• Faith Commuter Challenge

    Faith Commuter Challenge 2017 

    This Spring hundreds of faith communities will join together in a nationwide Commuter Challenge. Between June 2-11, people of all faiths across the country will be reducing the ecological footprint of their commute to worship.

    We invite you (and your faith community) to join in by travelling to your place of worship on foot, by bike, or by public transit and carpooling.

    More Info:

    The 2017 Faith Commuter Challenge is:

    • A week-long event that coincides with the National Environment & Commuter Challenge weeks (June 2-11)
    • A friendly competition between Canadian places of faith
    • A celebration of active and sustainable transportation
    • An fun and easy way to try different modes of how to get to worship
    • Nationally hosted by Faith & the Common Good, through local partners

    How it works:

    • Register your faith community and yourself to participate in the challenge week. Encourage others to join. Click here for detailed registration instructions.
    • Between June 2-11, choose a day to leave your car behind when you travel to worship. Rideshare, take public transit, carpool, bike, or walk. Do whatever moves you!
    • On that day, log in to track your trip to worship via the Commuter Challenge website. See your GHG emission reduction, calorie consumption, distance, and fuel cost savings.
    • Check out which faith communities and cities have the highest percentage of healthy travelers.
    • Join with faith communities across the country to acknowledge and celebrate with certificates, prizes, and fun events!


    Suggestions for Getting Started:

    • Talk to your faith community about joining the challenge (June 2-11, 2017) to demonstrate your care for creation.
    • Choose a Champion or Team who will plan and coordinate your event(s). These events may include:
      • Carpooling, launching a ride-share program in your faith community, or riding the bus together
      • Hosting a bicycle tune-up station, distributing bike maps
      • A special blessing ceremony, prayers, or acknowledgement of all the ways people are working to reduce their carbon footprint
      • A neighbourhood bike ride before or after a worship service
      • Bicycle decorating for the young and young-at-heart
    • Go to faith.commuterchallenge.ca to register your faith community to take part.
    • Once your faith community is registered, register yourself so that you can track your participation and assist others.
    • Promote the event in your community — newsletter, website, service bulletins.

    If you also want to track your workplace trips during the week of June 4-10, visit commuterchallenge.ca.

    climate changeBenefits of active and sustainable transportation:

    • Reduce the threat of climate change — Did you know that it takes 130 trees to produce the amount of oxygen needed to combat the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from one car each year?
    • Connect with others — Active transport and ride sharing fosters new friendships, helps others, and increases networking.
    • Reduce traffic congestion — Reducing the number of individual car trips means we will have less traffic congestion and less demand for roads. This will improve travel times and reduce fuel consumption.
    • Enjoy better health — Introduce calorie-burning exercise time by biking or walking to a public transportation or carpool stop.
    • Reduce air pollution — Pollutants from many transportation sources aggravate respiratory disease and contribute to property damage and acid rain.
  • Anglican General Synod faces Divestment Vote

    “You Are My Witnesses” (Isaiah 43:10)

    At the 41st General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada from July 7-12, 2016 the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa will bring forward an invitation to all General Synod Delegates to be witnesses through direct and immediate action by supporting resolution C001-Fossil Fuel Divestment.


    The time is now.

    Climate change is destroying the integrity of God’s creation. It is negatively impacting people, families, youth, industry, agriculture, employment and community throughout Canada and the world.

    The situation is urgent.

    To maintain a liveable planet 80% of all known fossil fuel deposits must be left in the ground, undeveloped, never burned.

    Our church, at this integral point in history, has an opportunity to contribute to the fulfillment of our baptismal promise to safeguard the integrity of God’s creation by divesting in the fossil fuel industry and beginning to actively invest in renewable energy. Such publicized divestment not only witnesses to people of faith but also aims to press governments to implement strong policies to shift our economy off fossil fuels and in to industry and workforces that are founded on environmental sustainability.


    The time is now.

    #GS2016 #divestnow


    Read Resolution Number C001 – Ottawa Diocese Motion to General Synod on Fossil Fuel Divestment

    Read the Backgrounder on why Fossil Fuel Divestment matters right now


  • VIDEO: It’s time to Break Free

  • Spiritually Rooted Direct Action Training

    This May the global climate movement will be rallying at critical climate justice sites, in massive peaceful resistance designed to slow the extraction of fossil fuels. In Western Canada this site is Burnaby Mountain and the Kinder Morgan pipeline.
    In preparation, Fossil Free Faith was part of hosting a non-violent direct-action training rooted in spirit and faith. The goal was for folks to get a sense of what participating in civil disobedience might look like, the many roles for supporting peaceful acts of resistance (many of which are support roles that don’t involve risking arrest), and hold space to ask questions and do some moral/theological discernment around the risks that the climate crisis presents.
    Read more about Break Free: http://canada.breakfree2016.org.

    April 30 NV Direct Action Training - Poster

    The training is being hosted by Salal and Cedar and Fossil Free Faith, at Canadian Memorial United Church and Centre for Peace. With training being provided by 350.org and Greenpeace.

  • Anglican Diocese of Quebec Divests



    Some aspects of the Governance of the Diocese of Québec differ from that of most or all other dioceses because of its time and place in pre-Confederation history. Within this Diocese, responsibility for investments rests within the mandate of an entity called Church Society of the Diocese of Québec. Church Society exercises this part of its role through an Investment Committee of professionals who volunteer their time and expertise.


