Nov 05, 2008 - 3:16pm
Approximately 50 representatives from more than four different faith
groups celebrated the official launch of a new multi-faith climate
change network in Sydney on Monday.
A diverse range of people from
religious traditions including Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and the
Baha’i Faith gathered at the al-Ghazzali Centre for Islamic Sciences and
Human Development in Lakemba to celebrate the formation of the
Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC).
to Imam Afroz Ali, a founding member of ARRCC, and Founder and
President of the al-Ghazzali Centre, nothing replaces positive
faith-based action. “I want you to go back to your leaders, and tell
them to get down from their pulpits and get their hands dirty in
addressing climate change. Religious voices and religious actions are
needed on this most pressing issue of our times”, he told the gathering.
by the conviction that climate change is a moral and spiritual issue
about the responsibility to safeguard creation, and to protect the poor
and future generations, ARRCC aims to support and inspire people of
faith across Australia to take action on climate change.
At a time
when people can feel overwhelmed by the issue of climate change or
overtaken by other concerns, ARRCC also brings a message of
empowerment. “We people of faith want to act in true hope. Communities
and people of faith are called to believe that change is possible and
we are a part of it,” said ARRCC President Thea Ormerod.
al-Ghazzali Centre is an example of the kind of changes that a faith
community can make. The centre has switched to Green Power, and at the
launch announced its intention to install compact fluorescent lighting
in the homes of 200 or more community members as well as a solar hot
water system at the centre. Until the solar system is installed, the
centre will use only cold water, including for ritual ablution. The
centre also one of the first faith communities to participate in the
Renewable Energy Fundraiser for Places of Worship. The Fundraiser is an
initiative of ARRCC and Jackgreen, in which participating faith
communities will receive a financial reward when their members switch to
These are the types of actions that are applauded by
The Most Reverend Kevin Manning, Catholic Bishop of Parramatta, another
of the speakers at the launch. “Small actions count, and small actions
build community”, he said.
ARRCC advocates not only for practical
action at the community level, but also for changes at the broader
political level. In demonstrating that they themselves are willing to
respond to the challenge of climate change, the ARRCC network calls upon
others to do likewise. ARRCC will join Australians from all walks of
life at the Walk Against Warming on 15 November to send a message to the
government to take the steps that are necessary to protect the world’s
poor and future generations.