A letter from the Right Rev'd Keith Joseph to the Anglican Diocese of North Queensland
I am writing this e-mail from the Torres Strait, having spent the previous weekend at Pormpuraaw in the Cape York Peninsula. It is in these places that the impacts of climate change are undoubtedly being seen. It is not just rising sea levels, but also the increased heat, the changing of seasons, the effects on wildlife. When the scientific consensus is that we are in serious danger; when the conservative British Prime Minister Boris Johnson describes us as facing doomsday; and when other radicals such as the Queen are urging action on climate change NOW; we can no longer hide from the obvious dangers of human induced climate change.
(This article has links to opportunities for join others in prayer and meditation.)
So as the world’s leaders gather in Glasgow for COP 26, please pray for them. May they be guided by the wisdom of the Spirit, and an earnest desire to protect the good creation that God has entrusted us with. In Australia we give thanks for those who are showing leadership on this issue and who go beyond slogans to act for the protection of all. But we must also pray and urge action for those people who will lose out as our economy and structures transition to a new future. Here in North Queensland we have a sad dilemma. If nothing is done on climate change, then all of us lose out, but especially those in rural areas, the Torres Strait and the Cape York Peninsula. If we join the rest of the world and take action, then others – such as those involved in coal mining – lose out. Either way, we are going to suffer. However, our children and grandchildren will not understand or forgive us for failing to take action on climate change.
Therefore just as we have a responsibility to transition to a future which protects our environment, we also have a responsibility to act to support those whose lives and livelihoods will be impacted by new ways of doing things. We should then move into the future not with fear, but with courage, trusting in our loving God.
Please therefore pray for all gathering at COP 26, and for all those threatened by climate change – not just those directly affected by climate change, but also for those who are threatened by our response to climate change. May we act as responsible stewards of God’s creation, and as people who care for all our neighbours.
The Right Revd Dr Keith Joseph
Bishop of North Queensland
Opportunities for joining with others in prayer and meditation
1. All are welcome to join a 30-minute midday meditation any day from no until November 14, during COP26, hosted by the Anglican parish of Queenscliff/Lonsdale in Geelong, Victoria. Participants will be in the church and on Zoom.
2. In consultation with the Interfaith Liaison Committee to the UNFCCC, Bishop Philip Huggins and Ms Sarwat Tasneem invite people of faith everywhere to offer these prayers and silent meditation for a beneficial COP26. Many of us believe such prayers, offered with faith, can be transformative. If this is you, these offerings may help.
3. World Christian Meditation Community invites you to check out WCCM's offerings regarding COP26, available on their website. These include various talks, reflections and prayer and meditation sessions. We hope you find them spiritually helpful. https://wccm.org/outreach-areas/nature-and-the-environment/