Good Tidings         

The Earth, Spirit, Action Team (ESA) Newsletter

St. Matthew’s United Church  

November, 2022                                                                                   _________No.15_____  

                                    We Give Thanks for God’s Marvelous Works

“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished … and rested from all the work (God) had done in creation.  God saw everything, and indeed, it was very good.”  (Genesis 1:31 – 2:3 paraphrased)   

Welcome to Good Tidings, St. Matthew’s ESA newsletter providing information on global and local environmental and climate change issues; suggestions for personal and political actions to build a healthy planet; information about petitions; resources from other environmental groups; and links to worship and prayer opportunities.  We would like to hear your comments and views at



Prayers for the COP27 Climate Summit.

God of blessings, 
the universe sings of your glory. 
Deepen our gratitude for all you have made 
and awaken in us a renewed commitment 
to care for the earth and each other.

Inspire world leaders at COP27, 
with openness to listen to those most affected by climate change 
and with courage to act urgently and wisely, 
so that our common home may be healed and restored  
and all people, and generations to come, may delight in it. Amen.


“Story of the Great Turning”.                                       Climate of Hope Conference – October 2022

“The Story of the Great Turning is the story about ways that invent new systems that support life. We are all alive right now. What can we give that will build life?  Don’t pathologize the pain.  Acknowledge the wound but focus on ways of healing.” Joanna Macey

Climate of Hope Conference Gathers Halifax  Faith Communities.                                                         

An interfaith Climate of Hope Conference, sponsored by the Ecology Action Centre, Faith and the Common Good, and Faithful Footprints, was held at the Ummah Masjid and Community Centre in Halifax on October 29. Five St. Matts’ members joined others from Jewish, Muslim, Bahia, Unitarian, and other Christian groups at this conference. The focus was on bringing together diverse faith communities to exchange ideas and to explore ways in which faith communities can work together to deal with climate issues.  Workshops dealt with four topics: climate grief, political advocacy, energy efficiency/buildings, and green burials.  Each of these workshops gave valuable information and allowed time for questions and interactions. The discussions were lively and informative. Table groups then shared responses to relevant questions and talked about efforts going forward. It is hoped that the conference has inspired participants to seek ways as people of faith to support each other and thus strengthen our efforts in dealing with the climate emergency.  Watch for these in future issues of Good Tidings.   AMD.

Earth Spirit Action Report to Kirk Session November 5, 2022

Active leadership:  Paul Bowlby, Anne Marie Dalton, Elaine Murray, Ann Fay, Margaret Machum, John Nesbitt, Margaret Sagar. Committee on-line: 18 people.

  1. The Earth Spirit Action Team continues to be active in helping to move forward the St. Matthew’s Legacy project and making our building more sustainable. John Nesbitt has volunteered to join the property committee, and Elaine Murray is part of the second task force taking the next steps of the legacy project.
  2. During the summer, Earth Spirit Action participated in pulpit supply. Ann Fay spoke on biblical teachings related to the natural environment.
  3. Plans were made to participate in the Fridays for the Future Climate Strike (cancelled because of Fiona). Congregation was encouraged to participate in the alternate event, Fax Storm.
  4. Posters were designed and placed in the church display cases to celebrate Season of Creation.
  5. ‘Definitely not a book club’ was instituted … discussion of books on the climate emergency with emphasis on hopeful action. Meetings are held about every six weeks and chaired by Rev. Betsy Hogan. Anyone in the congregation can participate as often as they wish.
  6. A Lunch and Learn Series is planned for 2023. We are planning for 3 events beginning in January and held here at St. Matthews. Neighbouring churches will be invited. Possible speakers are being contacted.
  7. Five members of the committee (Paul Bowlby, Elaine Murray, John Nesbitt, Margaret Sagar and Anne Marie Dalton) participated in Faith and the Common Good and Faithful Footprints Conference, “Climate of Hope”, Saturday, Oct. 29, hosted by Ecology Action Centre. Anne Marie Dalton gave the opening address.
  8. The newsletter, Good Tidings, (edited by John Nesbitt and Margaret Machum), will continue to be distributed to the congregation each month. The committee works together to select relevant upcoming events and ways in which congregational members can participate in personal lifestyle changes or communal actions to influence political decisions.
  9. Members of the team frequently distribute (via the email list of those interested) alerts about upcoming climate change events, petitions to sign, relevant reading material, etc.
  10. The team also reaches out and participates in other related groups: Margaret Sagar regularly attends Kairos meetings and participates in prayer preparation for DEN (Anglican Diocesan Environmental Network). Anne Marie Dalton recently gave a presentation to the NS branch of Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) presently chaired by Laurette Geldenhuys of St. Matthews. Laurette is now a member of the board of the Ecology Action Centre; Anne Marie just finished her term as an EAC Board member but continues as a volunteer.


from the Climate of Hope Conference – Oct./ 22             “Epiphany is the source of gratitude. We can face the suffering and live through it.”

