News Story

Montreal Mormon Volunteers Put Faith Into Action at Interfaith Eco-Action Day

Montreal members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined the Christian Jewish Dialogue of Montreal to celebrate their fifth annual Interfaith Eco-Action Day on 18 May 2015. More than 170 volunteers from various faith traditions gathered in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve to green and clean Parc Dézéry-Lafontaine, Parc Hochelaga and Parc Raymond-Préfontaine.

Hundreds of pounds of garbage and recyclables were removed from the parks by enthusiastic volunteers who also removed graffiti from park benches and picnic tables. The event was organized in collaboration with the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism, the Christian Jewish Dialogue of Montreal, Concordia Multi-faith Chaplaincy, Éco-quartier Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve and the Quebec Jewish Coalition for the Environment (TEVA).

City councillor Richard Celzi, who attended on behalf of the mayor of Montreal, recognizes the importance of the event, commenting, “This 5th annual Interfaith Eco Action Day reminds us that, although we are lucky to benefit from these (green) spaces, they still need our care.” Member of national assembly Carole Poirier was also present, and said, “I am happy to have hosted this religious eco-action initiative in Hochelaga Maisonneuve. Religious diversity must inspire us in our pledge to live better together.”

Eco-action events have been organized annually for the past five years within local Montreal neighbourhoods as a practical expression of faith in action. Organizer Catherine Jarvis said of the event, “We want to show the power of faith in our community, to make a positive difference. Volunteers who work together come to know that, although faith traditions may vary, we have much in common, including the desire to take care of the earth and to live in healthy and safe communities.”

This year, volunteer students from local high schools and Concordia University worked alongside agnostic, Anglican, atheist, Buddhist, Catholic, Jewish, Lutheran, Latter-day Saint, Unitarian and Universal Peace Federation community members. Past events have been held in Côte-des-Neiges, Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Shaughnessy Village and Saint-Henri.

Latter-day Saints believe that we are all stewards of the Earth. Former President of the Church Spencer W. Kimball said, “We are a throw-away people. ... Now we ask you to clean up your homes and your farms. ‘Man is the keeper of the land, and not its possessor.’ ... We look forward to the day when, in all our communities, urban and rural, there would be a universal, continued movement to clean and repair ... and to make our properties a thing of beauty to behold. ... Therefore, we urge each of you to dress and keep in a beautiful state the property that is in your hands.”

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