January 7: DEN a patchwork quilt – sewing the blocks together (Colleen Cameron)
Epiphany is a sudden moment of perception, realization, of understanding. This first gathering of 2021, we will return for a third season at the beginning of Epiphany to reflect on our call to care for the planet, to consider how we might live out our love for God’s Creation, to review the mission of DEN. This is a time to reflect on why we are connected to the DEN, what it means to us, individually and collectively, as a community. Come as you are, with your thoughts, fears, hopes and dreams for the future, the future of our children, grandchildren, great-grand children and generations to come.
January 14: Ecological Citizenship (Anne Marie Dalton)
What will it take to get to a just and sustainable society? What are the demands on our daily lives? How does one live the new reality? Pope Francis encyclical Laudato si challenged the world, but Christians in particular, to become ecological citizens. Ecological citizenship was already in secular use as a term but Pope Francis must have found it quite congenial with the requirements of Christian/religious commitment. For centuries the Christian church (as one example) created a habitat for Christian life; all the facets —rituals, preaching, visual art, story telling, education, governance, etc. all cooperated in instilling virtues and morals consistent with Christian life in the world. While such all-inclusive socialization can be and often was oppressive and even dangerously cruel (and Francis is well aware of this), there is important wisdom here also. Modern sociological studies also support the fact that whether intentional or not, there is an operative “habitat” or citizen formation to which we are all more or less subject. Can our contemporary religions offer an alternative, challenge the normative habitat and encourage ecological citizenship? Must we and what would need to change to accomplish this?
Anne Marie Dalton’s interest in ecology began in the 1970s while an undergraduate student in biology. Her graduate studies were in Religion and Culture, focussing on the relationship between religion and ecology as a student of Thomas Berry at Fordham University. She is a retired professor from Saint Mary’s University where she researched and taught in the areas of Religion and Ecology, Science and Religion, and Ecofeminism. She has led or been a participant in environmental projects in China, Vietnam, and Mongolia. Her publications include two books: Theology for the Earth and Ecotheology and the Practice of Hope. One of her latest publications was an analysis of the religious roots of the concept of ecological citizenship as used by Pope John Paul in his encyclical Laudate si. She is currently co-chair of the board of the Ecology Action Centre and worships at St. Matthew’s in Halifax. Her favourite and most spiritual thing to do is to walk in nature.
January 21: The vulnerability of homeless persons to climate change in challenging times (Brianna Maxwell)
Brianna will discuss the connection between climate vulnerability and homelessness, and how key local actors are responding to these challenges. The presentation will conclude with a discussion on opportunities for action. Brianna Maxwell is an urban planner who graduated from Dalhousie Universities Bachelor of Community Design program in May 2020 after completing her thesis on the vulnerability of homeless person to climate change in HRM. Brianna continues to pursue her interests in sustainability, social justice and planning through her work at FBM Architecture | Interior Design | Planning, and the Nudge Global Impact Challenge.
January 28 Ethical Investments (Robert-Yves Mazerolle)
Robert-Yves Mazerolle, CFP, CIM, RIS Robert-Yves MAZEROLLE is a partner emeritus and co-founder at Assante Wealth Management Hydrostone, where he works as a Senior Wealth Advisor. He is a graduate in Service Management with the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and has furthered his education with the Institute of Canadian Bankers, the Financial Planning Institute of Canada, as well as the Securities Institute of Canada. Before founding his practice in 2000, Robert-Yves worked in the banking industry and served with the Canadian Armed Forces (Navy) for several years. He has been volunteering in his community of Nova Scotia for the last few decades in several organizations. Currently, he serves as Honorary Consul for France in Halifax, President of the board for Fondation Nationale de l’Acadie and as Vice-President of Société Promotion Grand-Pré. As part of his Wealth Management practice, Robert-Yves is passionate about proactively educating his clients on Responsible Investing, Impact Investing and ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) factors in the investment process to foster a better, greener, more sustainable and equitable world. He and his associate, Marc Pinet, both hold the RIS (Responsible Investment Specialist) designation delivered by the Responsible Investment Association of Canada.
Feburary 4 Climate Action & Municipalities (Ruth Bishop & Brenna Walsh, Climate Action Hub)
Feburary 11 Forestry
Feburary 18 Ecological Despair (Nancy Blair)
Feburary 25 Reducing our carbon emissions (Ben Grieder)
March 4 Waste Reduction (Amy Hillyard)
March 11 Green Burial (Ray Mattolie & Louisa)
March 18 The Art of Sharing (Dale Cook)
March 25 First Nations Relations (Albert Marshall)
April 1 Hope & Inspiration (DEN artists)
April 8 Gardening - Planting the seeds of change (Gerald Giles)
April 15 Marine – Managing fisheries & protected areas (Shannon Arnold)
April 22 Blue whale poo and the challenges of climate change (Dvid Ireland)
Dave Ireland has studied and worked in the environmental sector for the last 25 years – he was a young ecologist in Algonquin Park, a curator of conservation at the Toronto Zoo, a director of biodiversity at the Royal Ontario Museum, and now a project manager with Parks Canada at Kejimkujik. Dave believes good storytelling is critical to protecting nature and has spent his career helping scientists tell their stories. Join Dave for an exciting virtual talk about 4, loosely connected, stories: 1) leeches love frog eggs, 2) roadlessness, 3) whale poo and our carbon budget, and 4) alien invaders of Kespu'kwitk.
