GARDENS4BEES – Church-going bees, who’d have thought . . .


Murray Hunter, Diocese of Huron, Enviro-Action member
Article from the Ontario from the Ontario Bee Journal, May-June 2014

Beekeepers have found surprising new allies across Southwestern Ontario, in the form of ten Anglican parishes, who are transforming their church gardens into gardens for the bees.

Funding comes from the London Community Foundation through the Julia Hunter Fund, whose mission is to support public gardens. The Project emerges from a simple idea: a church can be seen as an organized group of volunteers who control land.

Many churches have a concept of stewardship of the earth, but these ten are bringing this ancient concept into today’s world to meet today’s urgent needs.

A subsidy to start the garden, a chance at a financial prize to encourage excellence, and a Bee Fest celebration to wrap it up – there is the project in a nutshell.

One church is laying out a garden with the paths in the shape of the diagonal St. Andrew’s cross. At another, Rogation Day (May 25) will feature the usual outdoor procession, but after each of the nine traditional prayers, someone will dig in a pollen-source plant. A London parish is hosting a major fundraiser to propel the project into the future and to a wider audience.

Partnership support has been outstanding. The World Wildlife Fund is supplying each site with WWF-branded butterfly-weed seed for each site; a Nature Conservancy staffer is helping as judge and adviser, and Lee Valley Tools is supplying plant markers to make tours easier.

There are still lots of ways for beekeepers to show support for this worthwhile effort. Speakers at events, participation at Bee Fest, gifts in kind, donations to silent auctions – or simply contacting your local Anglican parish anywhere from Windsor to Owen Sound to Brantford.

Twitter: Gardens4Bees


Celebrate the Season of Creation

Greetings friends as we continue through Pentecost Season together. In both hemispheres, the seasons will shortly change and we are freshly reminded of God’s glorious handiwork in our various environments. For God’s beautiful creation, and for our place within creation, let us be thankful together.

One way to express our thanks is through our worship, no less so through the Season of Creation. There are many creation-themed resources now published online for the season of creation. A resolution from the last Anglican Consultative Council invited all provinces in the communion to consider establishing a season of creation within their liturgical calendars. To support this initiative many provinces, denominations and individual authors have created some wonderful rites for our use.

Yes, in many Anglican provinces, permission is required from a local bishop before proceeding so proceed with respectful caution. That said, where flexibility is permitted, even encouraged, many of these rites contain resources of music, prayer, homilies, contextual introduction, audio-video presentations and Eucharistic rites for your consideration.

1) The Church of the Province of Southern Africa has published its third assembly of rites, Season of Creation 3. Goto

Organized thematically it includes material relating to:

• Climate change
• Eco-justice
• Water
• Creation and Redemption
• Biodiversity
• St Francis Day

Each section has Sermon notes, Collect for the day and liturgical materials.

General Seasonal liturgical materials include:

• Eucharistic prayers
• Final blessings
• Benedicite Africana (Song of Creation)
• Penitence
• Prayers for the land
• The taking of the bread and wine
• Creeds
• Blessings
• Peace sentences
• Candlelighting
• Songs

2) An ecumenical website Let All Creation Praise which is based in N. America with connections internationally hosts a huge variety of resources from Lutheran, Episcopal/Anglican, United Church and other denominational sources.

The 2014 four-week cycle SPIRIT SERIES looks intriguing and useful.

Through a four-week cycle congregations experience Forest, Land, Wilderness and River Sundays. There are two liturgies for each week with other resources sprinkled throughout the many webpages.

3) The World Council of Churches has gathered a number of resources and links in many languages at

Note in particular sermon notes from Churches Together In Britain and Ireland and Worship resources for the four Sundays produced by Eco Congregation Scotland on behalf of the Church of Scotland.

4) Finally, Christian Concern for One World has assembled a staggering number of resources, some current, some from previous years. It’s all good stuff and deserves a careful examination. The link document is organized thus: (some material is duplicated above)
• Time for Creation: Worship Resources
• For the Love of …
• Oceans of Justice Campaign
• Hope for the Future
• Fossil Fuels: Divestment and Engagement
• Hunger for Justice
• Fast and Pray for the Climate

The link document can be accessed at

As mentioned above, there is no shortage of material for the creative worship planner as we seek to share our enthusiasm for God’s creation.

