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Faithful Footprints

Across the country, United Churches are doing their part to address the climate crisis by getting their own house in order by working to reduce their own carbon emissions. Through a partnership with Faith & the Common Good, the United Church of Canada is offering grants and support for churches to measure their energy use and reduce their climate pollution, in ways that save money and strengthen congregational renewal.

UCC Carbon Baseline Report

The United Church is committing to reducing its carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, in line with the Paris Climate Targets. With an initial focus on buildings – the church’s largest source of emissions – the program Faithful Footprints will be working with 500 congregations by 2025 to reduce their energy use and energy costs.

In 2016 the United Church General Council commissioned Caring for Creation, Our Communities and Our Congregations: The Case for a National Carbon Reduction Program for Faith BuildingsFaithful Footprints is the beginning of implementing those learnings.

As people of faith, the United Church recognizes that to bring truly inspiring climate leadership to our communities, we must practice what we preach. Together we can renew our congregations, care for the planet, save money, and stop climate pollution.

Faithful Footprints is about supporting United Churches to live their climate commitments, for future generations, and for all of creation. To find out more and get your congregation involved, visit

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Energy Star for Congregations: A Guiding Light

The United States (US) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created and manages the Energy Star program. You may know the brand when buying an appliance for your home, selecting the most efficient appliance possible. They also work with buildings, and specifically congregations! (As an aside, Natural Resources Canada created the EnerGuide program, which we sold to the US, and they rebranded it as Energy Star, and now we use both programs here in Canada). Although US- centric, their resources are really great tools to help Canadian congregations take on energy saving actions and activities. 

To start, we, at Faith & the Common Good (FCG) are the only Canadian faith-based organization to have co-branded with EPA, producing the amazingly helpful Energy Star Action Workbook. It even has Dundas United Cardigan, NS on the cover replacing windows! Paired with our DIY Energy Audit Walkthrough Guide, these two resources are an outstanding way to take energy savings action in your congregation.

Music to My Ears – Pipe Organs and Heat Loss

One of the most beautiful experiences in religious services is the sound of a pipe organ filling a church, whether in a small wood framed, rural church, or a full size Casavant in a large Gothic, stone church. The sounds fill the building as well as one’s soul with joy. 

What people may not know is that many pipe organs have leather and wood parts, specifically in the stops in the pipes. This is merely an interesting detail until you think about what happens to those materials when temperatures drop – that is, they change in shape and size. These changes can impact the sound of the organ.

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