April 29 Stations of Creation (Donna Giles & The Rev Marian Lucas-Jefferies)
Sept 10: Celebrating Season of Creation: From Grieving, to Hope, to Action. Understanding Eco-grief and our role in Creation. (Nancy Blair)
Eco-grief can be terribly painful. Some people feel it when they hear of the loss of a species, others when they watch the destruction of a habitat, others when they learn how environmental racism affects a community Some people experience eco-grief when they see that a beloved place they wanted to share with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren is ruined by ‘development'. It is easy to move from eco-grief to eco-despair. However, as people of faith, we can choose to view eco-grief as a gift that helps us to understand, or perhaps remember, that we are part of creation. We humans are not here to possess creation, to take whatever we want; we are here to protect and love and live as part of creation. Eco-grief can be the first step to remembering how deeply we are connected with the rest of creation and how much we need to love and care for all of creation - for our own mental and physical health. From there, we need to move to hope through action. Different people are called to act in different ways. But in order to be people of hope, we must Act. Nancy Blair is a member of DEN, a Registered Counselling Therapist, an environmentalist and social justice activist. She is a parishioner at St. Paul’s on the Grand Parade in Halifax.
Sept 17: Celebrating Season of Creation: Let’s Start at Home 1): Our gardens - sharing the harvest, saving seeds and preparing for the winter.
This week the focus is on your gardens:It has been a summer to try new things and the sold out garden centers were testament to the interest in gardening. The variety of our gardens was as diverse as each of us.....containers on apt. balconies, planting in existing beds at a new house, building raised beds or using a third of a front yard as a vegetable garden.
The Environment Network encouraged us to share our garden photos with that broader community. Now we would like to share our gardening stories with each other.
Did you try a vegetable garden for the first time this year? What lessons did you learn? What questions do you have? Did you enjoy your garden and the harvest? Will you do it again next year?
We would love to have you join us as we celebrate our triumphs and laugh at our foibles. It has been a unique summer. Let’s enjoy the recap of our ventures.
Sept. 24 Celebrating Season of Creation: Let’s Start at Home 2): Greening our Churches
Ben Grieder is passionate about Community Energy Planning, Electric Vehicle Transportation, Active Transportation and anything related to Energy Efficiency. Ben graduated from Acadia University with a Professional Studies degree in Community Development and Environmental Sustainability Studies. In recent years, he has worked as a Community Energy Planner, his goal being to help people understand the benefits of energy efficiency, energy conservation and renewable energy. Most people have heard of accountants, well Ben is a slightly different kind of accountant where he focuses more on Greenhouse Gas Emission Accounting. He is also an energy efficiency specialist, with a background in building sciences and energy analysis.
Oct. 1 A Holistic Approach: Moving into the Community, A Transformative Mosaic: Opening ourselves up to new ideas, new approaches, new options. E.g, Counting what counts, GDP vs GPI (Gwendolyn Colman)
Founded in 1997, GPIAtlantic is an independent, non-profit research and education organization committed to the development of the Genuine Progress Index (GPI) – a new measure of sustainability, wellbeing and quality of life. This Thursday evening, we welcome Gwendolyn Colman, Executive Director of GPI Atlantic (Genuine Progress Index) as she explains this new measure of progress and explains how we can create a genuinely sustainable economy “that delivers prosperity without damaging the most valuable things on earth - like clean air and water, fertile soil, nurturing families, strong and vital communities... and balance the real costs and benefits of economic activity, including the costs that aren't at all obvious... To build a sustainable economy, we need tools of analysis that properly value social, economic and environmental assets, tools that carefully appraise both costs and benefits, and balance them against one another. That's what's known as "full-cost accounting. And that's what the Genuine Progress Index is designed to provide.” http://www.gpiatlantic.org/about.htm
Oct. 8 A Holistic Approach: Moving into the Community, The Antigonish Movement: A foundational approach and template for social change, caring for all of creation (including the poor/marginalized) and a post pandemic Just Recovery. (Colleen Cameron)
This week Colleen Cameron will join us in conversation about the history of the antigonish movement, the basic premise, the impact of the movement and how it can be applied in the environment movement. Colleen served with the Coady International Institute as a member of the faculty after retiring from the School of Nursing. Her history with Coady precedes her teaching career: “My father taught at Coady and my mother worked with Dr. Coady. She helped him write his book Masters of Their Own Destiny.” Noting that Dr. Coady officiated her parents’ wedding, Colleen quips: “I guess you could say that it was in my blood.”
