Faiths 4 Climate Justice action recap

Or Shalomniks among over 100 individuals at Faiths4Climate Justice action

A report from the Tikkun Olam Co-ordinating Committee

It was a pleasure working with the Vancouver Greenfaith organizers to create Oct. 17’s Faiths4Climate Justice event, and we were thrilled to see so many Or Shalom community members there!

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In advance of the upcoming COP26 UN Climate Change Conference, we were one of more than 420 such multi-faith global demonstrations, calling on national and international governing bodies to urgently step up policies and actions to ensure a just and liveable future for today’s children and generations to come.

The gathering started with the powerful singing and drumming of Paddle Songs by host nations: Mary Point, of the Musqueam Nation and Clarissa of the Squamish Nation. Chief Judy Wilson of the Neskonlith Nation (near Chase) welcomed and transported us with moving words to the spiritual heart of the matter: Saving Mother Earth, on whom all beings depend. Chief Wilson then led the Seven Directions ceremony, with Stacy Gallagher (Anishinaabe) of the Burnaby Watch Tower assisting.

There were musical offerings from bells, shofars, and the Solidarity Notes choir. Stephen Aberle of Ahavat Olam offered Jewish words of wisdom about Torah being a Tree of Life, and the many Jewish participants – including Or Shalomniks as well as Rabbi Adam Stein of Beth Israel – sang along to the Tree of Life with Aberle’s beautiful voice leading. Rabbi Laura Duhan-Kaplan shared a creative and resonant midrash centering on the story of Noah and the Raven on board the ark.

Along with moving contributions by a minister from Lytton there were also words of wisdom and songs from Christian friends, interspersed with teachings from the Quran and warnings of the human and environmental costs of militarism. The event closed with Buddhist words of loving kindness, caring and peace.

Despite the rain, 128 of us were present at the peak of Sunday’s Faiths4Climate Justice event. After the ‘biblical’ downpour, approximately 50 stalwarts remained. There is no question that the Or Shalom contingent was the largest and most spirited, with over two dozen Or Shalomniks braving the wind and rain!

There will be many future opportunities for us to raise our voices and grow our presence on taking action in the climate crisis, and we look forward to joining with Vancouver Greenfaith and other activist groups to demand climate justice.

Pictures are courtesy of photographer Avril Orloff. Additional photos of the event are available at Diane Lake’s page on Flickr as well as on the Greenfaith Facebook page.

(This event cost 50% more than planned because of honoraria to Indigenous guests. We invited two: four came. If you didn’t get a chance to make a donation or would like to increase it, please email

Thanks to the Tikkun Olam Co-ordinating Committee for organizing Or Shalom’s participation.

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