Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Movie Screening: Friday 24th, May.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Call for GSS Awards Application and Nomination. Due June 15th. 2013.
The Greening Sacred Space Awards recognizes the contributions of faith communities who demonstrate commitment in the care of the environment through action.

These awards provide a way for people from diverse faith traditions to come together in common humanity with the shared purpose of affirming and celebrating those who lead the way for all of us in stewardship.
 We want to know if your faith community has been involved in any greening initiatives! Send in a short description (word or .pdf) stating what your community has done to increase sustainability in your place of worship. The awards take the following areas of greening into consideration:

  1. Spirituality and Worship: Prayers and actions concerning Creation, environmental stewardship, social justice, and human rights
  2. Sacred Space, Grounds, and Activities: An earth-friendly policy that may include recycling, re-using, energy efficiency initiatives, water efficiency, building improvements, etc.
  3. The Wider Community:  Support stewardship (i.e. tree planting or clean-up events, encourage sustainable transportation, host environmentally themed  workshops, clubs, or presentations) and social justice (i.e. food security) issues. Send in pictures of your environmental initiatives, building, and/or community events and they will be included in a recognition slide show during the ceremony (Date TBA in July).
  4. An application is available for those interested. Please email Beatrice at or
NOTE. 2012 winners were:
Melrose United Church earned a Green Sacred Spaces Award of Excellence for their work in conducting an energy audit, retrofitting with energy efficient compact fluorescent lighting, upgrading weatherstripping, and initiating a rooftop solar panel project.
Grace Lutheran was honoured with a Green Sacred Spaces Award of Excellence for their work hosting the Good Food Box program, growing a community garden, planting fruit trees, naturalization of the property and hosting a wonderful food fair featuring over 10 local food initiatives.
Grace Lutheran has completed an energy audit, basic retrofitting and upgrading of boiler and is exploring the possibility of going solar. Congregants are encouraged to take environmental messages home through weekly e-bulletins and e-newsletters. Grace Lutheran Church partners with various environmental organizations and the Victory Gardens Hamilton group.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Anglican Youth Synod: Day of Action. May 04. 2013.

Our day began with a question: What is eco-justice? Youth were invited to draw or write down in words their ideas on large pieces of paper. Everyone got a chance to tell the group what their drawings/thoughts were about.  One youth made the following comment (which I love): 
"Eco-justice is using the environment in a good way. It is allowing the space provided to be used fairly." Amen. 
This exercise was then followed by a powerpoint presentation on eco-justice where I was able to share some examples of Hamilton area environmental justice initiatives—specifically the work Environment Hamilton is doing in the community.
About to begin our work! Say 'weed.'
We then headed over to the Hamilton Victory Gardens  where we worked at the site (one of six gardens and expanding!) for a couple hours, pulling out rye weed that had been planted last year in order to renew the soil. HVG is a non-profit organization dedicated to alleviating poverty and food insecurity in our community of Hamilton, Ontario through urban agriculture. It is completely volunteer run!!! Volunteers grow thousands of pounds of fresh produce for local food banks and hot meal programs, transforming empty city lots into spaces of community, education, and growth.
Digging out rye weed at the Hamilton
 Victory Gardens.
A quick lunch before moving on to the Bike

After a quick lunch, we hopped on the bus and rode down to New Hope Community Bikes.
We learned about the origins of the initiative, starting of as an project  of New Hope Church. Here is their mission statement (which is brilliant by the way):
As a non-profit, social enterprise we seek to get more people on affordable, reliable bicycles and provide employment and job training opportunites for youth. We believe bicycles can help build a healthier, more environmentally friendly community and that everyone should have access to affordable, efficient transportation. We build and restore bikes to a variety of price points and rider specifications, offering everything from cheap winter commuters to unique one of a kind custom bikes. 

Our group then learned from a mere 13 year old—the competent Brett about how to dismantle an old bike to recycle still useful parts (keeping bikes out of landfills is a good thing people).
Here we are at the New Hope Community Bikes

Here's 13 year old Brett, a member of Community Bikes and already a wealth of knowledge!

Some of our team decided that they would rather paint the future home of Community Bikes (conveniently located across the street from the current location) and that's what they did!

Helping with the renovations at the new Community Bike location!

We then returned to the Cathedral where I handed out flyers with links to more eco-justice action and some fun swag to take home.  All in all, a satisfying day!