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2017 Annual Report now available

2017 Annual ReportOur 2017 Annual Report captures the diverse ways in which the network lived out the Green Rule and made good use of our many programs last year. We looked at regenerating places of worship to better serve our communities, and exploring how, as faith communities, we can be resilience hubs in readying ourselves for extreme weather events before disaster strikes. Our network members grew communities by planting and tending gardens in cities and towns and participating in the Faith Commuter Challenge to get to worship without cars. Many of us accompanied Indigenous groups as allies, in protecting the life-giving waters of the land’s Great Lakes. Together, we came closer to the goal of a healthy, sustainable future for the common good of all people.

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Winnipeg church improves participation rate for 2nd annual Faith Commuter Challenge

FCC 2018 Winnipeg carpool
Iris, Vivian, and June enjoy the social aspect of carpooling,
the most popular mode of transportation to church.

submitted by Maureen Peniuk, Crescent Fort Rouge United Church, Winnipeg

We improved our Faith Commuter Challenge participation rate to 80%! Last year it was 70%. What a fun way to celebrate the sustainable ways that we commute to church and “Live with Respect in Creation”. Carpooling (51%) is our preferred “green’ form of transportation to church. Walking (18%) is the second most popular mode, with transit (8%) and cycling (3%) much less common. The remaining 20% drive alone.

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Anglican church wins top environmental award

Photo by Michael Hudson

St. Cuthbert, Leaside is an attractive red brick church, but in environmental circles it’s known by another colour — dark green. The church has won the Green Sacred Space Award for 2018, given to the most environmentally friendly place of worship in Toronto. It is only the second Anglican church in the city to receive the award since it was established in 2000.

“We’re delighted and pleased that our efforts are making a difference,” says Heather Conolly, a member of the church and its property coordinator. “We’re keepers of the world and we want to pass on to the next generation what was handed down to us.”

Read original blog post by the Diocese of Toronto…

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Caring for Our Common Home: Climate Change and Faith

Adopted from a keynote address at the Grand River Interfaith Breakfast held in Kitchener, ON on April 25, 2015

By: Dr. Hind Al-Abadleh
Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Wilfrid Laurier University

I had the honour and privilege to stand before 350+ attendees from the Waterloo Region and deliver the keynote on a topic that I’m passionate about at the Grand River Interfaith Breakfast, just three days after the world celebrated Earth Day. I provide below an edited version of my talk.

I started by acknowledging that “we are on the Haldimand Tract, traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishnaabe, and Haudenosaunee peoples.” The indigenous people of this land have so much to teach us on how to care for it as it was their ancestors who were connected to this land, understood its seasons and rhythms, and welcomed settlers into their ever-expanding circle.

I have structured my brief talk with one goal in mind that I wanted to leave the audience with, which is that humans need to rethink and restore their relationship with and dependency on nature, and that people of all faiths are uniquely qualified to lead in this area.

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Energy Benchmarking in Halton and Peel

Matthew CasaleFor the past four months, I have been a co-op student working with Greening Sacred Spaces (GSS) Halton-Peel, a program of Halton Environmental Network (HEN) and a chapter of Faith & the Common Good (FCG). My focus was helping to develop and implement the Energy Benchmarking Program in Halton and Peel. This program allows our team to monitor and measure the energy consumption of faith communities and help them reduce or become more efficient energy users.

With this program I had the amazing opportunity to be put into an environment that I was not used to. I am used to speaking about the importance of the environment and saving energy. However, until I started to speak with the different faith communities that we worked with in Halton and Peel, I never realised the important role the environment plays across faiths.

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Sacred Green Spaces: Taking a Look at Your Property in a Whole New Way!

Outdoor Greening Resources

What if you could share with your community your caring actions for creation and become a leader for sustainability in your neighbourhood? What if you could take simple steps to change your outdoor property maintenance or landscape design so as to reflect your place of worship’s desires for stronger social cohesion, resilient city making, or local ecological protection? What if your congregants could create an outdoor space that would delight all ages and provide much needed habitat for butterflies, birds, and other urban wildlife species?

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Regenerating Places of Faith in Calgary

Calgary workshop

Places of faith anchor and shape our communities. Yet many congregations are facing declining attendance and insufficient funding to maintain and operate their historic buildings. These important community assets are in a period of transition across the country, and the Calgary area is no exception.

What is their future? How can they continue to contribute in a positive way to their communities?

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Faith Buildings Working to Enhance the Visual Arts: Philadelphia Part Two

Fleisher Day of the Dead

Today I’m continuing my exploration of Faith/Arts Cohabitation with a quick tour of two great spaces in Philadelphia. In October 2017 I was there working with ArtsBuild Ontario, Faith & the Common Good and the Toronto Arts Council (funded by the Metcalf Foundation) examining a variety of working models for mutual support between arts and faith groups.

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