Deforestation and How the Church Is Helping
Deforestation in action.

Deforestation makes a bigger impact on the planet than people care to believe.

Canada is no stranger to deforestation, in which trees are cleared to make land available for non-forest use. The deforestation rate in Canada is 0.02 percent, making Canada a leader in sustainable forest management. Most people believe that deforestation occurs through harvesting trees or forest fires, but the reality is that deforestation only occurs when forests are permanently removed. The government regulates forests on public lands, about 94 percent of the forests in the country. When trees on public land are harvested, the land must be reforested, typically through planting. And it’s not urban development that is the biggest contributor to deforestation. It’s actually converting forested land to agricultural land.

The Unfortunate Truth about Deforestation

The rest of the world isn’t quite as fortunate. Experts report that over 13 million hectares of forest around the world have been cleared to make room for alternative uses. Trees are cut down for many reasons:

  • Agriculture – farmers need more land for crops and livestock.
  • Logging – trees are cut down for wood and paper requirements.
  • Biofuels – palm oil is becoming more popular, and many forests in Malaysia and Indonesia are being harvested to produce this biofuel.
  • Fuel – trees are harvested for firewood to heat homes and for cooking.
  • Roads and highways – forests are being cut down to make roads.
  • Mining – forested areas have a lot of minerals, making them vulnerable to mining operations.

How to Fight Back

The loss of forests contributes to a loss of habitat and an increase in global warming, as well as more erosion and flooding because the trees do not hold the soil down. As a global society, we must do our part to prevent deforestation around the world. We have to:

  • Plant more trees
  • Put pressure on companies that are destroying forests to manufacture products by not buying from brands that are not eco-friendly
  • Reduce, reuse and recycle
  • Support non-profit organizations that are fighting deforestation
  • Take a stand on political issues
  • Look for green products that reduce your use of natural raw materials

The Anglican Church Steps Up in Burundi

Burundi, a small country in Africa, has lost about 22.1 percent of its forest habitats through deforestation from 1990 to 2005. The government has decreed that people should act more responsibly toward the environment, and to that end, it has a goal of planting 10 million trees over the next five years.

The campaign is called “One Person, One Tree.” The Green Anglicans have been promoting tree planting for a number of years in the area, but now, the church and government are working together to improve the environment. Episcopal Relief & Development, the US-based arm of the Anglican Church, has set up nurseries in the country. The goal for the first year is to plant one million trees on both public and private land. Many ceremonies have already taken place, with civil organizations joining the church leaders and government officials to kick off the campaign. It’s a good way to start the new year.


Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.


Reduce the Risk of Divorce
New marriages risk ending in divorce.

New marriages risk ending in divorce.

If you’re thinking about marriage, you’re probably already in love and spent a long time wondering if you can really spend the rest of your life with the person you care about. No one goes into a marriage thinking about a divorce, but the statistics show that about 48 percent of Canadian marriages won’t last. In comparison, the divorce rate in the United States is about 53 percent, while Belgium holds the highest rate of 71 percent. At 15 percent, Mexico has the lowest divorce rate, internationally. Instead of moving to Mexico to protect your marriage against divorce, learn more about the research behind what makes a marriage last.

It’s About Education

The Pew Research Center, a fact tank in the United States, recently found that having a bachelor’s degree significantly increased a woman’s chance of staying married for more than 20 years. Women with some college or only a high school degree had a probability of 49 percent or lower of maintaining their marriage, while those who completed their degree had a 78 percent chance of staying married for more than two decades. The couples who were part of the study had either separated or divorced. Death was not calculated in this research.

Similar findings were found with men. Two-thirds of the men who held a bachelor’s degree were found to be married after 20 years, while only about 50 percent of the men with a high school diploma held that distinction. Hispanic men had higher marriage longevity rates over white men and black men. It was Asian women who had the best chance of staying together with their partner.

This particular study does not examine why a college education makes divorce less likely. However, having a bachelor’s degree certainly makes a person more employable, which leads to financial security. When a couple isn’t financially stressed, their marriage has a better chance of making it through the long haul. Another benefit of having a degree is that the couple is probably older. Both have had a chance to create experiences outside of their family unit. This can give someone confidence when choosing their partner. Interestingly, this study does not address faith or religion in marriage.

More Siblings Could Be Another Indicator

Another study from 2013 links the number of siblings one has to a lower chance of getting divorced. It’s a small percentage, just two percent for each sister or brother one has. Although this is just one factor involved, some researchers aren’t convinced about this theory. Whether it’s scientifically proven or not, consider that someone who comes from a large family may be more family-oriented. In addition, they have developed social skills that are needed to live very close to someone as you might in a marriage.

Find an Educated Partner

Another interesting finding in the Pew Study was that cohabitation did not increase the chance of a marriage lasting. Men and women who did not live together before they got married were more likely to divorce or separate. However, being engaged while cohabiting did increase the odds of staying together, especially with men. Couples who do not live together before marriage may be predisposed against divorce, which could be reason for this. Unfortunately, the study did not address other factors in why couples stayed together.

It might seem cold and calculated to consider your partner’s education or background when considering marriage. Consider the expense of a divorce five or 10 years down the road. If you want your marriage to work, you need to give it the best odds. Go ahead and finish your college education before the wedding. It will put you and your future spouse on the right path to success in your partnership.