Liturgy in a Time of Climate Crisis

The Collegeville Statement from Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission

In the hottest summer on record on our planet, the Council of the Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission (APLM) met from July 17 to 21 to launch a year-long program accompanying six congregations in the US and Canada as they develop new resources and practices for worship and mission  in response to the urgency of the climate crisis. Gathering at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, MN, and making creative use of the beautiful oak groves, lakeshore, and wooded paths of the grounds, about two dozen participants deepened their understanding of the climate crisis, explored how existing  resources for prayer, theological reflection, liturgy, and ministry can be brought to life in ways that respond to the climate crisis, and tried on new practices of liturgical planning, and community action.

The conference featured addresses by Amy McCreath, on the project and the work of the conference; Juan M.C. Oliver and Peter Nunnally on  methodologies for  planning worship; Andrew Doss on the urgency of the climate crisis; Timothy Brunk on liturgy and the land; Samuel Torvend on liturgy and the climate crisis; Kerri Meyer on the ministry of Good Courage Farm, and John W. B. Hill on the practice of mystagogy, with  Celeste Geldreich and Maylanne Maybee on participation in the project during the coming year. 

The gathering and launch of the year-long parish partnerships are made possible through a Vital Worship Grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Grand Rapids, Michigan, with funds provided by Lilly Endowment Inc. In the months ahead, APLM Council members will accompany worship committees at each of the six partner parishes as they develop, offer, and reflect on contextually-responsive worship and develop missional partnerships that respond to the climate crisis.

The congregations involved in the project are: 

St. Andrew’s Church, Ayer, MA – Diocese of Massachusetts; Christ Episcopal Church, Tacoma, WA – Diocese of Olympia; St. Columba’s, Inverness, CA – Diocese of California; St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church, St. Paul, MN; Salal + Cedar, lower Fraser Watershed, metro Vancouver BC – Diocese of New Westminster; and Sunshine Coast Anglican Collaborative, Sechelt, BC – Diocese of New Westminster 

Participants were reminded  of the warning from scientists  that unless the wealthier nations can reduce carbon emissions to net zero in the next seventeen years, our planet will continue to get hotter until all human life is extinguished.

In light of this grave crisis, and grounded in our conviction that worship forms God’s people for mission, APLM calls the Anglican Church of Canada and the Episcopal Church to respond vigorously and immediately by developing new resources and practices in worship. APLM also calls all dioceses and congregations to develop action-oriented mission programs at the local and national level to respond to the crisis. 

These actions are in keeping with General Convention resolution A057, “Liturgical experimentation and the creation of alternative texts,” and with General Synod resolutions A203 and A204, which encourage members of the Anglican Church of Canada to live out the Fifth Mark of Mission and baptismal covenant, to “strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth”; and all parts of the church, among other things, to reduce the carbon impact of travel for meetings and undertake actions that demonstrate the church’s commitment to address the climate crisis.

Finally, APLM also calls on the General Convention, the Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada and their bishops to actively promote serious, responsible liturgical creativity in this time of crisis.     

More information about APLM and our resources for robust and contextualized liturgical planning can be found at our website,

Water Ceremony

At our May meeting, Salal + Cedar’s Mutual Aid and Solidarity Team decided to contribute funds to the Tsleil-Waututh Nation Sacred Trust’s Water Ceremony so that Elders from out of town could attend. Sacred Trust is an initiative of Tsleil-Waututh Nation focused on stopping the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMX), a project approved by the Canadian government without the consent of the Nation and this year Salal + Cedar paid our voluntary “land tax” to TWN Sacred Trust.

On June 25th I attended the ceremony which invited the public to connect and deepen their relationship with water in the face of TMX. Rueben George, a member of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and manager of the Sacred Trust Initiative, began the day with a welcome to the territory and gratitude to those that had made the day possible. Paddlers were then called to head out on the water in three 35-foot ocean-going canoes that paddled as close as possible to the Burnaby TMX Westridge Marine Terminal. Near the giant oil drums, they rafted the canoes together as the matriarchs voiced powerful words, songs, and prayers to their ancestors and creator and offered sacred earth to the waters.

