Thursday, November 10, 2016

Message from Interfaith Power & Light in the Wake of Trump's Victory

In light of last night’s election results, IPL has a more important role to play than ever before. We can’t afford to backslide on our hard won victories: the Clean Power Plan, the Paris climate agreement, cleaner automobiles. Our work may have just gotten harder, but we are not giving up. There is far too much at stake.

IPL is rooted in theology -answering God’s call to be the stewards of Creation and to love each other. Our focus for 16 years has been protecting the climate while recognizing the injustice and inequality of who and where harm is experienced. We believe that climate change is a critical global challenge and we are committed to meeting that challenge by advocating to limit carbon emissions, energy efficiency and transitioning to a clean energy economy. We believe that fossil fuels belong in the ground.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Hindus Worldwide Commit to Addressing Climate Change

As the celebration of Diwali commences, this is a good time to review how Hindus around the world have pledged to act on climate change. 

Diwali is a festival of Lights and it is celebrated by Hindus and others to commemorate the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair.  Rituals surrounding the event include the recitation of prayers in the name of happy, healthy futures.

As indicated in this November 23, 2015 press release Hindus are calling for climate action.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Islam and Climate Action: Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change

According to Islamic scholars, we are called to engage in climate action. The Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change is a document designed to help clarify what the Qur'an says about climate action. It was launched at a symposium in Istanbul which took place on 17, 18 August 2015. The document is a result of collaboration between of IFEES/EcoIslam and Islamic Relief World Wide in 2014. The document was reviewed by a team of Muslim specialists consisting of academics and environmentalists.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Time for Creation (World Council of Churches)

The period between September 1 and October 4 is "Time for Creation." The beginning and the end date of Time for Creation are linked with the concern for creation in the Eastern and the Western traditions of Christianity, respectively.

September 1st was proclaimed as a day of prayer for the environment by the late Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I in 1989.

The Orthodox church year starts that day with a commemoration of how God created the world. On 4 October, Roman Catholics and other churches from the Western traditions commemorate Francis of Assisi, known to many as the author of the Canticle of the Creatures.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Season of Creation raises ecological awareness through prayer

As summer turns to autumn, Christians worldwide will unite in prayer and commit to the ministry of healing the earth during the Season of Creation, an annual initiative spearheaded by global Anglican, Roman Catholic, ecumenical, and interfaith organizations.

The Season of Creation runs from Sept. 1—proclaimed as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation by the Orthodox Church in 1989, and subsequently recognized by other denominations—through the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi on Oct. 4. During this period, Christians across denominations and national borders are encouraged to join together in prayer for creation and environmental stewardship.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Opposing Fossil Fuel Pipeline at the first Anglican Sacred Earth Camp

A group of budding young environmental leaders immersed themselves in the eco-justice issues of the lower Fraser Watershed from July 31 to August 13, publicly expressing their opposition to the proposed Kinder Morgan Pipeline expansion project as the first Sacred Earth Camp unfolded in the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster.

Taking place at A Rocha’s Brooksdale farm in South Surrey, B.C. with trips around Coast Salish territory and the lower mainland, the camp aimed to teach youth and young adults about the local bio-region and to help them learn the spiritual and practical skills necessary to become long-term leaders for environmental justice.

Eco-Justice at the first Anglican Sacred Earth Camp

A group of budding young environmental leaders immersed themselves in the eco-justice issues of the lower Fraser Watershed from July 31 to August 13, publicly expressing their opposition to the proposed Kinder Morgan Pipeline expansion project as the first Sacred Earth Camp unfolded in the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster.

Taking place at A Rocha’s Brooksdale farm in South Surrey, B.C. with trips around Coast Salish territory and the lower mainland, the camp aimed to teach youth and young adults about the local bio-region and to help them learn the spiritual and practical skills necessary to become long-term leaders for environmental justice.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Ecological Resolutions Pass by an Overwhelming Margin at Synod

The Anglican Church of Canada will form a social and ecological investment task force  The church will appoint a task force for social and ecological investment—including, possibly, selling its existing investments in some companies.

