Season of Creation: Conversation

Start with your own friends and family and make sure that we continue to have these conversations. It's a long term conversation. It's not just one time. Keep having the conversations.

The following is an edited excerpt from a recorded conversation between Common Grace CEO Brooke Prentis and Christian ecological ethicist Dr Byron Smith, facilitated by Common Grace’s Creative and Communications Director, Brigitta Ryan. It is titled 2020, the Year of Disruption: COVID-19, Black Lives Matter and the Climate Crisis. Listen to the full conversation here


BROOKE PRENTIS: Every time I speak, [about Aboriginal justice] I always say “there's places I'll never be able to reach.” And so I hope that those who are listening to us in conversation together take one thing out of what we've said and have a conversation with your own friends, your own family, your own faith community, so that we do create that ripple effect [of change].
It's true, together we feel less tired and less alone. We're not doing this by ourselves. We're surrounded by community. But let's keep building community upon community. And you know the best place you can have your conversation is around your dining table, if you are privileged enough to have a dining table. To actually sit together and to talk about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander injustice, creation and climate justice.
Start with your own friends and family and make sure that we continue to have these conversations. It's a long term conversation. It's not just one time. Keep having the conversations.

DR BYRON SMITH: Can I ask another question? That can be pretty daunting: the idea of sitting down round a dining table with others in your household or with friends who have different ideas to you and, you know, are probably gonna raise things you don't have answers to. Do you need to have worked at all those answers?

BROOKE PRENTIS: No, you don't. And I think as I've traveled around the world, actually, it's a very Australian cultural thing to need to have the answers.
And so, that's part of my faith journey. That the mystery of God and the Holy Spirit and Jesus together — that helps to deepen faith. We're not meant to, as humans, have all the answers. God is the only one. And so why do we have to do that in our individual conversations?

BRIGITTA RYAN: Christian and author Rachel Held Evans wrote “If the biggest story we can imagine is about God's loving and redemptive work in the world, then our lives will be shaped by that epic.” And I think that sums up what you've both touched on as we've had this conversation — that if there is a fear of not having all the answers, well, we still know of God's redemptive work and we can tell that story. To wrap up, what's the story that you want to be telling five years from now, about 2020?

BROOKE PRENTIS: The story I want to be telling is that, in 2020, peoples in these lands now called Australia, woke up. And around the world, they (peoples) woke up and we built a different future together. It's not too long ago we had the bushfires and the death of the trees and the plants and the animals. We've lost so much in 2020. But that loss drove us to the action to create a different future for all where all flourish. Not just a few.

DR BYRON SMITH: I think I just want to say “amen”. What a beautiful story that we would seize the moment that God has given us today to repent once again about ongoing complicity in the stories that are driving the planet into the dust and grinding so many of our neighbours underfoot. And that we would bathe ourselves in life-giving nourishing stories and live that out in the footsteps of Jesus of Nazareth who gave himself for us.



As we finish up our Season of Creation journey take time to reflect on Brooke and Byron’s discussion on how we faithfully and courageously seize this moment that God has given us.

Over the past weeks we have been challenged to see how, in this moment of reset and reorienting, our discipleship requires personal, social and ecological repentance, as Byron states, of our ‘ongoing complicity in the stories that are driving the planet to dust and grinding so many of our neighbours underfoot’.

We have been challenged to wake up, and stay awake to the calls for justice we hear as our world grapples with the COVID-19 crisis and faces an increasingly urgent need to act for a safe climate.

We have been encouraged to take time to listen and learn from our neighbours and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as we find new ways of being and doing. We have been invited to seek life-giving stories that help inform our witness and work as Jesus’ love in action in His world.

As Brooke powerfully reminds us this week, we don’t need to know all the answers to step out in faith and have conversations to encourage change.

Pray that as we listen to our neighbours that we will be faithful and courageous in our responses — boldly speaking with our communities and dedicating ourselves to uphold God’s intention to see all of creation flourish. Pray and act so that our faith communities would be communities that embody Jesus’ good news for His world, reflecting Paul’s appeal to us in Romans 12:9-12.

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good;  love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.

Romans 12:9-12


Take action: Join a Grassroots Electorate Group

If you are looking for opportunities to faithfully and courageously seize this moment that God has given us please consider joining Christians Together for Climate as part of a Grassroots Electorate Group. We are currently searching for people in priority electorates to collectively engage their local Federal parliamentarian or State Senator on matters of creation and climate justice.

This is an opportunity for you to play a critical role in seeking federal support for a ‘bold and credible national climate plan’ to make the transformational shifts required to reach our Paris Agreement commitments.

Find out more

Jubilee for the Earth