News Story

Mormons Join Interfaith Cleanup in Montreal

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined with the Christian Jewish Dialogue of Montreal, the Eco Quartier Notre Dame de Grace (NDG), the Quebec Jewish Coalition for the Environment (TEVA) and the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism on 20 May 2013 to participate in the third annual Interfaith Eco-Action Day in Montreal, Quebec.

Several hundred pounds of garbage and recyclables were removed from the grounds of local school Marymount Academy, a park and a church. Volunteers also did the landscaping at a neighbouring senior’s residence.

Interfaith Eco-Action events have been organized within local Montreal neighbourhoods annually for the past three years as a practical expression of interfaith in action. These events demonstrate how people of different faiths can work together to support common values such as the belief that all are entrusted with the responsibility to care for the Earth. Members of the Church gathered together with other Christians, along with Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Unification and other community members to participate in this special interfaith event.

Despite the early morning rain, volunteers enjoyed serving in the community. “Faith is about action,” said one volunteer. “Events like this are really needed. This day is about doing something with people, doing something for the earth and bringing people together.”

City Councillor Susan Clarke reminded attendees that such cleanup efforts are done in the hope that they will positively impact the local environment. Clarke reminded participants that when they demonstrate respect for the environment in which they live, others are prompted to do likewise. As a result, people in the community are less likely to litter, produce graffiti and demonstrate other anti-environmental behaviours.

Several religious and community leaders in the Montreal area joined local stake president Eric Jarvis at the event, including Rabbi Lisa Grushcow of Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom; Craig Olenik, principal of the Marymount Academy; Dr. Victor Goldbloom, president of the Christian Jewish Dialogue of Montreal; and Laura Gallo, interfaith facilitator of the Concordia Multi-faith Chaplaincy.

Gallo summarized the value of such events when she said, “I value the Earth and all its abundance and resources. This is just a very small way for me to give back. This event brings great people together.”

Latter-day Saints work to foster relationships between religions that build trust and lay the groundwork for charitable efforts, working as partners in the many causes for good in the world. Members of the Church accept all sincere believers as equals in the pursuit of faith and in the great work of serving humanity.

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