Oct. 15 Moving out into the community: Resource extraction (SuNNS) (Kathryn Anderson)
"Gold mining is one of the most destructive forms of mining and the Warwick Mountain gold mine is proposed to be located in an area of 30,560Ha that includes the French River Watershed. This watershed provides the clean drinking water to the Village of Tatamagouche and also connects to other bodies of water throughout the North Shore. There is no adequate protection for the watershed; therefore, a gold mine would impose a large risk on our water supply." (www.sunns.org/)
Sustainable Northern Nova Scotia (SuNNS) is a group of concerned citizens working to ensure environmentally sustainable, locally-driven economic and community development in northern Nova Scotia. We are a politically non-partisan group. Check our website : www.sunns.org
Among their goals are:
(1) to work towards a sustainable future by offering a realistic economic alternative to extractive industries;
(2) resist any activities that would be obstacles to this vision. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/www.sunns.org/)
Oct. 22, Moving out into the community: Water Protectors (Elder Dorene Bernard)
Elder Dorene Bernard will speak for the water and about the Grassroots Grandmothers water protectors and their efforts to care for Creation, including the just and sustainable use of all creation for the good of all the earth and all life.
“Alton Underground Natural Gas Storage is already under construction in Alton, Nova Scotia. A Calgary company Altagas is building this extremely large unconventional underground storage facility which will use large amounts of Shubenacadie river water to drill into salt caverns. Once the water is fully saturated with salt, underground elements and drilling fluid it will be diluted with more river water and then directly discharged back in to the same Shubenacadie River. This is of great concern since this unique river ecosystem is in a very delicate balance and is home to several endangered and at risk species. The discharge site is right near the mouth of the Stewiacke River, one of the last breeding grounds for striped Bass and also habitat for endangered Atlantic Salmon. The construction of such a large deposit of natural gas in an unconventional facility raises a number of concerns. Still the company has received all necessary approval. An overruling by the Minister of Environment, premiere or a legal protests could still stop the project before the dumping takes place.”
Oct 29 Moving out into the community: Deforestation (Helga Guderley)
Helga has a PhD in comparative physiology. She retired from 30 years of research and teaching in the Biology department at Université Laval and moved to Boutiliers Pt in 2010.
Living by the seaside and looking across at forested hills is a wonderful setting for retirement. However, after a few years, it became apparent that the forested hills across the bay were Crown Land and that despite the horrendous impacts of clear-cut logging on the soils, drainage, biodiversity and tourism, they were up for harvest.
Opposition to these clear cuts was the beginning of her efforts to slow the deforestation of Nova Scotia. Encouraged by the activism of many citizens, she began a letter writing campaign and an online petition that in the end succeeded in modifying the harvest plans so that they left the cadges of the Rails to Trails untouched and placed a number of areas on delayed harvest. An online petition asking Premier McNeil to stop using biomass for power generation went viral and garnered 30000 signatures quite rapidly. While this only led to a small change in policy, it kick-started the Healthy Forest Coalition (HFC) which has become a major voice for improved forestry policies. Our advocacy, together with that of the Ecology Action Centre, led the government to commit to the review of forestry practices.
Helga works with the HFC and the St. Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association. She is a member of the Parish of French Village, the Chebucto Hiking Club and volunteers with Rails to Trails.
Nov 05 Moving out with the Community: Climate Action with Extinction Rebellion (Padraig Mac Gheangaich)
Patrick Yancey has been active in organizing around social and environmental justice for over a decade in groups such as the Blue Dot movement for environmental rights, Fair Vote Canada and the Antigonish Community Energy Co-op. Since 2018, he has been an organizer and spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion Nova Scotia. Patrick has given dozens of talks and workshops around the province on topics such as solar power, the climate crsis and non-violent direct action.
Nov 19 Learning from the Dawn of Capitalism: “The Painting” – what is it telling us about consumerism, greed and poverty? (Stella Lord)
Nov 26 Our Daily Life: End of year review. (The Rev. Marian Lucas-Jefferies)
DEN response to motion to 2019 Synod:
Dec 3 Preparing for Advent: (The Rev. Gerald Giles, Co-chair, Creation Matters)
April 2 Protecting what we love (Nancy Blair, DEN)
April 9 Maundy Thursday
April 16 Grounded in Faith, Creation Advocacy (Nancy Blair, DEN)
April 23 Sacredness of Water (The Rev Marian Lucas-Jefferies)
April 30 Sacredness of Water Part 2 (Kelly Schnare and The Watermark Project)
May 7 Community Gardens; How we live our faith in these times (Brenda Leenders, Canadian Foodgrains Bank)
May 14 A Fireside Chat with Archbishop Ron Cutler
May 21 Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples (The Rev. Canon Ginny Doctor)
May 28 Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) (May Karri Munn-Venn, Senior Policy Analyst)
June 4 Black Lives Matter (Emma Norton)
June 11 Alton Gas Water Protectors (Robin Tress)
June 18 Healthy Forest Coalition (Nina Newington)
June 25 Managing change in respect to environmental challenges (Margaret Bateman Ellison B.Sc.HEc., B.Ed., MS., PhD)