Halton-Peel Region

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Greening Sacred Spaces | Living Faithfully, Living Green

Recent Updates

Our Compassion for the Earth 
A Presentation on Ecology and Spirituality 

Unitarian Congregation, 80 South Service Road, Mississauga
(Presentation takes place at 10 am and is part of Seedy Saturday Mississauga)

Join Greening Sacred Spaces (GSS) Halton Peel at Seedy Saturday Mississauga for a presentation on Ecology and Spirituality. Dr Jackie Prime from Prime Earth will be helping us connect ecology and spirituality focusing on compassion and connection with the earth and how the daily choices that we make effect environments and communities both locally and internationally.

The presentation takes place at 10am GSS Halton Peel will have a booth at the event from 9:30am to 3:30pm. Do drop by and say “Hello!” and pick up some resources for you and your faith communities.

This is a free, interfaith event. All are welcome!

Sign up here!

 

Seedy Saturday Mississauga- Feb Event

For more information contact Ramsha Ahmed: 
rahmed@faithcommongood.org

Monthly Newsletter

Click here to subscribe to our monthly newsletter. To download our most recent newsletter click here.

This GSS Newsletter includes environmental and spiritual news, upcoming events, and more from the Regions of Halton and Peel!

Take the Monthly #GSSChallenge

GSS has some Green Holidays Tips for you!

Look for locally made gifts
Many gifts in today’s marketplace come from halfway around the world, and the impact of transportation contributes significantly to greenhouse emissions and global warming. Local craft fairs and artisan shops are a good source for gifts that come without the added costs of transportation. And gifts made locally often have a story which goes with the gift, since the artisan and the origin of the gift are known.

Choose gifts made from recycled sources 
Many individuals and small businesses have developed great products using recycled materials. Supporting these businesses helps reduce the waste stream while promoting the concept of making best use of available materials. Here are some examples for you to consider: Gifts from recycled materials

Give ‘battery-free’ gifts 
About 40% of all battery sales occur during the holiday season. Discarded batteries are an environmental hazard. Even rechargeable batteries find their way into the waste stream eventually. Here are a few examples of gifts that have less of an impact on the environment: Naturally-powered toys

Re-Gifting is Okay 
There’s much discussion these days about the etiquette behind the trend to ‘re-gift’, that is, to pass on a gift you received but do not need. If you receive something you really don’t need, look for ways you can reuse this gift by passing it on to someone who can use it. Of course, re-gifting needs to be done with care so as not to offend the original giver, but keeping a gift you don’t need is wasteful.

Use LED lights for house and Christmas tree lighting 
LED (Light Emitting Diode) holiday lights use up to 95% less energy than larger, traditional holiday bulbs and last up to 100,000 hours when used indoors. LED holiday lights use .04 watts per bulb, 10 times less than mini bulbs and 100 times less than traditional holiday bulbs.

Use environmentally friendly wrapping paper
Choose wrapping paper made using fibers such as hemp, or paper using recycled content.

How will you make your holidays sustainable? Be sure to tell us how you and/or your faith community are choosing to be more environmentally friendly and we’d be thrilled to share your inspiring initiatives:@GSSHaltonPeel #GSSHolidayChallenge!

Local Food Resources

Looking for local food listings?
Check out:
Grown in Peel Guide
Simply Local: Your Guide to Halton Farms

Recent Greening Sacred Spaces Events

We have had a fruitful year with successful events. It was a pleasure partnering with many faith communities in the Halton and Peel Regions and helping them connect to gardens. Below are pictures from our last few events in October and November.

Garden Tour and Putting your Garden to Bed Workshop at St. Christopher’s Anglican Church in Burlington on Nov 5.

Screening of This Changes Everything with Halton Green Screens and Hamilton-Burlington KAIROS at East Plains United Church on Oct 29.

Take a Scroll as We Remember Past GSS Events Initiatives

2016 Green Awards Night and Networking EventGreening Sacred Spaces Halton Peel Chapter’s annual, ‘Green Awards Night & Networking Event’  took place on Monday, May 30, 2016. The event was a huge success as people from the Halton and Peel Regions gathered at Church of the Incarnation in Oakville to celebrate faith communities working towards a sustainable future. The

Terrylynn event also celebrated, Greening Sacred Spaces Halton Peel for receiving a one-year grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation! The grant allows Greening Sacred Spaces Halton-Peel Chapter to create a network to encourage and help communities of faith to explore spaces around their buildings and create gardens. 

