A changed way of life

Faith & the Common Good launches Renewing the Sacred Balance: An interfaith initiative

By Rev. Dr. Ted Reeve
April 2004

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Scientists generally agree that our Western way of life is unsustainable. Indeed, we are consuming or destroying the basic elements of life—earth, air, water, and fire (energy)—at a faster rate than the natural world can conceivably handle. We are spending our children's future.

Renewing the Sacred Balance poster. Actual size: 12 x 20

Renewing the Sacred Balance poster. Actual size: 12" x 20"

We did not arrive at the current complex of ecological, economic and political challenges overnight, nor will we solve them in short order. There are few quick fixes. Yet we do know we need to act. We need to commit to a changed way of life, to live with a sacred awareness and an ethic of ecological sustainability. It is about renewing the sacred balance, rekindling our relationship with one another and with the entire community of life on Earth.

Faith & the Common Good is an interfaith organization that began several years ago to "seek common ground for the common good." As peoples of differing faiths and cultures, we affirm common values of compassion, justice, peace, human rights, and ecological sustainability as cornerstones of a healthy society.

Recently, Faith & the Common Good launched the Renewing the Sacred Balance initiative to encourage people of faith to deepen their awareness of the sacred and make concrete commitments to an ethic of respect, balance and harmony.

To assist in this spiritual journey, Faith & the Common Good has developed educational resources for use in faith and local community groups. (See the list of resources on the facing page.)

A short video introduces a few people of different faith/cultural traditions who have begun to renew the sacred balance in their lives. The video shows that small changes add up to exciting new opportunities and ways of life.

David Suzuki's Nature Challenge

As part of the Renewing the Sacred Balance campaign, we invite you to take the David Suzuki Nature Challenge. It is a straightforward set of actions that contributes to a local-global movement to save the planet.

Join with more than 100,000 others who have already agreed to such commitments as improving energy efficiency in their homes, eating healthier foods, supporting public transportation and getting involved in community organizing. Together, our small, concrete actions send a powerful message to political and business leaders that Canadians want environmental improvement and our leaders need to do their part.

Becoming engaged in the Renewing the Sacred Balance initiative begins the process of creating a sustainable future. If we pause to truly appreciate the beauty, awe and wonder of the world around us, we will see ourselves as an intimate part of the natural world and not somehow above it, having dominion over it, nor viewing it as a commodity for our use. If we place ourselves in the web of life and marvel at this inter-relatedness, we will live differently, our "ecological footprint" will decrease and we will learn to live with more balance.

To find out more or to connect with others involved in these initiatives, visit our website at www.faith-commongood.net or contact Faith & the Common Good, 47 Queens Park Cres. E., Toronto, ON, M5S 2C3; Tel: 416-978-5306; Fax: 416-978-7821.

Rev. Dr. Ted Reeve is the Coordinator of Faith & the Common Good. He is a religious social ethicist specializing in economic, health and ecological concerns.

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