Faith & The Common Good
March, 2018
Take action and build climate-resilient communities
Read on to learn about what others are doing and what you can do
standing up for water
2018 Parliament of World Religions Toronto Steering Committee standing up for Water


Dear Friend —

In 2018, we are inviting you to step up your commitment to climate action at your house of worship and in your communities.

The good news is that we are here to help!

Are you just getting started? Our guest blogger (and good friend) Marlie Whittle shares how St. Anselm’s Ecology Group evolved from a spark into a thriving ministry.

You might want to explore how to conserve energy by tracking your faith building’s energy consumption, and then work to curb unnecessary, wasteful output. Our new energy benchmarking program can help you.

Perhaps you are concerned about how to more fully utilize your house of worship to maximize your “mission per square foot”? We have two blog posts that explore the intersection of faith and the arts that can help you see how faith communities are successfully sharing their spaces with arts organizations.

Many faith communities are asking what they can do to become better community partners in the face of extreme weather. What role can a house of worship play in disaster preparedness and assisting the most vulnerable in our neighbourhoods to adapt to climate impacts? Our Lighthouse Project shines a beam and shows you some of the ways faith communities are responding.

Finally, we hope that many of you will be willing to share your own creation care journeys by participating in the upcoming Parliament of World Religions to be held in downtown Toronto, Nov. 1-8, 2018.

Read on for more inspiration!


Lucy Cummings
Executive Director, Faith & the Common Good



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Take Action


carbon emissions
Faith Community Energy Benchmarking Program
Understanding our current energy use is the first step in reducing it. Launched in 2017, our Energy Benchmarking Program is helping faith communities take practical and economical climate action by lowering their energy use and emissions. The project aims to involve 100 faith communities in the GTHA…
Read More


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How Our Church's Green Team Evolved

Submitted by Marlie Whittle, St. Anselm's

In 2015, Pope Francis wrote an encyclical called Laudato Si: Praise be to You. This encyclical was a call to environmental action from the highest authority of the Catholic Church. Since 2015, many Catholic orders, churches and people have found different ways to respond to this call. I have had the privilege of being on St. Anselm’s Church’s ‘Green Team’ for over a year. We call ourselves St. Anselm’s Ecology Group and in the past three years our team has grown from two parishioners to 13!

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St. Anselm's Ecology Group
with Greening Sacred Spaces certificate


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Being Relevant

Faith communities struggle regularly with trying to figure out how to remain sustainable and relevant to the neighbourhoods they call home. Faith & the Common Good Advisor, Kendra Fry, who is also General Manager of Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre for Faith, Justice and the Arts (Toronto) has been exploring the intersection between faith and the arts, and how this can play out in practice. She writes in a blog post, “I began to explore the further dimensions possible when faith buildings chose to broadly open their doors to a cross section of the community.”

With funding from the George Cedric Metcalf Foundation, Kendra has gone on a couple of exploratory trips to other places to see how the general community works with and within faith communities. Read about her travels with ArtsBuild Ontario and the Toronto Arts Council to explore what might be and how we might enable it in Toronto and beyond.



Why Faith and the Arts Should Cohabitate
From the moment that I entered Trinity-St. Paul’s, I felt the difference that this community centre offered. Babies were being fed by young mothers, the daycare was filled with children, many mid life and elderly people were attending classes or meetings, teens were playing dodgeball.
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Destiny Estimate show
Faith Communities Provide Arts Groups With Much Needed Space
On an unseasonably warm (22 degrees!) November evening, myself and my partners from ArtsBuild Ontario and Toronto Arts Council set out on a walk across Philadelphia to Christ Church Neighborhood House. This was the first of two trips to explore the ways in which arts groups are thriving within faith buildings and often in collaboration with faith communities.
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Helping Neighbours Cope with Climate Impacts

Extreme weather preparedness, and what faith communities can offer in their neighbourhoods to this end, is another new project that might interest you. Climate change is only going to make weather less predictable and more extreme, so faith communities can be hubs of resilience in their communities. Check out staffer, Beatrice Ekoko’s blog post on getting ready for disaster.

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Brampton lighthouse

Upcoming Events in Hamilton:

What Does Resilience Mean
for our Beasley Neighbourhood?

Thurs. March 22  1:30-3:30 pm
Wed. March 27 6:30-8:30 pm

St. John's Lutheran Church

Event Details


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Upcoming Major Event


Thousands of religious and civic leaders assembling to address
the critical global issues of peace, justice, and sustainability.
10,000+ people, 200+ Spiritual Traditions, 80+ Nations

Parliament of World Religions

While climate actions by our own faith communities are crucial, we can’t lose sight of the fact that climate destabilization can only be halted when we act collectively.  That is why the Parliament of World Religion’s international convening in Toronto next November 1-7, with an expected attendance of over 10,000, presents such an amazing opportunity for Canadian faith communities to share their stories, to learn from each other, and ultimately, to join together with other faith and spiritual communities from around the world to build a more sustainable world.

Early bird deadline: March 31, 2018
Submission deadline for topic proposals: April 1, 2018

Learn More


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