Returning from the water a circle of 150 came together to join in the ceremony led by Elder Minnie (Grinder) Kenoras, Red Hummingbird Woman (Judy Wilson) and Sun Woman (JoAnne Buffalo), Xaliya (Ta7ah – Amy George), Ts’simtelot (Charlene Aleck) and Roxanne Charles. The women offered powerful and inspiring words to keep moving this work forward, and to never stop protecting the waters and all living beings. Young water carriers such as Kayah George were called to speak and lifted spirits by saying the orca are probably having a rally right now too.

The ceremony included witnesses from/representing the furthest participants south, east, north and west, two of whom I sat with at the feast and got to know a bit better. Jim Leyden, whom we supported with court costs and with presence at his Supreme Court appeal was there, blanketed, and spoke at the feast. Several members of Salal + Cedar attended and Ruth Ruth Walmsley was blanketed with thanks for her work with the Prayer Circle which gathers at the Watch House on Burnaby Mountain on the Second Saturday of each month.

By Adele Finney (Mutual Aid and Solidarity Team) with information from Sierra Club BC

Blessing of the Bicycles

On May 31, Salal + Cedar celebrated on of our most anticipated and colourful traditions together with Open Way Community Church. Half a dozen people gathered for a service that included words from mystic Hildegard of Bingen, “Just as the wheel encloses within itself without limitation, and it exceeds everything.” and from the prophet Ezekiel, “I saw a wheel on the earth beside the living creatures, one for each of the four of them. As for the appearance of the wheels and their construction: their appearance was like the gleaming of beryl; and the four had the same form, their construction being something like a wheel within a wheel. When they moved, they moved in any of the four directions without veering as they moved. Their rims were tall and awesome.”
At our new location in the Cedar Cottage neighbourhood almost every passing cyclist, many of them families, stopped for snacks, conversation, prayers, and tune-ups from our excellent mechanic Agnes.
In the words of our intercessory prayer that day: Creating God, We give thanks for all those who cycle, scooter, wheel, walk, bus, or carpool as a way to be mindful of and care for your creation, and for those who travel this way because it is what they can afford, we ask you to bless them and keep them safe. Amen.

Beltane Confirmation

In a beautiful and complimentary juxtaposition, Salal + Cedar council member Francis Hart D’Emilio was confirmed in the Anglican church on the morning of Saturday May 6 and led the community in a celebration of the cross quarter day Beltane or May Day, in the afternoon. The outdoor service included fire, mead, a may crown, and was attended by a very enthusiastic Anna’s hummingbird. We share a collection of photos for your enjoyment and the order of service for you to adapt and use.


Host/Leader will lay out a simple elemental altar: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water will be represented thusly in a cross formation:

Earth: Stone
Water: Vessel filled with water
Air: A feather (most likely from a woodpecker)
Fire: Candle

Cauldron with a charcoal burner for burning resin-based incense in the centre

Wine and Bread will also be present on the altar. Because we are not having a Eucharist/Communion, the bread,  water,  and wine will be offered to the Earth.

Territorial Acknowledgement

All of Metro “Vancouver” is unceded, stolen Coast Salish land. Most of our work takes place on the ancestral and occupied territories of the x?m??k??y??m (Musqueam), s?wx?wú7mesh (Squamish), and s?l?ilw??ta?? (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations. The Metro Vancouver area is home to nine First Nations communities who have been stewards of this land since time immemorial and whose Rights and Title have never been extinguished: the Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, Tsawwassen, Katzie, Kwantlen, Kwikwetlem, Matsqui, and Semiahmoo First Nations. As advocates of justice, solidarity, and respect, we must always remind ourselves of the historical injustice of colonialism that makes our gathering here possible, and to redress the injustices that continue to pervade our institutions, society, and culture. It is our responsibility to each other and to future generations to go beyond land acknowledgements and confront the ongoing systems of colonial oppression and exploitation in Canada.

Intro to Salal + Cedar’s Work

Through outdoor worship, we seek transformative encounters with the species and geography of the Fraser River to the Salish Sea basin and the wider Cascadia bioregion. We explore wilderness, sustainability, and justice themes in Christian scriptures and Anglican social teaching, and we learn about our roots and roles as individuals and as a church, in the multi-racial, labour, and Indigenous-Settler history of lower-mainland British Columbia.

