News from Cath James, Green Church

For many years, Cath James has worked on issues of environmental justice and spirituality on our behalf for the Uniting Church VicTas Synod.  This is taken from an email update Cath sent through to people on her list.

Cath James from Green Church

“It’s with a mixture of emotions that I’m writing to let you know I’m finishing up with the Justice and International Mission Unit. As you know, the Uniting Church Synod operations has been undergoing a period of re-structuring and out of this process, I’ve decided to move on and have accepted a redundancy.

The restructuring process has resulted in an exciting new Unit called ‘equipping Leadership for Mission’ (eLM) which will carry forward the mission work of the Uniting Church including the social justice and environment work. What that looks like is still to emerge over this coming year, but the justice work will now be part of a new team called Priorities, Focus and Advocacy and includes a range of focused ministries with children, young people, families, multi-cultural churches, the arts as well as new and renewed communities of faith. It will be great to have these aspects of the church’s work integrated with the social justice and environment work.

I want to particularly thank you for all you have done – small and large as part of the church’s work on justice, environment and climate change. From the days of the Earth Team through to now, so much has happened thanks to the efforts of people like yourselves. I feel so humbled and grateful for your faithfulness and your desire and willingness to work for a better world.

My last day in the office will be Friday 23 February.

I hope you enjoy the Update below.

Warm regards


Climate Petition Update

During the first Parliamentary sitting week of 2018, nineteen more of our petitions were tabled in Parliament.

The Chair of the Petitions Committee, Lucy Wicks MP, said: “Today I present the 19th report of the Petitions Committee for the 45th Parliament … This report is the largest petitions report for this parliament, indicating what a busy time it’s been for the committee over the last few months and, indeed, over the past year. Our records show that, over the last 10 years, an average of 137 petitions have been presented each year. In contrast, last year the committee received around 550 petitions. Approximately half of these were paper petitions, many of which were part of two large-scale campaigns that spanned communities all around the country, communities that care deeply about the issues the petitions raised.”

One of the ‘two large-scale campaigns’ she mentions is, of course, our Community Climate Petition.  It’s great to see another indication of the notice our campaign has generated.

The petitions tabled were from Bradfield, Brisbane, Calare, Casey, Cook, Cunningham, Durack, Grayndler, Herbert, Hindmarsh, Hughes, Indi, Isaacs, Jagajaga, Page, Pearce, Stirling, Sturt and Wentworth.

Big kudos and appreciative thanks to everyone who devoted their time and energy into mustering up these petitions!

Resources for Churches

Lent Event – Stories from the Pacific
This year’s Lent Event resource from Uniting World includes some videos exploring Pacific stories. They’re strong and beautiful narratives. This one from Tuvalu is about the impact of changing climate. Storms, drought and changing sea temperatures make daily life a struggle for survival. Rev Tafue and the local church in Tuvalu share hope and practical skills that save lives.

Reflections on Creation 
This series of reflections from Fr. Richard Rohr on Creation would make a great series of bible studies. They are also great for individual reflection too.


The Centre for Ecology and Spirituality in Glenburn have a great line up of events for 2018 encouraging contemplation and connection to the earth.


‘I look out of this window and I think this is a cosmos, this is a huge creation, this is one small corner of it. The trees and birds and everything else and I’m part of it. I didn’t ask to be put here, I’ve been lucky in finding myself here.’
– Morris West

Cath James

Centre for Theology and Mission calendar 2017

The Uniting Church Centre for Theology and Mission in Victoria has just released its calendar of events and opportunities for learning and education for ministry for the first 6 months of 2017.

There are many interesting and inspiring practical training opportunities for ministry leaders and in-depth theological exploration for people wanting to deepen their understanding of faith and how to live today.

You can find all the details at the website here:

and some DL sized cards with the calendar will be available from the church foyer.


Animate monthly on Wednesdays

animate practises logo

A new opportunity to gather with the St Luke’s faith community to explore the Animate Practises study series.

A new small group gathering is commencing next month, monthly on the first Wednesday from 7:30 – 8:30 at the Saravanan’s place in Highton.  If you can’t get out of the house you can still join us via Skype!

Check out the session guide here

Meeting dates are:

  1. Wednesday 4th November 2015
  2. Wednesday 2nd December 2015
  3. Wednesday 3rd February 2016
  4. Wednesday 2nd March 2016
  5. Wednesday 6th April 2016 (this date may be changed as it falls in school holidays)
  6. Wednesday 4th May 2016
  7. Wednesday 1st June 2016

To join please email Linda:

New small group study series: Animate!

This month St. Luke’s small groups are starting a new series of studies.

Animate: Practices is a seven-session adult introduction to the central practices of the Christian faith.

In each session, the group will watch a video featuring a leading voice from the Christian faith, spend time on personal reflection and journaling, and share ideas with the group.  Topics include Prayer (Brian McLaren), Food (Sara Miles), Worship (Mike Slaughter), Sacraments (Phyllis Tickle), Money (Shane Claiborne), Service (Enuma Okoro) and Community (Doug Pagitt).

Here’s a short sample of the video from the session on “Food, eating with Jesus”.

For more information about Animate, visit the Sparkhouse website.

If you would like to join a small group for this study, contact Rev. Tony Johnson Joncevski on (03) 5244 2997 or via email.