Fort Garry Mennonite Fellowship is located in Winnipeg, MB, near the Red River. They are part of the Lake Winnipeg watershed. David Neufeld of Home St. Mennonite Church, Winnipeg, reports that he tested out the Every Creature Singing curriculum with a group of 60 enthusiastic adults at Fort Garry. He writes:
Psalm 104, which speaks of God’s love for creation, anchored the morning session. We imagined the Psalmist living in our watershed rather than near the Dead Sea. Small groups worked together to infuse verses 16 to 23 with references to Lake Winnipeg watershed. Here is one example:
The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly,
the oaks that He planted.
In them the birds build their nests;
the moose has its home in the woods.
The marshes are for the mallards;
the snowbanks are a refuge for the rabbits.
You have made the moon to mark the seasons;
the sun knows its time for setting.
You make darkness, and it is night,
when all the animals of the forest come creeping out.
The wolves howl for their prey, seeking their food from God.
When the sun rises, they withdraw and lie down in their lair. ….
Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all …
An essay Ched Meyers called “A watershed moment” encouraged us to become watershed disciples that care for our corner of God’s creation. We then talked about Lake Winnipeg watershed, which drains parts of four Canadian provinces and four USA states. Eight million people and 20 million livestock live in this watershed that drains to the tenth largest lake in the world. We talked about changes to water quality occurring as a result of nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations increasing in most rivers and streams across Manitoba. And we talked about the many sources of nutrients, including city and rural sources. Participants left the session with resources for further reflection/action for helping do our part to improve and restore the Lake Winnipeg watershed.
In addition to reflecting on their own watershed, Fort Garry has done the following:
• Changed all the ballasts in their lights to save energy.
• Placed more recycle boxes in hallways to ensure visibility and encourage use.
• Started a composting program with their own composting bin out back.
• Purchased an electric lawnmower.
• Installed a bike rack to encourage people to ride to church.
• Installed high efficiency furnaces.