Article written by Iseult Hayden and Marilyn Grace on behalf of EcoAnselm
EcoAnselm is a fourteen-member ministry of ecology within St. Anselm’s Roman Catholic Church in Toronto.
This past October, following the Season of Creation, EcoAnselm hosted our first “All-Ministry Eco-Evening: Dialogue on Caring for Creation”. In response to the urgent appeal of Pope Francis, representatives from each area of ministry at St. Anselm’s joined in dialogue about how we, as a parish community, can proactively participate in shaping the future of our planet.
Each area of ministry was invited to discern together ONE optional commitment to stewardship that either directly reflects their specific area of ministry OR, in some way, relates to the general practices or processes of that ministry. As examples, an area of ministry might choose to demonstrate stewardship through praying for creation, offering an event to support learning about stewardship, praising the gifts of creation through song, or refusing single-use plastics at meetings or events.
For the Interfaith Festival of Creation, the display in the photo was borrowed from the front entrance of our church. It serves as a ‘key visual’ for our ministry-selected commitments and you can see the various expressions of eco-care forming. The tree is meant to signify our church; the branches represent the outreach of our ministries; and, the leaves announce the eco-commitments. The graphic rests on the foundation virtues of faith, hope, charity and justice. Eco-care is a dynamic process and, as the various ministries continue to discuss and refine their commitments, more “leaves” will be added. Commitments are sometimes updated or adjusted according to the special or seasonal interests of a specific ministry.
One outcome of our “all-ministry” eco-dialogue was a request from Father Tom, our pastor, that EcoAnselm host a broader “All-Parish Eco-Dialogue”. This is currently scheduled to be held close to Earth Day 2020.