General Synod passed, by large majorities, two resolutions Tuesday, July 12, related to responsible investing. Resolution A171 calls on the church to form a task force “as soon as possible,” to review its investment policies; address governance practices of companies and sectors in which it invests; and develop “guidelines for constructive dialogue, and where necessary divestment, leading towards a low carbon economy.”

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Anglican Leaders Offer Points of Reflection Relevant to General Synod's Ecological Motions

Anglican leaders have offered some prescient remarks that are relevant for the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada's climate focused motions (to see excerpts of some of these remarks read below). We have already seen Diocesan Synods pass fossil fuel divestment motions across Canada including motions that passed in both Montreal and Ottawa.  We will soon see if the call from Anglican leaders to address climate change resonates at General Synod.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Catholic Orders Heed Pope Francis and Divest from Fossil Fuels

Four Australian Catholic orders are jointly and publicly divesting from coal, oil and gas: ‘We believe the Gospel asks no less of us’

Four Australian Catholic organisations have announced they are completely divesting from coal, oil and gas in what they say is the first joint Catholic divestment anywhere in the world.

The move comes as prominent Jewish rabbis, Muslim clerics, Anglican bishops and other religious leaders call on the Australian government to protect the Great Barrier Reef, stop approving coalmines and remove subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, in an open letter published by the Guardian.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Divesting from fossil fuels: Open letter from religious leaders

Letter seeks to draw attention to ‘the degradation of the Great Barrier Reef … principally due to global warming’

To those in public office or aspiring to it:

As leaders in a range of faith traditions, we draw attention to the wake-up call which the degradation of the Great Barrier Reef provides.

The reef is a wonder of the natural world and, to people of faith, a sign of the spiritual dimension of life. It also supports many jobs and economic benefits.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

We are called to advocate for climate justice

The current national climate consultations offer a valuable opportunity for Canadian citizens and people of faith to participate in the development of Canada’s climate action plan. CPJ has developed a simple web-based Climate Consultation Tool that you can use to submit your ideas directly to the government.

Here is a summary of the upcoming town hall meetings across Canada and a special one-hour workshop (download as a Word Doc) to help bring more people from faith communities into the climate justice conversation.

There was already a Facebook event on May 24th in Ville Marie-Le Sud-Ouest-Ile-des-Soeurs. Additional meetings in Quebec will be taking place in the following places at the following times:

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Churches invited to support World Environment Day

[ACNS, by Rachel Farmer] Churches across the world are being encouraged to engage with World Environment Day this Sunday 5 June and to use it as an opportunity to celebrate God’s creation and help protect the planet.

Green Anglicans, the Anglican Church of Southern African Environmental Network, has provided resources for churches particularly for use by young people in services on World Environment Day.

Environmental Coordinator for the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, the Revd Dr Rachel Mash said, “World Environment Day is a global day set aside to grow and encourage global awareness and action on care for creation. In Genesis 15:2 God gave us a mandate to look after his earth. This day serves as an opportunity for people to focus on giving back to our wonderful planet by becoming agents of change as well as curbing global warming, climate change and other related issues while cutting down their carbon foot print.”

Angola is the host country this year and the theme is ‘Go Wild for Life’ which is focusing on the high volume of illegal trading of wild life. The country is seeking to restore its elephant herds and conserve its biodiversity, and safeguard the environment as it continues to rebuild after a quarter century of civil war. Members of the young green Anglicans network in Angola have been circulating resources and encouraging churches to take part in special services to mark the event.

Angolan Environment Minister Maria de Fatima Jardim said, "The illegal wildlife trade, particularly the trade in ivory and rhino horn, is a major problem across our continent. By hosting this day of celebration and awareness-raising, we aim to send a clear message that such practices will soon be eradicated."

Churches in Southern Africa are running a number of events in connection with the day including an earth festival and talent competition in the Western Cape dioceses, a focus on care for our common home at St Albans Cathedral, Pretoria, while in the Diocese of Saldanha Bay the churches will be taking a pledge to support the environment.

Rachel Mash said, “As people of faith our actions can begin in our place of worship and from there we reach out to our communities, reminding people about how God took his time to make this earth beautiful. We can achieve this if we work together as people of God.”

Resources for services are available to download and include suggested readings, liturgy, prayers and a drama based on a story by Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai.

World Environment Day is an opportunity for churches to do doing something to take care of the earth and become agents of change. For further information visit World Environmental Day .

Source: ACNS News Service

Friday, May 27, 2016

A Nun Invokes "Moral Imperative" in a Bid to Reform Exxon

Rex Tillerson runs Exxon Mobil, historically the world’s most profitable company, which raked in a cool $16 billion last year. On Wednesday, he found himself sitting across from Sister Patricia Daly, a Brooklyn-born Dominican nun from Caldwell, N.J., and member of a coalition that manages more than $100 billion in assets — including a stake in the oil and gas company. Between the two of them, there was a whole lot of money on the table.

“Decades have been lost in the fight against climate change, due in part to our company’s campaign of disinformation,” Daly said, as she presented a statement at Exxon’s shareholder meeting in Dallas, Texas, this week. Daly, along with the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, was there to propose a resolution that Exxon acknowledge its “moral imperative” and address climate change. The resolution demands that Exxon adopt business policies consistent with limiting average global warming to under 2 degrees C.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Ecological Investing Resolutions to General Synod 2016

Subject: Social and Ecological Investment Task Force

Motion 1

Moved by: Bishop Mark MacDonald, National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Seconded by: the Rev. Bill Mous, Director of Justice, Community and Global Ministries, Diocese of Niagara

That this General Synod request the Council of General Synod

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Anglican Consultative Council Passed Unanimous Resolution on Climate Change

The Anglican Consultative Council or ACC is one of the four "Instruments of Communion" of the Anglican Communion. It was created by a resolution of the 1968 Lambeth Conference. The council, which includes Anglican bishops, clergy and laity, meets every two or three years in different parts of the world. The Anglican Consultative Council has a permanent secretariat (the Anglican Communion Office), based at Saint Andrew's House, London, which is responsible for organizing meetings of the "Instruments of Communion". The Archbishop of Canterbury is ex officio the President of the Council.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Fossil Fuel Divestment Motion for General Synod 2016


Subject: Fossil Fuel Divestment
Moved By: Archdeacon David Selzer, Ottawa
Seconded By: Reverend Monique Stone, Ottawa

Be it resolved that this General Synod: direct the managers of the Anglican Church of Canada’s Consolidated Trust Fund to divest the Fund of holdings in fossil fuel extraction companies, as defined by, and, where possible to reinvest in renewable energy industries.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Catholics Heed Call to Plant Trees for Earth Day

The new juniper tree at Light of Hearts Villa, in Bedford, Ohio, offers its nearly 100 residents another scenic outpost in the landscape that often draws deer, fox and recently, a peregrine falcon.

The tree was planted as part of the assisted-living community's Earth Day celebration on Thursday. Some of the 25 residents in attendance braved the weather with umbrellas to partake in the prayer and planting outside, while others watched from drier conditions inside.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Appeal to the leaders and representatives of Indigenous Peoples and faith communities – Storforsen, Sweden


Meeting on Sami Territory in Sweden, October 5-8 2015, we–participants attending the conference on the Future of Life in the Arctic: The Impact of Climate Change. Indigenous and Religious Perspectives–appeal to the leaders and representatives of Indigenous Peoples and faith communities to call on your fellow citizens; your public representatives; your delegates to the Paris Climate Conference; Mary Robinson, United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change; and Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to take brave action and make bold decisions on promoting climate justice.

