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Greening Sacred Spaces

Greening Sacred Spaces

Greening Sacred Spaces (GSS) is our longest-running program. A practical program, GSS assists faith communities with both the educational and spiritual dimensions of greening as well as the “how to” side of audits, retrofits, and generally reducing a faith community’s footprint.

We have developed a number of resources to help faith groups become community leaders in working towards a more sustainable future for all. Click on the links below to find out more about our:

 
Visit your local chapter page or contact your local animator to find out about upcoming events in your area and to discuss your faith community's needs and how Faith & the Common Good: Greening Sacred Spaces can help.

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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…

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.

St. Anselm’s Ecology Group: How Our Church’s Green Team Evolved

Guest post by Marlie Whittle, St. Anselm’s Ecology Group in Toronto.

St Anselms green team with certificate
GSS Certification Team

In 2015, Pope Francis wrote an encyclical called Laudato Si: Praise be to You. This encyclical was a call to environmental action from the highest authority of the Catholic Church. Since 2015, many Catholic orders, churches and people have found different ways to respond to this call. I have had the privilege of being on St. Anselm’s Church’s ‘Green Team’ for over a year. We call ourselves St. Anselm’s Ecology Group and in the past three years our team has grown from two parishioners to 13!

View More Blog Posts

Resources

Greening Sacred Spaces DVD

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This engaging and instructive 5-part DVD highlights different aspects of Greening Sacred Spaces.

The first part is a 12-minute segment, Reasons to Green, offering insightful interviews with faith leaders from eight religious traditions on why people of faith need to address the ecological crisis and how their faith communities are responding.

The Renewing the Sacred Balance section offers stories of how people from different faith traditions are working to change their ways of life to be more ecologically sustainable.

The Greening Sacred Spaces section, in both an 18 minute and 5 minute version, point to a variety of ways that faith communities have begun to green their buildings. These are divided into light, medium, and deep green options.

The final section, Auditsprovides a 5-minute tour of how a professional auditor conducts an energy audit of your religious building.

 Order the Greening Sacred Spaces DVD($12)

Steps to Greening

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Steps to Greening is intended to give you and your faith community a quick overview of what is possible as you plan to green your sacred spaces and a ‘path’ to follow.

Download PDF (must be logged in)

The Green Rule Poster

The Green Rule

Faith & the Common Good derived the Green Rule poster from the classic Golden Rule found in major faith traditions.

“Do unto the Earth as you would have it do unto you.”

Each Green Rule was chosen from the great texts of the world’s major religions and spiritual philosophies. The texts all acknowledge the natural world as an essential phenomenon through which we may better come to know the divine and our oneness with it.

Order the Green Rule Poster ($15 folded; $20 rolled ON/QC; $25 Canada)

For bulk sales and international orders, email resources@faithcommongood.org to ask for a quote *before* placing order.

See also:

Green Rule study guide (orderable with poster)

How to use the Green Rule (PDF download)

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