Green Churches Forums - 2010 to 2019

Green Churches Forum 2019 - Trois-Rivières

… whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

John 4:14

Green Churches Forum 2019

It was held the 19th and 20th of October 2019 at Our Lady of the Cape Shrine. Approximately 150 people attended for two days of presentations, workshops and prayer to celebrate ‘The Gift of Water’. Christians of all denominations exchanged ideas and best environmental practices while rediscovering a christian spirituality closer to God’s creation.

Click to view the full agenda :

Lectures on various aspects of the central theme, including:

  • Water, source of life
  • Water as a means of recreation
  • Water as a source of energy
  • Water as a mode of transport
  • The battle for drinking water
  • Water as a source of purification
  • Water as an element of Creation

Round-table discussions highlighting concrete actions taken by our member churches:

  • The experience of becoming a "Green Church"
  • Successes and difficulties linked to the various actions initiated in our communities

Practical workshops; useful skills and tips at home and in your churches:

  • Composting
  • Reducing food waste
  • Strategies for reducing plastic use
  • Energy efficiency


This event was an opportunity for all our members to exchange and learn while celebrating our faith and the gift of creation. The forum was a success thanks to our local volunteer committee, the involvement of several environmental organizations and the participation of over 150 people. Many thanks to everyone!

This year, all workshops, conferences and activities were organized around the theme of "the gift of water". We had the opportunity to explore the importance of water in Scripture, in our communities and in the environment. We had an abundance of activities over the two days at the Sanctuary, including: 14 conferences and workshops, 2 panels, 9 kiosks and a water ceremony.


Green Churches Forum 2017 - Ottawa

Green Churches Forum 2017

"Celebrating the Spirit of Creation"

11 May 2017, Ottawa


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.”



Keynote Address

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 live in a society where greed has become normal… In fact, it’s one of the animating factors in the way our culture and the way our economy works.”
“All these principalities and powers are conspiring against the environment.” “This climate of injustice is something that we, as religious people, have to say is one of the great moral and spiritual issues of our time.”
“It is absolutely essential that we understand this component of our progressive alienation of the environment around us.”
“Some Christians say their theology needs to be updated to make it more green.” “I’m all for that. But what I’m saying is that it fails to recognize the progressive alienation.”
“As Christians, with the gifts that the Creator has given us, we are called to live our lives in a fundamental, powerful, intimate, courageous, compassionate commitment to the world that God has created for us.”

Forum Theme : “Celebrating the Spirit of Creation”

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)

Becoming a Green Church
by Mr. Richard Pommainville, Sainte-Geneviève Catholic Parish
Download the notes (PPTX, 5 Mb)

Theology of Creation in the Christian Orthodox Tradition
by prof. Paul Ladouceur, Université Laval
Download the notes (PDF, x kb)

Petitions :  Christians have a voice  
by Mr. Kris Nanda, Office of the Auditor General of Canada
Download the blurb (DOCX, 15 kb)
Download the slideshow  (PDF, 3.3 Mb)

Sustainable Finances & Investing for Faith Communities 
by Ms. Kristina Inrig, Faith and the Common Good
Slideshow unavailable

Creative Christian Engagement in Canadian Climate Policy 
by Karri Munn-Venn, Citizens for Public Justice
Slideshow unavailable

by Rev. Jessica Hetherington, Glebe-St. James United Church
Slideshow unavailable

Beyond Greening –  Embracing Change & Ensuring Sustainability
by Robert Pajot and Bob Richards, Faith and the Common Good
Slideshow unavailable

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.


Ecumenical Service

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)


A Few Comments

  • “Bishop Mark MacDonald was excellent.”
  • “It was ecumenical with an excellent integration of francophones and anglophones.”
  • “Coming from different churches, we were one.”
  • “The workshops were most useful with encouraging ideas to take back to my parish.”
  • “Excellent presentations by interesting speakers.”
  • “Appreciated having the indigenous speaker and drummers. Keep them!”
  • “Very well organized. We could sense the passion of the organizers.”
  • “Good idea of organizing the Forum in a different city each time.”



