Climate Fest to engage community for climate justice
The Christian Students Uniting (CSU) Climate Fest is an online, live and action orientated event that will take place on 30 August, from 2-4pm. This will be an opportunity to share some of the things that keep us hopeful – poetry, music, and the joy of bees (more on this later). We also want to talk about the ways we are living out our beliefs in every-day, sustainable ways.
At the beginning of this year, a core climate focus group from Christian Students Uniting (CSU) gathered for our first meeting of 2020. We met in the Sydney Presbytery office in Glebe, bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to talk about the year to come and how we could engage in climate action in 2020. We held relational meetings with one another and talked about the work that went into organising for the Climate Strike in September 2019. We reflected on who we are and why we were gathered – and we began planning.
Before we could move too far ahead, we had to get ourselves organised. We put together four teams – Communications, Climate Strikes, Congregational Engagement, Personal Greening – and delegated roles. We then considered what we wanted to achieve this year. We reflected that this year needed to be about forming relationships with the broader Uniting Church, while continuing to develop our own understandings of eco-theology and our relationship with a Creator God. And we wanted to organise, oh man did we want to organise! Visions of another large Uniting Church presence at a global climate strike started to fill our psyche again.
And then – well, then came COVID. Things slowed and eventually stopped, and we realised that this year was going to look very different to what any of us could have anticipated. After a bit of space to adjust, we met again in April – this time over Zoom, with heavy hearts and little energy. This meeting was a time for naming our communal grief, and gauging what our appetite for action was. We dissolved the teams and decided to meet again after a few months.
At that time, climate action felt far away and somewhat irrelevant. It was difficult to navigate a world that we already knew to be in crisis, as we watched a whole new crisis unfold.
This year has been a lot. We’ve watched the world around us change faster than any of us could have imagined. A new way of life has emerged, and with it, new opportunities to organise and engage our community.
In the midst of this current crisis, the call to climate action is still vitally important. Climate justice still flows through us, and we want to help bring together the scattered voices from our church who are continuing to engage in this struggle.
Online action is our new reality for now, and we are ready to embrace this. Christ calls us to come as we are, and so we will come! We will bring what we have and who we are – and we would love to meet you where you are.
The Christian Students Uniting Climate Fest takes place on 30 August from 2-4pm. You can RSVP on the official Facebook event page here.
Erin Lewis is in the final year of a Bachelor of Speech Pathology at Australian Catholic University.