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Across the country, United Churches are doing their part to address the climate crisis by getting their own house in order by working to reduce their own carbon emissions. Through a partnership with Faith & the Common Good, the United Church of Canada is offering grants and support for churches to measure their energy use and reduce their climate pollution, in ways that save money and strengthen congregational renewal.
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Faith & the Common Good recently launched an energy benchmarking program and Toronto Hydro and Enbridge Gas Distribution are assisting us in the City of Toronto. Hamilton, Halton, Peel, and York regions are also participating in this program.
On June 24th, Divest Waterloo and Parkminster United Church partnered on Water and Spirit: Allyship in Action — a lunch and Indigenous Allyship gathering designed for people who are wondering about how to go beyond land acknowledgements, curious about terms, or wanting to discover positive best practices for working with Indigenous peoples. Melissa Ireland (pictured on the right above, bio below), Manager of Indigenous Student Services at Laurier University, facilitated this participatory gathering employing a circle approach to help participants self-discover where they sit in their Indigenous Allyship journey.
Following this, Mary Anne Caibaiosai (pictured on the left above, bio below) shared her stories and prayers for the water and plans for the All Nations Grand River Water Walk that will be held from September 15th through the 29th. The workshop and lunch were free, with donations to support the Water Walk gratefully accepted.
Faith & the Common Good, Halton Environmental Network, Greening Sacred Spaces Halton-Peel, and an array of partners will be working together over the next year, thanks to funding received from the Oakville Community Foundation (OCF), to pilot an Oakville neighbourhood extreme weather resilience hub model using places of worship and other neighbourhood organizations as neighbourhood engagement and care anchors. The goal is to create an Oakville resiliency hub network that engages diverse community stakeholders to increase community capacity and understanding around how we can work to support each other. The Project plan is to pilot “neighbourhood hubs” in 3 geographic hubs based in the community of Oakville.