2015 Green Celebration (OTF Grant) and Green Award Winners | On June 10, 2015 we

2015 GSS Awardscelebrated the end of year 3 of our 3-year Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant with a special event at Joshua Creek Heritage Art Centre. Attendees experienced a beautiful labyrinth walk outdoors led by Belinda Beer, and Dr. Stephen Scharper was the inspiring keynotes speaker. Congratulations to Port Nelson United Church and Trafalgar Presbyterian for taking home the 2015 GSS Award this evening!

Pollinator Planting with Oakvillegreen | Throughout spring 2015 we assisted Pollinator PlantingOakvillegreen in pollinator planting with some Oakville faith communities/schools: St. Luke’s Catholic School, Al-Falah Islamic School and Church of the Incarnation. Students and communities learned about the importance of pollinators, and now have beautiful gardens on their property inviting pollinators!

An Interfaith Youth Forum: Youth, Faith and Passion | Alongside the BLIAInterfaith Youth Panel, May 2015 Toronto Young Adult Division, we hosted a 2015 Interfaith Youth Forum at the Fo Guang Shan Temple of Toronto on May 2nd. The day explored “Future and Hope – Youth, Faith and Passion” through two panels, in an effort to build bridges and find common grounds among youth from different faiths and cultural backgrounds, in hopes to cultivate an interfaith youth network! (If that sounds of interest to you, please get in touch with us!)

Earth Savvy: Detoxifying your Life | For Earth Day 2015, we hosted an ‘Earth Savvy‘ eventEarth Savvy event with East Plains United Church, Hamilton-Burlington KAIROS, IDEA Burlington and Halton Green Screens, where we viewed a short film on the harmful chemicals in our everyday cleaning and personal-care products; we then heard a great presentation from Environmental Defence, before a hands-on demonstration on how to green your life – participants got to take home various cleaning and personal care products they made that evening!

Dirt! The Movie screening | On April 14, we hosted a screening of Dirt! The Movie alongside Halton Green Screens, Credit Valley Conservation and Erin Mills United Church – it was a great, educational way to celebrate the International Year of Soils.

Greening Sacred Spaces 2014 Awards Ceremony | we hosted our annual Award Ceremony and Networking Event on World Environment Day this past year at the Fo Guang Shan Temple in Mississauga to celebrate faith communities at their va9fa6d52d-e775-48f1-8145-15c9da477a30rious stages of greening. The celebrations included an interfaith panel discussion on Faith and Climate Change, dinner, networking opportunities, a cultural program, and a presentation of this year’s GSS awards. Congratulations to this year’s winners, thank you for helping to create a better, healthier and sustainable future: Holy Cross Lutheran in Burlington, Trinity United in Acton, Sayeda Khadija Centre and Sai Dham Canada in Mississauga.

communitygardennetworkmeetingposterwolink-1Halton Community Garden Network | Gardeners from all over Halton Region and beyond joined forces on Saturday May 3 to discuss the potential for a Community Garden Network in our own backyard. Participants learned about the current state of the gardens in Halton Region, listened to advice from guest speakers that have been involved in moving and shaking the garden movement in their own communities, and discussed what features would make the network a success. The event was put on by the Halton Food Council and supported by Greening Sacred Spaces, Halton Environmental Network, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Sustain Ontario, Halton Region, and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Annual Interfaith Women Gathering: a Pathway to Peace and Healing | On May 7, 2014, the2121093 annual Women’s Gathering, an evening where women from diverse faith traditions are connected and celebrated, took place at Maple Grove United Church in Oakville. The keynote speaker, Juno Award winning Aboriginal artist and motivational speaker Susan Aglukark, told her powerful and inspiring story through song and spoken word to an attentive audience. The evening focused on healing the body, mind, spirit, and Earth. Proceeds collected by the Women Gathering Group were donated to the Maple Grove United Scholarship fund for an Aboriginal Student attending post-secondary school ad the Primate World Relief and Development Fund.

