Canadian faith groups launch climate conversation initiative

For the Love of Creation releases plans for local discussion groups and nation-wide online forum

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

Unceded Algonquin Territory [Ottawa, ON]: June 19, 2020— Canadian churches and faith-based organizations under For the Love of Creation have launched two programs to increase dialogue on climate change as part of its faith-based campaign to help Canada transition to net zero by 2050.

For the Love of Creation’s Faithful Climate Conversations aim to create space for supportive, values-based conversations on climate change that motivate people of faith to take action. Through a series of three guides, hosts and facilitators will be equipped and supported to lead structured discussions on climate change with friends, family, colleagues, and members of their faith community. Inspired by ClimateFast’s Kitchen Table Climate Conversation initiative, these conversations are intended to raise awareness on climate change, move people from concern to action and help build consensus on what needs to happen to achieve net-zero in Canada by 2050.

To support public dialogue on climate change, For the Love of Creation launches a Fall Online Forum today, with a series of hour-long sessions, being offered every Monday in November starting at 7:30 pm ET / 4:30pm PT. Open to everyone, the themed forums are: Communicating Climate Change (November 2), Advocating for Climate Justice (November 9), Grieving, Healing and Connecting with Creation (November 16), Creation Care: A Letter of the Faithful (November 23), and Climate Action Now! (November 30).

For the Love of Creation includes a growing list of national faith bodies and faith-based organizations that have come together to make a meaningful contribution to address the climate crisis in the next decade. The initiative engages people individually and in community in a climate conversation centred around theological reflection, local engagement, and political advocacy. Coordination of this initiative has been supported by Citizens for Public Justice, KAIROS Canada, Canadian Religious Conference and Development and Peace-Caritas Canada.

Since its launch on Earth Day 2020, For the Love of Creation developed an e-petition to the federal government that called for a just recovery to the pandemic, one that prioritized action on the climate crisis and Indigenous rights. The petition collected 2,500 signatures, and its sponsor, Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, Member of Parliament for Beaches-East York, will deliver it to the House of Commons this week.

For the Love of Creation builds on a long history of engagement by Canadian churches and faith-based organizations in ecological conservation, environmental activism, and advocacy for climate justice. Indigenous Peoples have long reminded us of the interconnectedness of all creation. Faith organizations understand the importance of respecting this interconnectedness as we speak to this moment through our values and collective action. Faith organizations are also attuned to the young voices in our midst who are leading the way in showing the urgency of the climate situation. The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted people, amplifying economic, political, cultural, and social fissures and shown how government and societies can change quickly when convinced of the need. For the Love of Creation is an active and growing voice for collective and immediate action.

Faith-based organizations that have endorsed For the Love of Creation are: 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; Interfaith Council on Climate Action (Réligions pour la Paix Quebec); Jesuit Forum for Social Change; 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; Scarboro Missions; Our Lady’s Missionaries; Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada; and The United Church of Canada

For more information, visit www.fortheloveofcreation.ca.

Quotes:

“This invitation to deeper conversations is so important because we need both our faith and the people around us  to keep us moving forward in working for ecological justice and taking action for the love of creation.” —The Rev. Susan C. Johnson, National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

“So much is conspiring to awaken us to a new relationship with earth…a new relationship with each other. May this love lead us to be persistent and practical and offer prophetic hope in our world.”  —Sister Margo Ritchie, CSJ, Congregational Leader, Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada

“It is the time to go deep and broad to attend to the climate crisis —deep in learning, values and commitment, and broad in the engagement of the greatest number of people possible. For the Love of Creation is offering faith communities across the spectrum the opportunity to join heart, mind and will to the transformation that is so desperately required.” —Jennifer Henry, Executive Director of KAIROS Canada

“Pope Francis’s encyclical, Laudato Si’ focussed Christians’ attention on the need to care for our common home. Five years on, the climate crisis is ever more urgent. The poor suffer its worst impacts, but not even rich countries are spared. Now, the global pandemic is making matters worse, yet showing us just how interconnected our fates are. For the Love of Creation is a forum for leveraging that interconnectedness. It is a space for people of faith to come together to discuss, debate, engage on and act for climate justice.” —Serge Langlois, Executive Director of Development and Peace — Caritas Canada

“The current moment has made it clear that we can and must do more to address the climate crisis, structural inequity, and systemic racism. People of faith from across the country have signalled their support for investments in a just transition, honouring Indigenous Rights, and building resilience in the Global South. Through dialogue rooted in shared values, priorities, and faith we can build awareness, enhance engagement, and amplify the call for ambitious climate action.” —Karri Munn-Venn, Senior Policy Analyst at Citizens for Public Justice

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Media Contact:

Cheryl McNamara (she/her), Media and Advocacy Coordinator, KAIROS Canada, 416-875-0097 (mobile), gro.adanacsoriak@aramancmc

Brad Wassink (he/him), Communications Coordinator, Citizens for Public Justice, 613-232-0275 / 1-800-667-8046 x 225, ac.jpc@darb

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