“Money is like water. It can be a conduit for commitment, a currency of love. Money moving in the direction of our highest commitments nourishes our world and ourselves. When you make a difference with what you have, it expands.”
― Lynne Twist.
In the Soul of Money, Lynne Twist introduces the concept of sufficiency. There is enough for everyone, she writes. It’s our capitalist, consumer society that encourages us to think with a scarcity mindset. But the natural world shows us another story. This world is bountiful in its extraordinary diversity, in its productivity and in its resilience and we are part of this nature.
As the season of giving approaches, I want to share with you how our network chapters are embracing an 'enough for all' mindset and working to take care of our communities. Be it stewarding the earth that takes care of us, by planting for biodiversity, responsible investing and energy conservation, or creating opportunities to share knowledge and resources, uplift others, and build relationships and collaborations, FCG is doing all these things. We are looking for ways to do more!
With a special appeal to our followers on November 29th for GivingTuesday 2022, we invite you to join us in redefining what sufficiency means. Invest in us for a stronger climate action, faith-based network, from coast to coast to coast, by becoming a monthly donor (more below), and together, let’s allow the spirit of generosity to flow through us.
In peace and solidarity…
Michelle Singh, Executive Director
November 29th is the global day of giving and we are excited to be participating again! This year, we will be launching our campaign entitled, Invest in Spirited Climate Action! Help Strengthen our Network by Becoming a Monthly Donor. FCG is deeply impacting congregations and communities across Canada in taking action on behalf of the climate. For over 22 years, as the only network of its kind, we have been harnessing the power of diverse spiritual and faith groups to help build a greener, more energy conserving, bio-diverse, environmentally just Canada. With your support, we can continue our mission of offering faith-based, local climate solutions by building our capacity for even greater impact. Stay tuned for updates about our campaign. You can donate ahead of GivingTuesday here.
Q4 2022 Highlights
Over the last few months, with our project partners, we held online, in-person and hybrid events that brought our diverse communities closer together with the shared goal of enacting climate action for healthier communities.
We held our AGM at the end of September, at our headquarters in Toronto. A hybrid meeting, we reviewed the audited financial statements for the 2021 fiscal year, elected directors, and reappointed the auditors. Welcome to our new directors! Memona Hossain is a mother, community-based collaborator, and PhD candidate in Applied Ecopsychology & Eco-Art Therapy Certification. Tanhum Yoreh is an Assistant Professor at the School of Environment at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on religion and environment, faith-based environmentalism, faith-based environmental ethics, and religious legal approaches to environmental protection.
On October 12, we hosted Voices from the West: An Interfaith Conversation. The fourth webinar in our Climate Narratives Speaker Series, we were inspired by the panel discussion of speakers from western Canada who explored faith and climate justice from a variety of perspectives, and shared unique challenges and opportunities they've experienced as they work to build community across lines of difference, maintain hope, and protect the land.
With our partners Ecology Action Centre in Halifax, we hosted A Climate of Hope: An inter-faith conference on Saturday, Oct 29. Held at the Ummah Masjid & Community Centre, workshops were presented on greening church buildings, green burials, reconnecting with hope in a time of crisis, and advocacy for sustainable government policy.
Wrapping up the month, we partnered with EnviroMuslims to host an interfaith forum for the GTA, at the Jaffari Community Centre in Thornhill, on October 30th. Sponsored by TD Friends of the Environment, Faiths4Climate Justice: An Interfaith Conversation featured a diverse set of speakers and panelists who highlighted programs and initiatives centering on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving environmental literacy among community members and congregations. Attendees also heard from youth climate activists on how their faith inspires them to take climate action. They learned about the Greening Canadian Mosques program, which provides Canadian Mosques with the tools and resources they need to embed sustainable practices within their facilities and engage with local communities around upholding their roles as environmental stewards.
Photo description: A graphic artist from ThinkLink Graphics recorded the content of Faiths4Climate Conversations. This image is currently on display at the Jaffari Community Centre. If you are interested in hosting the image at your place of worship, please contact Saba Khan at [email protected].
The Faithful Footprints program is part of The United Church of Canada’s plan to reduce emissions by 80% by 2030, starting with a focus on its buildings. FCG is the delivery partner for the program. With a public goal of engaging 500 United Church communities by 2025, the Faithful Footprints grant program has successfully reached more than 300 engagements.
The Atlantic Christian Training Centre (Tatamagouche, NS), also known as the Tatamagouche Centre, was one of the many communities that continued their efforts to rejuvenate and upgrade their building, in spite of the COVID crisis and the scarcity of building material supplies the crisis brought. Behind the dedication to rebuilding the Centre is an abundance of support from current and past participants, program leads, former staff, members of local communities, and hundreds of members of the United Church of Canada. Read about their rebuild project here. Read other Faithful Footprints inspiring and educational blogs here.
Faithful Footprints Monthly Blogs are published the 2nd Tuesday of every month.
Greening Sacred Spaces — Ottawa
Faithfully Green Fund
Our Ottawa chapter, GSS Ottawa launched the Faithfully Green Fund in October. Officially opened to the public, this investment opportunity allows anyone to purchase a bond to support green retrofits for faith and spiritual buildings, while getting up to 4% interest. With the goal of raising $2 million in Community Bonds, the intention is to fund 150 projects over the next 10 years, impacting a minimum of 100 Ottawa faith and spiritual groups. Learn more about the fund here. As well, faith communities that would like a loan to support their green retrofit are encouraged to apply.
Opportunities to Engage
KAIROS / For the Love of Creation COP27 – November 8-18
KAIROS & For The Love of Creation have many events and resources relating to the United Nations conference on climate change (known as COP27 for the 27th Conference of Parties – that is, signatories – to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) in Sharm al-Sheikh, Egypt. As part of their delegation, they will be reporting from Egypt and advocating for a seat at decision-making tables to tackle the climate crisis. Delegates include Indigenous partners and youth from Turtle Island, and KAIROS Women, Peace and Security and global solidarity partners. Find out more about these events, including their Candles for COP27: Vigils for Climate Justice.
Faith Footprints Grant Webinar - November 18
The United Church of Canada's Faithful Footprints Program offers up to $30,000 to help congregations reduce carbon. Join our webinars to learn more! With our Manitoba partners, Purpose Construction, we will be offering Faithful Footprints Grant Webinar #2. Learn how your congregation can get involved by attending our live webinar event on November 18 at 1:00pm CST. Register for the webinar at Eventbrite.
UN conference on biodiversity: COP15 in Montréal – December 7-19
The 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is an international meeting bringing together governments from around the world. Participants will set out new goals and develop an action plan for nature over the next decade. Read more about the conference here. Our partners, MLSM Canada will be attending in Montréal. Leading up to the conference, Laudato Si' Movement has a global petition they are inviting everyone to sign.
Photo description: Agnes Richard, MLSM Canada Coordinator holding up her Priority Pass for COP15
FCG Monthly Network Meetings
Interested in learning more about what's happening across our national network? The FCG community meets on the first Tuesday of every month to connect, share upcoming events, and useful resources. We learn from and are inspired by one another. Contact Elyse: [email protected]
Funding Opportunity for Mosques
Our partner, EnvironMuslims, is seeking 35 mosques across the country who are interested in greening their mosques. Eligible mosques will be provided $1000 to use towards their environmental projects. To learn more, please contact [email protected]