Around 40 people gathered on Sunday 8 September 2019 for Living the Change Year Two. This was a joint Australias Religious Response to Climate Change, United Religious Initiatives and Religions for Peace Victoria activity
The guest speaker was Rev. Glen Loughrey, a Wiradjuri man from NSW and an Anglican priest at St Oswald’s in Glen Iris, Melbourne. He was very engaging and the subject material was thought provoking. He encouraged people to identify with a global consciousness to tackle climate change issues. He offered the aboriginal experience of working with multiple identities, including identifying with their country, as a helpful model for non-indigenous people to think of when identifying as a global ecological citizen.
People then worked in groups of six to eight to talk about changes they had made in reducing their carbon footprint and what they found hard. Jonathan Keran-Black gave some suggestions on how to talk to people about climate change. Then in pairs, people chose one change that they want to support – either cutting down flying, cutting down driving or eating less meat and each person worked to convince their partner to also make that change. There was energy and enthusiasm as people were able to talk to someone they didn’t know well about making a change and working out the best way to go about it.
Everyone joined in a game of heads and hips and tried to guess which of the two options would deliver the greatest reduction in greenhouse gases. The two winner were given easy vegan cookbooks. We gathered together to take a photo with the words “Join in Living the Change” and then continued chatting over a delicious vegan afternoon tea. The food was provided by the Asylum Resource Centre and volunteers.
There were many positive comments about the whole event and the quality of the speaker.
Eight people had photos taken with their commitments to take further actions to reduce greenhouse gasses and eight people also committed to attend the climate strike on 20 September. The gathering was uplifting and motivated a significant number of people to make additional commitments to Live the Change. The small committee organising the event met entirely through zoom meetings, which reduced the carbon footprint of the event as a whole. Overall the afternoon was a success and it is hoped that even more people will be encouraged to attend when the Living the Change event occurs next year.
Sue Ennis Secretary of Religions for Peace Australia is happy to run or arrange for the ARRCC Living the Change sessions (2 hours) for religious communities. Please contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org