Friday, 05 July 2013

Faith leaders join in prayer to combat climate change

Religious leaders from across Sydney joined together at a prayer vigil at Pitt Street Uniting Church this week to call for bipartisan support of a carbon price.

The leaders signed an open letter, coordinated by the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change, which asks politicians to act on climate change this election.

Rev. Dr Brian Brown, Moderator of the NSW and ACT Synod, joined the vigil and shared the story of the NSW and ACT Synod’s decision to divest in fossil fuels.

“As Christians, we share a concern for the common good. Not just for humanity, but for the good of all creation,” said the Moderator.

“We must understand we are entrusted with a stewardship of this earth and it is our responsibility to care for the garden that is creation.”

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Rev. Dr Brian Brown, Moderator of the NSW and ACT Synod, signs the ARRCC Open Letter

Leaders of other faiths also spoke about the religious impetus to act now on climate change and rising greenhouse gas emissions.

Ajahn Brahmavamso, Head of the Australian Sangha Association, a Buddhist fellowship, said that the wisdom of leaders of all faiths should be considered deeply.

“Leaders of our great faith traditions will see far into the future and think of future generations. We must act now to preserve what we have for future generations,” said Mr. Brahmavamso.

The vigil included prayer in the Christian and Jewish tradition, as well as time for reflection and comment from all the leaders.

Leaders spoke about their spiritual and faith based motivations for supporting greater action on climate change, which included a strong theme of social justice and the environment across the different faiths.

Leaders included those from Islamic, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist and Hindu traditions and all have signed the open letter on climate change.

The letter has also been signed by other prominent faith leaders including the President of the Uniting Church in Australia National Assembly, Rev. Prof Andrew Dutney, the Grand Mufti of Australia, Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammad and Senior Rabbi of the Great Synagogue in Sydney, Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence.

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(From left to right) Jacqui Remond, Director of Catholic Earthcare, Rev. Dr Brian Brown, Moderator of the NSW and ACT Synod of the Uniting Church, Prof Nihal Agar, Chairman of the Hindu Council of Australia, Rev. Dr Charles Rue, Coordinator for the Columban Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation Australia, Joe McKay, Franciscan Friar, Graeme Lyall AM, President of the Amitabha Buddhist Association of NSW, Thea Ormerod, President of ARRCC, Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins, Senior Rabbi at Emanuel Synagogue.