Reconciliation in the Watershed Workshop- Oct 21 Regina

Reconciliation in the Watershed Workshop: free, all welcome!
Saturday, October 21st, 2017
9:30 am to 4:00 pm
University of Regina / First Nations University, Regina, SK Continue reading

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Home Garbage Audit

In Saskatoon, early August, we had a torrential rain storm that flooded basements. Since then we’ve had almost no rain. As I write this, hurricanes are ripping through Central America and the southern United States. Meanwhile fires rage through British Columbia, Alberta, and the western United States. This summer, unfathomable heat was killing people and crops in India, only to be followed by strong cyclones across India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Someone needs to take action on climate change.

Regular readers of my column will know that the “someone” I’m referring to is “us.” It’s you and me. I think that we all want to do our part but sometimes we just don’t know what to do. That is the point of this column. It is about things you and I can do to reduce our energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. For the next several issues each column will be about how you can audit the energy or water consumption in your home (or office, or church, or…) and make some changes. To audit means to check something out to see what is happening.

You don’t often hear me talking about waste in this column (it is ENERGY Conservation Corner, after all) but waste is also an energy issue. It takes energy and water to extract resources, then manufacture, market, and transport products. When we throw out a product, we are effectively throwing out all the energy and water embodied in that product. For every kilogram of regular household waste we put in the landfill, 1.3 kilograms CO2e of greenhouse gas emissions are created.

For the first audit in this series, I thought we should start with an audit that is straightforward, and highly visible: waste it is!

Take a bag and hang it from your belt for a day (or a few days).  Each time you produce
a piece of garbage, put it in the bag on your belt. At the end of the day, look at what is in your bag, and think about what could have happened instead: Does your bag contain a disposable coffee cup, unwanted clothing, paper towel, empty containers, or spoiled food?

There are lots of variations on this activity:

  •  You can use a disposable plastic bag; or a reusable cloth one (which you wash after).
  •  You likely want to exclude bathroom garbage and messy kitchen garbage.
  •  If you are pretty good at the waste minimization thing, maybe you want to include things you would have thrown in the recycling.

I was talking to my neighbor the other day and she said, “Now that we have city recycling and compost pickup, we hardly have any garbage.” That is certainly the experience at our house.  With three adults, we produce one or two grocery bags a week of garbage.  That doesn’t include what we produce at work.

Now that you know what you are putting in your garbage, make some changes: use a reusable mug, donate unwanted clothing, use a rag, recycle containers or buy in bulk, and do better grocery planning. Then hang a bag from your belt again to see what you need to tackle next.

Hopefully, this audit, and the rest in the series, will help you make changes. If you learn something and you want to share, or if you have questions, you can always contact me at angieb@environmentalsociety.ca.

I’d love to hear about your successes!

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)

Worship and action resources for World Food Day, Oct 16

Throughout this week in October we are invited to take action for food justice. As the harvest is gathered and as Indigenous and non-Indigenous people alike respectfully hunt and fish in preparation for winter, we give thanks for the beauty and the bounty of God’s Creation. Please set aside time in worship to give thanks, and to pray and take action for the millions around the world and in Canada who are hungry in the midst of plenty, or who are hungry because they are fleeing disasters and violence.

See the United Church’s national page for resources. The United Church and many of our own farmers are also partners with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, which also offers a special 2017 worship resource.   Continue reading

From 15,000 years to 150- prayers and reflections

July 1 marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation. As we reflect on this milestone, there are “thoughts, feelings, and prayers Indigenous friends and relations want our whole church to hear. As we mark Canada 150, we need to contemplate them, share them in our networks, and lift them up in worship on July 2, the Sunday closest to Canada Day. As Henry David Thoreau wrote, “It takes two to speak the truth—one to speak and another to hear. (David Giuliano, Community Capacity Development Coordinator, Aboriginal Ministries, The United Church of Canada).

Worship resources

Reflections on Canada 150 from Indigenous people

All My Relations Network: How Shall We Celebrate Canada 150?

Prayer (By Liz Mackenzie, Saskatchewan Conference Personnel Minister)

One:   From the West to the East, the North and to the South;

All:      we are your people, O God, and we live in your world.

One:   From sea to sea to sea; from mountains to prairies; rock shields to Great Lakes; bountiful fruit orchards to windswept east coast cliffs;

All:      we are your people, Creator God, called to celebrate your good creation.

One:   From the first peoples to inhabit Turtle Island to the newest visitors to arrive in Canada;

All:      your Spirit lives in all your peoples – yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

One:   Young and old, in the diversity of our abilities, sexualities, gender identities, ethnicity and race;

All:      You gather us as sheaves of wheat and call us to live as one.

One:   You call us together, Source of all Love, to be the bearers of your love in this great country of Canada;

All:      As we celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, may we work together for a country and a world where all are included in your dream of justice, peace, reconciliation, and grace.  May it be so, Gracious God.  Amen.

Workshops and bios: June 17, Call Echoes event

Workshops and great workshop leaders! June 17, 2017: SK Conference Education Day at McClure United Church. (Map. And a flyer about the whole weekend.)

Scroll down for bios of our amazing facilitators. Please indicate your workshops preferences at www.sk.united-church.ca/register/ or call the Conference office at 306-721-3311. Workshops are free and open to the community. Lunch is $12 and you must register for it in advance. Registration and coffee at 8:30; worship is at 9:15 and workshops will begin by 10:15AM. Lunch: 12:30- 1:30, then afternoon workshops at 2:00PM- 4:15PM. Click here for a workshops flyer.  (PDF) Continue reading

Saskatchewan and Climate Change: looking at the government’s plan

For many years, our church has offered theological, scriptural and moral reasons for reducing use of fossil fuels. We Canadians are, after all, the highest per capita carbon emitters in the world.

Here’s some recent recommended reading for SK people on this question; the SK Environmental Society has released a paper looking at the provincial government’s climate change plan.

They write, “The Saskatchewan government released their Climate Change White Paper on October 18th, 2016.  The paper is positioned as an “alternative approach to Prime Minister Trudeau’s national carbon tax”. It is no secret that the Saskatchewan government is strongly opposed to a national carbon price. In the press release accompanying the report Premier Wall asserts, “Make no mistake – a carbon tax will harm Saskatchewan.”

But will it? This paper examines that claim.

 

 

United Church supports MP consultations for climate action

From farmers to ranchers, from hunters to Indigenous communities, many in Saskatchewan rely on the land and water directly for their livelihood. We know climate change driven by fossil fuel use will have an impact on our communities and on God’s creation.

For many years, United Church communities have been involved in climate change action, and in 2016 we have an opportunity to make an impact on federal policies. The government has said it wants to issue a climate chance plan by the end of 2016, and across Canada groups want Members of Parliament to hear directly from the people on this crucial issue.  Our church is asking for our involvement, whether by making a personal commitment or by committing to speak with your MP. Here’s a summary:
http://www.united-church.ca/social-action/act-now/speak-support-bold-national-climate-strategy

You can also participate in a free webinar this Friday, May 13:
http://edge.united-church.ca/webinars/events/peoples-climate-plan/

To church members in Regina and area especially: Lead Now is a group that is helping organize MP meetings, and they need some help with this in Regina. Please help spread the word. Ask people to fill in the form at the link below if they can help:
http://peoplesclimate.ca/organize/

Of course, anyone anywhere in the province is welcome to get involved!