Here is how your church can be part of the campaign. Action is always easier when it is shared, so we encourage you to connect with others in your congregation who want a better climate future, and work together on the following steps:
12 Steps to Success:
Check if your council has already signed up to the Cities Power Partnership. To do so, go here: https://citiespowerpartnership.org.au/ and click “view power partners by list” above the map.
Organise a meeting at church to share each other’s stories about climate change. These might be stories about the impact of extreme weather on you and/or your friends or family, stories about your worries, or those of your family around climate change, stories about your love for nature, or stories about how you came to realise climate change is an important challenge.
If possible, get people to write them down – this will become a great resource for your advocacy and to help you talk about the cares and concerns of your congregation.
Talk to your church council about campaigning to get your local council to sign up.
Then brief your congregation about the campaign in a service and pray for your city council, and that they will sign up.
Put a climate banner in front of your church. Pick from our designs here: https://nswact.uca.org.au/communications/communications-services/vinyl-banners/
Find your Mayor’s email and postal address – a quick google search or phone call is all it will take.
Download this draft email and attach this document and send to your council.
Or better yet, print copies and hold a letter writing morning tea after church. Ask all your church members to fill in the gaps to personalise the messages and send.
Make sure to let us (jmorthorpe (at) uniting.org) know that you have sent a letter or email to your council so we can follow up.
If your council hasn’t already signed up at this point, ask all your church members to tell their friends and neighbours to also send an email to the council asking them to sign up to the CPP– the more people in your area who contact your council the better!
Follow up by getting your Minister and church council to write to each councillor, thanking them for their service and asking them to support the council joining the CPP.
From the replies, identify which councillors are the most supportive, and meet with them to ask if they will champion the proposal.
Also ask if your council meetings have an unscheduled time when you/your group can speak. If so, attend a council meeting and speak.
Organise a public meeting. Invite the Mayor, all your local councillors, all your local environment and climate groups and anyone who is interested. Use the meeting to show that you have community concern and interest.
Use your church sign (if you have one that can be changed) to encourage the council to sign up to CPP.
Ask to meet with your Mayor. If they support the proposal, ask if they can make it a mayoral minute.
Put together a delegation of church leaders and local community members, to meet with your state and federal members.
If you still haven’t received a positive outcome, start a community petition and present it to your Mayor.
Once they sign up – celebrate!
Celebrating gives us energy for our next steps, so this is essential.
- Look up what commitments your council has made – are they good, or could they be better?
- If they could be improved, modify steps 2 – 11 to encourage them to do more.
- If they are good, encourage them to mentor another local council into joining the program and consider asking them to declare a climate emergency (if they haven’t already).
- Participate in advocacy to your State and Federal governments around climate change.
Additional ideas for Churches:
The Synod Climate Action Strategy is also encouraging congregations and individuals to act to reduce their emissions. To find out more about what you can do, visit:
Ask members to turn their lights off for Earth Hour, and hold a service by candle-light outside the church. For liturgy ideas, contact Jessica.
On Sunday June 8th 2020 (World Oceans Day and the closest Sunday to World Environment Day (5th June)) theme your service around prayers for action on climate change. For prayer and liturgy ideas, contact Jessica or Jason.
Sign your church up for the Five Leaf Eco-Awards, and invite your Mayor to attend when your awards are presented. For more info see: https://fiveleafecoawards.org/
Cities Power Partnership Intro
Draft individual email and letter to council
Draft church council letter to councillors
CPP Document for councils
Where to get help
If you would like more information or assistance in working through these steps, feel free to contact Jessica – jmorthorpe (at) uniting.org