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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Quote of the Day

"A person will worship something, have no doubt about that.... That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Source: Almost Christian: What the faith of our teenagers is telling the American church, by Kenda Creasy Dean, 2010, Oxford University Press.

Monday, July 2, 2012


"Biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann, who is widely influential among mainline Protestants, describes shalom as "the central vision" of the Bible in which "all of creation is one, every creature in community with every other, living in harmony and security toward the joy and well-being of every other creature.""
Source: Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the neighborhood church is transforming the faith, Diana Bulter Bass (2006) Harper One, p. 110

Friday, June 29, 2012

Perth Event for kids and carers: The Earth is God's

TEAR Australia is holding The Earth is God’s: A time for kids to explore God’s call to care for creation. The workshop will link the global with the local and looks at how we can make a difference, including games and other fun stuff for kids and parents. It will be held on Wednesday 11 July, 9.30am–12.30pm, at Earthwise, Subiaco. Cost is $5. For more info and to RSVP contact Steve McKinnon on 0416 118 185 or email stevemckinnon1 (at)

Encouraging quote for today

"How would you know if your mission on earth is accomplished? If you're alive - it's not." Richard Bach

Friday, June 15, 2012

Free environmental events for kids at the Grove Library (Cottesloe, Perth)

Snakes Alive!

During the July school holidays, kids can join Garry Davies who will explore the world of reptiles.
Gary is the Senior Reptile handler for the West Australian Reptile Park.
Gary will offer a close up and personal experience with some of Australia’s most feared animals during a free one hour session.
Children will be able to experience reptiles up close in a safe and controlled environment.
Date: 19th July
Time: 1.30pm – 2.30PM
Place: The Grove Library
“Suitable for children aged 6 – 12 years”.
Bookings essential as places are limited

School Holiday Challenge with Earth Carers – @ The Grove Library

Hey Kids
Are you ready for the Waste & Wheelie Bins Board Game Challenge?
Earth Carers staff from the Western Metropolitan Regional Council will visit The Grove Library on:
Date: Friday 20 July 2012
Time 11.30am – 2.30pm
Place: The Grove Library
Children of all ages can participate in the interactive waste education games, each with a different sustainability message.
Games include the giant ‘waste and wheelie bins’ board game, waste sorting game, Olympic compost throwing and battery relay.
A colouring-in station will also be here on the day.
No bookings are required.

Saving our churches easier than we think?

"Mainline renewal is, as one Lutheran pastor told me, "not rocket science." As he said, "You preach the gospel, offer hospitality, and pay attention to worship and people's spiritual lives. Frankly, you take Christianity seriously a a way of life."
... congregations have found new vitality through an intentional and transformative engagement  with Christian tradition as embodied in faith practices. Typically, they have rediscovered the riches of the Christian past and practice simple, but profound, things like discernment, hospitality, testimony, contemplation, and justice. They reach back to ancient wisdom and reach out through a life sustained by Christian devotional and moral practices. They know the biblical story and their own story. They focus more on God's grace in the world than on the eternal state of their own souls." Diana Butler Bass, Christianity for the Rest of Us, Haper One, 2006, pp. 7-8

New research on traits linked to sustainable behaviour

An interesting article in the Huff Post on why people 'go green'

The new research has found that "countries in which the populace was concerned with having high social cohesion or having tolerance and respect also scored highly with regards to environmental and social sustainability. People who value social responsibility among business leaders and those societies that had higher trust in one another were also more likely to be more focused on sustainability.
On the other hand, some traits tied to sustainability were less than obvious. For example, sustainable habits and practices were tied closely to countries where high levels of pay were important to people. Conversely, populations that were considered "unselfish" or focused on equality for all were not as likely to practice sustainable behaviors."

Although this research is based on country wide traits, I think it gives some encouragement for the likelihood of sustainable behaviours in churches. After all, one of our biggest assets is our social capital, including things like social cohesion, trust, tolerance and respect within our communities. Also, we believe in the importance of social justice and responsibility so I imagine we value this among business leaders.

