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Before attending the mass environmental protest Friday at the Manitoba legislature, the city’s religious leaders are inviting Winnipeggers to sit silently for 60 minutes praying for the Earth.

Two simultaneous prayer services are scheduled for 10:45 a.m. at All Saints’ Anglican Church and Broadway Disciples Church, locations chosen for their proximity to the legislative grounds, where the global climate strike takes place from noon to 5 p.m.

Mike Sudoma / Winnipeg Free Press</p><p>Lynda Trono (left), with Corinna Mintuck, says Prayers for the Earth is a non-partisan event.</p>

Mike Sudoma / Winnipeg Free Press

Lynda Trono (left), with Corinna Mintuck, says Prayers for the Earth is a non-partisan event.

"We’re doing this in response to young people who are fearing for the future of the Earth," said organizer Lynda Trono of West Broadway Community Ministry.

"Every faith tradition should be all over it, because it’s about creation, it’s about respect for integrity of creation."

Leaders from 15 religious traditions will speak or pray for up to five minutes each, and they have all been invited to share wisdom from their tradition, but not preach, said Trono.

"This is political, but it is non-partisan," she said.

"This is for all of us. Climate change will affect all of us."

Two Sikh musicians are scheduled to play traditional sacred music at All Saints’ Anglican, and a choir from Westgate Mennonite Collegiate is to sing during the service at Broadway Disciples United.

Buddhist Tanis Moore plans to recite a short prayer for the Earth and then lead the people assembled at Broadway Disciples United in meditation.

"In an event like this, we’re all standing together for the same reason," said Moore, who practises Buddhism in the Jodo Shinshu tradition.

While climbing to the top of the world in May, when he summited Mount Everest, Winnipeg teacher Dalip Shekhawat witnessed melting glaciers, high winds and other extreme weather due to climate change.

"We lost two climbers because of the extreme weather," said Shekhawat, who will offer prayers from the Hindu tradition.

"I saw heavy winters, very strong winds."

Trono encourages participants to bring signs and symbols of their faith to communicate the diversity of religious traditions coming together to pray for the Earth.

The prayer services are a public opportunity for people of faith to support young people calling for action on environmental issues and also offer them hope during an uncertain future, said Lutheran Bishop Jason Zinko of the Manitoba-Northwestern Ontario Synod. "The hope in this is God will work in the world despite what we do, but it will be easier if we work alongside God," he said.



Brenda Suderman

Brenda Suderman
Faith reporter

Brenda Suderman has been a columnist in the Saturday paper since 2000, first writing about family entertainment, and about faith and religion since 2006.

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