Friday, 06 September 2019

Making space at the table for creation

In two weeks on Friday 20 September, Uniting Church members will join people across the world in calling for a more urgent response to the global climate crisis.

UCA President Dr Deidre Palmer has invited all people of the Uniting Church to join the global climate action led by our younger generation in cities all over the world.

The symbolic action calls on world leaders to do more to limit the impacts of climate change.

In a sermon at Pilgrim Uniting Church in Adelaide, Dr Palmer spoke about the recent President’s Conference in Fiji where participants heard first-hand how people’s homes and livelihoods are threatened by rising sea levels and climate change-induced natural disasters.

Speaking on Luke 14:1-14, Dr Palmer said the Gospel raises questions about our understanding of who is valuable and powerful and who belongs at the table.

 “Jesus changes the seating order and challenges views of power and privilege, that are entrenched in his society, and are also entrenched in ours.”

 “In the last few decades we have been reminded, that in our world of power and privilege, of money and profit, creation has not had a place at the table.”

“Globally, as we have called for those who have power and influence to address the impacts of climate change, those most affected have not always had a place at the table.”

 Dr Palmer spoke about hearing from Frances Namoumou, Pacific Conference of Churches Stewardship Project Officer, at the Conference in Fiji.

 “Frances asked, where is the church in this space? What are we doing in response to climate change? Can our voice be louder in Australia?”

 “Rev James Bhagwan, the General Secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches shared with us the resilience and determination of people of the Pacific.”

 “They are not asking for pity or sympathy they are asking for solidarity.” Read the Conference statement.

 “At God’s table, at the feast God prepares for us – we are all invited into communion, with God, with one another, with the whole creation. All have a place.”

 “As people of hope, we are called to live with care and respect toward the whole of creation.”

Momentum is building across the Uniting Church to create a strong visible presence at the 20 September Global Action.

Those who can attend are asked to sign up here. If you cannot attend on the day, we would encourage you to still sign up to show your support. If your local community finds other ways to support this event, we would love to hear from you. 

You can wear a brightly coloured ‘Pacifika’ style shirt to show your solidarity with our Pacific Island neighbours and/or an Akubra to show solidarity with our drought-stricken Australian bush communities.and come with clearly identifiable UCA signage.

Many Churches are also taking part in the Season of Creation, with prayer and action around how we can care for creation.

Dr Palmer concluded, “May Christ, our Liberator, empower us with courage to embody in our relationships and community the boundless grace, justice and hope of God.”

 Why are our young people marching? Read a reflection from Erin Lewis, university student and Leichhardt Uniting Church member