Greetings from our new Executive Director, Rev. Michelle Singh
Thank you for your continued support of Faith & the Common Good (FCG). Your contributions, whether monetary or acts of service, allow us to continue delivering programs through our multi-faith network that contribute to building a more equitable, greener Canada.
Image: Rev. Michelle Singh and new Board Chair Tom Urbaniak
With Deep Appreciation
As many of you already know, Dr. Lucy Cummings, our exceptional Executive Director for the past eight years, decided to step back in 2019 and I was brought on board to mirror her for a year as Deputy Director.
Lucy was instrumental in expanding FCGs network nationally, building relationships with diverse faith communities and laying a solid foundation for us to achieve our mission.
To harness the power of diverse faith and spiritual groups
through education, capacity building, and collective action
to build more resilient and sustainable communities.
The Board and staff commend Lucy for her leadership. We thank you, Lucy, for your incredible hard work, innovative mindset and a wonderful sense of humour. You have enhanced FCGs reputation and steered the network to be more responsive to the ever-increasing need to act, as people of faith, for the climate today and in the future. Lucy will continue to contribute to our network as a Senior Advisor.
Randal Goodfellow, our Board Chair for the past four years, also stepped down in late 2019. Pointing to FCGs biggest strength – its uniqueness as a network that works across diverse faith groups with the same interest of caring for the environment and one another – Randal says it was exciting to him that there were many chapters at work, “...versus discussion. FCG is action-oriented; sleeves are rolled up."
Randal, a businessman, was able to bring a business lens to the organization and ask the tough questions – how can FCG be financially sustainable as an organization while supporting the needs of our network?
Randall plans to continue serving his Ottawa community. His current focus is building community through food; growing food, food security, working with creation hands-on, and bringing together the rural and urban interface. Thank you, Randal, for the curiosity, clarity, and focus you brought to our work.
Welcome New Board Chair
Tom Urbaniak stepped in as the new Chair in late 2019. Tom joined the board in 2018 and stepped in as chair in late 2019. He is former Chair of Political Science at Cape Breton University, where he now heads the Tompkins Institute. Tom feels blessed to work closely with diverse faith communities on projects related to food security, housing, and other issues, and most recently to establish a regional KAIROS network dedicated to social justice. An active member of St. Mary’s Polish Catholic Church in the multicultural community of Whitney Pier, his parish has a history of interfaith collaboration and a commitment to service.
“The grassroots, experimental approach to projects is a successful one and can continue to spread. In many ways we can get in front of governments and institutional and corporate leaders and show what’s possible,” Tom says. “FCG can really leverage its track record to be a strong, thoughtful, analytical, and broadly representative voice of conscience to treat all of creation with dignity and respect.”
As I step into the role of Executive Director, I am excited to continue building and expanding the solid foundation laid by those who came before me. As an Interfaith Minister since 2008, I’ve worked closely with faith communities and interfaith councils across the country (and internationally) that are recognizing faith-based organizations can be powerful role models for the common good.
I am grateful for the opportunity to work with our team across Canada to achieve our strategic goals for 2020-2023 by ensuring our work builds upon our three key pillars:
- Strengthening the resilience of our organization and network by focusing on increasing diversity;
- Catalyzing faith-based organizations to practice sustainable ways of being so as to maintain a life-supporting climate and;
- Increasing the recognition of faith-based groups as critical partners in strengthening communities.
Our rich tapestry of multi-cultural faith communities can be a force for social justice and environmental sustainability. We can have a profound impact on our national climate narrative by activating communities across the country. There are bountiful opportunities to collaborate. The only challenge will be to do it effectively as a part-time Executive Director.
I look forward to meeting with and learning from our friends and partners to build sustainable communities across Canada. Please feel free to contact me at any time.