The Green Team

Published June 8, 2010

Ports of Call seminar participants learn about a national program called Greening Anglican Spaces. Photo: Art Babych

The Anglican Church of Canada is setting up a national database of parishes trying to set and meet targets for reducing the “carbon footprint” of their church buildings.

In a “Ports of Call” seminar at General Synod 2010, the Rev. Deacon Maylanne Maybee, eco-justice networks co-ordinator for General Synod, told delegates that the national church program will identify 300 parish “green teams” by next October. These teams must be striving to make their parishes more environmentally friendly through means such as more efficient furnaces and better insulation.

The program, called Greening Anglican Spaces, is “a spiritual project led by practical measures” and a networking and resource focus for people working locally, said Maybee.

The program works closely with a United Church-Anglican-interfaith program called Greening Sacred Spaces. Rev. Ted Reeve of that program told the seminar that it is part of an effort to produce a cultural shift. “Most of us are aware of climate change but [are] taking baby steps when it comes to actually changing our lives,” said Reeve.
He said a world population increase to about six billion from 200 million in the 20th century was accompanied by dramatic changes in technology, corporate growth and consumption. “It’s a new reality for us today.”

He said environmentalists like David Suzuki, once suspicious of religion, have become more aware of the spirituality of environmentalism. People are also becoming more aware of parallels between scientific advances such as quantum physics and the wisdom of ancient traditions of aboriginal peoples.
Rev. Karen Chalk of St. Andrew and St. Mark Parish in Dorval, Que., which carried out a pace-setting conversion to geothermal heating, said, “The most important effect of a parish environmental project is to rejuvenate the congregation.”


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