Sustainable Development Goal #8

Sustainable Development Goal #8 –DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH

In 2015, the United Nations created 17 Sustainable Development Goal to be put on the world’s agenda.

The new paradigm upon which these goals are based is one of transforming the current model of donor-driven aid and developed world/third world approach into a universally applicable, sustainable and accountable agenda for all.

The new paradigm aims for eradication of poverty, reduction of inequalities within and between countries and advancement of economic, social, civil, political and cultural human rights.   For more information please see  https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/tranformingourworld

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Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Resistance to the occupation and its repressive measures continues, in many instances violently. On Sunday alone there were eight alleged attacks in the span of 12 hours, resulting in the deaths of five Palestinians, three of whom were under the age of 16. The situation continues to worsen as despair among young people increases, and as excessive force to curtail attacks becomes the norm.

God of all, we plead for an end to this violence and for an end to the occupation that is the root cause of it. We weep for the lives that have been lost, and for those that will yet still be lost in the near future. Help us to see a way out of this madness we are living in, and to find hope within you when it does not seem present in the world around us. Lord, in your mercy…

Approval was recently granted to begin construction to expand the plaza at the Western Wall for Jews to pray. This threatens to disrupt the already fragile status quo, as this construction will involve tunneling beneath the Muslim Quarter, and will turn land set aside as a secular archeological site into Jewish religious property. This is yet another instance of Israel creating facts on the ground within Jerusalem, in violation of international law.

Lord, we know you stand on the side of the weak and oppressed; that your Son preached that the last would be first and the first last. Yet it is sometimes hard to believe in this when one encounters the harsh realities on the ground here. Grant us reassurance, God,  that you remain present with those who suffer at the hands of injustice. Lord, in your mercy…

Many exciting programs are happening at Sabeel. The Women’s Group in Jerusalem attended a Lenten Bible study in Jericho on Tuesday of this week, while Sabeel Nazareth continues their Bible study focused on Liberation Theology.

Lord, we give you thanks for the ability to reach out and connect with the local Christian community here in Palestine/Israel. Help our ministries continue to grow and allow them to provide strength and unity among those who attend. Lord, in your mercy…
Sabeel is organizing an international witness visit from the 10th to the 18th of May 2016 with the theme Living Together – An Interfaith Mosaic – A Window into the Religious Communities Living in The Land of The Holy One.

Lord, we pray for an enriching and fruitful visit that will enable the participants to see and learn firsthand the situation on the ground.  We pray that they will go back inspired and encouraged to continue the work of justice and peace for this troubled land. 

The Canadian Friends of Sabeel, a project of Necef Sabeel Canada, is committed to standing in solidarity with Palestinians, and raising awareness in Canada of the struggle of Palestinian Christians, while joining all people in Palestine and Israel striving for peace with justice toward reconciliation.

Moderator expresses strong concern about government motion on non-violent economic advocacy

On February 18 the United Church was named in a national CBC article discussing a government motion condemning non-violent economic advocacy directed at the Israeli military occupation of Palestinian lands. Our Moderator sent a letter of concern to the government, saying in part,

“…We urge you and your Government to be part of global efforts to promote a non-violent, negotiated end to the occupation and a just peace for Palestinians and Israelis. The United Church of Canada does not describe itself as being part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. However, we do hold strong commitments to democratic rights and freedoms, which include the right of citizens to engage in constructive critique of both Canadian as well as foreign governments. The United Church of Canada stands in solidarity with groups and individuals exercising this right in nonviolent, peaceful ways. We urge you to stand firmly for democracy and defeat this motion.”

The vote was held Monday and unfortunately, the motion passed.

In April, Saskatchewan churches will have a timely opportunity to learn more about this ongoing debate, when a workshop series on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories will come to several communities. Please watch upcoming Enotes for more information.

Urgent Appeal – call on Government to vote against motion condemning BDS

Tories to ask government to ‘condemn’ backers of Israel boycott movement

“The Conservatives are calling on the government to take a very public stand against supporters of the controversial Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign to impose trade and commercial embargoes against Israel.” ottawacitizen.com

The debate is scheduled to take place today.

The letter below has been drafted by Steve Berube.

Please write similar letters to your MP’s.

Your may copy and edit the letter below and add your name.
Download the letter in Rich Text Format

Update: Ein Ar Rashash demolished

Palestinian Bedouin community almost totally demolished

On 15 February 2016, the Israeli army demolished almost all existing structures in the Palestinian Bedouin community of Ein Ar Rashash, in the Ramallah governorate, on grounds of lack of building permits. According to OCHA’s initial assessment, a total of 43 structures were targeted, including ten homes, 25 animal-related structures and eight external kitchens. Nearly 60 people, including 38 children, permanently residing in the community were displaced, and another 35 residing there seasonally or having their livestock structures on this site, were otherwise affected. Residents have remained in the community in precarious conditions.