I am less surprised than the author of the article about the link with high levels of pay as there is often a link between environmental concern and wealth. Though one should be careful in saying this because the poor definitely care about the environment - they feel the direct affects of degradation of the local environment long before the rich, but often they don't have time to think about broader environmental issues when they are struggling just to survive.

The last point though, about countries with a focus on equality being less likely to practice sustainable behaviours, I find a bit more confusing. Perhaps this is more coincidence than correlation, as more selfish countries like the US and Aus are richer and thus tend to focus more on sustainability.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

EmpowerWA: What are you doing for a cleaner tomorrow?

Join the movement in WA! Make a video about what you are doing for a cleaner tomorrow and post it here:
Also, check out the awesome map of what others in your area are doing.

Some interesting news items today:

Mining is digging the heart out of conservation covenants 

Across Australia, landholders are signing conservation agreements or covenants to protect biodiversity on their property. These agreements, offered by state governments, create private protected areas that commonly bind future landholders to protect the property’s biodiversity, ensuring the long-term survival of plant and animal communities.
It seems like a good deal: a private protected area comes at little to no cost to the government and offers protection to biodiversity that might not otherwise have been protected.
Unfortunately there’s a catch. The government does not exempt these private protected areas from mining activities. Rather, in all states of Australia, the government can still give miners permits to explore and extract in these private protected areas.

Lost in the clouds 

ABOUT 220 species of animals, reptiles and amphibians live in the lush rainforests of far north Queensland — with 90 or so found nowhere else in the world. But, because of the effects of a warming climate, the situation for 83 of these species is bleak, with many facing extinction over this century, says Professor Steve Williams.

Our fragile ocean under scrutiny

AUSTRALIA could be on the brink of making marine history.

In the near future, the Federal Government will decide on the creation of a marine park system around Australia, including whether to establish the world's largest highly protected marine national park in the Coral Sea.



Saturday, May 12, 2012

A really big thanks to everyone who came along to the Five Leaf Eco-Awards Presentation Ceremony today. It was a great event and enjoyed by all. Most of all - congratulations to our awardees!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Five Leaf Eco-Awards Presentation Ceremony this Sat in Perth!

4pm for a 4:30pm start.

St Luke's Anglican Parish Mosman Park, 20 Monument Street.

If you care about church greening and you're in Perth - be there!

New World Environment Day Resources Available

For resources to help plan services around the 5th of June (World Environment Day), see:

Friday, March 30, 2012

Event in Tasmania

15th-18th May, "ASSISI Formation - Animators for Sustainability Program"
Event name: ASSISI Formation - Animators for Sustainability Program
Date/time: 15th-18th May, 2012
Location: Maryknoll, Blackmans Bay, Tasmania
Note: The same program is also being held on 14th-16th March, at Hotel Victor, South Australia
Organisation: Catholic Earthcare Australia
Cost: $990 (incl. accom, w'shops, meals, support materials)
Description: A three-day intensive formation program for people interested in forming sustainability teams in their school, organisation or community. Themes: ecological theology, sustainability, building learning communities in your own context.
Are you wondering ...
  • What would it take to animate the call to justice, peace and integrity of creation such that we learn together how to live and work sustainably on our planet?
  • What is required for your organisation to take the transformative journey to ecological sustainability?
  • What wisdom exists in Catholic Teaching that may help you and your organisation respond to the call for ecological conversion and sustaining God's Creation?
  • What would it take to truly harness the energies of God's love?
Catholic Earthcare Australia offers ASSISI as a comprehensive and holistic sustainability initiative for organisations to achieve sustainability. A three-day intensive is central to the formation experience. Participants are required to do preparatory work and follow-up work. During the course of the formation experience, participants are exposed to contemporary ecological theology, scientific understandings of sustainability and transformative social processes that can inspire and support this critical work.
Would you like to join with others to seek, discern and transform a new way of being that responds to the call for ecological conversion through participation in our ASSISI Formation - Animators for Sustainability program?
Then find out more at:

