In May 2019, Synod Resolution 8 addressing the urgent climate emergency facing Canada and the rest of the world.
In January 2020, a working group was struck to develop concrete action plans around that resolution and I had the pleasure of interviewing each member to explore how they are experiencing the committee and where they see it going with its recommendations.
Collectively, their responses to the first question were very positive. They found it awesome to work with such committed colleagues, enriching to work with people who see climate issues entwined with science and social justice, exciting that the church is responding to the need to bring science and faith together, and, perhaps the best accolade of all, one said it was the best committee they have ever been on.
When it came to the direction the committee was going, there was total agreement that recommendations needed to be action focused at the parish level, the regional level and/or diocesan wide. That even small changes can make a difference. They recognize the need for compassion and justice and that especially in this diocese we have a voice because we are privileged and we must speak up on behalf of those less so.
The committee calls for ongoing dialogue within the church and believes that will lead to the potential for action by all parishioners because we are Christians. As Christians we need to ask why we are here and what we can ask of ourselves.
We need to remember that our baptismal vows call on us to care for God's creation, to seek justice for all and to speak up for and try to act on behalf of those who are too often neglected in our own country, particularly our Indigenous brothers and sisters and for others around the world
We also need to remember that our role is not to try to take leadership around scientific research and issues but while acknowledging the very important role that science plays also to look very simply at how as Christians we are called to be stewards of creation itself.
With the onset of the pandemic we have learned how innovative we can be both in Canada and around the world, how rapidly we can come together in the best interests of all of us and committees like this one and larger organizations , again around the world, see this as a very positive sign for our abilities to address the challenges of the climate crisis once the Covid pandemic is under control. As Anglicans we feel blessed by this awareness.
The committee includes chair: Rev. Alecia Greenfield; Rev. Ron Berezan; Ms.Shirin Theophilus, ODNW; Mr. Jeddy James; Rev. Liz Hamel; Rev. Harold Munn; Rev. John Stephens. Their email addresses are linked as all are happy to respond to any questions readers might have about this article or any other issues involving the work of the committee.
And finally, my heartfelt thanks for the wonderful cooperation and input I received from all of the committee . They were a pleasure to work with.
Chair of the Social Outreach Committee