Young UCA members speak for creation
UCA members in Sydney on 6 November joined others around the world rallying for a greater commitment to climate action from the COP26 meeting.
In the final days of the COP26 talks in Glasgow, young UCA members have shared their reflections on why we must act on climate change, urging our world leaders to do more.
Young people have played a leading role in generating momentum and support for climate action, and this is also true within the Uniting Church where many of our young members have been on the frontline of advocacy calling for actions and policies that provide the greatest hope for God's creation. See their messages below.
Michael Ramaidama Utoni, a member of Burwood Uniting Church and Christian Students Uniting, who is originally from Fiji, this week reflected on the devastating effects of climate change.
His reflection includes a poem he wrote highlighting the impact of rising sea levels for people in the Pacific, dislocating people from their homes and their identity.
Here is Michael's reflection and poem:
The effects of climate change in the Pacific Islands are devastating and life-threatening. The ever-rising sea level has threatened many villages along the coast of our islands to relocate to higher grounds. Still, this is not an option for some island nations such as Tuvalu, Kiribati, and the Marshall Islands. Relocation and migration challenge and affects our identity. Our Oceania people are crying out for help and for Australia and other developed countries to make the necessary sacrifices for the sake of humanity. Please act now to leave us at least, if not liveable, a trace of who we are. The poem ‘I Am’ shares our journey of experiencing the sea-level rise and our continuing cry to have our home, our identity saved.
The Tides sweeps in
To the toes of I Am
To the ankles of I Am -
There is a foreboding presence
What is that? I Am asks
Wind whispers in the far off trees
I Am feels a change
The foam now reaches the calves of I Am
A tide mark left on the knees
I Am surfs out for help -
It keeps rising to the thighs and hips
I Am shouts
A heavy swell on the chest of I Am
Seawater flows into the heart
Cries remain unheard
Tongue tastes brine
The tears of I Am
Hands of I Am reach for the air
But who will notice?
On a dead zone
I Am waves goodbye
I Am What Once Was
- Michael Ramaidama Utoni
Watch this space as we continue to add the voices of Uniting Church young leaders to the collection.
The Pacific Conference of Churches is also highlighting the voices of young people with a prayer from a Pacific young person each day of the COP26 meeting shared on their Facebook page.