The Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) urges parishes to participate in a gentle, prayerful and hopeful action in the #PrayForOurPacific Sabbath on 3-11 September 2016 to support this campaign initiated by some Christians in Fiji who are part of 350.org, a global movement acting on climate change.
Pacific Islanders are experiencing the impacts of sea level rise, drought and intensified storms. They also know the power of prayer and the power of hope to empower action on climate change. #PrayForOurPacific could be a way of helping your community to become more aware of the need for action on climate change. The organisers would like to use photos and video footage from various participating communities to compile a YouTube clip that can be used to encourage hope and action on social media. The Uniting Church in Strathfield is participating and the Pacific Calling Partnership at the Edmund Rice Centre also promotes it.
It could be as simple as including the theme of standing with our Pacific Island neighbours in the Commentary, Prayers of the Faithful, children’s liturgy, the homily and one or two of the hymns, or it could include showing a video clip after Mass or in the lead up to the weekend.
Here are two examples which relate to Cyclone Winston which hit Fiji earlier this year: https://youtu.be/PGD2DMCUhJ0 and https://youtu.be/OBBJrpSW1J8. A reflective, shorter film clip towards the end of Mass might be this prize-winning poem “Dear Matafele Peinem”, which was read at a UN Climate Summit in 2014: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJuRjy9k7GA .
Each church can be registered once and when you have registered your church, you will be automatically sent an email acknowledging your registration. Registration will also generate your location on the map of the Pacific where you can track the participating churches and which churches are participating on the same day as you. In the email you will also receive a link to various resources you may like to use and information that may be useful in planning your #PrayForOurPacific event.
Here's how to join the #prayforourpacific campaign:
1. On July 11th, the #PrayForThePacific online registration will be launched
2. Register your church to participate!
3. Share the registration page with your friends and family from other churches!
4. Plan your event!
6. Share it with us using the #PrayForOurPacific hashtag on social media!