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Guides, Workshops & Toolkits

Faith & the Common Good is continually creating guides, workshops, and toolkits for use by faith communities. Scroll down for a variety of resources.

DOWNLOADS: Most items are downloadable, but you must be logged in to download them. If you are downloading resources for your faith community, we would appreciate you registering your faith community as part of our network.

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PRINTED ITEMS: Some items have been printed and are available for purchase. There is a link to the order form and a price beside those items. Payment is via PayPal for printed items. You do not need a PayPal account.


DIY Walkthrough Audit

guide_DIY_walkthrough.JPGNew in 2018! This easy-to-use 62-page guide is intended for decision-makers in faith communities who wish get to know how their buildings work and reduce the amount of energy they use in their buildings.

Energy audits of religious buildings show that 80 to 85 per cent of the energy used in places of worship is for heating and ventilation. Operators of religious buildings can take advantage of that finding to reduce their operating costs by making sure their heating and ventilating equipment is working as efficiently as possible, and by reducing heat loss from their facilities.

This guide discusses low or no-cost measures to give operators of religious buildings a range of options they can apply to reduce their energy bills while adding comfort and attractiveness to their facility. It includes a 14-page DIY energy audit.

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Email resources@faithcommongood.org for a printed copy. Cost: $15 per copy (includes shipping and handling).

Native Plant Garden Guide

Native Plant Garden GuideNew in 2018! This guidebook is designed to help faith communities plan and maintain a successful native plant community garden. It was created by our Greening Sacred Spaces Toronto Chapter in 2018 with the assistance of the North American Native Plant Society.

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Financing Options for Greening Your Sacred Space


A brief overview of some options by which your faith community can finance energy audits, and proceed with retrofits. There are many types of potential funding for your project, provided by many different sources. Which ones you use will depend on your needs, your financial situation, and your eligibility.

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Community Garden Guide


Greening Sacred Spaces has developed a community garden guide for faith communities creating a community food garden. This comprehensive how-to guide includes information on:

  • setting up a garden
  • forming a volunteer team
  • planting a garden, including depth and drainage, organic matter, container gardening, rooftop gardening, tools, and other options
  • maintaining a garden – weeding, watering, and pest control tips
  • harvesting the garden – picking, monitoring, and chronicling the crop, freezing and fermenting, storing and replenishing soil
  • a garden resource list

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See also the companion Community Garden Presentation.

Youth Voices Outreach Manual


A comprehensive manual on how to organize an inter-faith youth group.“This is not a typical manual. It wasn’t written by a famous author, or even a single author, but by members of the Sacred Water Circle (SWC), who collaboratively contributed to the words on these pages. This how-to-manual is based on our experience reaching out to young adults of different faiths and backgrounds to rally around a common cause

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The Green Guide: What we can do to Preserve our Sacred World

The Green Guide for Faith Communities

Suggestions to help you live your faith and walk more lightly on the planet.

This 8-page booklet is designed to be shared within your community and includes information on:

  • Eco-Spirituality: Why should we look after the natural world?
  • What can we do? Think about values, systems of production and consumption, true life-cycle costs, and changing our habits.
  • Greening our homes, gardens, workplaces, and transportation methods.

Order the Green Guide ($4 each)

A Guide to Developing a ‘Green Team’ in Your Faith Community

Green Team Guide

Involve, organize, and motivate members of your faith community to take action towards eco-sustainability. This 14-page guidebook provides practical suggestions and steps for changes you could put in place to make your faith community a greener place. We know that talking about things is not the same as actually doing them; this guide will help you get things done by examining the processes and priorities to realize your green vision. It supports personal initiative as well as discussing the art of joining with others to create a ‘Green Team’.

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Order hard copies of the Green Team Guide ($5 each)

Green Rule Study Guide

The Green Rule Study Guide

The Green Rule Study Guide offers suggestions for how you can use the Green Rule poster as an imaginative and practical tool to teach youth and adult members of your faith community and school system about the sacredness of creation in their own faith, while taking into consideration the similar beliefs of other faith traditions.

Order the Green Rule Study Guide ($8 for first guide; $4 each for additional guides or if added to poster order)

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


A Framework for Reconnection

A Framework for Reconnection

New in 2017! This is a Christian retreat template for Stewardship and Reconnection: with God, self, others, and all of Creation. It is suitable for groups of approximately 8 - 20 participants attending multi-day reflective spiritual retreats with elements of ecological immersion. The template has modular sections. You can choose how to use it:

  • in weekend (2 night/3 day) retreats,
  • in a series of one-day or evening meetings,
  • as daily sessions of a longer (week or 10-day) retreat,
  • with one theme as a starting point for a month-long or Lenten learning focus

Download PDF (must be logged in)

Community Garden Presentation

Community Gardens ppt

This pdf document is a presentation for use with your faith community or garden team to kickstart or support your community garden program. It is a companion to the Edible Community Garden Guide.

Download presentation (must be logged in)

 Download one-page gardening group facilitation sheet (258 kB)

Greening Sacred Spaces: Eco-Spiritual Workshops


Explore the connection between your faith and the health of the Earth, and create an action plan to begin making changes and encourage one another. This is a single session workshop guide for introducing the Greening Sacred Spaces program to your faith community. Participants focus on aspects of daily life, such as food, home, place of worship to explore how they may make small and significant changes and apply their spirituality in practical ways to reduce energy consumption and help care for creation.The goals of the session include:

  • Exploring the relevance of “greening” to our way of life
  • Exploring how “greening” sacred spaces is relevant to this faith community
  • Exploring the connection between our faith and the health of the Earth
  • Exploring how our beliefs become concrete in our behaviour
  • Exploring possibilities to make our homes, lives, and sacred spaces greener
  • Creating an action plan to begin making changes
  • Encouraging one another to change


Download PDF (182 KB)

Order the Greening Sacred Spaces Workshop ($4 each)


Faith and the Environment Toolkit


This toolkit has been created to empower and engage faith communities in building a safe, healthy and sustainable future. This inaugural edition of the toolkit focuses on three topics: water, biodiversity and food waste. We hope that it serves as a meaningful resource to educators, organizations, and others who are engaged in building healthy and sustainable communities. Community Environment Alliance, our Greening Sacred Spaces partner in Brampton, ON, created this guide in 2015 as part of their grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. 

  Visit CommunityEnvironment.org to download (6.5 MB, 44 pages)

Extreme Weather Toolkit


This Extreme Weather Tool Kit will help your faith group think through the essential components of an extreme weather response plan. It is tailored for faith groups in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) who want to support their most vulnerable community members to better withstand extreme weather emergencies.

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