December 03, 2009 11:01 ET

Former Moderator Bill Phipps to Fast for Courage in Copenhagen

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, Environment Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor CALGARY, ALBERTA, NEWS RELEASE--(Marketwire - Dec. 3, 2009) -

On Sunday, December 6, 2009 former United Church Moderator the Very Rev. Bill Phipps will begin a one-week fast in support of the political leaders whose responsibility it is to ensure the health and safety of the planet for future generations.

The fast is timed to coincide with the opening of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen on December 7, 2009.

Phipps, an outspoken activist, says he believes "the Copenhagen gathering of world leaders is the most important international meeting since World War II."

He describes his fast as an offering of support, encouragement, and solidarity, not a protest.

"Giving up food is my offering and prayer, an embodiment of the struggle to save our fragile world," says Phipps.

He explains that fasting is part of many ancient spiritual and religious traditions. It is used by people who want to clear the mind and body and focus on spirit. Fasting is a form of prayer.

"I feel that humanity's future is in grave peril," says Phipps. "I believe that a sustainable tomorrow is a spiritual question."

Throughout his fast, Phipps will be inviting members of churches, other faiths, and the general public to offer their own prayers for the planet during the days of the meetings in Copenhagen.

He also plans to visit the constituency offices of political leaders such as Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Environment Minister Jim Prentice. The schedule of those visits can be found at

"We all bear responsibility for the ecological legacy we leave for future generations," says Phipps. "I invite all of us to look into the eyes of children and grandchildren to inspire us to encourage our political leaders to gain courage and take bold action in Copenhagen."
/For further information: Mary-Frances Denis
Program Coordinator, Media and Public Relations
The United Church of Canada
Office:416-231-7680 ext. 2016
Cell: 416-400-7273

Contact Information for Bill Phipps:
Tel: 403-228-1791
Cell: 403-681-1312 (available only during the week of the fast)

Contact Information

  • Mary-Frances Denis, Program Coordinator, Media and Public Relations, The United Church of Canada
    Primary Phone: 416-231-7680 ext. 2016
    Secondary Phone: 416-400-7273
    Toll-Free: 800-268-3781