Stewards for Our Future: An Evening of Recognition with Dr. Dianne Saxe| On Thursday, September 14th, Greening Sacred Spaces was honoured to present Dr. Dianne Saxe, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario at the Anglican Church of the Incarnation in Oakville. A program of the Halton Environmental Network and chapter of Faith and the Common Good, GSS works with faith communities to help increase appreciation for the natural environment while providing resources and support to decrease our impact and consumption.
Dr. Dianne Saxe joined us for an engaging presentation about facing climate change, emphasizing the need for collective action to ensure resiliency for the future of our community. Many members of the community came out to learn more about the science of climate change, and left with a better understanding of what the Ontario government is doing to assist with sustainable development. Dr. Dianne Saxe demonstrated not only her knowledge on the subject but also her passion and genuine concern for the state of the planet for future generations. Participants were asked to reflect on their motivation to create a better world, addressing the need for individual reflection on our consumption and were challenged to make a difference and be leaders within our community.
Through all of this, we see that there is opportunity through this crisis, and becoming aware of the changes our environment is experiencing will be the first step to understanding our role as stewards in our community.
2017 Green Awards Night | Greening Sacred Spaces celebrated the initiatives of faith communities across Halton & Peel on May 4th, 2017. We were so happy to have Tristan Mohamad, Chair of the GSS Advisory Council, who presented on Eco-Mindfulness and the benefits of living mindfully. Wonderful food was provided by B. Good and Goodness Me! Natural Food Markets, and we are happy to say there was no food waste 🙂
Our winners for the night were Solel Congregation in Mississauga, and St. Simon’s Church in Oakville! Thank you so much for your efforts in creating a sustainable environment for your community.
2016 Green Awards Night and Networking Event | Greening 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
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
celebrated 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 Oakvillegreen 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 BLIA 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‘ 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 various 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.
Halton 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, the 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.
The 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.
Seedy 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.
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 daylong 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.
2013 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 Conservation 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.
Churchill 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
2013 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
Seedy 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 Shore 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