Rev Don Schau, Atlantic Garden City United Church in Winnipeg, offers some thoughts on choosing to get a community of faith involved in climate justice work. Even when the struggle seems daunting or too contentious, there are ways forward that all our communities of faith can support.

Perhaps you have heard about the climate crisis.  I have been known to mention it in my reflections and prayers.

I wonder what your reactions are when you hear the news or even just people in conversation when the topic comes up.  It seems to make headlines almost daily and it wouldn’t surprise me to hear people express that they are tired of hearing about it, especially if you have a sense that you as an individual are powerless to do anything about it.  I have often heard people comment that there is little point in Canada doing anything about it because we are a small contributor to the problem compared to China and the USA.

A child with long black hair holding the earth above their head, with a simple map of the world spread out behind them, on a sage green background.The reality is, we can all do something.  Each of us may have a small impact but the problem is so big that we need everyone on board to address it.  Maybe you can’t afford an electric vehicle.  You can still walk some of the shorter distances where you usually drive.  You can use paper bags instead of plastic to minimize the fossil fuel content in your life.  These are just examples.  I’m sure you can think of other ways.

Beyond our individual actions, we can act collectively.  For example, we can work together to make our church building more energy efficient.  We have signed up with Faithful Footprints.  It is a United Church of Canada grant program that can help us to minimize our carbon footprint.  As we look at what can be done with our building we will keep you informed.  We will likely look to you for contributions to this effort and for any ideas you have that can assist us in making this a reality.  For more information about the grant program please go to their website.

You may be interested in information about who has received grants and what they did with them.  If so, click on About and then Our Impact.  You will find maps that link you to information about many locations.  There is also some information under the Inspiration tab, including some success stories.

Regional Council call: divestment from fossil fuels

As well, our Regional Council has a task group working on an initiative that you can be involved in.  We know that the biggest challenge to reducing our carbon footprint is our reliance on fossil fuels.  Many governments have made commitments to reduce carbon emissions and many businesses have also signed commitments to do the same.  However, it is clear in some cases that organizations are not living up to their promises.

One of the places this is happening is in our financial institutions.  Funding of the fossil fuel industry has not only not decreased, but it seems to be increasing.  The task group is asking us to get involved by being in conversation with our financial institutions to find out what they are doing about climate change and encouraging them to be part of the solution.  Please take a moment to read the letter they recently sent out.  You can find it at A Letter from Prairie to Pine Regional Climate Finance Task Group.   Along with more information about this specific initiative you will find links to more information about climate justice.  If you would like to know more about the Net Zero Banking Alliance, click here.

In that letter you will also find an invitation to attend a Zoom meeting on Earth Day, April 22, 2024 at 7:00 pm.  We hope to offer information, answer questions, and invite conversation at a monthly forum.  Please consider joining.

One more thing.  Although I’m sure we all think the environment is important, you may ask yourself what it has to do with church.  To learn about a faith-based initiative for climate justice, please visit For the Love of Creation, an ecumenical creation care resource and action coalition of which the United Church is a founding member.

This planet is the only home we have.  We need everyone to do what they can to keep it flourishing for future generations.