2020 was a surprising year to all to say the least.
“Lockdowns and social distancing” of the COVID 19 severely put a damper on the plans that the ministry had for the pollinator garden project. We were excited to add more native wildflowers to the garden but were able to add fewer than expected, due to plant shortages. Fortunately, our new and existing plants grew very well and provided quite an attraction. It was a good pollinator year for the bees and the butterflies whose activities were not at all affected by the virus.
The Season of Creation ends but the journey continues…
The Season of Creation ends this Sunday on the October 4th feast of St. Francis of Assisi. A Global Ecumenical Online Prayer Service will celebrate the Season of Creation as well as reflect with Christian leaders from around the world on next steps in caring for our common home. Find more information and register here for the prayer service on Sunday October 4th at 10:00 am EDT.
Energy Benchmarking Program: Impact and Sustainability
by Donna Lang – September 24, 2020
Faith & the Common Good’s (FCG) three-year-long Energy Benchmarking Program for the GTHA has come to an end. As Project Manager and Toronto Animator for the program, I greatly enjoyed working with our team of talented animators from Halton/Oakville, Hamilton, and York Region. Together, we surpassed our target of 100 faith communities (FC) for the grant period 2017-2020, with 103 participating congregations.
At Faith & the Common Good (FCG), our ongoing commitment is to provide tools and resources that enable faith communities to improve their carbon footprint and be more sustainable in their places of worship. To this end, we look for opportunities and partnerships that further this goal.
For example, along with our DIY Energy Audit Guide, we use the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR® resources, such as the Portfolio Manager software to help faith communities better understand their energy consumption patterns and empower them in making educated decisions on how to become more energy efficient. We are excited about our latest partnership with ENERGY STAR®.
As the strange summer of 2020 winds to a close, our Grow Team is looking back fondly on the work that we’ve accomplished, the seeds that we’ve sown, and the community that we’ve built together in the gardens at Eglinton-St. George’s United Church. Over the past weeks and months, our team has been hard at work in the soil at ESG, working to foster the growth of not only fruits, vegetables, and flowers, but also of our own connections to our church, our faith, and our God.
Season of Creation’s invitation to rest and restoration for the Earth community
Christians around the world are coming together to pray and care for creation during the ecumenical Season of Creation which has just begun, running from September 1st, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, to October 4th, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.
Jubilee for the Earth is the Season of Creation 2020 theme. In the biblical tradition, every 50th year was a Jubilee year involving release from indebtedness, restorative justice and rest for creation. In a joint invitation to participate in the Season of Creation, faith leaders reflect on the meaning of Jubilee today, stating “As we live into a post-COVID-19 world, can we imagine new just and sustainable ways of living that give the Earth the rest it requires, that satisfy everyone with enough, that restore habitats and renew biological diversity?... We encourage the entire Christian family to join us in this special time to pray, reflect, and take bold action to realize a Jubilee for the Earth."
Perhaps, you are well aware that Greening Sacred Spaces Ottawa has been one of the oldest chapters of the FCG sustainability network operating in Ottawa for over 15 years. What you may not know is that a few new faces have joined this chapter in the hopes of contributing to the meaningful work of the group and building its story further. We would like to introduce ourselves, and in so doing, also discuss some of the ways in which we the Energy Benchmarking Program (EBP) that we are both involved in will be moving, going forward this year.