Ein Ar Rashash is located in an area designated by the Israeli military as a “firing zone” and is one of the 46 Palestinian Bedouin communities at risk of forcible transfer in the context of an Israeli “relocation” plan.
Since the beginning of 2016, Israeli forces destroyed or dismantled 283 homes and other structures across the West Bank, the vast majority in Area C, displacing over 400 Palestinians, more than half of them children. More than 1,000 other people lost structures related to their source of income. More than a third of the structures targeted since the beginning of the year were provided as humanitarian assistance to families in need.

Your support for the activities of United Network for Justice & Peace in Palestine and Israel is appreciated.

Sustainable Development Goal #7

Sustainable Development Goal #7 – AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY

In 2015, the United Nations created 17 Sustainable Development Goal to be put on the world’s agenda.

The new paradigm upon which these goals are based is one of transforming the current model of donor-driven aid and developed world/third world approach into a universally applicable, sustainable and accountable agenda for all.

The new paradigm aims for eradication of poverty, reduction of inequalities within and between countries and advancement of economic, social, civil, political and cultural human rights.   For more information please see  https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/tranformingourworld

Plugging in Vehicles

Plugging in your vehicle, it’s as much a Saskatchewan winter tradition as getting out your snow boots, or thinking about moving somewhere warm.  But it’s something that many of us over-do.

There are three good reasons to plug in your vehicle:

  1. To be sure the vehicle will start even when it’s extremely cold out.
  2. To reduce wear and tear on the engine.
  3. To be sure the vehicle runs cleanly and efficiently.

However, plugging in warms the engine with an electric heater, and I don’t know if you’ve heard, but three quarters of Saskatchewan’s electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels.  Almost half by burning coal.  So we need to reduce our electricity use as much as we can.

So, how do we balance the benefits of plugging in our vehicles with the benefits of reducing electricity use?  I looked at a wide variety of sources for this.  Natural Resources Canada, CAA Saskatchewan and Manitoba, a co

uple of vehicle manufacturers, auto service centers and vehicle magazines.  Basically, they all tell the same story.

What does plugging in do?

When our vehicle gets really cold, the oil in the engine gets thick, and doesn’t do a good job of protecting the moving parts from each other.  A block heater warms the coolant in the engine, which then warms the engine and the oil.   When the engine is warm, it starts easily; the oil is liquid and properly lubricates the engine; the engine runs more efficiently and, as a bonus; the warmer engine warms the air blowing through the vents, so the vehicle’s interior warms up faster.

At what temperature should I plug in?

A well maintained vehicle should start at ‑30oC, but it’s hard on the vehicle, and the vehicle doesn’t run as efficiently.  Using a block heater when it’s ‑20oC improves the efficiency of your vehicle for a standard urban trip by 10%.  Using a block heater when it’s ‑25oC increases your efficiency for that trip by 25%[i]

All of the sources I saw suggested plugging in when the outside temperature is below ‑15oC or ‑20oC.

I looked at what the weather has been like this winter.  In Saskatoon, there are 25 days this winter that the temperature has gone below ‑15oC.  and only 10 days that it has gone below ‑20oC. (I’m writing January 11).

How long do I need to plug in for?

Most sources suggested plugging in for a maximum of 2 hours.  Only CAA and SaskPower suggested longer, and they said 4 hours.  Honda said 30-50 minutes![ii]

What will I save?

That of course depends on what you have been doing.  If you have been plugging in the vehicle when you get home from work, and leaving it plugged in until you leave for work the next day, from November through March, you could be spending $125/year on the electricity for your block heater.  If you change to plugging in for 2 hours, on the nights that the temperature goes below ‑15oC, you would spend only $8.  And the savings in greenhouse gas emissions would be 740kgCO2e.

At our house, we don’t use our vehicle every day, and we park it in an (unheated) garage, so we rarely plug it in.  When we do, we use a timer, that is set to come on one or two hours before departure, depending on the outdoor temperature.

[i] Natural Resources Canada.  Vehicle Warm-Up. Accessed on-line 11 Jan 2016. http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/efficiency/communities-infrastructure/transportation/idling/4423

[ii] Honda West A New Direction in Driving.  Ask the Expert – How Long Should I Leave My Vehicle Plugged In?  Accessed on-line 11 Jan 2016.  http://www.hondawest.ca/ask-the-expert-how-long-should-i-leave-my-vehicle-plugged-in/

Angie 220 photo

Angie Bugg manages energy conservation projects for the Saskatchewan Environmental Society, and is an active member of McClure United Church. You can contact her at angieb@environmentalsociety.ca “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it.” (Psalm 24:1)