In a spirit of community building and healing, the faith communities of Holy Cross Anglican and St Margaret’s Uniting in Hackett in Canberra’s inner north recently hosted a festival focussed on sustainability.
The ‘Sustaining Our Future’ Festival on the weekend of September 19-20 brought together local groups and speakers to offer information on climate change and inspiration on how to reduce one’s individual or household waste and carbon footprint.
“During these pandemic times, it’s even more important we find ways to get together safely and discuss common concerns, be inspired and make a difference,” said Reverend Chris Lockley of St Margaret’s.
People were able to test ride electric bikes and learn about composting. There was also a concert in the church featuring singer-songwriter Lucy Sugerman and local youth bands, a visual arts exhibition, and an ecumenical ‘Celebration of Creation’ worship service.
The program included an ACT election candidates forum moderated by Dickson College students.
“It was a great opportunity for our young people, who have a lot invested in a low-carbon future, to quiz local candidates about their sustainability policies ahead of the October poll,” said Reverend Tim Watson of Holy Cross.
This event, the first of its kind in Hackett, demonstrated the potential of the venue for more community events in the future where people can gather for spiritual and personal resourcing, community development, and to encourage each other in working for the Common Good.”
The Festival was organised as part of Holy Cross/St Margaret’s joint Carbon Action Project, launched earlier this year. Both churches have committed to make their operations carbon neutral within two years, and to help church members and the local community take climate change seriously through local action and engagement.
The once-fixed pews in the ecumenical Hackett church were recently removed to allow for more dynamic and mixed uses of the interior worship space.
“The event was joyful and inclusive, and it put our mandate to evangelise as followers of Jesus into practice in so many different ways. It was a real celebration of beauty (art, music, God’s creation), truth (political debate, scientific and practical learning) and goodness (community, social and environmental action)”, said Reverend Watson.
“It also resonated with Bishop Mark’s encouraging comment about enabling people to return to church after lockdown: ‘re-integrating people to community through community, and helping us think about how we could implement similar steps with people who’ve never been part of our gathered worship’,” Rev. Watson added.
The two ministers also thanked volunteers who worked hard to make it happen.
“So many people made the event work. There were many hours served planning it and then during – to ensure it was safe and kept the festival moving along,” said Rev. Lockley.
Canberra’s inner north will this weekend host a Sustaining Our Future Festival that seeks to reduce our carbon footprint and build resilient communities.
The churches of Holy Cross Anglican and St Margaret’s Uniting in Hackett have put together an afternoon of talks, demonstrations and tips for action.
“If you want to do something about climate change but aren’t sure where to start, the festival can help identify simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint, tell you how much CO2 you would save and inspire ideas for the future,” said Reverend Chris Lockley of St Margaret’s.
“During these pandemic times, it’s even more important we find ways to get together safely and discuss common concerns and to ways to make a difference.”
The program includes an ACT election candidates forum moderated by college students.
“We think it’s great and appropriate that our young people, who have a lot invested in a low-carbon future, will have this opportunity to quiz local candidates about their sustainability policy ahead of the October poll,” said Reverend Tim Watson of Holy Cross.
Also speaking will be Australia’s Ambassador for the Environment, Jamie Isbister.
The full program is as follows:
Saturday 19 September
12.00 noon – 12.20 pm Welcome to Country by Aunty Vi Sheridan
12.25 – 1.00 pm Australia’s Ambassador for the Environment and head climate negotiator, Jamie Isbister in conversation with author, Toni Hassan
1.05 pm – 1.35 pm Brook Clinton from Capital Scraps Composting on “The science of composting”
4.30 – 6 pm Free concert with Lucy Sugerman (The Voice / National Folk Festival Youth Ambassador 2020) pluslocal bands including Northbourne Flats and Pig Dog To book: https://www.trybooking.com/654789
All afternoon – stalls by Society, Environment and Economy (SEE) Change, Canberra Seed Savers, Switched on cycling, ENJO & Women’s Climate Congress, photography on display, art for kids and food/coffee cart
Sunday 20 September
* 9.30am Ecumenical “Celebration of Creation” outdoor worship service
Prayer, “the intentional lifting of the heart and mind to God Father Son and Holy Spirit”, is the most basic Christian activity – and it’s also the key spiritual practice that forms our character as people of faith. At 5.30pm Tuesdays for three weeks from Tuesday 8 September, we will be holding a contemplative evening prayer service as part of our regular worship life. The service will include an invitation to pause in silence for 10 minutes of silent meditation.
On 19-20 September, Holy Cross Anglican Church and St Margaret’s Uniting Church, Hackett, are running a community sustainability festival, as part of our joint churches Carbon Action Project. This is a COVIDSafe event, and is open to all.
12.00 noon to 12.20 pm. Welcome to Country by Aunty Vi Sheridan
12.25 to 1.00 pm. Australia’s Ambassador for the Environment and head climate negotiator, Jamie Isbister in conversation with local writer and journalist, Toni Hassan
1.05 pm to 1.35 pm. Brook Clinton from Capital Scraps Composting on “The science of composting”
12 noon to 4 pm. Photography exhibition with photos from lockdown
4.30 pm to 6 pm. Concert with Lucy Sugerman (The Voice / National Folk Festival Youth Ambassador 2020) and local bands including Northbourne Flats and Pig Dog. To book for this free concert go to: https://www.trybooking.com/654789
9.30am: Ecumenical Creation Service outdoors under our flowering cherry tree
To help reduce energy usage and save money around the home the Holy Cross and St Margaret’s Carbon Action Project team have produced an information package entitled ‘Energy Smart Actions.’ It includes:
a list of tips for saving energy
the link for using the on-line Australian Greenhouse Calculator (for those wanting a closer look at their cartoon footprint); and
a Data Sheet to make a carbon action plan and record results.
Our hope is to support and inspire households in North Canberra to reduce our emissions and go carbon-neutral. Please use these resources and let us know how you go.
During last Sunday’s first video service, Tim spoke about ways in which we might share our ‘Time, Talents and Treasure’ as we do church differently. Some of you have been asking how you might make your financial contributions while we are currently unable to congregate in person.
There are two options currently available: making offerings using bank transfer, or having someone collect your offering using the envelope system. More information can be found here.
Tim and the parish council are working hard on ways for us to worship God, serve others and care for our Christ-centred community in these challenging times. We will keep in touch with you all as best we can and we welcome your ideas.
We acknowledge the triune God, the Creator of heaven and earth and His ownership of all things (Psalm 24:1).
We recognise that He gave stewardship of these lands upon which we meet to the First Nations Peoples of this country (Acts 17:26). In His sovereignty, He has allowed other groups to migrate to these shores.
We acknowledge the cultures of our First Nations Peoples and are thankful for the community that we share together now.
We pay our respects to the traditional custodians of this land and their elders, both past and present, and those who are rising up to become leaders.
— Rev Neville Naden
Holy Cross Anglican Parish
Corner Antill St & Phillip Ave
(enter from Antill Street)
Tel: 0490 336 409
PO Box 164
Dickson ACT 2602, Australia