anglicans are called by the fifth mark of mission to be good stewards of the Earth. Other traditions have come to similar conclusions. Secular society is also actively involved in environmental stewardship. The scope of the problems we face demand that groups work together to safeguard planetary health.

In recent years we have seen the ways in which diverse coalitions including religious organizations are living their convictions as they seek to divest from fossil fuels. We have seen this effort grow at both national and local levels. The rational for divestment in faith communities is powerfullly compelling. The Anglican Diocese of Montreal along with other dioceses across Canada and around the world have passed resolutions to divest from fossil fuels.