St. Matthew’s Earth Spirit Action Team Survey Results 

The team is very grateful to everyone who responded to the survey. We received 40 responses; this was the limit that Survey Monkey (our version) would handle and a significant number given the size of our Congregation. However, if you had attempted to answer the survey after it was closed, please be in touch with someone on the committee (e-mails below); your ideas are always welcome. Below is the summary of results as well as brief responses to a few queries that were made by participants. 

The areas of highest interest were (from highest to lowest):

Focus on Local Issues … 72.5%
Eco-projects on the grounds ….70%
Knowledge and awareness of general issues …. 67.5%
Ideas for personal lifestyle earth-friendly practices   ……52.5 %
Environment-themed worship/prayer …45%
Petitions and write-in campaigns to politicians …30%
Group sharing of grief, hope, expectations … 7% 
Opportunity to attend virtual events sponsored by other groups…5% 

While the team will focus primarily on the areas that got highest interest, we will also attempt to respond as best we can to areas where a large number were somewhat interested, the highest rated being 

Group sharing of grief, hope, expectations 
Environment-themed worship/prayer. 

Obviously, eco-projects on the ground are largely dependent on the results of discussions regarding the repairs and future construction, uses, etc. of our building, as well as the construction happening next door to us. Of course, that doesn’t mean that discussions of possible ideas would have to wait.  “What if…” questions are highly desirable!  

There is already a suggestion already for a Green Roof on whatever the present “gym” turns out to be. 

The team has met and you will see some of our efforts to respond very soon. 

There were also a few questions/comments at the end of the survey: 

1. RE a suggestion for something on Ethical Investments (also called RIs or Responsible Investments).  This is an important and growing movement. There may well be folks in the congregation that are well-versed in this and whose response would be very welcome. Robert Yves Mazerolle at Assante Hydrostone is one expert here in Halifax.  He recently did a presentation for the Anglican Diocesan Environmental Network (DEN) and it is recorded. We may be able to get access to the recording. Right now if you subscribe to DEN on their website you can access the you tube recording. There are also a lot of other resources on this website. 

2.  Suggestion on Green Roof – mentioned above. 
3. 2 Questions re the relationship of climate change issues and specifically to worship/prayer: 
         There is a long history of religions responding to environmental problems. Certainly since the 1970s there has been increased involvement with the examination of Christian relationship to the growing environmental problems. This has grown naturally out of our belief in a God who reveals God’s-self in two major ways: through creation (as creator and sustainer of all there is) and through history, specifically through the Incarnation of God’s Son and the actions of the ever-present Spirit.  There are many references in Scripture to the participation of creation in the adoration of God and to the responsibility of humans (as made in God’s image) to respecting and protecting God’s creation, finding God in creation, etc.  Christianity has always had a theology of creation and worship what includes many references to creation as a symbol and medium of God’s presence.  Right now, the planet is in jeopardy and this will affect us all but will affect more vulnerable groups much sooner and to a greater extent. Certainly, it will be a huge challenge for our children and grandchildren. There is virtually 100% agreement among scientists that climate change is advancing for the worse and the vast majority agree that this is due to human activity. For Christians, this is a challenge as we are talking about a sacred creation (coming forth as an act of love from a Divine Source); hence there are statements from almost all major churches encouraging congregations to get informed, to pray and to act for a just response and solution to climate change. 
In Canada, the United Church was one of the first to make such a statement. Obviously, there is much more that can be said on this – volumes in fact.  Thank you very much for the questions. We look forward to further exploration. There are also many resources if anyone is interested please contact one of us. Some will be circulated by the ESA team.  
Other emails are available on request. 

Anne Marie Dalton:
Elaine Murray:          

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