A sound response to climate change

climate change

Portarlington St Andrew’s Uniting Church is calling on the combined power of music and visual art to educate and inspire people about the threat of climate change.

On 28 October, the church in Geelong will host the Music for a Warming World multimedia concert from 2.30pm–4pm.

Lead performer Simon Kerr said the presentation was designed to deeply engage audiences in a complex subject.

“The immersive impact of music and visuals is unique,” he said.

“We try to tap into what people can relate to. We are not giving a lecture and want to be entertaining. People immerse themselves a bit like going to movies.

“We offer something different because music opens the heart in different ways, opens your emotions and, coupled with the evocative images, people have all sorts of responses to what they see on the screen.

Simon was inspired to write the show when he was employed as a lecturer teaching environmental policy at a New Zealand university.

“It just struck me very strongly when I started reading the science that we are in trouble,” he said.

“And we’re in trouble in a unique way that’s unlike most problems. We will probably get on top of it if we have time, but we don’t have time at our fingertips.

“We absolutely have the capacity to reduce climate change’s impact. “Unfortunately in Australia we are doing very little, particularly at a political level, to drive down our emissions.

“I feel a sense of strong moral imperative to do what I can to make us what I call ‘climate conscious’. It is probably the most serious issue we collectively face.”

While the show goes into the science of climate change and meditates on the resultant changes and loss, Simon insists it is not intended to depress.

“Negative stories don’t work. We always end the last section of the show on hope,” he said.

“We talk a lot about the renewable revolution and some of the amazing developments that are happening that not everyone is across yet. We try to inject a lot of hope and optimism through that.”

Simon said faith communities, such as St Andrew’s, had an important role to play.

“We’re very keen on working with faith communities because they are actual communities,” he said.

“Many of the people who come to the show are already committed to mitigating climate change, but this injects some energy and fire into them. It takes weary bones and reinvigorates them.”

The show is being brought to St Andrew’s Portarlington by the congregation’s Justice Ministry Team.

“Our members urged us to bring the presentation to Portarlington, as it was an event not to be missed that had an important message for everyone about our responsibilities around climate change issues,” team convenor Joy Porter said.

“As Christians, we have a responsibility to do all we can to care for God’s creation.”

Before the concert, the Justice Ministry Team will lead Sunday morning services at Portarlington and Drysdale Uniting Churches on the theme of climate change.

Mark Zirnsak, from the synod’s Justice and International Mission Cluster, will preach at these services. 

Music for a Warming World is on at St Andrew’s Uniting Church in Portalington, October 28, 2.30pm-4pm. Suggested donation is $15 followed by afternoon tea. To book tickets ring Barry Ruler on (03) 5259 3304.

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