Faithful climate conversations offer space to learn and find your voice

Silhouette of a group of people standing in a forest looking towards a sunset
June 16, 2021

Written by the Very Rev. Ken Gray, Dean and Rector of St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral, Kamloops

In the present maelstrom of difficult and frustrating news, both locally, nationally and globally, the Faithful Climate Conversations offer participants a space to live, learn and find their voice together around the physical state of the earth, the role of politics and science, and most importantly the way that faith is seminal to any real insight and progress towards a truly sustainable way of living which honours Divine Presence, the Great Creator in our midst, individually and communally.

In hosting three virtual conversations, and one in-person using the first of three modules – Creation, Climate and You – initially with a group of young adults, and the other sessions welcoming folks of many ages and differing life experiences from various places throughout Western Canada, these conversations provided a safe and informative space for the sharing of experiences and concerns about the state of the planet and our care for it.

Yes, people shared hopes and dreams tempered however by considerable frustration at a lack of tangible results of real change of behaviour in their local faith and civic communities.

I found most folks very well informed about “the way things are” so much so that they were keen to move on to the other modules. We found it worthwhile to examine our motives and practices around the stewardship of creation through the sharing of stories initially based on local experience and concerns. Those proximate to water spoke of over-fishing and ocean temperature rise; those close to prairie agriculture spoke of farming challenges and practices; those connected with industry hoped for a different way of managing activities such as mining, forestry or transportation which would keep more CO2 in the ground thus protecting the delicate balance of atmospheric chemistry.

Well there is never enough time and two hours simply flew by. That said, folks are hungry for more engagement and I plan to support this growing conversation as I am able.