Members of Uniting Church congregations, Uniting, UnitingWorld, and NSW and ACT Synod staff participated in the Sydney Strike For Climate rally.
As many as 225,000 people were expected to participate in rallies around Australia.
In Sydney, an estimated 50,000 people marched to the domain, which looked to be full.
Uniting Church people met for worship at Pitt Street Uniting Church before the rally and shared in communion.
NSW and ACT Synod General Secretary Rev. Jane Fry closed the service in prayer.
“Take your tough-minded love and walk together for the sake of this glorious, groaning creation,” she said.
“Take your fainting hearts and join your hands with your sisters and brothers who share this earth.”
“Take your infuriated optimism and raise your voices together so all may hear the cry of the earth.”
Up to 1,000 people also attended a rally at the Hub forecourt in Springwood in the Blue Mountains. Members of the Springwood, Glebrook, Penrith, and Bidwill congregations were present. Springwood Uniting Church hosted a prayer and poster painting event before the rally, in a Uniting function room.
Rev. Leigh Gardiner was among the Uniting Church ministers who attended.
“It was inspiring to be at the Springwood Rally today, led by students but with participation from all ages,” Rev. Gardiner said.
“It was a rally that sought to inspire and encourage hope. Hope is such a powerful message and one that we as Christians should be able to extend as we serve the source of all hope. We were also encouraged by the appreciation of students and others for the church to be there in support.”
Rallies also took place in Gosford, Dubbo, and Canberra among other locations.
The rallies took place three days before United Nations climate summit, which aims to reach further consensus on climate change abatement and mitigation.
The climate strike movement was instigated by Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, who says that climate change has made her anxious.
The 2019 Synod meeting agreed to support the strike.
Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor