I was deeply disappointed last week to see that a local church had exchanged its “Pesticide Free, Safe for Me” signs for posted warnings about the use of pesticides on its property. I have no idea what inspired this dramatic change of heart. I walk my dog past this church almost every day and their lawn always looks lush.
Fortunately other local faith communities are moving forward on issues of sustainability and environmentalism. The local chapter of the national interfaith network, Faith and the Common Good seems to be fairly active in Ottawa. I see them every Earth Day weekend at the Eco-Stewardship Fair at the RA Centre. Unfortunately their web-site is not very informative, seems to be updated only infrequently, and is mostly under construction.
Faith and the Common Good nationally and locally run a program called Greening Sacred Spaces. This program helps interested faith communities make their buildings (churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques) and grounds more environmentally-friendly. In Ottawa, if you are interested in helping out or are part of a faith community or religious group that would like help in becoming more environmentally-friendly, you can contact Faith and the Common Good Ottawa by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
On a related topic, CBC radio’s weekly news magazine on faith, religion, and spirituality–Tapestry–is airing a program on the Goddess and the Greenman this Sunday (June 17th) at 2:00 pm on Radio One. This program will explore how the history of religion in the West is related to our current environmental crises. If you miss the broadcast, they post audio files of most of their past shows in their archives. You might also like to listen to their past show: God’s Green Earth: Religion and Ecology