Faith communities working together for a greener, healthier Canada

This post was provided by Lucy Cummings, Executive Director of Faith & the Common Good, as part of our featured series on the environment.

Fath and the Common Good
Mennonite and Muslim communities joining forces in Kitchener-Waterloo.

Faith & the Common Good (FCG) is a national, interfaith, sustainability network that strives to connect people of diverse faith, hope, and spirit who share the call to protect the ecosystem.

The Green Rule: “Do unto the Earth as you would have it do unto you.” 

All major religious traditions espouse a moral obligation to care for the earth and provide spiritual insights into the benefits of a harmonious relationship with nature.   Members of Faith & the Common Good’s interfaith network are motivated by a shared moral calling to walk more gently upon the earth and to leave the world a better place for the next generation.

“Faith & the Common Good was founded on the belief that our diverse faith congregations can be powerful role models for the common good,” says Executive Director, Lucy Cummings. “Our network shares a calling to protect our ecosystem and a passion for community service. Despite our differences in theology, dress, and culture, our core beliefs in the need to heal our planet draw us together.”

Greening Sacred Spaces

A core program at FCG, Greening Sacred Spaces (GSS), assists faith communities with both the spiritual and the “how to” side of greening, including audits, energy efficiency retrofits, community gardens and tree planting which all goes a long way in reducing a community’s carbon footprint.

Regional chapters are encouraged to work on areas that they feel most drawn to, whether that is water conservation, renewable energy, climate change, or even the use of non-toxic cleaning products. GSS helps motivate groups towards concrete action.  Another growing interest is in creating pollinator gardens at places of worship, which can be a great way to bring the community together, increase the attractiveness of the property and help save the pollinators that we depend on.

2014 Greening Sacred Spaces Award winners from the Sai Dham community in Mississauga receiving their award.
2014 Greening Sacred Spaces Award winners from the Sai Dham community in Mississauga receiving their award.

Seeing the light

A newly launched program at Faith & the Common Good is the Renewable Energy Revival for Faith Communities.   This new addition builds on FCG’s Solar Faith Initiative that has been developing resources and tools to assist faith groups in going solar over the last three years. Out of the 137 documented Ontario faith institutions using solar energy, 120 are members of the FCG network.

In an average year, Faith & the Common Good works with close to 600 faith communities, from over 14 different spiritual traditions, to host almost 1,000 green events and activities that reach more than 10,000 Canadians. By raising awareness about the inspiring role faith communities of all backgrounds are playing in contributing to a clean energy future – like Pickering’s, Devi Mandir Temple, Toronto’s Congregation Darchei Noam, and Erin’s Erin United Church – FCG seeks to inspire more of the 7000 plus faith groups in Ontario to act.

Faith and the Common Good

Looking to green your place of worship? Learn more about joining this movement on Faith & the Common Good’s charity profile page»

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