Victorian faith leaders have come together in a show of solidarity with drought-affected farmers on the International Day of Peace.
Representatives from Christian, Jewish, Sikh, Baha’i, Muslim and Buddhist communities prayed for rural communities impacted by the drought in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
The day of prayer was organised by the Multifaith Advisory Group, a coalition of faith leaders from 27 religious communities in Victoria, including the Uniting Church.
Rev John Clarke, representing the Uniting Church, offered the following prayer:
Loving God, in your goodness you created the Earth and all that fills it.
In your kindness you provide the means to sustain your creation.
We hold before you those affected by the drought in Australia.
We pray for farmers whose daily lives and livelihood are affected by the lack of rain.
Comfort them as they make heartbreaking decisions about stock.
Grant them wisdom about the future and surround them with loving support.
We pray for rural towns whose lives are challenged by the drought.
Strengthen their capacity to support each other and give courage to those who face diminished income and challenging futures.
We pray for politicians as they develop public policy to support those experiencing hardship and decide how to respond to long-term climate change.
We give thanks to the generosity of those who have supported drought appeals.
Continue to stir up in us compassion and generosity.
Loving God, heal the land, restore our waterways and sustain those who grow our food.
Uniting Church minister Rev Lisa Carey offered a prayer on behalf of the Victorian Council of Churches.
The faith leaders were joined by Helen Kapalos, chair of the Multifaith Advisory Group and the Victorian Multicultural Commission, and Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott.
“While the leaders here today represent several different faiths and denominations, they also represent one humanity, underpinned by the values of compassion, understanding, support and hope,” Ms Kapalos said.
In the September Crosslight, congregations in East Gippsland shared their experience of the ‘green drought’ that has gripped their region.
Donate to Frontier Services to help support farmers in remote and rural communities.
The funds will go towards their National Volunteer Assistance Program, Outback Links and the Bush Chaplaincy Program.