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I’ve always loved the outdoors. As a child, I spent endless hours playing in the Elora Gorge and camping on the shores of Lake Huron. My love of God and my love of the Earth blossomed simultaneously on adventures exploring rivers, lakes and forests.
Several years ago, my husband and I went looking for a new church home in Ottawa. We wanted a nurturing environment for our young family and a place where our thinking would be challenged and our gifts used. After one visit to All Saints’ Anglican Church Westboro, we intuitively knew we’d found our place.
As I reflect back, I remember noticing several hints that it was a church that said, “We care about creation.” I wasn’t consciously looking for a green church, but everything from compost bins to the gardens to the partnership with First United (and the sharing of the church building) signalled that this was our community.
God’s love for all of creation
I have endeavoured to follow the guidance God provides throughout Scripture and to live gently on the Earth. I’ve sought to live in a way that honours God’s love for the Earth. As the climate crisis looms large, I have tried to do my part to address the problem.
We power our home with alternative energy. We compost and have a backyard vegetable garden. We support local farmers and other local businesses. We buy second-hand clothes and sometimes upcycle worn articles into new items. We share our house and car with extended family. Most of the time, we bus or bike to work and school. And, we emphasize intentional living and shared experiences over the accumulation of “stuff.”
I support initiatives at our parish and act on the many statements, letters and resolution sthat the Anglican Church of Canada has made in support of climate justice. I was tremendously moved when, in 2013, the fifth Mark of Mission-to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the Earth-was reflected in a new question in the Anglican Church of Canada’s Baptismal Covenant.
Faith and climate action
Creation care is critical to the ministry of the national Anglican church. As a Christian, I know I am called by God to respond to the human and ecological devastation of climate change with love and justice. So, I continue to do my part.
But climate change is an issue that requires action on a scale far greater than anything we can do alone. Last winter, the Government of Canada played a constructive role in the negotiation of the Paris Agreement on climate change. It is now consulting Canadians as it develops a climate plan. I encourage you to reflect on your place in creation and the role you wish to play in responding to the climate crisis, and to join me in calling for a bold and ambitious Canadian climate action plan.