– People from local churches and faith communities are invited to come together to explore the connections between their spiritual beliefs and their responsibility towards planet earth. The meeting, entitled Greening Sacred Spaces: A Conversation, is organized by Transition Cornwall+ in partnership with the Cornwall Interfaith Partnership and Greening Sacred Spaces, a provincial interfaith program that assists faith communities with the educational, spiritual and practical dimensions of going “green”. The event will be held from 1:30–3:30pm on Sunday, February 5th, at Central Public School.
This interfaith environmental event is a response to growing recognition, among faith communities, that caring for the environment is part of their role as stewards of all creation. According to Sister Terry Wilson, member of the Cornwall Interfaith Partnership, care for the environment has been a strong theme in Catholic teaching for many years. She quotes Pope John Paul II’s statement, made 22 years ago “The ecological crisis is a moral issue. Care for the environment is not an option… Not to care for the environment is to ignore the Creator’s plan for all of creation and results in an alienation of the human person.” Sr. Terry also points out that care for the environment is not just a concern among Catholics. It is reflected in the beliefs of every spiritual tradition, making it an excellent focus for the Cornwall Interfaith Partnership.
People of faith around the world are recognizing the sacredness of all creation and their role in protecting it. They are beginning to think about the impacts of their decisions and actions, including purchases, travel and lifestyles. In Ontario, many faith communities are forming environment Green Teams and taking steps to “green” their buildings: switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs, reducing the use of disposables in the kitchen, carrying out energy audits and reducing heat loss through gaps around windows and air ducts. Clearly, environmental stewardship can also result in monetary savings!
The Cornwall Greening Sacred Spaces event will appeal to everyone, from youth to seniors, who recognizes the moral or spiritual dimension of environmental issues, spiritual leaders included. Greening Sacred Spaces representative Kathryn Guindon, an ecologist with a diploma in Theology, will make a brief presentation and then lead a series of small group conversations. According to Guindon, “Environmental issues are often in the news and the news is usually bad. It’s all too easy to feel like your actions don’t matter or to be afraid to take the next step because you’ll be perceived as a “treehugger”. Coming together with other folks who care as much as you do can be very empowering.”
Everyone welcome, no need to register. Admission is free, donations to Transition Cornwall+ will be gratefully accepted.