What do Christian ministry and mission look like? Music? Prayer? Coffee and Tea? Feeding the hungry?

All good answers. 

However, sometimes following Jesus can be related to plumbing, specifically toilets. 

Let me explain…

In 2022 the Diocese made available to every parish up to $2000 as a “Climate Response Grant.” Parishes were invited to apply for an initiative to help them respond and adapt to the current climate emergency. Another way of saying it would be for us as churches to live into our baptismal promise “to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.” This is one of the 5 Marks of Mission we say together at every baptism and renewal of baptismal vows. 

After bouncing around a few ideas, St. John’s parish council decided to put the money towards replacing our toilets and urinal, both because they were old and breaking, but also because they used a lot of water.

There is a reason we baptize with water. It is holy. It is precious. It is life-giving. Our new low-flush toilets save litres of water with each flush, translating into thousands of litres of that sacred substance saved each year. 

The changing climate is leading to more extreme weather events and less predictable precipitation in our region. This is impacting the watershed that we are a part of, presenting itself as more frequent water restrictions and increased stress on our forests, wildlife, fish, waterways, and communities. Decreasing our water usage is a small but significant way to adapt to this reality. 

While it might seem simple, this initiative is a reminder that small everyday changes, added up and multiplied, can have a cumulative impact. Oh, and also, we can follow Jesus and live into our baptism in mundane ways, sometimes even one flush at a time. 

Thanks be to God!