Green blessing for church

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CANBERRA City Uniting Church has been presented with a Five Leaf Eco-Award for its dedication to caring for the environment.

The church, located on Northbourne Avenue, is the first in the ACT to receive this award, and the sixth in Australia to do so.

The Five Leaf Eco-Awards are based on the “creation care” concept, which treats care for the environment as a basic tenant of religious faith.

This has included participation in a range of working bees that conducted weeding and established an environmental resource room at the Greenhills Centre on Cotter Road and holding discussions on issues around ecological footprints, greening the church and responses to the disappointment felt by many after the perceived failure of the Copenhagen climate change summit last year.

Some members of this congregation are also part of the church’s newly established student house, which was recently energy-audited to help its residents live as sustainably as possible.

From left: Five Leaf Eco-Awards director Jessica Morthorpe, Rev. Myung Hwa Park and the City at Night congregation with the church's Eco Worship Award. Image supplied by the Five Leaf Eco-Awards.
Rev. Myung Hwa Park accepted the award, in the category of eco-worship, on behalf of the church. Rev. Park, who trained in eco-theology while living in Ireland and was one of the driving forces behind the campaign for the award, was very proud to see the church recognised.” Receiving this award makes us feel even more committed to caring for the environment, which I see as a crucial responsibility for modern Christians,” Rev. Park says.She says she’s already working on what they can do next, with a Cupcake Day event to raise money for the RSPCA being planned for a City at Night service later this year.

Five Leaf Eco-Awards Director and Canberra resident Jessica Morthorpe, who presented the award, says she was hopeful that Rev. Park and the Canberra City Uniting congregations would inspire other local churches to get involved in the program.

“The word is slowly getting out, currently we have 15 churches nationwide involved in the program, as well as many more who have expressed their interest,” she says.

“There are lots of churches out there doing things for the environment that deserve recognition and many others who want to do something but are not sure where to start or need some support and advice. I want to encourage those churches to get involved in the Five Leaf Eco-Awards.

“The awards are based here, so churches in Canberra have the opportunity to invite personal involvement from myself, as well as the existing benefits of being involved in the program.”

For more information on the Five Leaf Eco-Awards go here.

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