St Michael’s is passionate about ecological justice. Planet Earth is our one and only home! As guardians of this remarkable creation, we understand earth Justice as rooted in loving and understanding the whole world and all its inhabitants.
We belong to a world which is intimately interconnected.
We are exploring what we can do to enhance the environment in this time of climate crisis through learning, liturgy and action.
St Michael’s Environmental Action Group (EAG)
In September 2022, the St Michael’s Church Council developed an Environmental Action Plan for St Michael’s to support Uniting Church Australia’s Action Plan, which aims achieve net zero emissions by 2040.
Our Environmental Action Plan aims to:
• Reduce its carbon footprint
• Encourage the St Michael’s congregation to take positive and urgent action on climate change
• Seek opportunities to collaborate with inner city congregations and the City of Melbourne to support actions on addressing climate change.
The plan was developed by the EAG and adopted by the St Michael’s Church Council. The EAG is now overseeing its implementation.
Congregational awareness and education
Throughout the year, St Michael’s holds church services which are explicit in addressing climate change and our responsibility to care for the environment. These include raising awareness of special days such as Earth Day, World Environment Day and the Season of Creation during September. On other Sundays, environmental issues are included in reflections and prayers.
We encourage and build the capacity and capability of our congregation to take individual and collective action on climate change by running educational and self-reflection sessions in after-church programs. We invite our congregation to participate in environmental events and sessions to hear and learn from environmental/climate experts and those taking action on climate change.
Reflections offered in our services draw on eco-theology, which is grounded in the belief that religion and nature are deeply interconnected. It embraces both science and religion as different, not conflicting lenses through which we view our world. Christian eco-theology recognises that our faith has contributed to the damage that humans have done to nature.
There are now many theologians and teachers who seek to redress the harm by developing theologies that lead to a new religious ethic. Their vision embraces the well-being of the earth and all its diverse creatures.
Our buildings and operations
The EAG has reviewed how St Michael’s can continually improve our environmental performance, including financing options.
We have audited our energy use, installed energy-efficient lighting, and have sought a carbon-neutral electric power provider.
We continue to audit our waste and develop systems to better manage and reduce our waste.
We continue to investigate St Michael’s purchasing to support social enterprises/businesses that contribute to social and environmental justice.
Engagement with wider faith and community group activities
St Michael’s actively seeks opportunities to collaborate, support or partner with inner city congregations, the City of Melbourne and other groups to address climate change.
We routinely display large climate-action-related posters in front of our building on Melbourne’s busy Collins Street. We also advertise notices for events such as prayer gatherings and climate marches in our weekly eNews.
St Michael’s is a member of the multi-faith organisation Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC)