Moderator Mardi’s Blog: Spirit Express #1 rolls into the station

As I rolled into Toronto’s Union Station yesterday, I felt too overwhelmed by stories and reflections to pull them apart for telling quite yet. After 52 discrete events or gatherings in 27 days, they will take some time to sift and sort. Visits throughout Alberta and Northwest Conference were as extraordinary as the others, and different of course.
More stories and reflections from the past month will come, but as I now move into four days of meetings of the General Council Executive, I will share only a few today:

In Winnipeg I met Elliot, a university student, who told me churches are in the best position to inspire hopeful action on climate and ocean change because we know how to build community. When people feel a strong sense of community, he points out, they take more responsible environmental action.

Elliot is only one of many amazing people I’ve met while travelling Canada by train to host town hall meetings on the challenge of climate change and our response as people of faith. The “Spirit Express” is one of the ways I can reduce carbon emissions.

I’ve also met:

Rosie, a civil engineer and Christian who has travelled only by train since 2006 in order to reduce her carbon footprint.

Megan, a young church member, who said, “This is something my generation will have to deal with.” When I asked Megan what she needs from us, she said, “To listen; to support us and help us.”

Paul, an engineer working in sustainability studies, who said “Science isn’t enough to change minds. We need people of faith to change hearts.”

The journey and conversation continue. Perhaps you and I shared one of those 52 events over the past month. If you happen to be here, I’d love to hear your comments in addition to the many wonderful follow-up e-mail messages to our conversations I’ve already received.