Monday, March 28, 2011

Church Leader's Green Initiative Heads East to Ottawa

United Church of Canada Moderator Mardi Tindal
photo credit: United Church of Canada

TORONTO, March 28, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - When Mardi Tindal was elected Moderator of The United Church of Canada in August 2009, she knew that managing her carbon footprint would be difficult during a three-year term where she would be expected to travel extensively. So she challenged the church to help her reduce the impact of that travel by taking actions that offset the carbon emissions that would accumulate as a result of fulfilling her role as Moderator.

But she also wanted to do more, so she pledged to limit her travel by air, and to do as much travel as possible using "green-friendly" transportation. She kept that promise last fall by scheduling her regional visits to northern Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta as a month-long journey—travelling much of the time by train.

Now Tindal's Spirit Express train journey is heading east—travelling between Toronto and Ottawa, with stops along the way in Cobourg, Belleville, Kingston, and Smiths Falls.

During this leg of her journey, Tindal will host three town hall meetings focused on environmental concerns and the care of creation in Cobourg, Smiths Falls, and Ottawa. Later in May, she will travel by train to Halifax to visit the church's Maritime Conference, and in October 2011, she'll board the train once again connecting her visits to Hamilton and London Conferences.

Tindal sees the town hall meetings as opportunities for soulful conversations about how we can find ways to live abundantly within the natural limits of God's creation.

"We need to be able to celebrate people's stories of hope—their green achievements—as well as hear their stories of suffering and concern about climate and ocean change," says Tindal.

People interested in tracking the Moderator's travels on the Spirit Express can do so by visiting