50th Anniversary of Earth Day Celebrations
On Sunday, April 19th, St. Mary’s held a special program during our 10:30 am broadcast to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. Earth Day is Wednesday, April 22nd, and is a day when all around the earth, humanity pauses to reflect on the beauty of God’s creation, and how we can do our part to bless, preserve and strengthen it.
In 2020, we welcomed to our Sunday service, Dr. Sylvia Keesmaat, a theology professor from Trinity College, at U of T. Dr. Keesmaat is a biblical scholar focusing on Creation Care and operates an Organic / Sustainable farm outside of Fenlon Falls with her husband Brian Walsh and family. Please click on Dr. Keesmaat’s picture, to view a recording of her sermon from this service.
Please view our resources below, to explore other ways our St. Mary’s Green Team is active in our community
We are trying to raise awareness of the natural world and encourage the giving of praise and thanks in the worship service for God’s created universe.
Christian outreach and social justice
The ideals of these two areas are similar to those of the Green Team; for example, we participated in the ‘bell ringing 350’ and support the promotion of ‘fair trade coffee’ which is grown sustainably. In addition to this the Green Team would like to emphasize that the effects of climate change, both now and in the future, will hit first and most seriously the world’s most vulnerable citizens. We are encouraging ways to take action now as this will not only minimize damage in the future but will also minimize the cost of dealing with the damage.
In Sunday School we encourage the love of the natural world. Through worship, prayer and giving thanks, the Green Team is hoping to heighten awareness of what we need to do as a congregation, as a community, and as individuals to move toward a more sustainable, more just and more secure world.
Christian fellowship and support
We take every opportunity to share information relating to the health of the ecosystems of our Earth and how to move towards a truly sustainable environment. For example we facilitate recycling at St. Mary’s and have involved the congregation in Eco-Fairs for two years. Some of our members, who are also members of Richmond Hill’s Horticultural and Garden Society, make use of the friendship and common objectives of this group to give direction, purpose and practical ‘know how’ to our efforts to look after our plants, gardens and the natural world around us in as environmentally friendly a way as possible.
How our Green Team Operates
Our committee consists of seven interested members of our congregation.
We meet on the last Wednesday of each month.
Our goals are to heighten awareness of the plight of God’s Earth and what we need to do as a congregation, and society in general, to move towards a more sustainable future.
- We put ‘green nuggets’ , succinct items of information, in the bulletin.
- We host ecumenical events with light refreshments at which we show DVDs and/or have speakers which address environmental issues.
- We celebrate yearly events related to the environment such as Earth Day, Earth Hour, World Water Day, etc.
- We encourage the clergy and the worship committee to include in the service prayers for our Earth and to provide leadership towards recognizing the ‘ethical aspect of the challenge of climate change’ .
Additionally, we commend these Canadian faith-based organizations working on environmental justice and stewardship.
Citizens for Public Justice, a Christian voice for social and environmental justice in Canadian public policy.
Faith and the Common Good, an interfaith organization assisting faith communities with practical greening through their Greening Sacred Spaces program.
KAIROS, a coalition of Canadian churches working together for justice and peace.
A Rocha Canada, a Christian environmental stewardship organization working in conservation, environmental education and sustainable agriculture.