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How the Arts Thrive in Montreal Faith Buildings

St James United MontrealThe Leading and Learning team (this time with the sub-in of the amazing Erika Hennebury) headed back out on the road in late November, this time headed for Montreal. As you might remember Toronto Arts Council, Artsbuild Ontario, Faith & the Common Good and Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre have been supported by the Metcalf Foundation to explore models for the arts and faith to cohabitate. This is the fourth blog post in the series, so please feel free to go back and have a look at what we discovered in Philadelphia and New York.

In Montreal, we started our journey with St. James United and their Executive Director (an unusual title in church land, but one that I heartily approve of) Dianne Ellison and Reverend Arlen Bonnar. The church was built in 1888 on Sainte Catherine Street and is a part of the Quartier des Spectacles. It’s a National Historic Site of Canada and sees about 40,000 tourists per year.

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Care for Our Common Home Program seeks Communications Animator

Our Cultivating Care for Our Common Home Program offers presentations, workshops, and collaboration to Catholic parishes and other interested groups in Toronto who would like to explore and respond more deeply to Pope Francis’ call to care for our common home. Reporting to and working with the Coordinator of the Cultivating Care for Our Common Home Program, the Communications Animator will develop a communications plan that integrates with FCG communications, develop social media outreach, and assist with drafting a website, newsletter, and promotion materials.

Click here for complete job posting.

Please submit by email your resume, application letter, and two references by February 25, 2019 to Karen Van Loon at kvanloon@faithcommongood.org.

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On the path to social and environmental justice

Lorene DiCorpo recalls growing up in Sudbury many decades ago, and how, daily, she could smell and taste the sulphur dioxide in the air emitted by the neighboring mining company, Inco Nickel. On cloudy days the sky would be tinged with yellow.  It was well known that miners developed emphysema and asthma and that the land had been reduced to non-fertile clay.  “As a child, I thought this was just the way things were,” she says.

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Celebrating a Solar Sanctuary

St Paul United Edmonton
Toward a Solar Sanctuary: St. Paul’s United Church, Edmonton
(Click on the photo above to view the video.)

2018 could easily be described as the year climate came home to roost. BC wildfires so extensive that cities across the country were blanketed in smog. Heat-related deaths in both Montreal and Ottawa. And a landmark scientific report imploring urgent action within 12 years to avoid catastrophic climate change.

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Global Warming of 1.5°C—People of faith share an urgent call to protect life

climate pilgrimsThe United Nations COP 24 climate change negotiations in Poland (Dec. 2-15) ended in overtime on Saturday.  While some progress was made, the Paris Agreement rulebook adopted by countries does not respond with the urgency outlined in the Global Warming of 1.5°C Report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

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Togetherness: As the weather gets wildly worse, ensure your survival by learning to love your neighbour

St James Town steering committee
St James Town local "Lighthouse Project" Steering Committee. Toronto, ON

Delighted to share some Toronto West End insights  about our extreme weather resilience hub project. Our Lighthouse Project is piloting how to create inclusive, community-driven extreme weather preparation hubs in Toronto, Hamilton & Brampton.

This excerpt is from Katrina Onstad's “Togetherness: As the weather gets wildly worse, ensure your survival by learning to love your neighbour” (Toronto West End Phoenix, November 2018, www.westendphoenix.com/november-2018-toronto-of-the-future)

Toronto is particularly susceptible to extreme weather disasters simply because it’s booming: the more concrete the city, the hotter the city. The urban heat-island effect is caused by tightly packed buildings and paved surfaces boxing in the heat. And when the rain comes, the lack of green spaces and growing number of impermeable surfaces mean there’s nowhere for water to go but into our ancient, overloaded pipes.

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New Eco Ministry forms at Holy Cross Parish

Earlier this fall a new Eco Ministry began at Holy Cross parish in Toronto. They have planned projects that focus on reducing waste and enriching the natural environment at the parish such as establishing new native pollinator and vegetable gardens.  On December 2nd they held a Breakfast Social Fundraiser with a soup and bake sale and silent auction. A table was set up where people could donate an unwanted item and pick up another item in exchange.

I dropped in at their busy event to hear more about their initiative and enjoyed some food and coffee—served on real dishes and not disposables. Great Advent gathering!

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Bringing the Season of Creation Alive in A Special Way in Central Saskatchewan

blessing of bread and salt

Blessing of Bread and Salt, Photo: Courtesy Chris Pidwerbeski

Submitted by Christopher Hrynkow, Chair, Communities Inspired for Environmental Action Central Saskatchewan

The Ecumenical Patriach Dimitrios I inaugurated the World Day of Prayer for the Environment on September 1, 1989. As part of Pope Francis’ ecumenical outreach and as an expression of his concern for justice, peace, and the integrity of creation undertaken in the spirit of St. Francis, in 2015 Pope Francis’ established the practice in the Catholic Church. As a result, Catholics are now called to participate in the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation annually on September 1st. Here, Francis is also taking up a recommendation made in the Charta Oecumenica in 2001. That document, jointly issued by the Conference of European Churches and the Council of European Bishops Conferences recommends the establishment of an ecumenical day prayer for “the preservation of creation”.

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