Sacred People, Sacred Earth
“We envision a world transformed … Together, we are building resilient, caring communities and economies that meet everyone’s needs and protect the planet. The era of conquest, extraction, and exploitation has given way to cooperation and community. The good life is one of connectedness—with each other and all of nature. It is a world of flourishing life that replaces despair with joy, scarcity with shared abundance, and privilege with justly distributed power.” – The Sacred People, Sacred Earth statement.
Uniting Church members all over Australia joined with people of faith and conscience all over the world on Thursday 11 March, in what was understood to be the largest single day of multifaith-based mobilisation for action on climate change to date.
The grassroots Sacred People, Sacred Earth event, organised in Australia by the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) saw 400 actions take place in 45 countries.
In Australia, people from diverse faith communities gathered locally in every state to ‘sound the alarm’ on climate change – ringing church bells as a symbol of our need to become alert to the climate crisis – while others harnessed the event as an opportunity to engage with national political leaders.
In the Parramatta Nepean Presbytery, Sydney, a small group from Northmead Uniting Church visited the office of their Federal Member of Parliament, the Hon Alex Hawke MP.
“We handed over a letter from our church expressing our concerns about global warming as well as the key demands in the Statement by Green Faith International”, said Jon O’Brien, Social Justice Advocate with Uniting.
“This led to an unexpected but welcome conversation with Mr Hawke. We were able to share some of our concerns and he related his perspective. There was some agreement about the need to listen to science and the genuine concerns of our Pacific neighbours.”
In Cronulla, Uniting Church members from Wollongong, Engadine and Miranda joined others of many faiths and none outside the Prime Minister’s electorate office. In Victoria, a multifaith gathering was attended by Labor MP Ged Kearney.
The Uniting Church has a long tradition of environmental advocacy which has understood care for all creation and action on climate as matters of justice.
Alongside the day of action, people of faith have also signed onto the Sacred People, Sacred Earth statement which calls for clean, renewable energy for all, divestment from fossil fuels, just contributions from wealthy countries, and assistance for climate refugees.
Below: Northmead Uniting Church members with Alex Hawke MP.