solar panels

Solar panels on the roof of a shed at City Farm in Perth

ENVIRONMENT

Caring for creation is a key Christian task.  Both the bible and the Christian tradition have some vital and profound things to say about caring for the environment, which the church understands as God’s creation.  We believe that God’s creation – the earth itself and all the life it supports – is precious and the earth’s resources exist for the good of all, now as well as for future generations. The Uniting Church, through its statement For the Sake of the Planet and all its People: A Uniting Church in Australia Statement on Climate Change encourages its members to take matters of the environment seriously in our lifestyle and decision making.  We encourage the Uniting Church community to read this, and other Uniting Church statements on the environment on the UnitingJustice website here. In 2001 the Uniting Church, Synod of Western Australia committed to:

  • Become advocates for sustainable environmental policies and practices which protect, honour and care for our natural resources
  • Be proactive in supporting local, national and international environmental agreements and initiatives;

The Uniting Church has continued to work in areas of environmental concern since then.  The Social Justice Board have produced documents such as the Green Church Handbook, and carried out Green Church Surveys to all congregations in the WA Synod.  As a church we have made decisions such as:

  • Encouraging all congregations and faith communities to undertake an energy self-audit and seek ways to minimise their production of greenhouse gas emissions 
  • Encourage congregations schools and agencies to purchase Green Energy.

In the Uniting Church Centre we have carried out energy audits and made commitments to purchase Green Energy.  We continue to look for ways to model sustainability.

To read more about the WA Synod’s commitment to the environment, find environment-based worship resources and read more about environmentally-friendly living, visit our EcoChurchesWA Website.

Synod globe action

Uniting Church Synod of WA stops meeting to say Aim Higher on Climate Change

“The Uniting Church views climate change as a most serious threat to humanity that must be tackled urgently,” said the Moderator of the Uniting Church in Western Australia, Rev Steve Francis. “The time has come to aim higher on climate change action.  The Australian Government, along with global leaders, has a unique opportunity at the upcoming United Nations climate talks in Paris to commit to carbon emission reduction targets that prevent the worst impacts of climate change.”

At the Uniting Church’s 39th meeting of the Synod of Western Australia in 2015 members of the Synod paused to make a symbolic action calling for stronger action on climate change.

“Western Australia is particularly exposed to changes in climate with noticeable impacts already being felt in our agricultural sector and urban water supply. The unique and vulnerable flora and fauna species of the South West are at particular risk and we feel a responsibility to advocate for this wonderful network of ecosystems. he health and safety of our community, through a likely increase in bushfires, cyclone intensity and heatwaves, is also of great concern to us. As West Australians, we want to see strong action on climate change so that future West Australians can be safe to enjoy the beauty and sustenance this special corner of the world provides”.

The Uniting Church in Western Australia welcomes the submission made by UnitingJustice Australia, the justice unit of the Uniting Church National Assembly, to the to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s review of Australia’s post-2020 reduction target. It called for the reinstatement of a price on carbon, and an emissions reduction target of at least 40% of 2000 levels by 2020. The President of the Uniting Church in Australia, Stuart McMillan, labelled the Government’s current targets “a failure of leadership” and “a failure to care for future generations and for creation.”

Sustainable September 2015

 front pageJoined in prayer, Christian churches around the world will again observe the ecumenical “Time for Creation” (1 September to 4 October), this year bolstered by Pope Francis’s recent proclamation of 1 September  as the   “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.” Uniting Churches in WA can use our worship resource “Sustainable September: and be part of this world-wide season of prayer for creation here http://ecochurcheswa.net/worship-resources/ This material is based on the Lectionary readings, for use in the weeks in September.  They enable congregations to reflect on environmental, social and economic sustainability and our call, as God’s stewards, to care for creation.God’s creation – the earth and all the life it supports – is precious and the earth’s resources exist for the good of all, now as well as for future generations.  The resources include prayers, sermon starters, liturgy outlines, children’s resources,  hymn suggestions (drawn from both Together in Song and Australian Hymn Book). We have prepared PowerPoint presentations for the 2015 Sustainable September worship resources, which you will find at

              http://ecochurcheswa.net/worship-resources/

You can follow us during Sustainable September by following us on Facebook  and Twitter @JAMUCWA

There are great resources on the World Council of Churches website here http://www.oikoumene.org/en/press-centre/news/churches-to-pray-for-care-of-creation

The World Council of Churches has a blog for the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace here : http://blog.oikoumene.org/posts/creation-day

We are always keen to hear of local churches taking part in events which highlight our care for creation. Let us know what you are doing! Email justice@wa.uca.org.au.

 

Partnerships

The Social Justice Board is a member of the WA Civil Society Climate Roundtable – a coalition of churches, unions, community groups, aid organisations, environmental groups, youth organisations and social service providers who support strengthened government action to address the causes and effects of climate change. Current Issues

  • Frack no! Uniting Church calls – The Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of Western Australia calls on the Government of Western Australia to place a moratorium on all unconventional gas exploration and extraction activities in WA and to move towards renewable energy and away from fossil fuels. Read More
  • Uniting Church in WA divests from fossil fuels – The Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of Western Australia has decided to divest from companies involved in mining, exporting, or energy generation from fossil fuels. Instead, the Church will seek to invest in companies which reduce the impact on the environment through power generation from renewable sources. Read More

Resources

At various times in the year the Social Justice Board produce or endorse resources, which are available as a download from our EcoChurchesWA Website.  Key annual resources are:

  • Sustainable September – worship resources for the month of September.
  • World Environment Day – an annual resource produced nationally in partnership with other Uniting Church Social Justice networks in Australia.

For any other resources please go to our EcoChurches WA website, or if you can’t find what you’re looking for contact Geoff at the Social Justice Unit geoffrey.bice@wa.uca.org.au