Mining for Justice | on March 22, 2014, Burlington Baptist Church held an informative event on mining issues around the globe. First, Rachel Warden spoke about Indigenous resistance to Canadian Resource extraction before a film screening of Defensora. Then Bodia Bavuidi spoke on mining in the D.R. Congo before screening Crisis in the Congo: Uncovering the Truth. Resource extraction provides us with all those great electronics we use in our everyday lives. It is important to consider how these technological advances affect the environment and the people living in these mining communities.

poster_greenruleretreat_14MarThe Green Rule Retreat | The Green Rule focuses on the importance of our relationship with the environment and how we should treat our earth. A multi-faith, eco-spiritual event, the Green Rule Retreat encouraged and inspired interfaith dialogue on common good issues among youth on March 24, 2014, at the Riverwood Conservancy in Mississauga. The retreat brought together diverse young people who explored and discussed important environmental issues as they relate to various faiths. Green rule activities and an eco-spiritual walk were also a part of the day. The Green Rule Retreat was brought together by Greening Sacred Spaces, Halton Presbytery, Scarboro Missions, The Riverwood Conservancy, U of T Mississauga, and Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board.

SeedySaturdayBurlington___ContentSeedySaturdayMississaugaSeedy Saturday Halton | the Seedy Saturday series came to Halton at St. Christopher’s Anglican Church in Burlington on March 1, 2014. Visitors enjoyed numerous garden and seed vendors, swapped/purchased seeds, and learned from various garden experts. #HaltonSeedySat was brought to you by GSS, BurlingtonGreen, and Growing & Sharing Food in Halton.

Seedy Saturday Mississauga | Seedy Saturday sprouted in Mississauga on Feb. 22 at the Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga. Visitors met vendors selling organic vegetable/garden seeds and attended plenty of informative workshops all for free. Visit their website here for more information.

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Do the Math Film Screening | an inspiring film about the rising movement to solve the climate crisis screened for the public for free at East Plains United Church in Burlington Feb. 22, after the AGM of IDEA Burlington. We highly recommend checking out this film.

Halton Green Screens | the great monthly eco-film series has returned, with February 2014’s screening co-sponsored by GSS. February’s screening looked at Journey of the Universe: The Epic Story of Cosmic, Earth and Human Transformation. All Halton Green Screens are held at the Oakville Public Library Central Branch.

Movie Screening: Revolution | a screening at the Burlington Public Library of Rob Stewart’s documentary that works to demonstrate how all of our actions are interconnected, and that environmental degradation, species loss, ocean acidification, pollution and food/water scarcity are severely harming our Earth. GSS South in Partnership with the Halton Environmental Network, Kairos, Environment Hamilton, BurlingtonGreen, Hamilton 350.org, Idea Burlington, Nov 2013

Religion Revealed in Nature | A OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAdaylong retreat including religious presentations, a spiritual walk, yoga and more, as a multi-faith approach to environmental stewardship at Terra Cotta Conservation Area. GSS South in partnership with University of Toronto Mississauga (and 4 UTM students) and Credit Valley Conservation, Nov 2013

Beyond Green Youth Summit | GSS delivered a workshop entitled “Sharing Your Eco-spiritual Story” in October of 2013 to help Summit participants find and celebrate their spiritual connection to the environment — be it secular or faith-based — in order to strengthen their commitment to community environmental action.

GreatCanadianShorelineCleanup2013 Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-up | Despite the rain, over 25 participants of all ages assisted with the clean up of the Credit River! Mississauga Valley Park, in partnership with CVC and the Sayeda Khadija Centre, Sept 2013

Seed Saving Workshop | this workshop assisted various participants with cultivating their seed saving techniques. In partnership with Growing and Sharing Food in Halton, Sept 2013

Community Planting Event | Solel Synagogue in partnership with GSS South and Credit Valley Conservaplanting_SolelSynagoguetion submitted an application to TD Friends of the Environment to create a naturalized garden on the property. On Sept 22, 2013, members of the congregation, local residents, and student volunteers assisted with the restoration and natural landscaping project.

