In just two years we've achieved some amazing things. As we look forward, we remember where we've come from and the wins along the way.
At Common Grace, we have a passion to see Christians in churches across Australia deeply concerned about human-induced climate change, and proactively acting together to address the impacts of climate change.
We think one of the best ways that we can work towards seeing this vision become a reality, is by inspiring and resourcing our Common Grace members to boldly champion the cause of addressing climate change in their local churches. This year, we're planning to:
Develop and communicating an effective climate narrative
We're aware that climate justice is not necessarily a priority for many Christians and we're determined to understand why. What are the theological arguments that stop people from engaging in proactively caring for our earth? What are the theological arguments for Christians acting that are most compelling? What words and phrases have negative associations for people and how can we communicate about caring for God's creation in a way that is most effective?
This year we're hoping to do some real research, consultation and evaluation around all of this, to inform our mobilisation work so that is more robust and effective.
Build an active network of influencers
In the past we've been able to gather Christians who are passionate about addressing climate change - but we want to do more of it! We're hoping to bring together Christian church leaders, key influencers and other Christians to be equipped strategically to mobilise their local churches - equipped with the findings related to language and theology that our research has unearthed, of course!
Identify and amplifying vulnerable voices
The fact is that humanity's failure to care for God's good earth is affecting some of the world's most vulnerable people more than anyone. We want to make sure that their stories feature most prominently in all we do - not just because amplifying marginalised voices is a foundational ethic for Common Grace, but because these stories are an effective way to move the hearts of others, so that they too will advocate for the creation.
We're also conscious of the fact that it is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who were the original custodians of the land here in Australia and whose stewardship we have much to learn from - so let's learn!
Give key Christian leaders the opportunity to go public
Our Christian leaders can help turn whole churches and denominations, and attract media attention. Public expressions of concern, conviction and confession can help give permission for others to follow their example, while breaking down our barriers, and lead to a more positive public Christian witness. As a Common Grace team, we're committed to chasing down opportunities for those in our community to 'go public' with their passion for caring for God's earth - and to hopefully bring others along for the ride!
Keep our finger on the pulse during key climate action moments
There is a strong climate justice sector that is ready to mobilise at key moments (for example, when certain legislation is being voted on in parliament) and we want to ensure that Christians are 'sharing the load' at these pivotal times - encouraging other Christians to engage with our elected decision makers, and bringing witness to God - who after all is the Creator of all that the whole sector is fighting to protect. What a brilliant opportunity for us as Christians!
There's obviously a lot of work to be done between the articulation of the vision above and actually achieving these outcomes - ranging from the administrative tasks to research to communications work to event co-ordination ... and the truth is that the task ahead can seem a bit daunting. So we really do covet the support of the movement as we embark upon this journey.
One of the most helpful ways that you can support us (aside from prayer, which is ALWAYS needed!) is by donating towards the labour costs of our staff and contractors who will actually do this work, and towards the web platform costs associated with making our formational resources accessible. You can partner with us in this way here.
If whilst reading the vision that we've articulated above, you're aware that you have expertise, research or media skills that could be helpful to us (and you'd like to volunteer to contribute them!) we'd love to hear from you. Pease contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.