Nelson faith groups hold daily climate vigils

The West Kootenay EcoSociety and Nelson and area faith communities are organizing daily climate interfaith vigils.

Earlier this year local churches rang their bells in climate solidarity. Now they are hosting daily climate vigils to coincide with international talks in Paris.

The West Kootenay EcoSociety and Nelson and area faith communities are organizing daily climate interfaith vigils during the Paris climate summit.

They will be convergence spaces for people of all faiths in Nelson to come together to send prayers and intentions to the global community and leaders working on getting a successful global deal to tackle the climate crisis during the Paris UN climate summit spanning the first two weeks of December.

The vigils will be hosted by different faith groups and be led in that respective faith tradition. On Sunday, Dec. 13 to mark the end of the Paris climate summit and pray for implementation of agreements from the conference there will be an interfaith pilgrimage in Nelson.

People are asked to meet at the White Building at 3 p.m., bring lanterns or flashlights, or use one of the candles that will be supplied. The group will walk to faith community and government buildings and stop to provide a meditation or prayer at each venue. The pilgrimage concludes at Nelson United Church.

The faith groups participating in organizing the daily interfaith vigils include the Ascension Lutheran Church, Cathedral of Mary Immaculate, Kootenay Shambhala Meditation Centre, Nelson United Church, St. Saviour’s Anglican Church, and Yasodhara Ashram.

“Let us make this vigil on climate as a bright and honest light to dispel fear and prejudice through our interfaith efforts to build greater friendship among ourselves. This will be our way, to paraphrase Pope Francis, to reach beyond ‘the globalization of indifference,’” says Conrado Beloso, rector of Cathedral of Mary Immaculate.

David Boyd, minister at Nelson United Church said: “This is a critical time in the history of our planet and all means — political, spiritual and social — need to be brought to bear to make the necessary changes to keep the global temperature rise below two degrees. With people of faith and goodwill around the world, I am hopeful that we will make the necessary decisions at the Paris climate change conference.”

The vigils are as follows:

Saturday: Nelson United Church 4 to 5 p.m.

Sunday: Brilliant Cultural Centre, hosted by Doukhobor community, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Monday: Ascension Lutheran Church, hosted by United Church, 10 to 11 a.m.

Tuesday: United Church, hosted by Zikr – Dances of Universal Peace Community, 7 to 8 p.m.

Wednesday: St. Saviour’s, 4 to 5 p.m.

Thursday: The Moving Centre, hosted by Yogi Bhajan community, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 11: Shambhala Centre, 7 to 8 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 12: St. Saviour’s, hosted by Yasodhara Ashram, 3 to 4 p.m.