Make the switch for creation’s sake
Every September, Season of Creation is an annual celebration of the Creator and what He has made. Among other activities, video resources and liturgies, a new campaign aims to encourage our Congregations to switch their energy provider to one investing in renewable energy.
The idea for the new campaign germinated during sessions held at the most recent Synod meeting. According to Uniting Earth Ministry’s Jason John, one of the inspirations for the new campaign was the 2014 Synod meeting’s divestment decision. That move involved the church selling all of its investments in fossil fuels, a decision that then-president Andrew Dutney described as “a pretty mainstream issue in the Uniting Church now.”
As put by a Uniting Church statement issued in August 2014: “Further investment in the extraction of fossil fuels contributes to, and makes it more difficult to address climate change.” The fossil fuels divestment garnered a significant amount of media coverage, including in the Sydney Morning Herald.
As part of Season of Creation, the campaign will take place alongside other activities that Congregations can partake in. Uniting Earth’s Dr Miriam Pepper described this annual focus as “a period of four weeks in September where churches in Australia, and increasingly in other countries also, celebrate creation and the Creator.”
The renewable energy campaign should have the most significant long-term impact from Season of Creation’s various areas of focus. According to Mr John, it aims to get Congregations and their members to switch to “power companies which didn’t lobby the Government for a watered-down renewable energy target”.
Like the Synod’s divestment decision, Mr John hoped the new campaign would become “a newsworthy moment in the mainstream media.”
“The Synod made a move, and now Congregations and individuals who don’t have massive investments can still make their support for responsible companies which are working to build our renewable sector,” said Mr John. “We hope it will have the kind of symbolic and sacramental power that the divestment campaign did.”
Uniting Earth Ministry has also prepared informal liturgies for Season of Creation, for use or adaptation by Congregations.
Uniting Earth Ministry worked with Project Reconnect to produce video resources for each of the weeks.
“The reflective questions which accompany the video sermons are especially suited at a response time during worship, or to a Bible study or discussion group,” Dr Pepper explained. “We also have resources for blessing of animals, the first Sunday in October, which is the closest Sunday to the Francis of Assisi Feast Day.”
During the first or second weekend of Season of Creation, your church can be part of praying for our Pacific neighbours. The 350 Pacific organisation invites Christians to pray for the communities of the Pacific, who are impacted by climate change. Click here for more information
Dr Jonathan Foye is a freelance journalist and academic
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