On Earth Day, Pope Francis calls all ‘to see the world through the eyes of God the Creator’

See the world through the eyes of the Creator, Pope Francis said at the end of his general audience in St. Peter's Square on Wednesday, marking Earth Day.

“I exhort everyone to see the world through the eyes of God the Creator: the earth is an environment to be safeguarded, a garden to be cultivated,” he said.
“The relationship of mankind with nature must not be conducted with greed, manipulation and exploitation, but it must conserve the divine harmony that exists between creatures and Creation within the logic of respect and care, so it can be put to the service of our brothers, also of future generations,” the pope said.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Earth Day 2016 letter from Anglican and Lutheran leaders

Dear friends in Christ:

As we observe Earth Day on April 22, we commend to you the Storforsen Appeal, the statement from the conference The Future of Life in the Arctic: The Impact of Climate Change. Indigenous and Religious Perspectives held on Sami Territory in Sweden in 2015.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Earth Day Faith Celebrations

Earth Day is a movement that has given voice to an emerging consciousness of the unity of creation and the 'new creation' that is the resurrection of Jesus. The mutual love between God and God's people calls us to love and care for one another and all of creation.

Interfaith Power and Light is hosting Faith Climate Action Week, April 15-24. The nine-day national initiative surrounding Earth Day (April 22) connects, inspires and motivates climate action within faith communities across the U.S., offering a plethora of tools, tips, and guides for revamping or starting your faith-based climate program.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Church of England Continues with its Doomed Exxon Engagement Strategy

In 2015 the Church of England (C of E) formally adopted a climate and ethical investment policy. Recently Exxon tried to kill a motion supported by the C of E calling for transparency on climate resilience. The SEC has ruled that the vote can go forward. If the past is any indication of the present it is very unlikely to pass. In 2014 Exxon responded to the climate concerns of shareholders by saying that the company does not believe governments would impose policies that would severely limit emissions so sharply because oil and gas are so critical to global development and economic growth. Given the track record of Exxon and other fossil fuel companies pessimism is warranted. While the new C of E investment policy calls for engagement, divestment is an option when engagement is deemed unproductive.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Support the Interfaith Climate Change Statement

The Interfaith Climate Change Statement (2016) outlines religious leaders and faith communities positive judgement of the adopted Paris Agreement and urges for its prompt signature and ratification by governments so that it can come into force as soon as possible. It also insists that there is a significant increase in the current levels of ambition relating to emission reductions, financial flows, adaptation, loss and damage and a swift phase out of fossil fuel subsidies - so as to keep temperatures within reach of 1.5C.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Retreat - Eco-theology 101: Christian Thinking on our Relationship to Creation

Eco-theology 101 will take place on Friday April 29th from 5:00 pm to Sunday May 1 at 2:00 pm in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Retreat leader is Br. Robert L’Esperance.

We face a modern environmental crisis unprecedented in scale in the history of mankind. This retreat is an introduction to Christian thinking that seeks to expand both our religious understanding of humankind’s relationship to the created order as well as our proper place in that order.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Christians Give Up Fossil Fuels for Lent

As reviewed by Grist, the Washington Post recently reported how Christians in the UK gave up fossil fuels for lent. This is noteworthy for those in the Anglican Church of Canada who will be voting on a fossil fuel divestment motion later this year and specifically the Diocese of Montreal which has already voted to divest but has yet to act. 

Here is an excerpt from the Grist article:

A new initiative in the United Kingdom is not only calling for Christian communities to band together in support of clean energy, but actually helping them get their own electricity that way. The Big Church Switch, which launched Wednesday, aims to inspire both individuals and churches to make the switch to renewable energy sources — and they’re already gaining support from church leaders in the country.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Jesus Calls us to Take a Stand Against Fossil Fuels

You’re basking in the glow of a glorious Palm Sunday. Your plans are ready for Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. But how are you commemorating Table-Turning Monday?

