Climate Justice Niagara

by James Newman

Our common home is also God’s own house, permeated by the Spirit of God from the dawn of creation, where the Son of God pitched his tent in the supreme event of the incarnation. (Joshtrom Isaac Kureethadam) 

Introducing Climate Justice Niagara (CJN), formerly known as Greening Niagara, with a new and broader focus and mandate about the most important issue facing us today — climate change! Sadly and tragically our common home with God is in poor health and in steep decline. But God made us stewards and protectors of the earth. The Gospel calls us to challenge and change the unjust structures in society that oppress and marginalize people, including the injustices that contribute to the climate crisis. In that call we find a building block of Niagara’s Mission Action Plan: “Prioritize social justice action with an emphasis on environmental justice.”

Our work involves prayer, education, action, and advocacy. We are seeking to engage all Anglicans in our Diocese and beyond so they, in turn can do their part in engaging our society. Environmental justice is a massive concern that comes with significant barriers — we’ll need to identify them, so as not to spin our wheels. If our objective is to have a cleaner environment, for example, that’s great, but too broad. CJN’s objective is forming up like this: To ensure that all Anglicans in Niagara, lay and clergy, understand environmental stewardship and advocacy to be inherent in their Christian spirituality and action. That’s doable. And our specific objectives must be measurable, e.g., at least 30 signed personal letters from constituents to each MPP by December 1. That’s timed and measurable.

Best practice in advocacy includes simple, clear, urgent, and repeated messages such as “the stewardship of all creation is a Christian imperative.” Different segments of the Diocesan community, such as clergy, seniors, young families, youth, and newcomers, may well frame advocacy in their own context. Our intent is to create a critical mass of knowledge, conviction, personal action, and advocacy. We’ll also need to influence public policy. That requires mapping decision making processes and clearly identifying the decision makers and influencers. We will have to compete for attention, and decide where to place our efforts.

Climate Justice Niagara is developing a new website and a new logo. Our profile will be local, regional, and national. Watch for more details about the following events: First, all Christians are invited to give particular attention to praying and caring for God’s creation as part of the Global Season of Creation, observed from September 1 to October 4 every year. On September 26, 2020, 9:30 – noon, Niagara in Action will feature Ashley Wallis from Environmental Defence, and Dawn Davis’ presentation on single use plastics. On October 14, 2020, Dr. Diane Saxe, one of Canada’s most respected environmental lawyers, with over 40 years’ unparalleled experience writing, interpreting, and litigating Ontario’s energy and environmental law will be presenting a webinar, Creation Care that Counts. 

We can all be powerful advocates for change but we must be more intentional about sharing our passion for the stewardship of our common home with God. It’s a Christian imperative!

For more insight see our revised web site at
niagaraanglican.ca/climatejustice