“Climate justice is core to my faith but cycling to church is not just transportation; it’s meditation, the real beginning of my worship,”
- Christine Boyle, United Church Minister, Vancouver Chapter Organizer, and Director of Fossil Free Faith.
In June, over the duration of two weekends, Faith & the Common Good offered faith communities across Canada a challenge: leave the car behind when traveling to worship in favour of a “low carbon” mode...
At Scarboro United Church, on June 4, 2017, the first Sunday of the Faith Commuter Challenge, we celebrated with a Blessings of the Bikes (and equipment) liturgy. We came forward with one representative bike and our Minister, Rev. Lee Spice, led us is seeking blessings over all we do to reduce our environmental footprint.
It can be exhausting to reduce our environmental impact in a society that tells us to consume and has little substantial regard for ecosystems or creatures beside ourselves. Despite the many merits of walking or biking, cars tend to be much more convenient in cities built for single-passenger vehicle transportation.
Being environmentally responsible isn’t always easy, but like adhering to religious beliefs, the challenges can be overcome by practicing it in your everyday life. For Amber Baechler, a member of Waters Mennonite Church, being environmentally responsible is second nature.
The Reverend Clarence Li is an Anglican priest at St. Hilda’s by the Sea, in Sechelt (population 9,000) on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. He is participating in the Faith Commuter Challenge and Bike to Work Week by cycling and busing from his home to work at church and in the local community with the occasional trip by highway and ferry into the city of Vancouver. Here are Clarence’s reflections on his first week of reduced carbon commuting.
On Saturday June 3rd, 2017, as part of the Faith Commuter Challenge, Environment Hamilton hosted a bike tour of places of worship that do great environmental work. The tour included two churches and ended with a planting of a pollinator patch at a nearby mosque.
Anglican Bishop, Melissa Skelton. Photo Credit, Bayne Stanley
Vancouver’s Christ Church Cathedral has a new bell tower but the bells ringing in the 120 year old church last Monday were attached to the handle-bars of bicycles. With sacramental chrism oil, bicycle chain oil, holy water and prayers, Anglican Bishop Melissa Skelton, two Priests, and a United Church Minister blessed bicycles, transit passes, and a host of people who are making an effort to reduce the environmental impact of their commute to worship.
Did you know that transportation comprises 40% of an average faith community’s carbon footprint?1 Transportation is the second largest source of Canada’s GHG emissions.2 That’s why traveling green is one of the most important ways we can be stewards of our planet.