Ready for Action
This month Uniting Church members are joining with Christians everywhere in prayer and action to encourage greater care for the earth as part of Season of Creation.
UCA President Dr Deidre Palmer has written a prayer which Uniting Church members and congregations might like to share in their worship and devotional time during September. (Read in full below.)
As well as prayerful reflection, the Season of Creation is also a time for engaging in actions that will lead to a more sustainable earth.
One important action that people can take during the month is to support the young students leading a Day of Action on 25 September under the School Strike for Climate banner and in partnership with First Nation leaders.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the students are asking the Australian Government to “Fund our Future, Not Gas”, a direct call to rebuild the economy with jobs and projects that will fast track solutions to climate change and as well as help communities recover economically.
The Day of Action comes ahead of the Australian Government handing down its budget on 6 October.
It has been reported that the Government’s National COVID-19 Coordination Commission is championing gas as integral to Australia’s recovery, however, this would lock Australia into higher emissions and higher energy prices. Read more
On 25 September, Uniting Church members are encouraged to join the Day of Action by attending a local event or participating in online action.
The Assembly Working for Justice Circle is encouraging people to share their own “selfie” image holding a poster which reads “Fund our Future not Gas”. Share your photo.
Meanwhile, churches around the world are participating in worship with environmental themes.
Pacific Conference of Churches General Secretary Rev. James Bhagwan preached at an ecumenical Season of Creation service at the Sacred Heart Catholic Cathedral in Suva, Fiji outlining the precarious impacts of climate change for island nations in the region.
"Even before COVID-19 gave the world pause for thought, Pacific communities and churches had been part of the many voices lamenting the unravelling of the sacred thread of the web of life, the disconnection between ecology, economy and spirituality,” said Rev. Bhagwan.
He likened the biblical concepts of Jubilee and Sabbath to the respite experienced by the land, earth, waters as a result of COVID lockdowns.
“The Season of Creation, in the context of COVID-19, offers us to look at jubilee, at resurrection and renewal, at abundant grace as an alternative to the current normal, a normal of exploitation of creation and of death.”
“We are people of the resurrection, which offers a renewal of the normal, a reorientation to us as followers of The Way.” Read the sermon in full.
We encourage you to continue in this Season of Creation to share in prayer, reflection and action about how we can renew our care for all of God’s creation.
Here are some other suggested resources:
- The Climate for Change Study: An excellent publication by the Anglican Board of Mission featuring a series of studies encouraging people of faith to find pathways and concrete actions for a sustainable future. https://www.abmission.org/resources.php?action=list-items&catId=33
- Letter writing Guide: A guide to writing to politicians about a clean recovery from COVID-19 from ARRCC (Australian Religious Response to Climate Change): https://www.arrcc.org.au/green_recovery
- Build Back Better: The Uniting Church response to how we can build a better future as we recover from the pandemic. https://uniting.church/build-back-better/
- Sustainable September: weekly worship resources produced by the Synod of WA: https://ecochurcheswa.net/worship-resources/
UCA President Dr Deidre Palmer
Season of Creation Prayer
Creator God, you move across our world, bringing light, new life and hope.
We give you thanks for the beauty of your creation, the intricate and interconnected web of life.
We give you thanks for the sacred earth, the air and water,
for the oceans that teem with life,
the rain that refreshes and sustains life,
the water that we drink that maintains life.
Christ Jesus, you come to bring renewal and reconciliation to the whole of creation.
We pray for all those places, creatures, and plants, that are suffering,
as humans exploit your Earth and its resources.
Forgive us for the destruction we have caused.
Guide us into the way of respect and care for the Earth and all living things.
We pray that you will renew our resolve to participate with you in the healing and renewal of our earth.
May your Holy Spirit strengthen us with courage,
to be bearers of your creative and life-giving presence in all the Earth.