YellowFishRoad_InterfaithYouthSummerCampChurchill Meadows Camp – The A-B-C-D’s of Youth Leadership Development | A week-long summer camp intended for youth of diverse faith and cultural backgrounds. GSS in partnership with Erin Mills United Chuch, Halton Presbytery, Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board, Mausumeen Islamic Centre, St. Joan of Arc Catholic High School, and many other community partners, July 2013

A Question of Direction: An Evening of Conversation with Sustainability Author Mike Nickerson |The take home message: “humans are capable of living securely for millennia on this bountiful planet, if we respect its limits”. For those who missed the presentation, a condensed earlier version can be seen here. GSS South in partnership with Go Local Oakville, May 2013

Remember the Land | Professor Dan Longboat, Trent University, discussed our ecological footprint and environmental obligations from an aboriginal perspective. Quoting Lao Tzu’s famous phrase “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”, Prof. Longboat pointed out that the Earth has changed and we are now facing issues of environmental degradation and climate change.  Prof. Longboat said ‘We have destroyed habitats and now it is up to us to help create them!’ GSS South in partnership with KAIROS Mississauga Oakville, May 2013

InterfaithDay2013 Interfaith Day of Prayer for Unity, Harmony, and the Preservation of the Globe | The event was comprised of members from various faith traditions including: Baha’i, Buddhist, Catholic, Hindu, Islam, and Sikh. Each faith community presented a song, chant, or prayer from their faith tradition which focused on the theme of the day. Participants were then treated to Buddhist hospitality via tours of the Temple and delicious vegetarian cuisine. GSS in partnership with Fo Guang Shan Temple of Toronto in Mississauga & the Interfaith Council of Peel, May 2013

Recycling & Composting in Halton | Presented by John Watson, Halton Region Waste Diversion Education Coordinator. Mr. Watson led participants through the various changes to blue and green bin service in Halton Region and offered tips about how to encourage your faith community to practice environmental concern through better waste management practices. GSS South in partnership with Halton Environmental Network & Region of Halton, April 2013

Halton/Peel Views on Biodiversity | Participants learned about biodiversity issues and expressed their views in facilitated focus groups. GSS North in partnership with Community Environment Alliance & Halton Peel Biodiversity Network, March 2013

20130223_144934Seedy Saturday | Participants enjoyed a garden seed exchange with Seeds of Diversity, 7 wonderful workshops, free gardening advice from Mississauga Master Gardeners, discussions with over 20 environmental exhibitors, and organic specialties at an all day cafe. GSS South in partnership with the Unitarian Congregation of Mississauga, Feb 2013

I AM: Life Altering Documentary | This incredible documentary was screened in both Hamilton and Burlington attracting hundreds of people interested in the wonderful messages. To learn more or to screen in your community, you may contact your regional GSS representative. GSS South in partnership with KAIROS Hamilton Burlington, Hamilton 350.org, BurlingtonGreen, IDEA Burlington, Environment Hamilton, and A Tiny Shift, Jan 2013

Saving Green by Greening Your Faith Building | This workshop was designed to inform faith communities about the incentives associated with increasing the energy efficiency of their building. GSS expert David Patterson also discussed the benefits of having a GSS Green Audit completed in your place of worship. GSS South in partnership with Erin Mills United Church and Enersource, Nov 2012

The Great Canadian ShWalton_youth_12Sepore line Cleanup | Walton Memorial Youth Group cleaned up Fisherman’s Wharf at Bronte Harbour on Friday, September 21. Over 60 members of the Faith of Life Network joined together with GSS and Credit Valley Conservation on Saturday, September 22 to tackle the Meadowvale Conservation Area. Both events were very successful and resulted in the clean up of over 450 lbs of trash and recycling from these sites! Sept 2012

Green Teams: a workshop on how to create an effective environmental team within your faith community. May 2012

Congrats to our Inspiring GSS South Halton-Peel
Award Recipients

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2016:
Applewood United Church, Mississauga
Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga

2015:
Port Nelson United Church, Burlington
Trafalgar Presbyterian Church, Oakville

2014:
Sayeda Khadija Centre, Mississauga
Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Burlington

2013:
St. Jude’s Anglican Church, Oakville
Erin Mills United Church, Mississauga

2012:
St. Christopher’s Anglican Church, Burlington
Al Falah Islamic Centre, Oakville

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Port Nelson United Church & Trafalgar Presbyterian Church (2015)

Holy Cross Lutheran Award Recipients, Christina Read, and Sayeda Khadija Centre Award Recipients (2014)

Holy Cross Lutheran Church & Sayeda Khadija Centre recipients with Christina Read (2014)

St Jude's Anglican Oakville (2013)

St Jude’s Anglican Church (2013)

Erin Mills United Mississauga (2013)

Erin Mills United Church (2013)