St Mark’s Anglican Church, South Hurstville, NSW

EcoChurch is a local initiative of St Mark’s. It is about being committed stewards of God’s creation. It’s about responding to the current environmental crisis in our global village, by taking actions as a church and as individuals.

EcoChurch is an environmental project for the parish and community that demonstrates our commitment to the stewardship of God’s creation, provides connections with our local community, educates parishioners and community about climate change and other environmental issues, and facilitates action to reduce harmful environmental impact.

Environmental issues feature in the media almost every day. Two of the more significant ones are ‘water’ and ‘greenhouse’. A growing number of Christians now understand that concern and responsibility for the environment flow directly from our faith. Many churches, particularly at their governing bodies’ level, have considered environmental issues, prepared reports, and adopted resolutions – some have acted. This proposal is primarily about taking action – doing things to reduce both town water use and greenhouse gas emissions.

A project team has developed three strategies:

  • improvements in church buildings and a new environmental focus in      our parish life
  • education and improvements in parish households
  • taking the experience to the broader church and the local community.

EcoChurch was launched and dedicated on Palm Sunday 2007, the day after ‘Earth Hour‘ – an initiative of World Wildlife Fund and the Sydney Morning Herald to switch off Sydney’s lights for one hour from 7.30pm on Saturday 31 March 2007 – “to show the world that Sydney cares enough about global warming to take action.” As a special project, EcoChurch ran World Environmental Day 2008. EcoChurch is now part of the norm.

Achievements to date:

  • Recycling centre expanded to include the collection of computers      and associated equipment, which will be recycled by Psychiatric      Rehabilitation Australia. PRA provides employment opportunities for people      living with mental illness and psychiatric disability. One in initiative      thjat PRA supports is an e-waste rec cv/vcycling centre – October 2009.
  • Sisters      on the Planet – inspiring women and climate change. An Ecumenical      celebration on International Women’s Day in conjunction with Oxfam and      Kogarah/Brighton-le-Sands Uniting Church 8 March 2009. Read newspaper      article St      George & Sutherland Shire Leader
  • EcoLiving      Workshop on ‘water tanks’ for local community in conjunction with      Kogarah Council 18 February 2009.
  • EcoChurch      – A Model for Faith Communities presentation at A Moral Climate      Conference 6 May 2008
  • St Mark’s ‘signed-up’ for second Earth Hour 29 March 2008
  • 10,000 water tank installed January 2008, serving St Mark’s      Kindergarten
  • St Mark’s represented in the Walk Against Warming 11      November 2007 coordinated by the Nature Conservation Council of NSW
  • Recycling centre established for printing cartridges, spectacles,      magazines, postage stamps, candle wax, in addition to the long standing      community clothing bin
  • Funding raised for a water tank to be used for St Mark’s      Pre-School Kindergarten toilet flushing
  • EcoGoals agreement distributed to members of St Mark’s
  • Monthly education flyers distributed to St Mark’s members
  • EcoChurch launch on Palm Sunday, the day after 2007 Earth Hour
  • St Mark’s ‘signed-up’ for the first Earth Hour 31 March 2007

Bruce Cooke and Chris Albany represented St Mark’s at the Faith Ecology Network series of seminars ‘Climate Faith Change’ held at Auburn in June 2007. The seminars explored the various faith responses to climate change. The Network is an initiative of the Columban Centre for Peace Ecology and Justice based in Sydney. It was wonderful to more deeply understand Aboriginal, Buddhist, Muslim, Baha’i, Catholic, Uniting, Hindu, Jewish, Anglican faiths and their understanding of the ‘world’. An Anglican response to Climate Change was given by Bruce Cooke at one of the seminars.

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