December 2018
Faith & The Common Good
Leading with our values

Dear Friends —

As we gather with family and friends at the end of the year, I want to share a message of hope and gratitude with you, our interfaith community.

I am hopeful because, while climate change continues to be politically divisive nationally, at the local level we are seeing just the opposite. We are witnessing a commitment to address our ecological crisis in practical ways by spirited people across our country. Faith groups are cutting back on energy consumption, reducing waste, planting gardens, protecting water, investing in low carbon solutions, sharing rides to worship, helping neighbours cope with extreme weather, and encouraging more sustainable practices at home.

I am grateful and humbled by this volunteer-led, planet-healing work performed by communities of faith and spirit all around the country. This spirit is beautifully exemplified by the solar panel installation project at St Paul’s United Church in Edmonton (that you will learn more about in the article and video below). As CPJ's Karri Munn-Venn describes, the bold steps taken by St. Paul’s offer a tremendously hopeful example of what can be done when our faith communities lead with their values. Going forward, the good news is that our religious and spiritual traditions all share long-standing values of ecological stewardship upon which we can draw.

With hope and gratitude,

Lucy Cummings
Executive Director, Faith & the Common Good

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Celebrating a Solar Sanctuary

St Paul United Edmonton video

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.

Far from the headlines, a good news story was also developing. As of January 25, 2018, the rooftop solar panels at Edmonton’s St. Paul’s United Church were up and running. By year-end, “Solar St. Paul” had saved nearly 12,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions (the equivalent of planting 40 trees) and the church had a heating bill of $0.

Read more…

This solar project is being celebrated as part of the Faithful Footprints program, a partnership between the United Church of Canada and Faith & the Common Good. The program will be working with 500 congregations by 2025 to reduce their energy use and energy costs.

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