We encourage every parish in the Diocese to bring the theme of creation care into at least one Sunday service each year – preferably more! Earth Sunday (the Sunday nearest April 22), Rogation Sunday (Easter 6), St. Francis of Assisi (the Sunday nearest October 4) and Harvest Thanksgiving are all appropriate dates.
Season of Creation (Sept. 1 – Oct. 4)
In 1989, Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I of the Orthodox Church proclaimed Sept. 1 as a world day of prayer for creation. Since then, the Orthodox Church has been joined by others, including the Roman Catholic Church, the World Council of Churches and the Anglican Communion Environmental Network, in observing the period between the World Day of Prayer for Creation and the feast of St. Francis of Assisi as the Season of Creation. Get Season of Creation resources from the Anglican Church of Canada.
Workshop: Strengthening the Prayers of the People in a time of Climate Crisis
The Rev. Canon John Hill offers a workshop for people who lead intercessions, covering topics such as engaging the congregation and praying for current issues like climate change. For more information, download the flyer or contact Canon Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Speakers and workshops
Explore how creation care is woven into the biblical narrative: contact Elin Goulden for a guest speaker or workshop on creation care.
This workshop was developed by Diane Marshall, a Toronto Anglican, and Geoffrey Wilfong-Pritchard, a United Church minister.
For church schools, Bible studies and more
A Rocha Canada, a Christian environmental stewardship organization working in conservation, environmental education and sustainable agriculture, offers a range of free downloadable resources for kids and adults.
- Global Weirding with Katherine Hayhoe: the Canadian-born (and Christian) climate scientist has teamed up with PBS to create a series of short videos on climate change.
- The Story of Stuff: these short videos focus on the damage done by our throwaway culture and the opportunities for changing that culture through both personal choices and systemic advocacy.
- Living Ecological Justice: A Biblical Response to the Environmental Crisis, ed. Mischka Lysack & Karri Munn-Venn (2013). Incorporates prayers, reflections & study guide & action ideas. Ideal for parish study groups. Available through Citizens for Public Justice.
- Planted: A Story of Creation, Calling, and Community, by Leah Kostamo (2013). Tells the story of the establishment of A Rocha Canada and living a theology that takes seriously the issues of poverty, justice and creation care.
- For the Beauty of the Earth: A Christian Vision for Creation Care by Steven Bouma-Prediger (2001). A thorough exploration of the relationship between Christianity and the natural environment, including in-depth biblical study and ethical reflection.
- Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible by Ellen F. Davis (2009). A detailed reading of the Hebrew Bible and its emphasis on care for the land, challenging the destructive mindset and practices of the globalized food economy.
- A Climate for Change: global warming facts for faith-based decisions by Katharine Hayhoe and Andrew Farley (2009). Nobel laureate, scientist wife and pastor husband team up to address Christians about the seriousness of climate change and the importance of taking action.
- An Altar in the Wilderness by Kaleeg Hainsworth (2014). A “spiritual ecology” that draws on Eastern Orthodox spiritual teaching and the experience of the Canadian wilderness to point toward an alternative relationship with the earth.
- For Earth’s Sake: Toward a Compassionate Ecology by Stephen Bede Scharper (2013). Short articles originally published in the Toronto Star, organized under the themes of revealing, reflecting and redeeming.
- The Sacred Universe: Earth, Spirituality, and Religion in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Berry (2009).
Action ideas for practical greening
Use our Green Congregation Guide to evaluate the environmental impact of your parish building and operations and find ways to improve.
Plant a garden.
It’s a great way to engage the community and involve parishioners and neighbours of all ages. It also helps provide local produce for your parish community meal or local food bank. Planting pollinator-friendly herbs and flowers provides crucial habitat for these important wildlife species on which our food supply depends.
Clean up the neighbourhood.
Check your municipal website or the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup to sign up for a community cleanup event. You could join with a neighbouring faith community to make it an ecumenical or interfaith project.
Make it easy to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Some used items can’t go in municipal blue bins but can be collected for drop-off at local depots. Spend some time online and find out how your parish might collect batteries, ink cartridges, e-waste, stamps, eyeglasses or textiles for recycling in your area. Items in good condition could change hands at a parish rummage sale or clothing swap. Maybe you could set up a parish tool or toy library.
Pass down skills.
Do you have parishioners who know how to repair small appliances, create beautiful items out of scraps or can and preserve food? They might be willing to teach others these skills at a workshop or event hosted by your parish.
Invite the neighbourhood.
Host an Eco Fair and invite organizations and vendors offering environmentally friendly services to display information about their goods and services. Invite local politicians to speak with their constituents about environmental issues.
Our friends at Faith & the Common Good have a number of helpful resources (some free, some available for a reasonable cost) to promote practical greening in your parish.
- Green Certification for faith communities at three levels: Light, Medium and Deep Green. (An administrative fee is charged)
- A helpful guide to planning and establishing a community garden at your parish
- Energy benchmarking (available at no cost) to help your parish understand your current energy use and identify how to reduce it
A professional green audit, available on a fee-for-service basis, to identify the most important ways to save energy and improve the mission per square foot of your church building