Social Justice Taskforce Monthly Bytes

Take on social justice in bite-sized chunks

Welcome to the third “Monthly Byte” prepared by the Tasmanian Baptist Social Justice Taskforce.

Each month there will be a “byte” addressing a critical social justice issue in our society.

In July, our focus is on Faith and Climate Change.  Jeff McKinnon, from City Baptist in Launceston, has provided some powerful information including data, some great videos, prayers and some suggested actions.

First some background: Faith and Climate Change

God’s great love for his creation, including all living things, is made plain in Psalm 104. The Bible is clear that in Christ, God is wondrously renewing his creation (Romans 8:18-25) that eventually Jesus will establish his kingdom on earth (Matthew 6:10).

Climate change has been politically controversial in Australia over recent decades. The basic physics has not been scientifically controversial for over a century. Although the climate has always changed over time, we are now experiencing dangerous changes to the globe never previously experienced in human history. Climate changes are rarely linear. Yet over decades the trends are self-evident.

Changes include rapid average global surface temperature rises, acidification of our oceans, a mass extinction event, the rapid melting of both the Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, sea level rise and the observable increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme weather conditions. The key question for future generations is whether humans can stabilise average temperatures below a two-degree increase (based on pre-industrial levels) by AD2100.

Rapid changes at the personal, national and global levels are essential. Changes at the personal, social and political levels must include moving away from dependence on fossil fuel energy (having our net usage by 2050), near elimination of all plastics and the protection of biodiversity both on land and in our oceans. Fortunately, some businesses, governments and individuals are taking bold steps. Tasmania and Australia will be particularly well positioned to benefit from transitions if we can be ‘ahead of the curve’.


Here is a sample of short videos that could be used in services or small groups. Alternatively the link could be distributed throughout your church via email, to be watched at home.

For a quick introduction to faith and climate – from Christian Climate Scientist Katharine Hayhoe Click HERE >>> or watch below:

For a more detailed discussion of climate crisis and evangelical faith with Christian Climate Scientist Katharine Hayhoe Click HERE >>> or watch below:

For information on how climate data is collected and what we need to do about it from Aussie Christian Climate Scientist Mick Pope Click HERE >>> or watch below:

Eminent Christian atmospheric physicist, co-chair of IPPC assessments and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Sir John Houghton (who passed away in April) outlining his book on climate change and describing the basic science Click HERE >>> or watch below

Action:  so what can we do?

Love without action is not love at all. 1 John 3:18.

1. Participate in a Bible Study using Scott Higgins’, A Beautiful World, reframing our relationship to creation. You can download the digital version (for free) or purchase a paper copy from A Just Cause (Australian Baptist Ministries).

2. Research more about climate and solutions by reading (or explore on YouTube):

Douglas & Jonathan Moo, Creation care, A Biblical Theology of the Natural World, Zondervan, 2018.

Joseph Romm, Climate Change, What everyone needs to know, Oxford, 2018.

David Wallace-Wells, The Uninhabitable Earth, A story of the future, Allen Lane, 2019.

Ross Garnaut, Super-Power, Australia’s low-carbon opportunity, Latrobe, 2020.

3. Undertake a free Environmental Audit of your church:

Click HERE for the Christian Ecology environmental audit. This can also be accessed through the A Just Cause website (click on the Church Audit Tool link).

4. Contact local member: Visit your local member, calling upon the Australian Government to tell the truth about the climate emergency and to urgently move to a just and timetabled transition away from fossil fuels and plastics.

Should you require more information or wish to talk about this issue you can email Jeff McKinnon,

Some Prayers . . .

Creator God, this earth is miraculous and beautiful. Forgive our confusion and inaction as we confront the challenges of climate change.

In the light of your truth, seen so clearly in the life and teaching of Jesus, help us to re-examine ourselves and our lifestyle choices and see clearly the implications of how we live on all that sustains life on this earth.

May we follow your lead in caring for every aspect of this precious world, which you made, and love.

We pray for world leaders to find new, just and radical agreements that will protect our fragile world for future generations.

Throughout history you have moved people to do amazing things for the sake of their neighbours. Inspire us now to work together, as your people, to change priorities in the way we live, so that we build a fair and safe world for all your creation; a world where your will is done as it is in heaven. Amen.                               

Adapted from Churches Together in Britain and Ireland

Leader: We pray for people living with the effects of climate change. For the sake of those facing rising temperatures, drought and water shortages,

All: Creator God, in your mercy, renew this damaged world.

Leader: For the sake of those facing unpredictable weather, disrupted seasons and failed crops,

All: Creator God, in your mercy, renew this damaged world.

Leader: For the sake of those facing flooding, land loss and salination of vital water supplies,

All: Creator God, in your mercy, renew this damaged world.

Leader: For the sake of all those who fear the changing climate,

All: Creator God, in your mercy, renew this damaged world.

Leader: For the sake of the poor, the vulnerable, and the refugee

All: Creator God, in your mercy, renew this damaged world.

Leader: For the sake of us all,

All: Creator God, in your mercy, recreate our hearts that we might partner with you to renew this damaged world

Leader: Father, we pray for you to raise up a generation of leaders with the courage to take responsibility for our changing climate, and the part we have played in it. We intercede for our politicians and leaders. Move them to act in the best interests of all nations today, and all peoples in the future, in order to avoid catastrophic changes. God, we ask for a generation of leaders who will be willing to act justly so that those who have contributed so little to the problems we are facing, and have fewer resources with which to face it, are not left to shoulder our burden. We ask You to fill the hearts of all who lead rich nations. Give them your mercy and compassion on poor countries already suffering the effects of a changing climate. Just as they have been moved to cancel debt in the past, encourage them also to release funds so that poor communities can adapt to the effects of climate change, and develop cleanly. And inspire us, Mighty God, to amend our lives for the sake of your Earth, your climate, your people.

All: Lord, in your mercy, lead our leaders and us to truth and transformation.

Adapted from The Sanctuary Centre

Featured image: Photo by Andrea Schettino from Pexels