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Planting the seeds of education focus

February 8, 2021

By Kim Umbach

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic dominating our lives throughout 2020, climate change remains a pressing issue for PWRDF and its partners, for Anglicans in Canada and for the world.

In 2020, PWRDF produced a number of resources focused on Climate Action, the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #13. The resources showed how climate change intersects with our partners’ work, from health and women’s empowerment to food security, emergency relief and more. We want to continue to promote those resources in 2021, and build on them with the introduction of a three-year education focus called Creation Care: Climate Action.

The program launched January 28 with a webinar that included prayer with the Rev. Ken Gray, some basic climate change information, examples of PWRDF partners’ work around climate change and guide to PWRDF resources. The recording can be viewed here.

Where to begin

Many Parish and Diocesan Representatives indicated an interest in climate change and requested more support in promoting it as a theme of PWRDF’s work. In consulting a small focus group and surveying a wider group of supporters, we determined an education focus would help us engage our supporters in prayer, learning and action.

We hope to bring the perspective of how climate change is affecting the developing world and how it is being addressed. We know that we have much to learn from our partners and hope our volunteers will be able to take that learning to their parishes, communities and families.

On the PWRDF website, our Climate Action page includes resources and education opportunities. Though PWRDF will not be focusing on how you can make your parish more eco-friendly, we will share that information and links to campaign websites as we are able.

We will leverage Anglican and ecumenical initiatives such as For the Love of Creation to provide ways to get involved within Canada.

What’s next?

There are many exciting ideas in the works.

  • We will be creating videos and study guides that you can use to lead discussions in your communities or parishes.
  • We will offer webinars that focus on Climate Action as it relates to PWRDF’s work, including Food Security, Health, Women’s Empowerment, Indigenous Peoples, Emergency Response, Refugees and Engaging Youth.
  • We will continue to encourage the use of the resources that were prepared in 2020 including the seven Climate Action Leaflets. Use them as bulletin inserts if you are worshipping in-person, read them at in-person or online services, or include them in online bulletins or parish e-mails.
  • We also encourage using the worship resource “A Covenant for Climate Justice.” A Service of the Word and a Eucharist service are available to use in whole or in part. There is even a sermon to deliver or download the video to share with your community.  
  • We will share ways to get involved with the For the Love of Creation Campaign, including participating in advocacy and hosting climate change conversations.

We realize that this pandemic is not going to be over in the near future, so we expect that activities in 2021 will continue to be online. As public health guidelines allow, we hope to offer more face-to-face gatherings, including a course at the Sorrento Centre in British Columbia, and a visit to one of our partners.

The next few months:

  • February 11, Launch of our Lent resource “Creation Care: Climate Action.” Click here to register
  • March: Faithful Climate Conversation using the For the Love of Creation resource guide
  • April: Webinar and study guide Creation Care/Climate Action and Food Security
  • May: Faithful Climate Conversation using the For the Love of Creation resource guide
  • June: PWRDF and CFGB, How we partner to address hunger
  • July: Faithful Climate Conversation, using the For the Love of Creation resource guide
  • Through May and June, sessions on how to use the study guide in your parish/community

Please visit our Climate Action page regularly to find updates, webinar invitations and recordings, links to Anglican and Ecumenical Climate Action campaigns and events and more.

Kim Umbach is the Volunteer Coordinator for PWRDF.