April 22, 2020
For the Love of Creation - A Faith-based Initiative for Climate Justice
Canadian churches and faith-based organizations have a long history of work in ecological conservation, environmental activism, and advocacy for climate justice. To mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we are coming together on a journey of reflection, dialogue, discernment, advocacy, and action on the issue of climate change. You are invited to journey with us.
For the Love of Creation - A Faith-based Initiative for Climate Justice begins today with the support of a growing list of national churches, Christian international development agencies, and faith-based organizations. We come together as people of faith in the hopes of making a meaningful contribution in the next decade towards a sustainable future for all life on the planet.
Never before has the interconnectedness of all humanity – all of creation – been clearer than it is right now. The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has dramatically impacted every aspect of our lives. As is too often the case in times of difficulty, existing vulnerabilities are being exacerbated; many are dying and many more face economic ruin. The way we respond is of paramount importance.
Even before the emergence of COVID-19, we knew that we were entering into a crucial decade for climate action. Now more than ever, we see devastating economic, political, cultural, and social fissures. Indigenous peoples have long reminded us of the interconnectedness of all creation. Respecting this interconnectedness is critical for ecological and economic integrity, right relations with Indigenous peoples, and for holistic recovery from the pandemic.
For the Love of Creation aims to engage people individually and in community, as congregations and organizations, all across the country in a climate conversation centred on three themes:
- Theological reflection. Together, we will create a space for collaborative responsive theology, exploring our relationship with the Creator and creation, and encouraging theologically grounded and relevant dialogue about climate justice and global warming.
- Local and congregational engagement. We will endeavour to increase dialogue and reduce polarization in the climate change conversation in Canada; to build consensus on the actions needed to build a sustainable future for all.
- Political advocacy. As people of faith, we will urge the government of Canada to meet and ultimately exceed our Paris climate commitments by investing in a just transition and establishing a fair and inclusive economy. Honouring the rights of Indigenous peoples and incorporating Indigenous knowledge and experience into any proposed solutions is essential to this work.
Our contribution will also respond to feelings of ecological grief arising from the loss of species and destruction of ecosystems as well as eco-anxiety stemming from the awareness of risks related to climate change impacts. This will be done through pastoral care and ceremony, building community resilience, and by taking collective action for climate justice.
For the Love of Creation will explore how we can work together to build healthy, resilient communities, and a better future for all beings in Creation.
The churches and organizations listed below have committed to working together for at least the next eighteen months; beginning in the fall of 2021 participants will recommit on a year-by-year basis.
We invite you to join us, For the Love of Creation.
For more information or to get involved, contact Ruth Plett, Mennonite Central Committee Canada (firstname.lastname@example.org) or a member of the campaign coordinating committee: Beth Lorimer, KAIROS (email@example.com); Karri Munn-Venn, Citizens for Public Justice (firstname.lastname@example.org); Sue Wilson, Canadian Religious Conference (email@example.com); Luke Stocking, Development and Peace (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Participants to date:
The Anglican Church of Canada (Primate and National Indigenous Anglican Archbishop)
Development and Peace - Caritas Canada
Canadian Religious Conference
Citizens for Public Justice
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
Faith & the Common Good
Global Catholic Climate Movement Canada
KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
Mennonite Central Committee Canada
The Presbyterian Church in Canada
The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF)
Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Canada
OMI Notre Dame du Cap
OMI Lacombe Province
Sisters of St. Joseph of Sault Ste. Marie
Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception
Our Lady’s Missionaries
Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada
Banner image: Utooni Development Organization (UDO), an MCC partner, works with farmers in Machakos, Makueni and Kajiado counties of Kenya, who are suffering the impact of climate change – unpredictable rainy seasons, decreased rain, and flooding when it does rain. UDO is teaching farmers to implement conservation agriculture, crop diversity and community savings groups as primary ways to increase food security. (MCC Photo/Matthew Lester)