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Are we ready for extreme weather?

b821319908z-1_20130709221459_000_g0a117hvu-2_contentCheck out this piece in the spec.com written by our communications coordinator, Beatrice Ekoko, asking the question, “how prepared are our communities for increasing extreme weather events?” Here is the complete article:

Globally, heat waves, hurricanes, severe thunderstorms and flooding are becoming more frequent and increasingly intense with climate change. How prepared are we for extreme weather events — both in the home and as a community?

On a personal level I’ll admit that I don’t even have a flashlight at the ready, let alone the recommended two litres of water daily per person stored away. I don’t know where I would go in the event of an electrical blackout.

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Green Audit at St. Mark’s Anglican Church, Brantford

working at desks at St. Marks

St. Mark’s United Anglican Church. Photo Credit, Nancy Harvey.

Thanks to Neil Dunning, St. Mark’s Anglican, for this report on our Green Audit. The report has been edited for this blog.

St. Mark’s, Brantford, hosted an interfaith “Greening Sacred Spaces” workshop in partnership with Faith and the Common Good on October 1, 2016. This workshop was in response to a “green audit” performed by staff from the Greening Sacred Spaces program run by Faith & the Common Good. All faith groups with buildings in Brantford and area were invited, as well as Anglicans across the dioceses of Huron and Niagara. The goal was to share our green audit results and our response to the audit with participants, and for all of us to be able to learn from our panel of contractors who came for the morning.

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Caring for Creation and Community

There’s an intriguing sign that can be found on Laurier Avenue. You will see it along with twenty or so raised garden beds in front of a large old stone church. The sign says “Urban Shades – Communal Community Garden”. In smaller print the sign explained further “We’re Hosting “Work Bees” Every Sunday at 2 pm. Come and garden with your community.” It’s an interesting new twist to the familiar concept of community gardens.

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Laudato Si’– Pope Francis and the Call to Ecological Conversion: A Reflection

Last month, John Dorner, our team member and volunteer with the Archdiocese of Ottawa, was invited to provide a reflection on the encyclical of Pope Francis entitled Laudato Si’ – On Care of our Common Home. This was for Kitchissippi United Church. Below are some highlights from the reflection.

From John:

prayergraphiclaudatosijpii1 So, what is an encyclical? An encyclical is a letter about a critical issue that is sent to all the Catholic bishops and pastors in the world, and which is posted on the Vatican website so that it is accessible to everyone. This encyclical is different. It is very special in that Pope Francis is actually reaching out to everyone! As he states in the encyclical, “I urgently appeal for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation that includes everyone since the environmental changes we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all… Everyone’s talents and involvement are needed to redress the damage caused by human abuse of God’s creation.”

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A Good Space: Beacon United Church

storm water garden

Stephen Sollows, Green Enthusiast at Beacon United Church, sits beside a storm water garden that the church planted to help stop rainwater damage in the Community Garden.

At 22,000 square feet, Beacon United Church and its attached community space is not easy to heat. Especially so in a cold, humid climate like Yarmouth, a small town of just under 6,800 on the southern-most tip of Nova Scotia.

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Indigenous Allyship is about relationships

 

salmon by Don Skillen
“Salmon” by Don Skillen, Métis Artist 4. Change.

“Mitakuye Oyasin. All my relations.” Lakota Nation.

We need to return to the original relationships. That’s the repeated message heard at a recent Waterloo forum hosted by Faith & the Common Good, Divest Waterloo, the Green Awakening Network and a number of other groups concerning climate justice and what Indigenous allyship would mean.

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Local faith community buildings can be extreme weather resiliency hubs.

extremeweather_reportExtreme weather events are no longer once-in-100-years occurrences, thanks to climate change. Take the City of Toronto; it has experienced three super storms in the last 12 years alone. But extreme weather impacts are predicted to increase and government clearly can’t do it all.  So what happens to the vulnerable residents of our communities? Here’s where faith groups are stepping up and exploring how they can be of service within their neighbourhoods.

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Update from Fossil Free Faith

unnamedI’ve heard many environmentalists talk about how we are now living in a Post-Paris world, referring to the COP21 climate conference which was was billed as “the meeting to save the planet”. But of course the event that really shifted climate conversations in Canada wasn’t December’s Paris conference, it was October’s federal election.

The conversation around climate in Canada has shifted, but we’ve yet to see if the response will match the urgency that the science lays out. Which has left Fossil Free Faith asking, What is the role of Fossil Fuel Divestment in this post-election Canada? And, what else can we be doing? 
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