"Jesus wasn’t crucified just because he said he was the son of God. He was crucified because he took a public stand against political and religious corruption that hurt the poor."

— Rev. John Helmiere, Valley and Mountain Fellowship (UMC)

Table-Turning Monday marks the day after Jesus enters Jerusalem—the day when he overturns the tables of the money changers in the Temple. This critique of the ways in which religious, political and economic powers collude to oppress common people set the course for Jesus’ journey to the cross. "Jesus wasn't crucified just because he said he was the Son of God," says Rev. John Helmiere of Valley and Mountain Fellowship in Seattle. "He was crucified because he took a public stand against political and religious corruption that hurt the poor."

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Canadian Anglicans and The Right to Water Initiative of the National Youth Project (Diocese of Huron)

In commemoration of World Water Day (March 22) here is an article that addresses fundraising and educational efforts that are part of the Right to Water initiative in the National Youth Project in the Diocese of Huron.

Fundraising and education efforts in the Diocese of Huron are providing a vivid example of how young Anglicans can support the ongoing Right to Water initiative of the National Youth Project (NYP).

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Earth Hour Activities of Anglicans Faith Communities and Spiritual Groups Around the World

WWF's 10th annual Earth Hour takes place between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 local time on Saturday, March 19, 2016. Six continents, over 170 countries and more than 7000 cities and towns are expected to participate. This annual event calls everyone including people of faith and spiritual communities to turn off their non-essential lights and focus on environmental stewardship and climate action throughout the year. Participating spiritual organizations are being asked to register their involvement and add themselves to the online Earth Hour map.

This year's theme is: Protecting the places we love. We are encouraged to consider the places we love and what impact climate change may have on those places now and in the future.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Christ Church Cathedral Hosts Earth Hour Concert

On Saturday, March 19, CBC Montreal and the Choeur des enfants de Montréal are teaming up to present the 3rd annual Earth Hour concert. Five youth choirs will perform in the hopes of raising awareness for this global event. In keeping with the essential concept of Earth Hour, all of the Cathedral's lights will be extinguished and candles will be lit.

The concert is open to the public. There is no cost, but there will be a free-will offering at the door.

Christ Church Cathedral Montreal (635 St. Catherine Street West) Saturday, March 19, 2016
8:15 - 9:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Another Indigenous Environmental Activist Murdered in Honduras

Less than two weeks after the assassination of Honduran indigenous environmental activist Berta Cáceres, another member of her organization has been murdered.

We mourn and condemn the murder of Nelson Garcia, a faithful member of the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Honduras (COPINH).

Berta Cáceres and Nelson Garcia sacrificed their lives to protect their people’s land and river from destruction by the Agua Zarca Dam, one of the world’s largest dams that would cut off the ethnic Lenca people from water, food and medicine.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Remembering Berta Cáceres on International Women's Day

On International Women's Day 2016 we mourn the loss of Berta Cáceres, a truly heroic environmental organizer. On March 3rd she was gunned down in her hometown of La Esperanza, Intibuca in Honduras. Her assassins are still at large and unlikely to ever be brought to justice.

Berta was an indigenous women who championed land and resource rights. In 1993 she co-founded the National Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH). She was a dedicated protector of the natural world who bravely stood up to powerful corporations, corrupt governments and police with ties to death squads.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Pope Francis' Homage to Wildlife

Early in December just ahead of the successful conclusion of the COP21 climate talks in Paris, Pope Francis hosted a moving photographic homage to wildlife. This show was part of a wider initiative by the pontiff to address environmental degradation and climate change in particular.