Green Churches Forum 2015 - Quebec City

Green Church Conference 2015

An Ecological and Ecumenical Event

Theme: Creating a Climate of Hope

  Read the common declaration




April 14, 2015 in Québec City

at Saint-Ignace-de-Loyola Church





"All things came into being through the Word of God, all things we find in our environment: the St. Lawrence River, the Mont Ste Anne, belugas, aluminum, oil, all things came into being through the Word... Today, the Spirit of God is calling the Churches to be guardians of Creation. The solutions exist, we need to choose them courageously. Hence, we will be creating a climate of hope."

 (Discours d'Introduction, in French)
Mr. Norman Lévesque, Director Green Churches, 


 "I am convinced that we are "ripe" enough to become a Green Church! I rejoice as I see the climate that exists between our Churches to reflect and help our members on this question, the repect of the environment, of Creation. We live on this earth that God generously created and gave us. Have a beautiful day and a great conference. Welcome to Quebec City."  

Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, Catholic Archbishop of Quebec City



"I am a Huron-Wendat. My spirituality taught me to take care of the Earth, to see that all creatures are related to each other." 
Ms. Diane Andicha Picard, Director of the Maison Andicha, Wendake


Keynote Speech

"The Arctic sea ice is melting at an alarming rate, the frozen period is shorter, the average temperature is rising and it is affecting all life on Earth. Water, trees, and all life is connected. When we pray "Thy will be done on Earth," we need to integrate land in our spiritual practice. Thus, we will be connected to each other and we can create a climate of hope."

Alan K. Betts, PhD, researcher in atmospheric science


« Creating a Climate of Hope »

"We commit our churches to an ecological shift. On behalf of our faith, we are bringing improvements to our places of worship and we are acknowledging climate concerns. Confronted with this ecological crisis, we will strive to create a climate of hope."

Read the common declaration






Ecumenical Service

« Jesus came from a small village that lived off the land and shepherding. In many of his teachings, he refers to natural elements: the grain that grows, the mustard seed, the birds of the sky, the lilies of the field, the sheep, the wind and rain... He was attentive to the signs of weather (Luke 12, 54-56), but he was even more attentive to the signs of the coming Kingdom of God. Today, he wants us to be just as attentive to the signs of the times: the signs that bring to light the many dangers toward our Earth and we mobilize to change them; but above all, the signs that announce the restauration of Creation are close, the signs like the ones we experienced together today, those that show that we are creating a real climate of hope."

Rev. David Fines, pastor of the United Church of Canada

Common Declaration

We believe that our natural environment is spectacular, majestic and mysterious and that it is the work of God. We marvel at the signs of the presence of this God of kindness in nature’s splendor, in the extraordinary richness of life on Earth which takes on so many forms.

Our religious tradition reminds us that the role of human beings on this Earth is to “till and keep” the environment (Genesis 2, 15), because human creativity enables us to “have dominion” over it (Genesis 1, 28) as never before. This mastery must be exercised with wisdom and intelligence in order to have lasting effects. We recognize that greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced (already at 400 ppm whereas the level was 280 ppm before the Industrial Revolution). Along with the IPCC, we recognize that “human influence on the climate system is clear ”( Ecological degradation has a greater effect on individuals impoverished by our system and our Churches' imperative to help and support the poor compels us to act.

We question our energy overconsumption and our dependence on oil, which drives industry to meet this demand, pushing it to encourage such highly polluting operations as tar sands. We are concerned about the growth of transportation of fossil fuels over vast territories, which is becoming a serious threat to the habitat and well-being of wildlife and flora and to the food sovereignty of human populations. In our view, any economic project must support life before profit. We pray for the courage to ensure a sustainable environment for future generations.

We commit our churches to an ecological shift. On behalf of our faith, we are bringing improvements to our places of worship and we are acknowledging climate concerns. We pray for a world of justice and peace. We pledge to act as good citizens in order to build a society which is greener and more concerned about the future of the next generations.

Confronted with this ecological crisis, we will strive to create a climate of hope.