    Following the direction of motions passed at the annual general meeting of Church Society, the Investment Committee began four years ago to divest from its mining holdings, given the serious ethical concerns raised around environmental and human rights issues.

    In 2014 a motion passed at the Church Society called on the Investment Committee to review its fossil fuel holdings and present back to Church Society. (This motion was forwarded to the CMWG earlier this year.)

    During that year, extensive documentation on the impacts of fossil fuel exploration, extraction, transformation and transportation were forwarded to the chair of the Investment Committee, Central Board (which governs Church Society) and the Diocesan Executive Council.   Documents collected came from such diverse sources as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, Governor of the Bank of England, World Council of Churches, The Anglican Consultative Communion and the writings of Pope Francis. (This is but a small sampling of the total research made available from international and national environmental, financial and church bodies.)

    At Church Society’s annual general meeting of 2015 Diocesan Bishop Dennis Drainville, President of Church Society, issued a letter in follow up to the various motions, review of holdings and research. (This letter was forwarded to the CMWG earlier this year.)

    On 23 September 2015, the Investment Committee of the Diocese of Québec was pleased to report that divestment from fossil fuels and mineral extraction was almost complete.

    On 23 November 2015, the Investment Committee was able to provide the details of the divestment process.


    Over the past 4 years, $525,000 dollars in gold and copper mining operations have been divested.

    Over the past 2 years, $1.4 million dollars in oil and gas have been divested.

    $320,000 remain in fossil fuels as that financial instrument has not reached maturity. By year end, the committee expects to be 100% divested.

    On 26 November 2015 Bishop Drainville shared this good news within his charge to Synod.

    The Diocese will continue work on this critical issue as part of its commitment to the Fifth Mark of Mission.

    See the full list of who has divested.

  • From COP21 – The Local and the Global

    Paris is a long way from the places that I call home. Trying to schedule phone calls with my partner and kids back home, with a 9-hour time difference, has served as a regular reminder of this.

    Art-Earth at Breaking the FastAnd increasingly, over the past few years, my climate work has felt localized. Systemic, absolutely. Intersectional, sure. But rooted in the places and the people that I call home.

    During graduate school, one of my favourite theologians was a Brazilian Catholic nun named Ivone Gebara. An eco-feminist and liberation theologian, Gebara lit fires and connected dots for me.

    In her book, Longing for Running Water, Gebara talks about God as relatedness, and she talks about relatedness as a human and earthly condition. She says,

    My initial relationship with the earth is not with Earth as a planet that is part of the solar system, but with the earth on which I took my first steps; on which, in time, I took firmer steps; and on which I jumped, rolled, and shed tears. My initial relatedness with the earth is with the soil upon which I was born and through which all my other relationships have been mediated.

    Speaking about Indigenous Rights as part of the #FastfortheClimate.

    Before this trip I spent a lot of time considering what value my localized climate work had at a global meeting like the COP. Here where we’re talking about:

    • Long-term climate reduction targets (Canada needs to get back on track to meet our 2020 targets, and make ambitious but achievable plans to decarbonizes by 2050)
    • Mechanisms to limit global warming levels (nearly all countries have committed to a max 2-degree increase, but the combined plans that they have submitted amount to a 2.7-degree increase, and the reality is that anything over 1.5 degrees is fatal for large, climate-vulnerable regions)
    • Billions of dollars to support mitigation and adaptation efforts globally (the additional call from impacted regions is for increased funds for ‘loss and damages’ for the climate impacts that they, with their low carbon footprint, didn’t cause but are feeling most)
    • Legally binding commitments, 5-year commitment periods, adequate assessment, and a progression clause to ensure commitments scale up over time.

    Billboards in the Subway system linking Indigenous Rights and COP21.None of this is familiar language to me. It feels worlds away, not just 9 hours away, from the earth on which I took my first steps. World away from, but related to, our fights at home to block risky pipelines on Indigenous lands, and reduce tanker traffic on pristine coast, and prevent massive investment in infrastructure projects that lock us into the old economy, and make clear that fracking natural gas is not a climate solution.

    FaceTiming with my kids from Paris.At a Monday panel on faith-based engagement on the climate crisis, Fazlun Khalid, from the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences (IFEES), spoke about how the world’s water supplies are limited and constantly recirculating. And he said for him the poignant realization out of that reality is that you and I have probably drank the same water, swam in the same water, bathed in the same water.

    I am in Paris to protect my beloved Pacific Coast, and to amplify the voices of the Indigenous people whose land I call home, to defend the future for my children. And I am in Paris to protect your coasts, to listen to the voices of impacted communities everywhere, to defend the future for your children too.

    If I am homesick, it is amplified by the depth of love that activists and advocates here have for their own homes, their own earth and soil. It is a reminder of why this, and all of our climate justice work, matters.

    Christine Boyle is one of the United Church of Canada’s delegates to COP21. She is the Director of Spirited Social Change, and a co-founder of Fossil Free Faith. She is based on unceded Coast Salish Territory. You can follow her COP21 tweets @christineeboyle or see pictures here

Page 1 of 41234