History was made on Friday, September 27 as over 1,000,000 people in communities across Canada took to the streets as part of the Global Climate Strike. Led by the global youth movement “Fridays for Future,” individuals and organizations across a broad demographic, and in every province and territory, came out to demand meaningful political action to address the climate crisis, and to stand in solidarity with youth around the world fighting for a livable future.
Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) staff and their families joined the Ottawa march, while CPJ members turned out at events in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Waterloo and Halifax. It was a momentous occasion that offered a welcome sense of togetherness, suggesting that many believe in an alternative way forward, and we can have hope for the future.
CPJ believes that every Christian is called to care deeply about God’s creation, just as God cares for each and every one of us. We have a responsibility, first and foremost, to demonstrate our respect for life and our love for the Earth. If human activities cause the warming of the planet, which in turn drives species towards extinction, intensifies natural disasters, harms human health and threatens the well-being of our children and grandchildren, then it inevitably becomes an issue of life and love.
Pope Francis declared September 1 as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation in 2014, to “renew our personal participation as custodians of creation.” To that end, CPJ members prayed together at the start of September and then, during the Global Week of Climate Action, hosted a week-long national prayer chain. From September 20-27, in homes and faith communities and green spaces across Canada, Christians offered prayers for creation. In Edmonton, Winnipeg and Toronto, CPJ members joined with inter-faith partners to host climate justice prayer vigils. In solidarity with one another and communities around the world, they shared, listened and prayed together.
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