Sustainable September: EcoCare
by Stu Guthrie | Member Anglican EcoCare Commission
During Sustainable September we have been enjoying God’s creation, as well as sharing our call to respect and preserve it for future generations. In short, we've been trying to live out the Fifth Mark of Mission, ‘To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.’
Part of EcoCare’s mission this year has been to have a renewed focus on working collaboratively with community groups, such as ARRCC (Australian Religious Response to Climate Change). Sustainable September has brought many exciting opportunities to do this, as we have been able to work alongside the Emerge Youth Group (from All Saints’, Bullcreek and Holy Cross, Melville), the Alice Ross King Centre, as well as being present at the Global Strike for Climate.
The month began with one of our commissioners, Gerard Siero, speaking to the Emerge Youth Group. Gerard brought a wealth of knowledge and delivered a youth-based Scripture-centred, Climate Reality talk. He gave particular attention to what the Bible says about our mandate to care for creation. Gerard then took questions from the youth and spoke about some life-giving ways of reversing climate change and reducing our carbon emissions.
Next up, we had the launch of the Fremantle Centre for EcoTheology at St. John’s in Fremantle. This year we have felt that it was important to have a public forum where we can host lecture series and other training opportunities. The creation of the Centre allows us to do this. We were blessed to have not one, but three expert speakers sharing views from their different expertise and perspectives.
First, we had Gerard Siero share with us the practical side of why climate change is an issue that demands our attention. Secondly, we had the Reverend Dr. Evan Pederick speak to us about why Eco-theology matters, as well as what is meant by our call to care for and steward Creation. Finally, we had Behrooz Eslam from Sustainability in Schools share with us his experience of working with students through nature in rural regions. He showed us examples of practical ways that schools can implement community gardens, along with the plethora of ways it can benefit students (e.g. teaching life skills, engaging students who may be “at-risk” of academic failure, etc.).
On the 13th of September, the Emerge Youth Group went to see the documentary ‘2040’ at Murdoch University. This inevitably led to a game of hide and seek around the campus (under strict supervision of course!). Emerge Youth were then blessed the following week with a visit from Hal Baxter, a farmer of many years. Hal spoke on what living on a farm has taught him about life.
On Friday the 20th September, many of the commissioners joined the Global Strike for Climate at Forest Chase Perth, with a reported 10,000 people including many Anglican clergy and laypeople.
Lastly, we had a combined service for World Alzheimer's Day and Sustainable September at the Alice Ross King Centre on the 21st. The service was led by Rev’d Keith Wheeler and Lloyd D’Souza. About 30 residents received the Eucharist as part of a Creation-Centred service and morning.
If you are interested in finding out more about what EcoCare is doing, follow us on Instagram @perthecocare or Facebook www.facebook.com/perthecocare
Published in the November 2019 edition of Messenger.