“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”
- Genesis 2:15
Earth Day is an annual event where we step back, acknowledge local and global environmental protection efforts, and show our love for our common home. Many people celebrate this day by enjoying the great outdoors or sharing memorable photos of trips, encapsulating Earth’s breathtaking landscapes. This year’s Earth Day theme is ‘Invest in our Planet’ because the state and health of our shared home are under extreme threat. What used to be well-functioning ecosystems, providing us with services are becoming degraded, losing their integrity, or quickly disappearing.
Faith-based groups have a critical role to play in helping to change this around. Now more than ever, collective effort is urgently needed to build on strong foundations which are rooted in creation care across our ministries. With the increasingly devastating impacts of climate change, it is critical for the church to strive to protect the ecosystems which sustain us by encouraging church-wide participation to protect God's living world.
As a community both locally and globally, it is part of our mission to take meaningful and faith-driven action to care for God’s Creation, by reducing our environmental footprint and overall impact on Earth. We are called to be good stewards of Earth through care and preservation and to live in harmony and not in dissonance with the environment that surrounds us. This includes ensuring that the production, management, and utilization of our resources do little harm to the environment.
In Canada, with the support of The United Church of Canada's Faithful Footprints program, United Churches are setting an example of the importance of earth stewardship. Over two hundred congregations from coast to coast to coast have been getting their own homes in order and contributing to sustainability and greening efforts by retrofitting their buildings to be more efficient and by transitioning to more renewable sources of energy.
“Our community and leadership see updating our facilities to better reflect our values, and the reality of climate change as part of our Christian mission.”
- Grace United Church, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
“The Faithful Footprints program has provided us with the financial means to be better stewards of the Earth.”
- Eastminister United Church, Belleville, Ontario
“This opportunity not only created a more energy-efficient building, but has created excitement about improving the environment, striving to continue to reduce our carbon footprint, and set an example for our congregation and the community.”
- St. Andrew’s United Church, Cochrane, Alberta
This Earth Day, Faithful Footprints is inviting more congregations to join the program. We encourage your faith group to pause and consider how your community can help make a difference in the way you care for the Earth and live with respect for Creation, whether it be retrofitting your building, hosting a garbage cleanup, or planting native trees and pollinator-friendly plants on your property. Small or large, individually or collectively, there are many ways that your congregation can actively contribute to a safer, cleaner, and more sustainable home for us all.
Woodcliff United Church in Calgary, Alberta celebrated their upgrades with an Earth Day worship, highlighting their role of being good stewards of the Earth and how they can collectively make a difference in the world.
Begin your Creation Care journey or continue your stewardship with our free guides, including The DIY Faith Building Energy Audit Guidebook and Energy Star Action Workbook. You can also utilize our professional knowledge with virtual Green Audits that look at energy, air quality, food, water, waste, maintenance, rental agreements, heritage, and much more.
Faithful Footprints Program
The United Church of Canada (UCC) Faithful Footprints program offers grants, tools and inspiration to help its congregations reduce their carbon footprint. With UCC’s commitment to reducing its greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions 80% by 2050, this one of a kind program offers up to $30,000 in grants towards energy conservation and renewable energy projects (conditions apply).
Faith & the Common Good is the delivery partner for UCCs Faithful Footprints program. To date, we have engaged over 200 UCC congregations, camps, and buildings across the country. Your participation in the program puts your faith into action and helps UCC reach its target.
Stephen Collette is the Building Manager for Faith & the Common Good and can be reached at 705-652-5159 EDT, [email protected]