Monthly Archives June 2017

Blessing the Bikes in Calgary

Submitted by Wendell Koning, Scarboro United Church: 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. At Scarboro Church, we’ve celebrated what we call Bicycle Sunday for the past 10 years (one Sunday, every year in June). We make it a friendly competition within the church where we give simple prizes e.g. reusable coffee mugs)
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Grateful for Gardens: Tarbiyah Elementary experiences the joys of green space!

Tarbiyah students enjoy their time in the garden and help to create their own green space!  by Chantelle Misheal  on June 26th, 2017 What happens when you introduce gardens and plants to your students? Well, they get awfully interested in learning more! We’ve had such an amazing time working with the students of Tarbiyah Elementary School in Milton, ON and a large part of that is due to the students’ excitement of being in the garden! Given the generous funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to provide programming around gardens, as well as the funding from the Ontario150 Youth Partnership
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Commuter Challenge: How sustainability helps us find spirituality and how spirituality helps us find sustainability

Submitted by Emma Norton, Ecology Action Centre, Halifax: 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. And yet, we challenged ourselves during the Faith Commuter Challenge to tread more lightly in creation. Why do we do it? Do we truly believe that each action is a drop that will someday be part of a bucket full of societal
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A Challenging Faith Commuter Challenge

Submitted by our Sudbury partner, reThink Green: The City of Greater Sudbury is the largest city by land area in Ontario. It is composed of the main urban centre and various outlying smaller communities. It’s fair to say that most households in Greater Sudbury have at least one vehicle, and often have more than one. Many residents travel each day for work, school, recreation, and worship. Greater Sudbury does have various forms of public transportation, but sustainable commuting is still much easier said than done. This is particularly true for anyone attempting to commute to a place of worship on the
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Leading by Example

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. To bring together her faith and environmentalism, Amber decided to participate in the 2017 Faith Commuter Challenge. The Faith Commuter Challenge is a pilot program supported by Faith and the Common Good that ran June 2-11. This initiative encourages members of faith communities to take more sustainable modes of transportation to places of worship. Participating in this challenge was meaningful for
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Priest in Tights

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. Day 1 of bike to work On the Seventh Sunday of Easter, in training and anticipation of Bike to Work Week
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Hamilton Faith Commuter Challenge : Bike Tour To Eco-Loving Places of Worship.

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. The first stop was Westdale United Church with longtime congregation member, Loueen, as our host. Loueen is an active member of a group of churches called Eco Churches of West Hamilton (EcoWHAM) and a dedicated Environment Hamilton volunteer. Loueen outlined a number of environmental initiatives that her church has been a part of over the
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Church Bells and Bicycle Bells

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. While light from the stained glass windows coloured their faces, a congregation of about twenty-five listened to a passage from Ezekiel about the prophet’s vision of
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