Uniting Church the first to endorse the #ClimateStrike movement

29 Aug 2019 by Adrian Drayton in: Latest News

The Uniting Church Synod of NSW & ACT and community services arm Uniting announced they will use their voice and their networks in support of the rally for climate change on Friday 20 September 2019.

In consultation with managers, employees have the option to take a longer lunch, take personal leave, arrange time off in lieu (TOIL) or swap a shift with another employee.

The Uniting efforts are being led by our Uniting Earth Advocate team.

The Uniting Church in NSW and ACT is also allowing its administrative staff time off to attend the march on 20 September if they wish to be involved.

The Church is the first major institution in the country to give such an endorsement/ a strong endorsement of the Climate Strike movement

The Uniting Church Synod of NSW & ACT has passed a resolution supporting young people as part of the global Strike for Climate movement, the first major institution in the country to give such an endorsement.

The resolution is not binding on individual schools, and it will remain the responsibility of each school to determine its policy on the climate strikes. 

The Moderator of the Uniting Church NSW and ACT, Rev. Simon Hansford, said the resolution built upon past Church resolutions that accepted the world was facing a climate emergency and urgent action was essential to give hope to future generations.

In a rare expression of consensus on the issue “Our Church members not only believed that urgent and decisive action was needed but also that we needed to support the initiatives of young people on this issue and that includes support of the global climate strikes,” he said today.

“We need to listen and learn from young people. It’s their future that is at stake and their protests are genuine and informed and should not be ignored.”

“And as a church this reflects the theological truth of God’s calling for us to be carers of the creation.”

The resolution was passed at the Church’s Synod gathering of over 360 members on 5-7 July.

In March this year tens of thousands of young Australians walked out of their classrooms to stage protests in capital cities demanding action on climate change. It was part of a global movement which saw an estimated 1.4 million students in 128 countries strike. The next planned Strike for Climate protest is set for 20 September.

Of the young voices heard during the Synod proposal bought before the Uniting Church members, a young person noted that, “I have always been concerned about our deteriorating climate however as I am getting older, I am becoming more aware of the increasing need for change and the alarming lack of care by the government.”

“This issue not only effects my future, but it effects the future generations of ancient Torres Strait Island coastal cultures.”

The Synod resolution states in part that: The Synod supports initiatives taken by young people in advocating for action on Climate Change, including the global climate.

As part of the resolution the Church will establish a Climate Action Strategy Task Group to oversee development, implementation and monitoring of the climate action strategy, for a period of three years.

During the meeting Synod members said there was a desire for the church to ‘listen and respect’ young people ‘so they can teach us’.  Synod members also highlighted the importance of having regional and rural representation on the task group to provide pastoral care for communities impacted by industry transition (such as towns impacted by mine closures) and for communities directly impacted by climate change.