River Sunday

Ministering to Earth as a Church: Water

Preserving and restoring our waterways is a vital task for the future. Some waterways are well known, but others may be hidden from our sight.

A valuable project for the Earth Ministry Team would be to locate and map the various waterways of the area. This would include known streams as well as wetlands, drains, underground systems and sewerage pipes. The task would involve determining whether these waterways empty into the sea or whether waste water is recycled for reuse.

Once the total picture is clear, the team could work with experts to plan ways of cleaning up, rescuing and recycling the precious water of the area.

A related project would involve finding ways of saving the rainwater that flows from the roof of the church or the car parks used by the church. The church could provide a model of how to save God’s precious gift of water.

Another exciting option would be for the Earth Ministry Team to create a wetland area among the trees being planted as part of the program for the First Sunday in the Season of Creation. Wetlands are a vital means of restoring creatures like frogs, turtles and waterbirds to a particular area.

Caring for Earth at Home: Water

There are various ways of saving water in the home. These include installing a half-flush toilet, using a watering system in the garden that doesn’t waste water, and installing a rainwater tank to store water from the roof.

It is important to monitor any activities, such as car washing, that might channel pollutants into the drainage system of the area.

Those interested in doing a free household water audit can contact their local water management authority or can do one online by going to water savings at http://www.yvw.com.au/corp_index.html.

Networking for Earth: Water

See also the Action Resource Kit: Water in the package of resources for Social Justice Sunday: Sustaining Creation, 2002, available through the Uniting Church website http://nat.uca.org.au/unitingjustice. Congregations may wish to cooperate with Clean Up Australia Day, which is observed the first weekend in March. For more information see http://www.cleanup.com.au. Another option is to join the Earth Team of the Uniting Church in Melbourne.