Grace and compassion to all, Ken Gray+

New York, New York – See you in September (wherever you are)

The information below is taken from a letter sent to all Anglican parishes in the Diocese of New York. Written by Dr. Jeff Golliher, chair of the diocesan environmental task pcm-id-1b-400-x-400-300x300force, it explains the actions taking place this coming September in New York City around a United Nations Summit and the Peoples’ march organized by Bill McKibbon and the secular group

There is so much happening that it is confusing to know who is doing what and why. Concerning the latter, the situation is urgent. Earth’s climate and energy and resource management are going in a very dangerous direction. Dr. Golliher explains the details and reasons for the various actions very clearly. This is worth a careful read.

Also please consider how you can initiate local actions where you live and send your intentions to so we at the ACEn can track and promote your local activities. This is a time for gathering, for reclection for advocacy and for prayer.

Modified text of diocesan letter now follows:

July 5, 2014

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

If you haven’t heard already, the People’s Climate March will take place in Manhattan, Sunday afternoon, September 21. This will be a hugely important and monumental event. I’m writing to encourage you, members of your congregation, and other friends to participate and/or to be involved in whatever way is appropriate and possible – and know that I’m writing with the support and blessing of our Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Andrew Dietsche. In addition, a culminating interfaith service of worship, after the Climate March, will be held at 6:00 pm at our Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

Below are a few web links that provide all the practical information you need. Plus, you can sign up to endorse the event, even if you can’t be there.

More details are available online at
The Facebook page is at
Questions may be sent to

It is worth taking a moment to underscore why the People’s Climate March is so important. Obviously, the Climate March is not really about the event. It’s about the dire, urgent situation we face as a result of the climate change/climate justice crisis. The Climate March and other related events on the weekend of Sept. 20 and 21 (organized by the World Council of Churches, Religions for Peace, Union Seminary, women’s groups, labor groups, and many others) are being held in connection with a one-day United Nations’ Summit (September 23), convened by Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

One purpose of the UN Summit (like the People’s March) is to bring even more attention to the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The whole point, to be blunt, is that we don’t have much time to do what needs to be done in order to avert the worst of a catastrophic environmental crisis that has already begun.

This message needs to be heard especially in the United States, where political action and leadership is needed on every level of government, in our financial centers, in our places of worship, and in our places of work. But not only in the United States: the Anglican Alliance has launched an Anglican Communion-wide campaign, called “Oceans of Justice,” to move the Australian government to put climate change on the global G20 agenda for November of this year. By going to this website — — and adding your name, you (and we) can show solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the Pacific too.

We also want to call your attention to the ecumenical, youth-oriented activities of the Franciscan Action Network and the Franciscan Youth Corps who are organizing events for the Climate March. Check their website periodically in the weeks ahead for updates about that:

If you can be in Manhattan for the Climate March, take your parish banner (or make one). We’re already involved, but it’s also a good idea to let people know who we are.

If you can’t be in Manhattan, you can still participate in your congregation on that day (Sunday, September 21) through reflection, discussion, and prayer. After all, prayer is a powerful form of action too. As our Anglican brother, Archbishop Winston of Tuvalu in the Pacific says, “We need to pray. We need to say very, very clearly to the church that we need to pray because this is something way beyond us. We need to pray that we will be empowered to speak clearly to our elected agents in government who make decisions about climate change.”

End of modified text.

WCC announces September Interfaith Summit on Climate Change

From the World Council of Churches, via the Anglican Communion News Service

The World Councilwcc sept 2014 of Churches (WCC) announced it will hold an Interfaith Summit on Climate Change on September 21-22 in New York City. At the summit, organized together with Religions for Peace, more than 30 religious leaders will take a united stand to encourage international and political leaders to address concretely the causes and consequences of climate change.

The interfaith summit is being held immediately before the United Nations (UN) Climate Summit, called by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, to galvanize and catalyze climate action, bringing bold announcements and actions that will reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience, and mobilize political will for a meaningful legal agreement in 2015.

WCC members said they hoped their united voice would be also heard at the upcoming Conferences of Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Lima in December 2014 and in Paris in 2015. “We will join our voices in the call for human rights and climate change to be addressed systematically,” said Daniel Murphy, campaigns assistant at the UK-based Environmental Justice Foundation. Murphy spoke to the WCC Central Committee, the governing body of the WCC which is meeting this week in Geneva.

This is a big power game”

The WCC has been addressing climate change issues for more than two decades, and now the effects of climate change on human rights has reached an urgent level, said Kirsten Auken, an advocacy advisor at DanChurchAid, a Danish nonprofit with the mission of supporting the world’s poorest people. Auken said the main message of the interfaith summit will be that “political leaders need to act to close the gap between what is needed and the lack of action on a political level. We, as church-related and faith-based groups, have an important role to play in pushing our leaders to be brave.”

In this case, “pushing” means capturing the attention of political leaders who are in a position to make a difference within the UN. “This is a big power game and we have to admit that,” said Auken. “We have to be the moral voice in this.” At the same time that WCC members challenge political leaders, they also need to take the initiative in their own lives to care for the earth around them, said Metropolitan Serafim Kykkotis, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa. “We must unite through our common action to save the planet and give our children a better future,” he said.

The 30 participants at the summit will represent groups made up of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Indigenous Peoples, and others, said Dr Guillermo Kerber, coordinator of the WCC programme on Care for Creation and Climate Justice. “The relevance is unprecedented because of the crucial moment we are living today. We have called for years to have a fair, ambitious and binding treaty on climate change.”

Kerber and the other summit organizers agreed that the USA is first among the nations that must lead the effort to take climate action, based on science, that can help protect the basic human rights of individuals in this generation and in future ones. US-based pastors and churches are adding their voices to the calls for action, said the Rev. Everdith Landrau, who serves with the Presbyterian Church (USA). “There are conscious programmes that have been trickling down to our local churches,” she said. “Those seeds are being planted.”

WCC’s work on climate justice and care for creation

Threatened by climate change, Kiribati buys land in Fiji from CofE

ACNS via The Guardian by Laurence Caramel

The people of Kiribati, a group of islands in the Pacific ocean particularly exposed to climate change, now own a possible refuge elsewhere. President Anote Tong has recently finalised the purchase of 20 sq km on Vanua Levu, one of the Fiji islands, about 2,000km away.kirabati

The Church of England has sold a stretch of land mainly covered by dense forest for $8.77m. “We would hope not to put everyone on [this] one piece of land, but if it became absolutely necessary, yes, we could do it,” Tong told the Associated Press. Kiribati has a population of about 110,000 scattered over 33 small, low-lying islands extending over a total area of 3.5m sq km.

In 2009 the Maldives were the first to raise the possibility of purchasing land in another country in anticipation of being gradually submerged. At the time the government looked at options in India and Sri Lanka.

Now Kiribati has taken action. “Kiribati is just the first on a list which could get longer as time passes,” says Ronald Jumeau, Seychelles ambassador at the United Nations, who took part in the international negotiations on climate change in Bonn last month.



Selfishness results in suffering – a #creation theme


A colleague preached the following at a neighboring church Sunday mordimas canjuraning June 22, 2014. Commenting on Matthew 10: 24-39 he said:

Remember that God is always working behind the scenes on our behalf. If this is the case, who shall we fear? As I said in previous sermons, we live in a consumerist society where the multinationals control everything and the system of globalization remains firmly implanted in the world. A system that is driven by the dollar, perpetuating and continuing to promote injustice, hunger, poverty and contamination due to the indiscriminate destruction of God’s natural resources and of the communities that live on His land. The selfishness of some people results in the suffering of many. Fear not those who continue to destroy God’s creations. As Christians it is our challenge, our duty to defend God’s creation, not only for our sake, but for the sake of generations to come; for the sake of all humanity.

Bravo Dimas. Dimas has been a priest for only a couple of weeks. As a lay person, and in his home country of El Salvador, he lived through the turbulent years following the assassination of Oscar Romero who he quotes with insight and ease. His love people and creation comes through in all his speech and reflection.

May God help us all to speak up, loud and clear as we confront the forces of evil which skulk about in our midst.

Ken Gray

p.s. What was preached in your church on Sunday, June 22? Anything about creation? Just askin’