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Going green closes gap between people and God

Source: DreamstimeKeeping tabs on one's ecological footprint not only helps to protect the environment, it also connects one to God.

"When we recognize the importance of and seize the opportunity to take care of God's creation, we are getting closer to him," says Sarah Harding, a Christian ecologist.

Harding is a lecturer for Gardiens de la Création, a Christian initiative offering parishes the necessary tools to address the environmental crisis.

Brian McDonough, director of the Social Action Office of the Archdiocese of Montreal, agrees.

"Converting to greener practices gives us a deeper sense of our rootedness in the mystery of creation," says McDonough.

McDonough says there are everyday green habits people can embrace that will help them develop a greater respect for God's creation.

He encourages families to adopt simple practices, such as turning down the thermostat by a few degrees, opting for more energy-efficient light bulbs, and drinking tap water instead of bottled water.

Being conscious of the degradation of the environment incites a change in people, he adds.

"We become more aware of the sacredness of our existence and connection to other creatures," he says.


Harding says the importance of the interrelationship between God, humans and nature dates back to biblical times. The Bible, she says, is packed "with examples of the importance of creation."

She also refers to Saint Francis of Assisi, a friar who lived in the Middle Ages and preached the call of all humans and creatures alike to praise God and to look after the natural world.

Harding says adopting greener church practices will also strengthen people's relationship with God. She recommends that parishioners read biblical accounts about nature and creation, such as the story of the Garden of Eden and Noah's Ark in the Book of Genesis.

She also suggests that parishes opt for more ecologically friendly celebrations of the Eucharist, by using locally made altar wine and consuming hosts made with organic flour.

Jennifer De Freitas

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