Adopted on April 14, 2015
during the Green Church Conference in Quebec City
and signed by pastoral staff all accross Canada



 photo declaration small



(in order of reception):


First Signatories:

Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, Catholic Archbishop of Quebec

Very Reverend Dennis Drainville, Anglican Bishop of Quebec

Reverend David Fines, past president of the Montreal-Ottawa Conference of the United Church of Canada

Father Nectaire Femenias, archpriest of Holy Trinity Parish, Orthodox Church of America

Reverend Katherine Burgess, pastor at St. Andrew's Presbytrian Church

Reverend Glenn Smith, Professor in Missiology, Executive Director of Christian Direction

Ms. Diane Andicha Picard, First Nation's representative from Wendake

Mr. Norman Levesque, Director Green Churches


Bishops and Superiors from religious congragations :
Mgr Bertrand Blanchet, archevêque émérite catholique de Rimouski
Mgr Noël Simard, évêque catholique de Valleyfield
Mgr Denis Grondin, évêque auxiliaire catholique de Québec
Mgr André Gazaille, évêque catholique de Nicolet
Mgr François Lapierre, évêque catholique de St-Hyacinthe
Sœur Lorette Langlais, supérieure générale, Institut Notre-Dame du Bon-Conseil
Sœur Lucie Gagné, sup. provinciale, Missionnaires de l’Immaculée-Conception (Prov. du Canada)
M. Martin Beaulac, responsable national de la Communauté du Chemin Neuf (Canada)
>Incomplete List

Green Churches Forum 2012 - Drummondville

2nd Green Church Conference

October 16, 2012 - Drummondville (Quebec)



At St-Nicéphore's Church in Drummondville, on Tuesday, October 16, 130 people from the Anglican, Catholic and United Churches took part in the 2nd provincial Green Church Conference with the theme “Inhabit the Earth”. They demonstrated their solidarity and pledged to do more to make their respective communities aware of the need for environmental action. The participants represented a dozen regions of Quebec.

Two eminent speakers gave keynote addresses: Sister Esther Champagne, President of the Regroupement pour la responsabilité sociale des entreprises (RRSE), and Mr. Steven Guilbeault, staff member in charge of the climate change file at Équiterre. They each in turn showed how people can intervene at different levels to improve the future of the planet and the people who inhabit it.

Soeur Esther Champagne et Steven Guilbeault, les conférenciers.

Acting out of their convictions

“As shareholders, we use the power of money to protect human rights and the environment, and to promote sound governance,” said Sister Esther Champagne. To do this, the RRSE focuses on three main types of action, starting with an analysis of the situation. In every development project, whether mining, energy or industrial, it is important to ensure that the surrounding community has given full, free and informed consent. Next, militant shareholders continue their intervention by entering into a respectful – but persistent – dialogue with the company concerned and, if necessary, will carry out a public intervention. “Sometimes, things take time,” she pointed out, but the success they have had in projects like the Suroît make her optimistic. In her opinion, the time she invests is a vital necessity because, as a Christian, Sister Champagne is motivated by the conviction that justice comes before charity. 

Mr. Steven Guilbeault picked up the thread by focusing in on the status of global climate change and its impact on populations. “Global warming isn’t something that affects only the Arctic and the polar bears,” he pointed out. For instance, because of the droughts that caused intense forest fires in summer 2011 in Russia, the world’s 4th largest grain exporter, that country’s grain exports were greatly affected. As a result, primary commodity prices rose by 15 % globally. “For some people, that makes the difference between eating or not eating,” he said. “Think globally and act locally” is the slogan that prompted Steven Guilbeault to get involved in achieving concrete results. He has long been an advocate for the environment and finds men and women of vision, identified in the Bible as “prophets”, a source of inspiration for his own commitment.

Les panélistes: Clément Beauchemin, Alain Rayes et Karine Langlais.

The panelists who followed came from different backgrounds but all shared a desire to express their concern for the environment in their everyday activities. Deacon Clément Beauchemin, a farm producer from Saint-Cyrille-de-Wendover, makes use of agricultural practices that are adapted to environmental needs. Working the soil, crop rotation, protection of riverbanks and moderate fertilization are some of the ways we can not only inhabit the Earth that has been loaned to us, but make it fruitful. Mr. Alain Rayes, the mayor of Victoriaville, shared some of the convictions underlying municipal programs that promote environmental protection. Selective collection of recycling and compostable materials makes it easier for the citizens of Victoriaville to live green. The city intends to carry on its efforts in order to remain a cradle of sustainable development. Ms. Karine Langlais, in charge of environmental animation at the Collège de Shawinigan, capitalizes on her training as a biologist to rally students to the environmental cause. To further improve the performance of this institution, which has been certified as a “Green Cégep”, she is working hard to integrate sustainable development into the school curriculum and include a green aspect in the college’s real estate development.


