Tenth Anniversary Celebrations
The Five Leaf Eco-Awards are turning 10 years old!
Here are 3 ways to celebrate:
1. National: share our Praise & Thanksgiving Picture Prayer with your congregation!
Since we are all everywhere, to celebrate we are asking that each church shares our Praise & Thanksgiving Picture Prayer in your service at some point in November to remind your congregation of their awards, the awards they are pursuing, and the network they are part of through the Five Leaf Eco-Awards.
You can download the prayer PowerPoint here (11MB) and flicking through the pictures quickly it will take roughly 5 minutes. If that’s too long, feel free to cut, edit, or just say a quick prayer for all the churches in the Five Leaf Eco-Awards program. There is also a handout of church action pictures available, if you would like to share this way.
2. Sydney: have a drink with us!
Join us to celebrate 10 years on Saturday 17th of November, at the Dove and Olive in Surrey Hills. Meet at 6:30pm for dinner, or from 7:30pm on to have a drink and share stories about what your church has done, and hear stories from others. This is an informal networking event, so drop in or out as you can.
3. Share the word!
Tell your church friends who have been thinking about applying to do it now. It takes 5 minutes with our new survey. Tell your neighbourhood churches, the churches in your Synod/Presbytery/Cluster/Diocese/Archdiocese/Bishop. Tell everyone!
A Message to all Award Winning Congregations, friends and supporters, from Director Jessica Morthorpe:
As a friend and supporter of the Five Leaf Eco-Awards, I am writing to invite you to celebrate a significant milestone with us. Our awards have now been running for 10 years!
It’s been a long and important journey to get to where we are today – a national program with 33 awardee churches and 3 awardee organisations.
It all started back in 2008 when I attended an interfaith conference and was asked to share what Christianity had to say about the environment. My research led me to discover the field of ecotheology, and I was finally able to meld my two biggest passions – my faith and my love of the environment – together.
Inspired and excited by this, I leapt into creating the Five Leaf Eco-Awards. I was determined to see churches doing much more for the environment, and hoped the awards might be able to provide incentive and support for them to do so.
The decision changed my life.
With the help of Cath James, Dr. Miriam Pepper and other friends, I developed the criteria of the awards, and in November 2008 I began talking to churches in Melbourne about the possibility of getting involved. On January 18th 2009, we presented our first award to Port Melbourne Uniting Church in VIC, followed by awards to another five churches at an Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) dinner on World Environment Day 2010. After moving to Canberra, I received a lot of support and encouragement from friends and churches in the ACT, and then in WA after a move to Perth. I’m currently based in Sydney, and we now have award winning churches in the NT, QLD, SA and TAS as well 😊
It turns out I had no idea just how many churches were already doing truly amazing things! I think the biggest gift of Five Leaf has ended up being uncovering and sharing these stories, and helping environmental activists in churches to feel connected and part of a wider network of action. From Port Melbourne to Darwin, Boyup Brook to Kiama, Kippax to Adelaide, Geelong and Brisbane, all around Australia, amazing things are being done by ordinary, dedicated people like you. It’s super inspiring, and it keeps me fired up and keen to keep going.
It’s not always been easy, juggling study and paid work with volunteering for Five Leaf, but I wouldn’t give it up for the world.
I’ve learned so much from all of you, and it’s a great honour being able to cheer you and your churches on in their sustainability journeys. Presenting the awards and celebrating with you is always my favourite bit.
I bet lots of your churches are probably about ready to apply for another award, right? :p
So, 10 years is a big deal. Since we are all everywhere, to celebrate we are asking that you share our Praise & Thanksgiving Picture Prayer in your service at some point in November to remind your congregation of their awards, the awards they are pursuing, and the network they are part of through the Five Leaf Eco-Awards.
You can download the prayer PowerPoint here, and flicking through the pictures quickly it will only take roughly 5 minutes. If that’s too long, feel free to cut, edit, or just say a quick prayer for all the churches in the Five Leaf Eco-Awards program. There is also a handout of church action pictures available, if you would like to share this way.
For those in Sydney, please join us to celebrate our anniversary with food and drinks on Saturday 17th of November from 6:30pm at the Dove and Olive, Surrey Hills.
We would also love you to spread the word, and nag other churches in your area, or further abroad about whether they have applied for an award yet.
For those who have been with us for a while, applications for the Basic Certificate are now just a simple online survey. Please spread the word and encourage as many churches as possible to apply. There are still dozens and dozens of churches around Australia who have done enough for awards – and just don’t know it yet. And even if they don’t win an award, the survey can give them some ideas and give us better information about what churches are doing, and where we can help.
Wishing you all joy and abundant blessings,