Climate change forum

Climate change forum
By Rev Alistair Macrae

“There is no guarantee that the world we live in will tolerate us indefinitely if we prove ourselves unable to live within its constraints.”

These warning words of the past Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, are consistent with many theologians today, who identify the human vocation to care for creation as a contemporary missional imperative. Weather-related catastrophes in the poorest countries on Earth are the clearest indications yet that predictions of accelerated warming of the Earth caused by the uncontrolled burning of fossil fuels are coming true.

A forum on responding to climate change has been designed to assist Christians and others to make proactive choices in relation to sustainability; and help mitigate human-induced climate change. The forum, at Wesley Church Melbourne on 24 May, 2-4pm, has been organised by the Wesley congregation, Wesley Mission Victoria and the synod Justice and International Mission unit, in conjunction with Wesley College.

That particular Sunday is marked internationally as Aldersgate Day, the day of John Wesley’s heart-warming experience in 1738. In the spirit of John Wesley, these forums seek to connect the gospel to important social issues of the day.

The forum will be resourced by several panellists. Prof David Karoly is Professor of Atmospheric Science at Melbourne University and an internationally recognised expert in climate change and climate variability. He has been an active advocate for meaningful government, corporate and individual responses to the threat of climate change. Ellen Sandell is Member (MLA) for Melbourne and a past CEO of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. Rev Sefarosa Carol is a Uniting Church minister and theologian who works for Church Partnerships, UnitingWorld. Rev Carol will bring the perspective of Pacific Island nations such as Kiribati and Tuvalu, island states which are facing inundation because of rising sea levels. Susie Richards is on Wesley Mission’s homelessness and crisis support team and will talk about impacts of climate change on the poor. And Wesley College’s environment and sustainability prefect will bring a young person’s perspective. The forum will be moderated by Cath James, the synod’s social justice and environment officer.

Wesley College will provide some musical entertainment before and during the program. The forum will include displays and hand-outs of Uniting Church resources relating to sustainability as well as those of other community groups.

For more information contact Wesley Uniting Church on (03) 9663 2935 or office@wesleychurch.org.au.

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