Climate Change Taskforce

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Climate change taskforce

The Justice and International Mission Cluster is asking you to be part of a taskforce on climate change action. The taskforce’s purpose is to identify, encourage and support the implementation of measures across the Synod to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. To lodge an expression of interest, contact Mark Zirnsak at mark.zirnsak@victas.uca.org.au or on 0409 166 915 by October 28.

 

Mission Outreach Ministry Team and Environment Action Group Meetings

Here’s a quick update regarding these ministry and mission teams.

Mission Outreach Ministry Team

  • The team is not meeting monthly but rather staying in touch via the phone.
  • Material support for refugees is still available but now happening by appointment and with contactless pickup.
  • Bread deliveries are not happening at the moment as Ken has “retired” as the organiser.  This wonderful connecting ministry has been deeply appreciated by many refugee families over the years and we are grateful for all the volunteers who have helped to make it happen.  There is certainly an opportunity for another leader to take up this ministry, should you feel a call and have a van – though we will need to navigate our way through protocols needed to keep everyone safe during the COVID19 pandemic.

Environment Action Group

  • Is not meeting monthly but group members are keeping in touch with one another and doing what online action that they can
  • Recycling can still be dropped off at the church during open times
  • Repair Cafe is suspended until it is safe for groups to meet again

 

Sunday 14th June: Online Worship – Biodiversity and caring for creation

Hello friends!

This week’s worship online is presented by Paul and the St Luke’s Environment Action Team.  Thanks to Claire, Ian, Michelle, Jean and Lloyd for working with Paul to prepare this thoughtful devotion, and thanks to everyone who contributed photos and footage – featured at the end of today’s video.

O God, we thank you for this earth, our home;
For the wide sky and the blessed sun,
For the salt sea and the running water,
For the everlasting hills
And the never-resting winds,
For trees and the common grass underfoot.
We thank you for our senses
By which we hear the songs of birds,
And see the splendor of the summer fields,
And taste of the autumn fruits,
And rejoice in the feel of the snow,
And smell the breath of the spring.
Grant us a heart wide open to all this beauty;
And save our souls from being so blind
That we pass unseeing
When even the common thorn bush
Is aflame with your glory,
O God our creator,
Who lives and reigns forever and ever.
– Walter Rauschenbusch

You can watch today’s online worship here:

The hymn “All things bright and beautiful” is included within today’s service, but if you are looking for another tune for today, here’s “This pretty planet”:

If you would like to explore ideas of biodiversity and our faithful response, you might like to check out the Faith Ecology Network here: https://www.faithecology.net.au/

And the Uniting Church’s Just Act page here:

https://justact.org.au/

What position should the Synod take in response to climate change?

The Synod of Victoria and Tasmania meetings have passed resolutions relevant to climate change since 1977. However, the last resolution of a Synod meeting that directly addressed the issue of climate change was in 2008. Members of the Synod congregations have been expressing greater concern to the Justice and International Mission (JIM) cluster that the Synod needs to play a more significant role in responding to climate change.  The JIM cluster believes there is a need for the Synod to update its position on the urgency of addressing the causes of climate change and the actions that need to be taken in response.

The consultation paper that can be downloaded from this page explores how serious is the threat of climate change. Based on the assessment of the danger, the paper explores what actions we as Australians should be taking as part of the global effort to respond to climate change. It proposes a position for the Synod to adopt at the next Synod meeting.

 

St Luke’s Environment Action Group Bushfire Appeal

The St Luke’s Environment Group are growing seedlings of herbs, veggies and flowers for the bushfire victims to start their gardens and add a bit of colour.  Jean Daw is going to Bairnsdale end March for starters, with a load for the victims in that area. All pots to be at St Luke’s 11am Sat 21st March to be loaded in her car.  We may have more going to other areas as well.

If you are interested in helping, please see one of the Environment Group – Claire, Michelle, Jean, Jenny, Ian A, Ian L, Phil. 

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pixabay

Recycling to help others

Did You Know??

The bread tags you are putting into the Recycling Bay in our foyer are being made into seedling trays. The proceeds are used to provide wheelchairs for the needy in South Africa.  “ Bread Tags for Wheelchairs”  has been running in South  Africa since 2006. At present about  500kg of bread tags are collected per month in South Africa, funding 2-3 wheelchairs.

The plastic bottle tops from milk and fruit juice can be recycled also. We will drop them off at Encompass Community Services. They are then taken to Envision Hands who create bespoke aids out of the bottle caps with 3D printers, which are then donated to children in need.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

🖐For young James Quinn, it’s a helping hand like no other. The four-year-old boy has been given a Batman-inspired prosthetic hand, thanks to an innovative and environmentally-friendly organisation based in the west. James, who was born with an underdeveloped hand, was last week presented with a plastic “Phoenix Hand” which will assist him in learning how to manipulate his hand muscles and provide mobility support. The Phoenix Hand was created at the Werribee-based Envision Hands, a joint venture between charity Envision and the Wyndham Rotary Club. Swipe▶️for more 📸 @aawalkerphoto 📸 Link in bio✅ Alesha Capone🖊 www.starweekly.com.au📰 #prosthetichand #prosthetic #phoenixhand #mobility #mobilitysupport #newage #prosthetics #werribee #envisionhands #envision #wyndhamrotaryclub #melton #recylced #amazing #technolgy #innovation #engineering #science #tech #technews #batman #envisionhandsproject #westisbest #melbswest #cocacolafoundation

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From St Luke’s Environment Action Group

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

Cath

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.

Events

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

Quote

‘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
http://www.justact.org.au/

Weekly News and Calendar 23rd April 2017

Here’s the weekly news sheet and calendar of events at church for the coming week:

Weekly News Sheet Sunday 23rd April

Calendar of activities at St. Luke’s week beginning Monday 24th April

The St. Luke’s Environment Action Group Partnered with Rotary to undertake a litter survey at the Dell in Clifton Springs on Earth Day, Saturday the 22nd of April and the GOOD NEWS is that we found very little rubbish compared to other years.   Thanks to Claire Zeigler for the hard work getting this organised and thanks to Rotary for the yummy BBQ.

Group photo
St. Lukes and Rotary volunteers after a morning of scavenging around the Dell.
The fluker post photo points are where members of the public can take photos and send them to the Fluker Photo Research Project – Citizen Science