The show was titled “Fiat Lux: Illuminating Our Common Home” and it was inspired by the Pope's recently released "Laudato si," meaning ‘Praise be to you,’ a phrase commonly used by Saint Francis, the Pope's namesake. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of animals and ecology. He is one of the most famous Saints in all of Christianity and in one well known miracle St. Francis is said to have tamed a wolf that was terrorizing the people of Gubbio.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Anglican Diocese of Quebec fully Divested from Fossil Fuels

The Diocese of Quebec has fulfilled its pledge to divest from fossil fuels. In this regard this diocese is a model for other dioceses and national churches.

Some aspects of the Governance of the Diocese of Québec differ from that of most or all other dioceses because of its time and place in pre-Confederation history. Within this Diocese, responsibility for investments rests within the mandate of an entity called Church Society of the Diocese of Québec. Church Society exercises this part of its role through an Investment Committee of professionals who volunteer their time and expertise.

Anglcans Think that Climate Action is a Priority for the Church

Anglicans appear to be in agreement that combating climate change is an important issue for the church. There are many different views on how Anglicans should respond to the climate crisis. The Church of England has put forward investment guidelines that take climate concerns into account. Some dioceses have voted to divest from fossil fuels including the Diocese of Montreal and the Diocese of Quebec has already fully divested. Two motions for climate sensitive investing will be brought forward at the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada in July.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Most Popular Posts of 2015

As part of our activities in 2015 the Stewardship of the Environment Committee published dozens of posts.  We covered a wide range of topics from the Blue Dot Movement at the beginning of the year to COP 21 at the year's end.

As part of our efforts to support responsible investing and specifically the divestment motion in the Diocese of Montreal, many of our posts focused on divestment from fossil fuels in faith communities.

Here are five of our most popular posts from 2015:

Combating Climate Change as a Moral Imperative
Anglican Bishops Call for Urgent Action on Climate Justice
Faith Communities Divest Holdings in Fossil Fuel Industry
Why Faith Communities Must Divest from Fossil Fuels
Church of England Adopts New Climate Change and Ethical Investment Policy

Call for Federal Action on Climate Change!

Sign the Call for Climate Action today to support an ambitious Canadian GHG emission reduction target! Now is a critical time for climate policy in Canada.

Draft Ecological Investment Motions for the General Synod 2016

The 41st General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada will take place from July 7-12, 2016 at the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel and Suites, Richmond Hill, Ont. in the Diocese of Toronto. The theme of the Synod is “You Are My Witnesses” which comes from Isaiah 43:10. Here are two draft investment motions to be tabled at the General Synod in 2016:


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Lenten Reflection Guide Forty Days with Scripture and Laudato Si'

The Lenten Reflection Guide from the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns contains reflections, questions, prayers, and actions based on each week’s Gospel reading and the teachings of Pope Francis in his latest encyclical, Laudato Si’.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Summary of Activities in 2015 (Stewardship of the Environment Committee)

After a brief hiatus, the Stewardship of the Environment Committee is back with a new constitution and a new vision. We begin the new year with a review of our activities in 2015. As we reflect on the events of last year we are forced to concede that it was a momentous year. People of faith helped to advance climate action both on the world stage and locally.  We are grateful for those who strive to care for creation and for those who worked towards the positive outcome at COP21 and the successful passage of the fossil fuel divestment motion in the Anglican Diocese of Montreal.

The Stewardship of the Environment Committee humbly appreciates all the support that it has received over the last 12 months. We would like to thank the consultants to our committee: Raymond Noel, Diane Norman and Afra Tucker. We would also like to thank Rev. Rhonda Waters, Deborah Tagornak, Henriette Thompson and John Scott for their contributions to our climate justice events in December.

Last year our primary areas of focus were faith and environmentalism, Pope Francis, fossil fuel divestment, and the Paris climate talks. As part of our expanding social media presence we posted 88 articles on our blog, Facebook page and Twitter feed, we supported 9 events and organized 3 actions. During the course of the year we prepared and supported the divestment motion that was passed in the Anglican Diocese of Montreal in October. Along with Christ Church Cathedral, we also organized a speakers conference and candlelight vigil in support of COP21.