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Seven local faith groups partner with EcoSociety to present monthly Kootenay Climate Vigils

By Contributor
July 20th, 2016

Nelson and area faith groups have teamed up with the West Kootenay EcoSociety to launch a monthly gathering, Kootenay Climate Vigil. This series will take place on the 22nd of every month with a major community event on Earth Day, April 22, in 2017.

Faith communities will take turns rotating the service amongst their centres and traditions and community members from all faiths and traditions are invited.

St. Saviour’s Anglican Pro-Cathedral, Ascension Lutheran Church, Kootenay Shambhala Meditation Centre, Nelson United Church, Yasodhara Ashram, Nelson Unitarian Spiritual Centre and Cathedral of Mary Immaculate Roman Catholic Parish have been working with the West Kootenay EcoSociety, as the Nelson Interfaith Climate Action Collaborative for over a year.

This vigil series is building on the successes of last year’s ground-breaking collaboration that delivered a seven-week interfaith discussion series on the Pope’s climate encyclical and 13-daily climate vigils during the Paris climate summit. These events engaged hundreds of local residents who identified with various faiths beyond those of organizing groups.

Interfaith community collaboration like this is rare in Canada. The group has been praised by groups in other communities for its work in bringing people together to take climate action, coupled with spiritual practice.

“Working with leaders from local faith groups has been profound and inspiring for me, both personally and professionally,” said Montana Burgess, Executive Director of West Kootenay EcoSociety.

“When leaders commit to climate action, people are empowered, and we get the changes we need to justly transition to 100% renewable energy.”

“In a time when some folk in our world want to emphasize separateness, as for example Brexit, or the sectarianism of many religious and political ideologies, in Nelson, we have chosen to emphasize our commonalities and what draws us together.  Because of our commitment to the whole world, we of many different faiths choose to come together to celebrate life in all its diversity,” said Rev. David Boyd, Nelson United Church.

“These interfaith vigils are an example of coming together and saying that unity is the only path to wholeness and justice.”

Schedule of upcoming 2016 Vigils

(More planned for 2017)

Friday, July 22 @7pm – Kootenay Shambhala Meditation Centre, 812 Stanley St., Nelson

Bringing Humanity into Harmony with the Elements: The Japanese Art of Flower Arranging

Monday, August 22 @7pm – Nelson United Church, 602 Silica St. Nelson

Chants for Climate Justice

Thursday, September 22 @7pm – Nelson Unitarian Spiritual Centre, location TBA.

Saturday, October 22 @7:15pm – Yasodhara Ashram, 527 Walker’s Landing Rd., Kootenay Bay, BC

Evening prayer vigil and community tour

Tuesday, November 22 @ 7pm – St. Saviours Pro-Cathedral, 701 Ward St., Nelson

Lowering carbon footprints

Thursday, December 22 – Shambhala Meditation Centre, 812 Stanley St., Nelson 

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