Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Examples of Earth Hour Events in Faith Communities

In addition to turning out their lights, faith communities around the world commemorated last Saturday's Earth Hour in a variety of ways including prayer services and concerts. This year's World Wildlife Fund Earth Hour festivities included hundreds of millions of people from all walks of life. Events took place in more than 7000 cities in 172 countries. To support climate action, churches, mosques, synagogues and temples were among those that turned off their lights from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday March 28th.

In Vatican city, St. Peter’s Basilica joined iconic landmarks around the world to take a stand for stronger climate action. Rome’s Great Synagogue and Great Mosque also took part, along with other religious sites, like St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.

At Montreal's Christ Church Cathedral the lights went out and candles were lit as five choirs of young singers presented a programme of music on the theme of light and hope.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Fossil Fuel Divestment Resources for Faith Communities

Here are some powerful resources for faith communities who want a better understanding of the mechanics of divestment from fossil fuels. See the three webinar subjects and times below:

April 7, 7-8pm (EDT): The Moral Rationale. Register here.

May 5, 3-4pm (EDT): Building Support for Action. Register here.

May 27, 3-4pm (EDT): Addressing Trustee Concerns. Register here.


Please click here and here, to see why the Stewardship of the Environment Committee is advancing a motion advocating for fossil fuel divestment in the Anglican Diocese of Montreal.

A Role Call of Faith Groups Divesting from Fossil Fuels
Report on Faith Based Divestment from Fossil Fuels
Faith Communities Divest Holdings in Fossil Fuel Industry
Why Faith Communities Must Divest from Fossil Fuels
The Religious Imperative for Fossil Fuel Divestment and Reinvestment in a Clean Energy Future
Church of England Adopts New Climate Change and Ethical Investment Policy that Includes Divestment
Episcopal Church Votes to Divest from Fossil Fuels as a Moral Issue
United Church of Canada Votes to Divest from Fossil Fuels
WCC at International Divestment Conference in Paris
Divestment and Reinvestment Resource: Fossil Free Faith

Monday, March 9, 2015

Webinar - How to get your Faith Building Ready for an Extreme Weather Event

The webinar, "How to get your Faith Building Ready for an Extreme Weather Event" will take place on Tuesday, March 10 from 7:00 - 8:30 pm (EDT).

Due to climate change, we are seeing increasing incidences of extreme weather events. Faith communities can be one of the groups in the community that respond.

Faith Community Resilience Hubs Donna Lang, Toronto Representative, Greening Sacred Spaces, will talk about the Capacity Assessment interviews she conducted at 12 faith communities in Fall 2014.

Stephen Collette, Green Audit Manager, Greening Sacred Spaces, will talk about how to go about preparing a faith building for blackouts, storms and extreme weather events.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Rev Jane Shaw Sees Climate Change as the Most Important Issue of our Times

With degrees from Oxford and Harvard, Rev. Jane Shaw blends her faith with intellect and perceives a broader spiritual path. Shaw is the new dean of religious life at Stanford University with a personal belief system bridging the patriarchal past with the faithful future.

Shaw was awarded her position as professor and Stanford Dean just last year. An Anglican priest and historian from Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, California, she brings a fresh perspective to religious studies. Not only was she the first female to lead the San Francisco church, she is also a lesbian. Shaw infuses many important interests into the topic of religious life, such as inclusiveness, the arts, and environmental sustainability.

Discussing what she felt was the most important issue of our time, Rev Jane Shaw told Palo Alto Online, “I think the great crisis of our day is climate change, and the environment. So, I’d rather hope that more people would take that seriously, and begin to think and reflect on what they are doing with their own lives.”

Climate Change is the Top Priority Issue for Sweden’s First Female Archbishop

Sweden’s first-ever female archbishop, Antje Jackelén, is among those calling for scientists, politicians, cultural icons and religious leaders to work in concert to address the issue of climate change. "As a church, we are part of a global movement," she says. "The question of justice is at the heart of the Christian Church."

Here are some excerpts from an interview by Democracy Now's Amy Goodman and Jackelén. This interview was conducted last July during an event called Almedalen Week. Climate change was one of the major issues at the week long political festival. In May, the bishops of the Church of Sweden issued a joint statement, saying, quote, "Climate change is probably the biggest common challenge ever faced by humanity. But popular concern and the seriousness of the reports on climate are not matched by climate and environment being placed high on the political agenda." 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Extracting Collective Wisdom from Perspectives on Alberta's Oil Sands

Last summer Afra Tucker and Lauren Lallemand participated in the Justice Camp Oil Sands Immersion an initiative sponsored by the Anglican Foundation and hosted by the diocese of Edmonton. Drawing on their immersion experience, they have co-created an exhibit called, "Personalizing the Oil Sands: What can we learn from the multiple narratives of extraction?" The event will launch on April 23 and conclude with a public conversation on the evening of April 29.

I recently had a chance to sit down and talk with Afra and Lauren and here are some excerpts from that conversation.