Check-in – names, pronouns, access needs

Host/Leader lights a candle, incense should already be burning


The Beltane Blessing
Originally from the Carmina Gadelica I, 183–185
Taken from Esther de Waal, editor, The Celtic Vision, pp. 26–27

Bless, O Threefold true and bountiful,
Myself, my spouse, and my children,
My tender children and their beloved mother at their head.
On the fragrant plain, on the gay mountain sheiling,
On the fragrant plain, on the gay mountain sheiling.

Everything within my dwelling or in my possession,
All kine and crops, all flocks and corn,
From Hallow Eve to Beltane Eve,
With goodly progress and gentle blessing,
From sea to sea, and every river mouth,
From wave to wave, arid base of waterfall.

Be the Three Persons taking possession of all to me belonging,
Be the sure Trinity protecting me in truth;
Oh! satisfy my soul in the words of Paul,
And shield my loved ones beneath the wing of Thy glory,
Shield my loved ones beneath the wing of Thy glory.

Bless everything and every one,
Of this little household by my side;
Place the cross of Christ on us with the power of love,
Till we see the land of joy,
Till we see the land of joy.

What time the kine shall forsake the stalls,
What time the sheep shall forsake the folds,
What time the goats shall ascend to the mount of mist,
May the tending of the Triune follow them,
May the tending of the Triune follow them.

Thou being who didst create me at the beginning,
Listen and attend me as I bend the knee to Thee,
Morning and evening as is becoming in me,
In Thine own presence, O God of life,
In Thine own presence, O God of life.
(A shieling is a hut or collection of huts on a seasonal pasture high in the hills, once common in wild or sparsely populated places in Scotland. A Kine is a group of cows

Intro to Beltane

A major Celtic festival to mark the beginning of summer. The festival is associated with fertility. In Scottish Gaelic Bealtuinn means May Day, and in modern Irish Gaelic Beltaine is the name for the month of May.

Beltane is a Cross-quarter- halfway between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice

Gospel Readingtwo readers (one read, pause for reflection, second re-read)

 John 14:1-14

Reader:  The Gospel of Christ

All: Praise be to you Lord Jesus Christ

Time for Contemplative Reflection:

The assembled people are invited to take some time for reflection in the garden however that feels right for them. When people come back, Host/Leader will offer them some small bits of paper to write down something they would like God’s help with. What would you like to bring into existence or let go of? Write that thing down, and drop the little paper into the fire.

After folks have dropped their papers in the fire…

Prayers of the People 

In peace, we pray to you, Lord God.


For all people in their daily life and work;

For our families, friends, and neighbours, and for all those who are   alone.

For this community and the world;

            For all who work for justice, freedom, and peace.

For the just and proper use of your creation:

            For the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression

For all who are in danger, sorrow, or any kind of trouble;

            For those who minister to the sick, the friendless, and the poor.

For the peace and unity of the Church of God;

            For all who proclaim the gospel, and all who seek the truth.

For John, our bishop, and for all bishops and other ministers;

            For all who serve God in Their Church.

For our own needs and the needs of others.

For everyone who is homeless, refugees, internally displaced persons, people living on the streets and in insecure housing; we pray for and honour the life and memory of Jordan Neely, a talented young black man who, for expressing that he was hungry and tired, was murdered by a group of strangers in New York City on a subway car this past Monday. May his memory be a blessing. We pray for help as we confront organized evil inherent in this capitalist system, which has always sought to divide the people with racism, classism, and fear of the Other.

We pray for members of the Salal + Cedar community (individuals and particular situations can be named aloud)

We pray for all victims of sexual violence, especially those harmed by the church; the people of Sudan; the rights, safety and wholeness of trans and non-binary persons, especially femmes of colour; the worker injured at a Trans Mountain pipeline worksite; for justice for all workers;

We pray with and for: white-crowned sparrows, epidonax flycatchers, ruby-crowned kinglets, dark-eyed juncos, steller’s jays, and black bears. Amen

Host/Leader extinguishes candle and cauldron.
Host/Leader, or any other person pours out the water and wine and places the bread at the foot of a tree.

May the blessing of the Creator be always with us.
Thanks be to God!

Talk About Spiritual!

