Covid 19 won’t derail the Synod Climate Strategy

Covid 19 won’t derail the Synod Climate Strategy

Find out how you can raise your voice as part of the May 15 Climate Strike.

A strange new world

All of us are doing our best to adapt to this new world, one that has emerged so quickly and with little warning. It is disorienting for all and for some a real threat to well being, whether through physical distancing, enforced isolation, unemployment, or the risk of illness and even death. Through all this we try to maintain some semblance of normality – doing the shopping, caring for family, working- if we can, meeting (virtually) as a church, talking with friends.

Concern about climate continues

While COVID-19 still dominates the news, other issues have not disappeared, nor have our concerns about them. As memory of our summer bushfires recedes (not for all), the impacts of a changing climate continue, and without action, will grow. But COVID-19 has also taught us about our capacity to work for the common good, even when it costs us. Both the pandemic and climate change provide opportunities for human solidarity. With the virus, all of us are asked to change our behaviour to protect our health and save lives, especially those of older people, who are more vulnerable. With climate change, all of us are asked to change our behaviour, to protect our wellbeing and the wellbeing of the planet, and to safeguard the future for young people and generations yet to be.

Ways we can support our young people

That solidarity with young people and their action on climate change is one of the key elements of the Synod Climate Strategy. As a church, we agreed to support young people in the School Strike 4 Climate Action. The next action will take place on Friday, May 15th. Because we can’t physically gather it will take place online. For more information go to Schools Strike 4 Climate website.

The School Strike 4 Climate movement has three core tasks:

  1. No new coal, oil or gas projects, including the Adani mine
  2. 100% renewable energy generation and exports by 2030
  3. The funding of a just transition and job creation for all fossil fuel workers and communities

As well as joining the national broadcast (12 noon AEST) and/or local #climatestrike events online, our Synod is promoting some other initiatives to support and complement these actions by young people on the day. We encourage you to take part in these as you are interested and able. They include:

  • Holding a climate action-themed online worship service on Sunday, May 10th (the Sunday before the event). Pre-prepared videos and text liturgy to help you prepare will be available on the UnitingEarth website from May 1st.
  • Sharing personal messages of support for climate action on May 15th. We are asking all Uniting Church members to film and share a 30 second (or less) video finishing the sentence ‘I support a safe climate future for all, because….”. Please post this video on May 15th on all your social media channels, with the hashtags #uniting4climate and #climatestrike and tagging your Members of Parliament. For more information and to see examples, please go to unitingearth.org.au
  • If you aren’t into social media and Facebook, please write your ‘I support a safe climate future for all, because….” message to your Member of Parliament by email or post.

There is also a multi-faith service being organised by the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (more information at on their website) and an ecumenical service organised by Common Grace, with participation by Uniting Church leaders, (more information on their website ) on the morning of May 15th.

So we encourage you to take part in the School Strike4Climate events on May 15 and the lead-up activities and resources before the day.

If you have any questions or would like more information about any of these initiatives please contact us. Look out for more information on these events through this Synod e-news and other channels.

Dee Davidian (ddavidian@uniting.org) and Jon O’Brien (joobrien@uniting.org)  on behalf of the Climate Actions Task Group (one of the five task groups of the Synod Climate Strategy).

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