Monday, August 13, 2018

Introducing the SEC's Eightfold Path of Environmental Action

God be in my head, and in my understanding; God be in mine eyes, and in my looking; God be in my mouth, and in my speaking: god be in mine heart, and in my thinking; God be at my end, and and my departing.   - John Rutter (b. 1945)

Faith groups are at the forefront of efforts to address environmental degradation and climate change. Various religious traditions have made the moral case for climate action. We share a common concern for nature and many of us want to act to protect it. This is why people, governments, NGOs, schools and businesses are all involved in environmental advocacy and climate action. The natural world has a prominent place in Anglicanism, other religions and in society at large. This makes the environment an interfaith issue and a bridge to the secular world.  Protecting creation appeals to shared values that bind us all together. 

Anglicans are playing an increasingly important role as part of a growing coalition of environmentally concerned people around the world. Anglicans have indicated that they want the church to prioritize climate action. In 2015 Anglican Bishops called for urgent action on climate justice. In Canada Anglicans are active in national organizations like Creation Matters, Greening Sacred Spaces and the Public Witness for Social and Ecological Justice (PWSEJ) Coordinating Committee. There are countless related diocesan and parish level groups and committees across the country.

Anglicans are also involved in the Diocese of Montreal where a recent survey confirmed their support for environmental action. Anglicans who responded to the poll indicated that they care about nature and they believe we must act to protect it. Although they want to do more to protect nature most are overwhelmed by the scope of the problem while others indicated that they are not sure what they can do.

When people were asked, what would help them to get more involved in efforts to protect nature, most of the Anglicans who responded to the poll said they would benefit from a better understanding of the issues and a summary of specific actions.

In response to these survey results and to help promote climate action the Stewardship of the Environment Committee (SEC) in the Anglican Diocese of Montreal has assembled helpful tips which we are calling the Eightfold Path of Environmental Action

In the coming months we will publish eight posts with the following titles:

1. Right Understanding: Knowing the facts about climate change
2. Right Thought: How we think about the natural world
3. Right Speech: Effective environmental communications
4. Right Action: Making smaller footprints
5. Right Livelihood: Work that benefits the planet
6. Right Effort: Choosing a cause
7. Right Concentration: Staying focused on nature
8. Right Mindfulness: Managing climate stress

Alongside the Eightfold Path initiative the SEC is currently working on a short film that is scheduled to be launched at the start of the Season of Creation in September 2020. 

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