By Penny Connell

On April 29th I participated in Salal + Cedar’s third training for improving wildlife habitat on church grounds. The Rev. Laurel Dykstra, Gitxan and Nisgaa herbalist Leona Brown, and Rev. Elizabeth Mathers presented this workshop at St Clement’s in North Vancouver. It easily made the point of spiritual riches emanating from a native garden. At St. Clement’s Elizabeth and others have been at work rewilding the grounds for nearly seven years. 
We at St. Bart’s in Gibsons have been awarded a grant of $550 to undertake the rewilding/restoration of our grounds so that they mesh with the undisturbed areas of the land we live on—land we have marred by our “civilization/acculturation” of it over the last 150 or so years here on the coast.
At the workshop we were given a great planning document and a list of resources, a list which does a lot of initial leg-work for us. These resources also open the door to more money in the form of grants. A further, charming take-away is a Bug Hotel and the materials and information with which to furnish and place it. As well, we enjoyed the company of wise, engaged, informed people and time to talk with them. We also received their assurance of support.
The great gift I received personally was the experience of sitting and walking in the gardens. Talk about spiritual!—and yes it was spiritual—and, I would say, religious! I participated in my very first smudge. I am so grateful that I could attend. I’ve come away with an abiding sense of peace and positivity!

40 Birds of Lent

I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects in the fields are mine.

Psalm 50:11

Patrick Kangrga the Minister for Christian Formation for Children and Youth at Grace Episcopal Church in Newton, MA has picked up parts of Salal + Cedar’s Lenten practice of attending to the Holy Word in creation. Their Intergenerational Formation program was focused on birds for National Birdfeeding Month. A former staff member who is into birding talked wonderfully about birds. Participants made birdfeeders and loved it. People thought 40 Birds of Lent, a practice of noticing, was a wonderful idea. We are super excited to share our ideas and practices with other communities.

Salmon, Cedar, Water

the Sacred Life Spirit that moved us to action is also stirring and moving others to do good

By Galina Freed

Every year, members of my faith community, Salal + Cedar, join members of the Indigenous community in Chilliwack for their annual Salmon, Cedar, and Water ceremony. This year was my first time joining.

There’s something uniquely special about meeting the new year with like-minded people. Not many of us knew each other, but we all gathered to be in this place near the Blue Heron Nature Reserve to acknowledge the past and to greet the uncertain future together by setting our intentions for the new year.

There is so much I could say about this. About how easy it was to imagine a time when humans could turn into animals, a time when humanity saw itself as a part of nature, not as something separate from it. And about how easy it was to believe that, whenever we walk in nature, we do not walk alone, as we are surrounded by our non-human family – all around us, above us, and below us.

But the main thing that stood out to me from Eddie Gardner’s teaching was the invitation to not be fearful or distressed at the state of the world, because other people everywhere are doing good things.  I took it to mean to be a call to trust.

It is, indeed, easy to be discouraged and distressed when we begin to believe that we are the only ones working for justice, or doing the “right stuff”.  However bleak things may seem from time to time, it is important to trust that we are not alone, and to recognize that the Sacred Life Spirit that moved us to action is also stirring and moving others to do good.  

May the new year bring joy, hope, and power to you, your families, and your communities. May God’s Sacred Life Spirit work in you and in people around you, and may we see the fruit of that work in the year to come. 

May God’s Sacred Life Spirit work in you and in people around you, and may we see the fruit of that work in the year to come. 

Mutual Aid Update

We have been supporting “Gwen” through our mutual aid and solidarity team. We are pleased to get this update and encourage folks to continue their support.

At the go fund me campaign

or by e-transfer to with the password friendsofgwen

Does your prayer have roots?

A Wee Gay Wedding

What a joy it was to be a part of Victoria and Steps and celebrating and blessing their marriage. Steps, Victoria and their little one Marigold are a family who we know through Queerest and Dearest Camp. Sea and sky, wildflowers and hummingbirds, family and friends were witnessed their vows as we gathered at New Brighton Park on the Burrard Inlet.
May God all loving bless Victoria and Steps in their life together.
May we who have witnessed this commitment to love and exchange of vows be encouraged and uplifted by them and may we be given the strength and understanding to support and uphold all those who choose love. In the name of the Creator, Christ and Holy Spirit.
A sweet theme of fruit was echoed in song, scripture, wardrobe, menu.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23

For the fruit of all creation,
thanks be to God.
For these gifts to ev’ry nation,
thanks be to God.
For the plowing, sowing, reaping,
silent growth while we are sleeping,
future needs in earth’s safekeeping,
thanks be to God.