Uniting Climate Conference draws enthusiastic crowd

Uniting Climate Conference draws enthusiastic crowd

What a great day we had on Saturday at the Uniting Climate Conference: Faith in a better future! The conference was jointly hosted by the Synod of NSW.ACT and Uniting.

We had more than 80 people there in person and more than 60 online. That’s nearly 50% more than our last Synod climate action conference in 2021.Many of us (as expected) were from Uniting Church congregations.  But we also came from other churches and faiths, organisations and communities.  Together, we demonstrated a  breadth and depth of community concern and resolve for climate action. 

All of us heard our wonderful keynote speakers –  our Moderator, Rev Mata Havea Hiliau passionately reminding us why the church cares about climate change, Miriam Lyons’ drawing from both science and psychology to outline the change we need and how we each can bring it about, and the inspiration of our young climate leaders (most of them UC members).

We are grateful to all our terrific workshop leaders who covered such a breadth of topics – from having climate conversations to being an ally to first nations people and climate impacts on health and  issues for regional communities.

Our final session was crucial.  In groups, we reflected on what strengths the Uniting Church community brings to action on climate. Here are some of the points groups made:

  • We have a mandate to be stewards of creation- it’s our responsibility
  • We have a shared vision of human flourishing
  • We care for those without a voice- we have resources to support their voice
  • We have networks of people and passion- we want to find solutions-for all
  • We are already connected across ages, across cultures, across geographies
  • We are ecumenical and cooperative with allies- we know we can’t do it alone
  • We see climate action as a natural outcome of our theology and discipleship

Then we considered what we can do to support the shift to a safer and better climate future. The Uniting Advocacy team outlined some possible areas of action:

  • Hosting and having community climate  conversations – with friends, family, in community events and more
  • Training in organising and  climate campaigning
  • Meeting your local MP about climate
  • Holding Living the Change information and action forums
  • Continued action in partnership with allies like ARRC, Move Beyond Coal, Renew Australia for All and others
  • Plus, there was a category for your action ideas, not already covered.

We invited those willing to put energy into one or more of these areas to write their name and number on a post-it note and stick it on the action sheets.  Our online participants when through the same process – with virtual post-it notes.

There was interest in all areas. In the coming days members of the advocacy team will follow  up each person to hear more about their interest and how it can  be acted upon.

If you are interested in any of these areas of action or would like to know more about our church’s climate action, please contact Jono Row (Church Collaboration Lead – Advocacy) at jrow@uniting.org

Jon O’Brien, UCAN


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