The UCC General Council has long acknowledged that the global climate crisis poses a grave threat to our planet and must be tackled urgently. To be a truly credible and inspiring climate change leader, we are putting our own house in order.
The united church is committed to reduce its carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.
In 2016 the UCC General Council commissioned Caring for Creation, Our Communities and Our Congregations: The Case for a National Carbon Reduction Program for Faith Buildings. Faithful Footprints’ 5-year plan is the beginning of implementing those learnings, to move the UCC into a leadership position in building energy efficiency and climate action.
The energy used to light and heat UCC faith buildings is one of the UCC’s largest carbon contributors – and also one of its biggest expenses. This is where we will focus our efforts.
Faithful Footprints program highlights include:
A public commitment announcement of 80% reduction by 2050 to launch the program and invite participation, during the GC43 in July 2018.
A public goal of engaging 500 United Church congregations in the program by 2025.
Establishing a national grant program for reducing financial barriers to building efficiency work.
A five-year staged implementation, building partnerships with congregations and local organizations in key regions, beginning with regions with existing support and expanding into regions with the greatest opportunities for emission reductions. (2019-2020: regional support hubs piloted in Atlantic Canada and Prairies; 2020 - 2022: regional support hubs expanded nation-wide)
Providing regional input into a United Church National Climate Action Advisory Circle, to advise on the high-level vision, track project progress, and ensure smooth coordination with and input into various areas of the UCC’s climate related work.
An annual Sustainability Report and communications plan that tracks progress, amplifies the stories of congregations, uncovers barriers and connects the dots with other UCC Creation Care actions.
About the team
Rev. Christine Boyle, Advisor
Christine Boyle will act as our climate action advisor. Councillor Boyle was elected to Vancouver City Council in 2018. Christine is a community organizer, climate justice activist, and United Church Minister, born and raised on unceded Coast Salish territory in Vancouver, BC. She is passionate about tackling inequality, contributing to climate solutions, and deepening democratic engagement. Christine has an BSc in Urban Agriculture and First Nations Studies from UBC, and an MA in Religious Leadership for Social Change from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.
DR. lucy cummings, Program Coordinator
Lucy Cummings will be managing overall program implementation. Lucy is the Executive Director of Faith & the Common Good. Prior to her work at Faith & the Common Good, Lucy lead Seacology UK, a non-profit environmental group devoted to protecting island biodiversity using a community-based approach. A Mandarin Chinese speaker, she was a professor of global politics at the University of Hong Kong for ten years. There she explored the impact of environmental degradation on global security. She also consulted with the Hong Kong government on its global environmental reputation.
Stephen Collette, Building Grants Manager
Stephen Collette can answer your grant application and faith building questions. Stephen is the Building Audit Manager for Faith & the Common Good. Stephen created the Green Audit for faith communities. Stephen owns his own company, Your Healthy House, which carries out indoor environmental building inspections and consulting. Stephen is a Certified Building Biology Environmental Consultant, a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional and a Building Science Specialist of Ontario.
David Patterson, benchmark manager
David Patterson will be helping grant applicants measure and benchmark the impact of their greening work using Energy Star Portfolio Manager. David is Faith & the Common Good’s energy coordinator. David has been consulting through his company, Proterra Sustainable Solutions Inc. since 2007. He has performed over 60 audits of faith buildings for Greening Sacred Spaces’ Green Audit and Solar Audit programs and has also planned and coordinated the installation of multiple geothermal, wind and solar systems on private dwellings.
Mardi Tindal, National Mentor
Mardi Tindal will be acting as “mentor-in-chief”, helping the program to more effectively engage United Churches and connect this work with national climate conversations. Mardi has brought energetic leadership throughout her career as an educator and facilitator, writer, broadcaster and church leader. Tindal was the 40th Moderator of The United Church of Canada (2009-2012). During her term as Moderator she collaborated with faith leaders throughout Canada and around the world, to encourage action on the moral challenges of global warming, climate and ocean change. For her, the work of healing soul, community, and creation is an interwoven effort. Right relations with Indigenous Canadians is among her priorities. More recently, she’s been in the public eye as co-founder of Wine on the Porch, a Toronto co-housing community motivated in part by her desire, with that of her spouse Doug, to further reduce their carbon footprint after giving up car ownership 7 years ago. She and Doug are members of Windermere United Church which is beginning its involvement with Faithful Footprints.
Kalen Taylor, Prairies Coordinator
Kalen Taylor is our Prairies regional hub coordinator. Kalen is the Executive Director of Purpose Construction, a social enterprise construction company in Winnipeg’s North End, creating long-term supported employment opportunities for people with barriers to employment. Prior to this, Kalen co-founded Aki Energy Inc (2013), a nationally award-winning Indigenous-owned social enterprise, that focuses on growing green economies in First Nations communities through renewable energy, and Meechim Inc. (2016), an Indigenous-owned social enterprise that works with First Nations to strengthen healthy local food systems. Kalen has an Executive Masters in Project Management from the Schulitz School of Business (2015), and LEAN Green Belt certified through the Desaultes School of Management (2016) at the University of McGill, and is a graduate of Oxford University’s Executive Social Finance Program (2017).
Ben Grieder is our Atlantic regional hub coordinator. Ben grew up learning the value of faith based institutions after attending a variety of churches in PEI and Nova Scotia throughout his youth. He has worked as a Community Energy Planner, and an Efficiency Projects Coordinator, his goal being to help people understand the benefits of energy efficiency, energy conservation and renewable energy. Ben is an energy guy; when he walks into a room, he evaluates the type of light being used and the brightness being emitted before even looking at anything else. Ben enjoys looking at the whole system rather then a specific category or problem.
About Faith & the Common Good
Faith & the Common Good (FCG) is a national, interfaith charitable network founded in 2000 on the belief that our diverse faith congregations and spiritual communities can be powerful role models for the common good. FCG supports diverse faith and spiritual communities contribute to greener, healthier, more resilient neighbourhoods.
Find out more at: www.faithcommongood.org