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GSS Ottawa

Faith & the Common Good

Interfaith Partners for Sustainable Communities

Sherri Kelly, Ottawa Baha’i Centre, Ottawa

“Greening Sacred Spaces has inspired our faith community with the knowledge and resources to move forward toward a practical approach in meeting our responsibility of stewardship for our planet.” 

Mark Steiman, Shaarei-Beth El, Oakville

GSS services has been a catalyst helping us adapt operations to reduce our costs as they coach us to embrace more eco-friendly behaviour. It’s all broadening awareness of social responsibility.

Rev. Joanne Hedge, Applewood United Church, Mississauga

Greening Sacred Spaces allowed us to celebrate, learn and move forward to more fully live with respect in Creation.”

Deborat Laforet, St. Paul’s United Church, Oakville

GSS has been amazing to work with and they have connected us with other agencies in the community, which has helped us with our goal of reaching out and being of service to our community.

Sustainability Themes





Blog Posts

  • We’re hiring!

    Are you inspired to work with faith communities to help them go green? Are you interested in the links between environmental stewardship and spirituality in the Ottawa area?

    Position Title: Sustainability Intern
    Location: Ottawa, Ontario
    Date: July 2023, minimum of 26 weeks
    Compensation: $20/hr, 30 hrs/week

    Qualified interns are:

    • Between the ages of 15-30 (inclusive);
    • Canadian citizens, permanent residents or persons granted refugee status in Canada (refugee protection must be conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; does not include persons awaiting refugee status, as well as those who hold a temporary visitor visa, student visa or work visa)
    • Legally allowed to work according to the relevant provincial and Canadian legislation and regulations;
    • Available to work for at least six months;
    • Not previous participants of a federal youth employment program;
    • And not employees of Greening Sacred Spaces Ottawa prior to the start of their internship.

    Summary of role: The Sustainability Intern will work under the guidance of, and be accountable to the Program Coordinator and Greening Sacred Spaces’ Board of Directors. They will also work with a Mentor from another environmental group to help guide them in their role and take part in a nonprofit Intern Training Program provided by the Capacity Building Institute throughout their internship.

    The intern will focus on building and strengthening our faith community & other external stakeholder relations within our network, supporting three of our active programs:

    1. The Ottawa Faith Community Capacity Building Program: assisting 6 faith communities in carrying out projects that support and/or reduce their impact on freshwater, including shoreline cleanups; water retrofits; energy/heating retrofits; community education; and community/stormwater management/native plant/pollinator gardens.
    2. The Energy Benchmarking Program: tracking and creating reports on the energy use of at least 40 faith buildings and assisting at least 10 faith communities in completing energy-saving retrofit projects.
    3. The Faithfully Green Fund: a loan program to assist faith communities with energy-saving retrofits.

    Duties & responsibilities:

    1. Establish and maintain relationships (via email, phone, virtual or in-person meetings, etc.) with Ottawa-based faith communities, faith community members, contractors, investors, other non-governmental organizations, and the general public of the Ottawa community, with the aim of promoting and supporting GSS Ottawa’s programs. 
    2. Collaborate with at least 15 faith communities participating in current programs to carry out projects, retrofits, education, and practical actions that support/protect local natural resources, reduce a faith community’s carbon footprint, and/or increase energy efficiency. This collaboration will include meeting regularly with faith communities, assisting with workshops, and on-the-ground physical work. 
    3. Assist faith communities in gathering energy data, including liaising with local utilities companies, in order to create energy benchmarking reports. 
    4. Plan a “Green Gathering” event for faith communities featuring environmental charities/not-for-profits, contractors, government programs, and utilities companies, to provide knowledge-sharing, solidarity, interfaith dialogue, and education.
    5. Create reports and articles on GSS Ottawa’s programs, including maintaining written and visual records of projects. 
    6. Maintain organizational digital databases and data entry using our database platforms (NationBuilder and Pipedrive).
    7. Examine how the GSS integrates Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), as well as Indigenous Traditional Knowledge (ITK), into its operations, and make recommendations and connections for further STEM and ITK development for the organization.
    8. Perform other duties as necessary.

    Knowledge & skills:

    • Knowledge of/experience in community-based action, particularly environmental action.
    • In-depth knowledge of natural resources, energy efficiency, building retrofits, outdoor greening, and/or Indigenous Traditional Knowledge, or a willingness to build capacity in these areas.
    • Communication: effective reading, writing, speaking and active listening skills over the telephone, video chat, email and/or in-person.
    • Organization, coordination and time management skills; ability to prioritize tasks, follow timelines, and meet project deadlines.
    • Ability to work well both in a team and independently, including strong self-motivation.
    • Networking and interpersonal: ability to build and maintain trusting and cooperative working relationships with both internal and external stakeholders.
    • Assets include bilingualism (French and English) and familiarity with faith-based communities and/or environmental non-profits. 

    To apply, please send a cover letter and resume through the Eco-Internships portal here and indicate that you are applying to Greening Sacred Spaces Ottawa. Email charlie@greeningsacredspaces.ca with any questions.

  • Heart Land: Youth Ecological Grief Session

    Our youth leaders took a journey around the spiral last month! 🌀

    We were fortunate to have Heart Land lead the January mentorship session of our Green Youth Leadership Program.

    For the past couple of months, Heart Land has generously collaborated with us through our Green Youth Leadership Program, from supporting the program through sponsorship to leading a workshop with the youth. Their session on ecological grief has played an integral role in expanding the scope of teachings available for the youth and in the youth’s development as climate leaders.

    It was a lovely and successful session of healing! Heart Land facilitator Robin guided us through a series of exercises and techniques aimed at enriching our mindfulness. We were able to broaden our understanding of earth care, practice reflection, and deepen connections with the people and life around us. Skills very much needed for the future of the planet and within the environmental sector!

    Visit Heart Land’s website here: https://www.griefintogrowth.com/

  • 🌱Green Youth Leadership Program Launch

    Our Green Youth Leadership Program saw it’s official launch back in November 2022, and since then, we have had great progress in the mentorship and development of the youth projects we are working on! Here’s a look at what we’ve been up to!

    Since it’s inception, we have hosted two successful, virtual mentorship sessions where youth were able to explore themes commonly encountered in the environmental and nonprofit sectors. In November, we kicked off the program by focusing on self-leadership, and then in the following month, we turned our attention to engagement organizing. With this mentorship, the youth have also been hard at work organizing and planning the environmental projects that we will see materialize in the springtime of this year. Some of the projects they are working on are: educational student activities, clean-ups, and youth engagement.

About Us

Greening Sacred Spaces (GSS) Ottawa is an environmental, interfaith, nonprofit organization that provides inspiration and practical tools for faith communities to become more environmentally sustainable in order to reduce their environmental footprint and deepen their spiritual connection to nature.

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Charlie Scromeda

Program Coordinator greeningsacredspacesottawa@gmail.com

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136F Billings Ave
Ottawa, ON K1H 5K9

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