Petitions, Letters, and Actions…

The Ecology Action Centre is encouraging Nova Scotians to participate in their letter writing program in response to Premier Houston’s promise to listen to the views of Nova Scotians on the proposed development of a golf course in West Mabou Beach Provincial Park, publicly protected land. You may wish to support EAC’s opposition by using their letter writing program at:

United Church of Canada – For the Love of Creation.  The UCoC encourages us to write Ministers of the Federal Government and MPs urging support for legislation and initiatives related to climate change.  You can find current information on pending Bills at:  

Ecology Action Centre petitions NS Gov’t. to reverse its plans to fast track development in Sandy Lake – Sackville River. 

Sandy Lake and Sackville River form a popular nature space on the edge of Halifax's urban center. Its home to birds, bugs, animals, mosses and more, all nestled among some of Nova Scotia’s last remaining old-growth forests. The same area has been proposed for protection as part of Sandy Lake Regional Park. It shows up in multiple studies as a key area for wildlife corridors and is invaluable as intact, interconnected wild areas that help with the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. 

But on March 24 2022, the Provincial Govt’s  Task Force on Housing picked the Sandy Lake – Sackville River area as one of its locations to fast-track for development. HRM Councilors have recently shown an interest in keeping this important wild area safe, but their views were over-ridden by the provincial Task Force’s decision. 

Send a message to the provincial authorities who made this decision, and ask that the Sandy Lake “special planning area” be removed from their housing development list and protected!

To participate in this EAC petition go to:

United Church of Canada on Basic Livable Income. In July 2020, Moderator Richard Bott wrote elected officials encouraging them to seize the moment to roll out a universal basic income program in collaboration with the provinces, territories, and Indigenous leadership.

“It is my belief that our collective experience as Canadians during COVID-19 presents a vital opportunity.... Together we can take important steps to protect the health and safety of all Canadians going forward.” 

A growing movement of senators, Anglican and Evangelical Lutheran bishops, and many more across Canada are calling for a universal basic income. For more information on how you can support the call for a universal basic income go to:

For background information on basic livable income check out these two books…  Bootstraps Need Boots: One Tory’s Lonely Fight to End Poverty in Canada by Hugh Segal; and Radical Trust: Basic Income for Complicated Lives, by Evelyn Forget, & Hannah Owczar.  Review at:

Vigils for Climate Justice Nov. 11-13. Mid-way through COP27, candlelight vigils are a time to “reflect and share our love for the planet, our concern for all of Creation at risk from climate change, and our hopes for truly transformative action at COP and through each other.” There is still time to light a candle and pray. 

DEN morning group will hold a virtual vigil on Sat. Nov. 12th at 1:00pm.  Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 816 9763 1364, Passcode: 861700, One tap mobile.

Books Worth Reading…

Commanding Hope: The Power We Have to Renew a World in Peril by Thomas Homer-Dixon. Reviews at:  and Https://

The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times by Jane Goodall and Douglas Carlton Abrams.  Review at:


From the ESA ‘Eat Well’ Kitchen… 

Mushroom Ragout (approx. 4 servings)

2 tbsp of olive oil

I onion 

2 gloves garlic or one large

I tsp of thyme or equivalent fresh 

2 cups of veggie broth (can substitute wine for about .5 cup) 

1 tbsp. flour 

Some sprigs of fresh parsley

Salt and pepper to taste. 

Heat oil on med. high, sauté mushrooms, onion, garlic, thyme until no liquid remains. 

(About 8 min.) Stir in flour. Add .5 cups of broth (or white wine).  Stir until thickened. 

Add parsley. 

Serve on polenta, rice or small pasta.  

Anne Marie Dalton

from Climate of Hope Conference – Oct. 2022

“Is it possible to advocate for policy without being partisan? Absolutely!” “Go find your people. There is no magic formula. Be patient. Change happens slowly. Be ready when the window of opportunity opens. Help gov’t think it through. And be sure to ask for something!” 

from Climate of Hope Conference - Oct. 2022  “Human beings bring the gift of responsible agency”.

Praying with the DEN (Diocesan Environmental Network) continues on Fridays at 9:00 am.  To  link, email .  prayers are led by  DEN members who are deeply committed to praying for God's creation and for sharing interests, initiatives and information.  Individual members take turns leading the prayers which are followed by a time of discussion, conversation and sharing.  All are welcome to participate. Thanks to The Church of St Andrew for hosting.

                                                Another Prayer for the COP27 Climate Summit.


Creative God,
you gathered humanity along the sandy shores of the Nile
so long ago and placed in them the dream of eternity.

An eternity that inspired the building of great works
that would carry the stories and treasures of their present
into an unknown future.

Help us to imagine the future again.

Help us to build with all of our creative genius
new ways of being and living in this world
so that all we treasure today will have a hope in the future.

May the agreements and goals set at COP27
endure the test of time
and within them proclaim caring actions
that bind us into a worldwide family.

Through the power of all your Holy Names,
may it be so.

Rev. Gary Clark, Forest Hill United Church