Implementing the Rainbow Covenant for Earth Mission

Crowea saligna. Photo: Sandra Payne.A Rainbow Covenant for EarthMission has been developed by the National Council of Churches Eco-Mission Project Team, representing a significant development in mission within the Australian Church.  Congregations and mission groups are now invited to discuss this document and explore where and how it might serve as a vehicle for promoting our mission to Earth as an important dimension of the mission program of the church. How best can this document be utilised and promoted?  Would a manual be useful for parishes and groups to study the biblical basis of the document and provide guidelines as to ways in which an Earth mission might be implemented?  Would it be helpful to include a network of resources, and examples of how groups have been motivated to engage in Earth mission and to take practical action?  Would your congregation endorse this mission?  Please send any comments and suggestions to Clive Ayre,

Canberra Events

00% Ready: Clean Energy Public Forum

100%A vast majority of Australians support a move to 100% clean energy. But a lot also wonder whether we can make it happen yet. The Nature Conservation Council is holding forums across NSW to hear from locals who are leading the future in clean energy.  The forums are showcasing real stories from the clean energy frontline that prove we're 100% ready to start making the switch. Join the discussion and help Australia make the switch to 100% clean energy.
Andy Hughes - Office of Environment and Heritage
Deborah Kingsland - 100% Renewable Campaign
Jeff Knowles - PV Solar
Pat Osborne - Landholder Windfarm
Katrina Willis - Queanbeyan City Sustainability Initiative  
Free entry, refreshments provided. Register now at
When: Tuesday 3 April, 6:30-8:30pm
Where: RB Smith Community Centre, 262 Crawford St, Queanbeyan

Coal Seam Gas: Is It All It's Made Out To Be? 

book coverThe ACT Greens MLAs invite you to a public forum on CSG.

Australia’s latest Energy White Paper suggests we are entering the golden age of gas and the ACT is increasingly looking to gas as an option in meeting its 40% emission reduction targets. But from where will this gas be sourced? As Australia seeks out alternative sources of energy, where does Coal Seam Gas (CSG) stand as an option? Comprising 13% of Australia’s domestic gas supply and heralded as emitting 70% fewer emissions than coal, is CSG as clean as some make it out to be?

Join us for an open discussion with our guest panel:
Ruth Armstrong - Queensland grain and cotton farmer and Save our Darling Downs Member
Larissa Waters - Greens Senator
Carmel Flint - Lock the Gate and the North West Environment Council
Dr Gavin Mudd - Senior Lecturer in Environmental Engineering, Monash University
Sean Munro - Australian Student Environment Network and ANU Environment Collective

When: Wednesday 4th April, 6 for a 6.15pm start
Where: Pilgrim Conference Centre, 69 Northbourne Avenue, Civic

Important Lessons from the Bible

Why Jesus came:
"that the world might be saved through him"
John 3:17

Who Jesus is going to use to save the world:
"For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God."
Romans 8:19

Our role on earth:
"The LORD God put the man in the Garden of Eden to take care of it and to look after it."
Genesis 2:15

The Five Pillars of A Christian Theology of Sustainability

1. God is the creator, sustainer and redeemer of creation.

2. Covenantal Stewardship (we have a covenant with God as stewards of the earth).

3. The creation-fall-redemption paradigm (God made a good world; human failure broke the relationships between god, man and creation; Christ provides hope for all creation).

4.Bodily resurrection(we will rise with bodies, not as spirits)

5.New Creation (a new Heaven and new Earth refers to a renewal and an earthing of heaven, not starting over).

Adapted from When Enough is Enough: A Christian Framework for Environmental Sustainability, Edited by R.J. Berry, Published by Inter-Varsity Press, 2007, Nottingham p43+