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Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Story of : Maroubra Junction Uniting Church, Sydney, NSW

Winner of the Five Leaf Eco-Awards Basic Certificate

Project Green Church was a grass roots environmental project of Maroubra Junction Uniting Church that ran from 2006 to 2009. As Christians, we are committed to social and ecological justice and believe we have a moral imperative to act if we want to leave our children an inhabitable planet. The project, which stemmed from these convictions, was designed to make the church more environmentally sustainable and help inspire others to follow our example.
Our activities covered three main areas – buildings and property, possession and skill sharing, and mission and outreach. In addition to our website, we also created an 18 minute documentary about our story.

In July 2006, we installed a 5000 litre water tank that services the toilets for our preschool and our garden hose. We received subsidies totalling $2550 from Randwick City Council and Sydney Water. This simple step saves our church hundreds of litres per day. We have affectionately named our water tank Delilah and have beautified her with the image of the “Woman at the Well” painted by Sydney’s local hip hop graffiti artist Mistery. We chose this not only for its water symbology but also for its strong social justice message.

We also try to share possessions to reduce our use of material resources. In early 2007 we became members of GoGet carshare, allowing church members to join the scheme through the church account. This allowed members to forgo a personal car, but still allowed them access to one for the odd occasion where public transport, cycling or walking will not suffice. Church members receive cheaper access to the service through our system as they only have to pay the usage charges. There are currently 18 church members participating in the scheme.
We also established a vegetable garden at our student accommodation, a recycling scheme in our church buildings, and purchased a cordless electric mower known as the “ecomower” which we share with our community. We use the mower to do the lawns for those who can’t manage it themselves. Randwick council thought it was such a good idea they bought us a second one. Victa Lawn Mower helped by providing us with the mowers at wholesale prices.
We installed two solar hot water systems on the rooves of our student accommodation. These systems provide 100% of the hot water needs during summer and up to 80% during winter. These energy savings mean that within 7 years the units will have paid for themselves. The supplier Solarhart also gave us a 20% discount.

In 2007-2008 we ran a GreenPower Challenge and found approximately 40% of our congregational members had switched over to GreenPower.
We also installed two Nubian Oasis grey water treatment systems on our student accommodation. The water is collected from the showers, hand basins and washing machines, and is treated and recycled for use in the washing machines, toilets and outdoors. This project was funded by the Australian Government Community Water Grants program.
We also ran community events, including two open days where we invited the community to share in our hospitality and to learn about our environmental activities. We also organised two Clean Up Australia Day clean ups/festivals together with other local churches.
While Project Green Church is has formally finished, our ecological commitment has not. We continue to have regular preaching on ecological issues and a monthly “green testimony” during the announcements where a member of the congregation shares something that they have been doing to protect the environment in their own life. We are also a part of the local climate change advocacy group, the South East Climate Action Coalition.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great post! There are so many students interested how 'eco - sustainable' their accommodation is/
    I have also found
    To be very useful which also provide tips and hints and news that affects students


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+