Ecological Groups at their stands

Many environmental organizations in the region were present to build bridges with the Churches who are getting on board the environmental current. There were: Alonvert (Diocese of Nicolet), Bloc VertCFEREarth and Environment (Natives from Odanak), Eau SecoursÉquiterreGreen Church Prog., GreenpeacePauline BookstoresPanier santéRécupéraction.

Challenging workshops

In the afternoon, the 130 participants at the Green Church Conference had an opportunity to attend two of six interactive workshops presented in Saint-Nicéphore church and in the Lessard and Traversy buildings. Here is a short description of each workshop:

  • The Green Pages of the Bible : Discover how stories from the Bible teach to care for Creation. There were also useful tools for catechesis or preaching.
  • Your Ecological Footprint : This activity builds awareness. It is simple to prepare and helps the whole community to take care of Creation.
  • New Ways of Building Awareness : These new ways include group discussions after a movie (like a documentary) and help Christians become aware of modern day challenges.
  • Ecojustice, Solidarity, Development and Peace :  How can we stop being accomplices of impoverishment? How can we share the Earth's goods with all?
  • From Eco-words to Eco-actions :  Discover the fruits of a renewable approach with Creation thanks to the 5 Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle, repare, revere.
  • Action-Youth-Environment : How can the Church integrate youth in the environmental movement? What activities mobilize and nourrish?

The Ecumenical Worship Service

The opening and closing ceremonies for the day were led by Nicole O'Bomsawin to the sound of the drum. The Abenaki anthropologist, from the Catholic tradition, used symbols from native spirituality to pay tribute to the Earth. These moments of looking inward were nourished by Christian texts in praise of Creation, with the participation of pastors from the United Church (Rev. David Fines), the Anglican Church (Rev. Yves Samson) and the Catholic Diocese of Nicolet (Bishop André Gazaille).

Nicole O'Bomsawin anime un temps d'intériorité.

The 2nd Green Church Conference was the product of close cooperation between the diocesan group Alonvert, which promotes environmental action in pastoral ministry, and the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism, which pilots the Green Church program. The activity received support from Citizenship and Immigration Canada as part of the Inter-Action program.


Thanks to Jacinthe Lafrance for this review and Belva Webb for the translation.

Green Churches Forum 2010 - Montréal

1st Green Church Conference

An ecumenical event to share a new calling in the Church: stewardship of creation.


Thanks to all 150 participants,

to the volunteers, to workshop presenters, to St-Charles Church, to St.Columba House...



of February 9, 2010 at Saint-Charles Church

green church in Pointe-Saint-Charles (Montreal)

In the morning, there was a keynote address by Mr. André Beauchamp intitled "A Time for New Hope" followed by a workshop on Environmental Action (recycling, energy efficiency...). In the afternoon, there was a first workshop on Environmental Awareness (green tips, eco-fairs...) and another on Christian Ecology (Bible, saints, theology...). The conference finished with an ecumenical liturgy "Praise God through creation".


This conference was a success. It gave first steps to a theological reflection on Creation and it also gave concrete examples to be stewards of the environment.  The Conference gave great tools so every Christian community can develop activities and projects in respect of creation. Press Release.  

