Faith & The Common Good
August, 2018
“The gravity of the ecological crisis demands that we all look to the common good…”
Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ #201.


Dear Friends —

It’s been a summer of record high temperatures across the country, extended heat waves, wildfires, and flooding. All this demonstrates just how urgent it is for us, as faith communities, to step up our commitment to taking care of the earth and one another.

In this newsletter, we’re very pleased to share with you the many ways that groups within the Faith & the Common Good network are working to bring about the critical change that must happen to safeguard the environment for future generations. From an exciting program with the United Church of Canada to curb carbon emissions in their church buildings, to ways in which neighbourhoods are strengthening community relationships so as to be more resilient and better prepared in advance of extreme weather events, please read on to learn more, and for inspiration to get you going on your own initiatives. Please also check out upcoming events in your region.

We wish you a blessed end of summer.


Lucy Cummings
Executive Director, Faith & the Common Good



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Faithful Footprints Program for United Churches Launched
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. Faith & the Common Good and The United Church of Canada have partnered to launch Faithful Footprints, offering grants (up to $30k) and support for churches (advice and tools) to measure their energy use and reduce their climate pollution, in ways that save money and strengthen congregational renewal.
Read more
Faithful Footprints video


Join us in person to learn more about the grants, tools, and support for UCC congregations to measure and improve the energy efficiency of their buildings.


Date: Sunday, September 16
Time: 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Place: Holy Trinity Anglican Church

Register Now

Date: Wednesday, October 17
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Place: Wilmot United Church

Register Now

To learn more, contact Stephen Collette, Building Audit Manager, at [email protected].


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Cultivating Care for Our Common Home

Catholics around the world are being urged to step up and commit to caring for our common home, based on Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ encyclical letter. For Toronto Catholic parishes or other groups who want to learn more, our Cultivating Care for Our Common Home program offers a free interactive presentation at your parish which takes one or two evenings or a half day. It includes guided meditative prayer, an overview of Laudato Si' with an update on climate change, as well as practical tools for living contemplatively, simply, and prophetically. For more information, please contact Karen Van Loon, Project Coordinator, at [email protected].

Laudato Si video

Wonderful resources are available from the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, which marked the third anniversary of Laudato Si’ with a two-day International Conference — "Saving our common home and the future of life on Earth" in Vatican City, July 5-6, 2018. Click on the image above to view a 3-minute video or visit our blog post for more links.

Season of Creation

The ecumenical Season of Creation runs from September 1 to October 4, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, and invites Christians around the world to pray and care for creation. Several resource suggestions are offered below to help with planning a Season of Creation event.

Learn More

Care for God’s Creation

Presenter: Karen Van Loon
Date: Friday Sept. 28
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Place: Catholic Pastoral Centre, Room 4A
1155 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON

You are invited to this workshop which is part of a series being offered by the Archdiocese of Toronto called Workshops on the Principles of Catholic Social Teaching.

Register Now


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Taking Care of Our Neighbours: Extreme Weather

There’s lots happening across our network with regard to faith-based extreme weather response and our Lighthouse Project.

Most Canadians, especially those who live in cities, have never made preparations for times of emergency. Across the country there is a deep need for more robust messaging, education, and action around local community response and recovery. Strengthening the Role of Faith-Based Organizations to Support Emergency Preparedness was co-authored by Heather Keam of Tamarack and Sheila Murray, our Lighthouse Project Manager. It’s a case study, focusing on the unique role that faith groups can play in local emergency response structures and systems.
Read more

Over the next year, we will be working with Halton Environmental Network and an array of partners, thanks to funding received from the Oakville Community Foundation (OCF) to pilot an Oakville neighbourhood extreme weather resilience hub model using places of worship and other neighbourhood organizations as neighbourhood engagement and care anchors.
Read more

Documenting Summer Heat Stress in Multi-Unit Residential Buildings

Presenter: Matt Thompson, Community Developer and Beasley Resident
Date: Thurs. Sept. 20
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Place: 294 James Street North,
Hamilton, ON
(Evergreen Storefront)

Beasley summer heat

Matt has been monitoring homes this summer, measuring nights and total hours above 26°C. He compares these results to the hours that the city of Hamilton has an actual declared heat emergency.

Learn more


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2nd Annual Faith Commuter Challenge

The second annual Faith Commuter Challenge was held June 1-10, covering two weekends and the intervening week. Despite the lack of funding this year, we were pleased that 17 faith communities registered from across Canada, including 4 provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario. Congratulations to Crescent Fort Rouge United Church in Winnipeg, which recorded 82% participation!
Read more





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Water & Spirit: Allyship in Action

On June 24th, Divest Waterloo and Parkminster United Church partnered to present a lunch and Indigenous Allyship gathering for people who are wondering about how to go beyond land acknowledgements, curious about terms, or wanting to discover positive best practices for working with Indigenous peoples.
Read more

All Nations Water Walk


Dates: September 15-29

The Water Walk will begin at the headwaters of the Grand River and follow the beautiful riverways to Lake Erie. The walk is intended to honour the water and connect all peoples to creation.

Learn More


A great way to support the walk is to donate or bid on items posted on the All Nations Grand River Water Walk Facebook Auction. The auction closes on Sunday, August 17.

Check out the auction


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One Burlington Festival:
Diverse in Faith & Culture, Unified in Our Shared Commitment to Care for the Earth
GSS Halton Peel booth
 Congratulations to our Greening Sacred Spaces Halton Peel chapter (with a special shout-out to Laura Irvine) who helped organize this year’s One Burlington Festival using the Green Rule as an organizing theme. Participating faith communities shared how our well-being depends on the integrity of our relationships, both with one another and with the whole of the Earth, by making special efforts to reduce the environmental impact of the festival and contribute to eco-themed family activities.
Read more

One Burlington team


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Upcoming Major Event


Parliament of the World's Religions

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 the World's Religions 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.

Dates: November 1-7, 2018

Learn More


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