Light shining down from heaven on the garden at Holy Cross.
As I write this, the Holy Cross Eco Ministry nears its first anniversary, and what a blessed year it has been! Deo gratias!
Our eco team has just arrived back from watering our native pollinator garden and our vegetable gardens. Watering these gardens is often a peaceful task: admiring the growing fauna, greeting passersby, and surveying the bees and caterpillars and butterflies who have found a new happy home.
You don’t have to be big to do big things. Take Palgrave United Church in Caledon, Ontario. It’s a small, rural church of only seventy-two members (forty-five families). But together, they have built a community kitchen that is committed to the creation of a healthy, sustainable local food system. They are also generating clean energy and steady funds with the solar panels they have put on the roof of the church.
How did they do it?
It all began with a vision. In 2007, the environment committee at the church decided they wanted to not only reduce the ecological footprint of the church, but also to serve as a model for this rural community. Coming together around food was a natural fit. That year, the annual turkey dinner served only food grown within ten miles of the church.
St. Mark’s United Anglican Church. Photo Credit, Nancy Harvey.
Thanks to Neil Dunning, St. Mark’s Anglican, for this report on our Green Audit. The report has been edited for this blog.
St. Mark’s, Brantford, hosted an interfaith “Greening Sacred Spaces” workshop in partnership with Faith and the Common Good on October 1, 2016. This workshop was in response to a “green audit” performed by staff from the Greening Sacred Spaces program run by Faith & the Common Good. All faith groups with buildings in Brantford and area were invited, as well as Anglicans across the dioceses of Huron and Niagara. The goal was to share our green audit results and our response to the audit with participants, and for all of us to be able to learn from our panel of contractors who came for the morning.
There’s an intriguing sign that can be found on Laurier Avenue. You will see it along with twenty or so raised garden beds in front of a large old stone church. The sign says “Urban Shades – Communal Community Garden”. In smaller print the sign explained further “We’re Hosting “Work Bees” Every Sunday at 2 pm. Come and garden with your community.” It’s an interesting new twist to the familiar concept of community gardens.
Last month, John Dorner, our team member and volunteer with the Archdiocese of Ottawa, was invited to provide a reflection on the encyclical of Pope Francis entitled Laudato Si’ – On Care of our Common Home. This was forKitchissippi United Church. Below are some highlights from the reflection.
So, what is an encyclical? An encyclical is a letter about a critical issue that is sent to all the Catholic bishops and pastors in the world, and which is posted on the Vatican website so that it is accessible to everyone. This encyclical is different. It is very special in that Pope Francis is actually reaching out to everyone! As he states in the encyclical, “I urgently appeal for anew dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet.We need a conversation that includes everyone since the environmental changes we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all… Everyone’s talents and involvement are needed to redress the damage caused by human abuse of God’s creation.”
Stephen Sollows, Green Enthusiast at Beacon United Church, sits beside a storm water garden that the church planted to help stop rainwater damage in the Community Garden.
At 22,000 square feet, Beacon United Church and its attached community space is not easy to heat. Especially so in a cold, humid climate like Yarmouth, a small town of just under 6,800 on the southern-most tip of Nova Scotia.
This report was written by Rev. Margaret Collins for St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, in Crapaud, PEI (Celebrating 175 Years of Worship & Witness 1841 – 2016). It is part of a report prepared for the Anglican Church of Canada’s “Creation Matters” initiative in partnership with FCG, where by with the help of grants through this ACC’s initiative, 19 Anglican Parishes across Canada participated in FCG’s Green Building Auditbetween 2014 and 2015. 12 of these parishes have had a year to make some of the improvements recommended for their places of worships. These parishes are planning public events to showcase the audit later on in the year.