Concerned about climate change?
Connected to a spiritual or faith community in BC?
In January 2015, Fossil Free Faith launched a call for religious-or-spiritual youth concerned about climate change to be part of a fellowship program aimed amplifying young, faithful voices for climate justice.
We had an incredible group apply. And over the past 10 months, we’ve been making it happen. In the future we hope to find funding to run a similar program in other regions of Canada. Interested in helping fund it? Click here.
Here’s some of what the Fossil Free Faith Youth Fellows have been up to:
On May 24-26th, we gathered for an intensive weekend training at Bridge and Enrich in East-Vancouver. We shared stories, and shared food, and did training on climate science, economics, communications, social movements and theories of change.
Following the training, a number of fellows wrote blog posts for our friends at Faith & the Common Good/Greening Sacred Spaces.
Maisaloon Al-Ashkar: From the Heart
Talia Martz-Oberlander: Using the personal narrative to move climate justice forward
Leo Yu: The Pope, the Dutch and other Reflections
Sarah Beley: Bringing faith-based groups into the environmental dialogue
They also began mobilizing to build a stronger faith-based presence at the upcoming Jobs, Justice & Climate rally in Vancouver. They participated in 350 Vancouver planning meetings. And then hosted Calling on Faith Voices – a dialogue to mobilize faith communities around climate issues. On July 4th the fellows organized and hosted a hugely successful ‘Faith Hub’ at the Jobs, Justice & Climate rally. And FFF fellow Maisaloon was one of the rally’s keynote speakers.
The following day, our friends and collaborators hosted a Multifaith Climate Iftar, following the Jobs, Justice & Climate rally in Toronto.
Around the same time, Fossil Free Faith Coordinator Christine Boyle wrote Why the Pope has caught this non-Catholic’s Attention, before heading to Rome to represent Fossil Free Faith Canada at the Our Voices Emerging Leaders Multi-Faith Climate Convergence.
And the project gained some media attention. Including an article in the Vancouver Courier called Keeping the Fossil Free Faith. And a feature article in the Jewish Independant about Talia and her work for Climate Justice. As well as significant media coverage on the United Church of Canada’s national divestment decision, which Fossil Free Faith was involved in.
Our fellows kept doing their own organizing. Sarah hosted a public event called Conversations with Heart: Dialogue for Healthier Communities. Jason, Eduardo and others were part of launching EarthKeepers: Christians for Climate Justice at the 10th Ave Christian Alliance Church in Vancouver. Eduardo published “Dejó Huella el Nazareno”, a book of poetic and theological reflection on the gospel and creation (in Spanish), and traveled home to Costa Rica to launch it. And others have been doing less visible work, talking and listening and bearing witness to the need for faithful climate justice.
And they kept writing and speaking. Leo wrote two op-eds about faith and action: What our leaders aren’t telling you: Jesus was a radical social activist and Finding the courage to take action. Talia wrote This Year I’m Praying for a New Government for Ricochet Media. And Christine spoke as part of the Earth and Spirit Speaker Series at St. Anselm’s Anglican Church.
And we have officially launched the Faithful Voices Speakers Bureau. Because conversations about both faith and climate in Canada need some fresh voices. Interested in having one of them join a panel at an event or conference you are organizing? Or guest-preach in your congregation? Or contribute to your newsletter, magazine or blog? Contact us to make a request.
The pilot project of this youth network was supported by the Inspirit Foundation, and powered by Faith & the Common Good and Spirited Social Change. For more information email: christine (at) spiritedsocialchange (dot) org.