The day started off with these poetic opening words from Mr. Norman Levesque, Director of the Green Churches Network: “In the beginning was the Word of God. Everything was created by the Word and everything we find in our environment, the Ottawa River, the Gatineau and Rideau rivers, trout and eels, iron and oil, everything was created by the Word. This is why we Celebrate the Spirit of Creation.”Full speech here. (PDF, 371 kb)
Elder Barbara Dumont-Hill, from the Algonquin village of Kitigan-Zibi, welcomed us to the unceeded traditional territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg. She particularly stressed the importance of sacred places and traditional knowledge that taught about the protection of Creation. She ended with this wish: “I hope you are living in a good way”.
The circle Every Woman’s Drum sang to the rhythm of their drums to start this day of celebrating the Spirit of Creation. Two drummers, Michelle and Victoria, began by explaining that their drums were made to make reverbarating healing sounds.
Archbishop Terrence Prendergast from the R.C. Archdiocese of Ottawa, welcomed all Forum participants to Ottawa. He stressed that Creation was at its best thanks to the Canadian Tulip Festival. Returning from a trip to Rome with other Canadian bishops, Archbishop Prendergast told how Pope Francis reminded them of the importance of caring for God’s Creation. The Archbishop congratulated the participants of this Forum who “take care of life in every form.”
As the Honorable Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, was unable to attend the Forum personally, she sent a video to encourage the participants. “I think there’s a huge opportunity for churches across the country, for faith groups and faith leaders to work with our government to do what we need to do to protect the planet for future generations.”
Our keynote speaker was the Most Reverend Mark MacDonald who spoke about “Celebrating the Spirit of Creation“. Bishop MacDonald became the first National Aboriginal Bishop of the Anglican Church of Canada in 2007. He is a third-order Franciscan and has contributed to numerous publications, including “Holy Ground: A Gathering of Voices on Caring for Creation” (Lyndsay Moseley, Sierra Club Books, 2008)
A few quotes from his speech:
We want to celebrate in conjunction with the celebrations taking place throughout the National Capital for Canada’s 150th anniversary. As believers we see Creation manifested in abundance in our home and native land. This event will also be a thanksgiving for the beauty and greatness of God’s work from coast to coast to coast.
City of Love and Eco-Spirituality
by Prof. Mahmoud Masaeli, University of Ottawa
Download the slideshow (PDF, 1.6 Mb)
Theology of Creation in the Christian Orthodox Tradition
by prof. Paul Ladouceur, Université Laval
Download the notes (PDF, x kb)
Sustainable Finances & Investing for Faith Communities
by Ms. Kristina Inrig, Faith and the Common Good
Creative Christian Engagement in Canadian Climate Policy
by Karri Munn-Venn, Citizens for Public Justice
by Rev. Jessica Hetherington, Glebe-St. James United Church
Beyond Greening – Embracing Change & Ensuring Sustainability
by Robert Pajot and Bob Richards, Faith and the Common Good
The Green Pages of the Bible
by Mr. Norman Levesque, Green Churches Network
Download the slideshow (PDF, 14 Mb)
Objectifs du développement durable (French only)
par prof. Philippe Crabbé, retraité Université d’Ottawa
Télécharger le diaporama (PDF, 1,2 Mo)
Saint Paul University was especially ecologically sensitive throughout the day in offering fair trade coffee and fresh cakes at coffee breaks. For lunch, the participants could choose sandwiches and salads that were pefect for ethical eating, usually organic and locally grown.
The ecumenical service which brought together Christians from 6 different denominations (Catholic, United, Anglican, Lutheran, Baptist and Orthodox), was held in the Chapel of Saint Paul University. Sections of blue fabric were arranged to depict the layout of the rivers in the region: The Ottawa River, the Rideau and Gatineau Rivers. A cross and a bowl of water were in the center of the display.
First, participants from remote areas poured a small quantity of water they had gathered from their homes into a large bowl. Then, the circle Every Woman’s Drum opened the service with the sound of their drums. The participants sang several Taizé hymns and there were several readings from the Bible. This day to Celebrate the Spirit of Creation ended in joyous singing and dancing in praise of and thanskiging for God’s mighty works.
Download the service outline (DOCX, 95 kb)
To see the Forum 2017 pictures in our Facebook album, click here.
in Trois-Rivières, QC in Autumn 2018! Spread the word!