Our honoured guests were:

  • Fr. Andre Beauchamp, keynote speaker, theologian and environmentalist
  • Mgr. Jacques Berthelet, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Saint-Jean-Longueuil
  • Rev. Arlen Bonnar, Secretary of the Montreal Presbytery in the United Church of Canada
  • R. Rev. Barry Clarke, bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Montreal
  • Mgr. Andre Tiphane, episcopal vicar, sent by Cardinal Turcotte, archbishop of Catholic Diocese of Montreal
  • A video from Mrs Mardi Tindal, moderator of the United Church of Canada
  • A letter from Mrs Line Beauchamp, minister of Sustainable Development in Quebec


Useful Tools

Introduction and Keynote address

Schedule and Theme song "Loue sois-tu, O Lord"

Complete text of the keynote address "A Time for New Hope"

Workshop « Environmental ACTION »

Summerlea United Church's Environmental Policy

Energy Workbook for Religious Buildings, by Kairos

Example of a Geothermal System, at St.Andrew St.Mark Church (Dorval)

Workshop « Environmental AWARENESS »

- Covenant with Creation, by Cedard Park United Church

Church Check-Up, by Eco-Congregations

Footprint Calculator

Zero Footprint Kids' Calculator

Fair Trade coffee, poster, by Green Church

Year of Biodiversity 2010, poster, by Green Church


Bible and Environment, by Green Church

Saving God's Creation, by Stewardship of the Environment (Anglican Diocese of Montreal)

God is Bringing You into a Good Land, by Montreal City Mission

Worship on the theme of Creation

Ecumenical liturgy (text)

- Song: Called by Earth




A few comments

"My Sincere Thanks and Deepest Congratulations on yesterday's Conference. The Service to conclude tied together the various streams of thought and action described in the talks and workshops, and was itself a Superb Religious Experience, Spiritually moving with a real sense of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost being our Inspiration and Driving Force to Preserve and Nurture God’s World and Universe.

The Service saved us from thinking we can achieve anything on our own. St. Columba House also showed us those who are ill, poor in mind and spirit, outside the norms of Society being cared for by true dedicated humble Christians. My Congratulations and Prayers for the Green Church Project." - Tony


The First Green Church Conference gathered 150 people in Montréal


Montréal - The Green Church Project (GCP) is a new and exciting ecumenical venture. GCP aims to empower congregations and ministry sites in adopting environmentally aware practices and foster a Christian spirituality closer to nature.

The Green Church Project Team launched an invitation to believers from diverse denominations to the First Green Church Conference. It was held on Tuesday February 9th in Saint-Charles Catholic Church in Pointe-Saint-Charles in Montréal. Approximately 150 enthusiastic individuals devoted to ecology from the Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox and United Churches, responded to this invitation.

“It was a real success, said Norman Lévesque, coordinator of GCP and initiator of the gathering. We see by this response that the time had come for such a gathering. Our common vision is to combine theological reflection and concrete actions in order to mend this planet.”

Special guests and Church leaders attended the event : two Catholic bishops, one Anglican bishop and several clergy from various Churches. The Moderator of the United Church, Mardi Tindal, who ran a very well-received blog during the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change last December, was also present electronically;  Moderator Tindal offerred a video- taped message of congratulations to all. The Québec Minister of Environment, Line Beauchamp, could not attend as promised because of a last-minute delay, but sent her greetings that were read at the opening of the Conference.

The Green Church Pilot Project started in spring 2006, helping United Church faith communities, get involved in environmental protection. From the energy efficiency of religious building to liturgical prayers, through environment campaigns, the green teams in several communities began transforming Stewardship of creation into a reality. 

2009 was the year of ecumenical outreach, as the GCP extended its network to other Christian denominations. From Eco-fairs to energy audits for their religious building and community gardens, all those new activities that parishes and ministry sites have undertaken are very impressive.

“We saw that several congregational members felt isolated and they really wanted and needed to share with others their experiences, as well as listening and learning from others, added Norman Lévesque. That’s how the idea of a Green Church Conference came to our mind, an idea that seemed a little bet crazy at the beginning - but the Conference invites us to expand our imagination.”

The Conference was fully bilingual. After the opening address by André Beauchamp, well-know Catholic theologian, environmentalist and author, the participants were invited to join in various workshops under themes such as : Recycling and energy efficiency, Geothermal energy, Composting and community gardens, Eco-Artisan Fair and the Covenant with Creation and Stewardship Environment.

The First Green Church Conference  closed with an ecumenical celebration led by clergy from Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican and United Churches. Participants returned home with the common desire to continue this demanding yet rewarding Christian journey - the journey that calls us to be good stewards of all creation.

  • Rev. David Fines