Our Presbytery is celebrating three churches who have finished their Five Leaf Eco-Awards. The awards are comprehensive and encourage greening in five different areas: the buildings, worship, actions by congregation members, outreach and community leadership. To get a Basic Certificate you need to complete actions in all five areas. There are other Eco-awards that focus on a specific area such as: Eco-Worship Award, Climate Activism Award, Advanced Eco-Church Building Leaf Award, Advanced Eco-Congregation Leaf Award, Advanced Eco-Outreach Leaf Award. The top award is the Five Leaf Eco-Award.
Photo Credit from Andrea Mayes – Planting at Ngambie 2023 photo
Leighmoor Uniting Church were presented with their Basic Certificate on 10 September at their usual service. They have very been passionate on climate issues as a Church. Over the last few years they have implemented initiatives to help raise community awareness and reduce their carbon foot print. Some highlights include installing twenty solar panels, installing rainwater tanks, planting seedlings every year at a Trust for Nature property in Nagambie and sending a letter to all their neighbours outlining what the church is doing to care for the environment and encouraging the neighbours to join in taking action.
Heatherton Dingley Uniting Church were presented with their Basic Certificate and Eco-Worship Award on 8 October at their usual service. They have been on the journey to become environmentally friendly for a long time. In 2012 a 4kW solar panel system and solar hot water system were installed. In 2021 energy efficient lighting was installed. In 2022 they applied for a grant through Sustainability Victoria’s Community Climate Change and Energy Program to replace 4 old gas heaters in the church with two energy efficient split system reverse cycle heaters/air conditioners, which happened earlier this year. Caring for creation has been a theme for six worship services over the past year. In 2023 they started a bi-monthly Dog Church service, where they think about how dogs can connect us with God and encourage us to care for the broader natural world.
St Leonard’s Uniting Church, Brighton Beach will be presented with their Basic Certificate and Eco-Worship Award on 29 October at their usual service. The LEAF group at St Leonard’s has been active this year.
*Initiating environmental breakfast events with guest speakers. In June, Brad Denniston encouraged us to consider Christian theology related to climate action, while in August we learnt of the good work of the agronomist Tony Rinaudo known as the ‘Forest maker’.
If you would like to demonstrate your commitment to becoming an environmentally friendly church and apply for a Five Leaf Eco-Award either fill in the survey at fiveleafecoawards.org or email details of what you have done to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every small thing we do makes a difference.
By Andrea Mayes, Deacon, Heatherton Dingley Uniting Church