Bishop Bill's Bulletin
“In the Care of Our Common Home: Sister Earth”
Today the Catholic Bishop of Townsville, The Most Reverend Tim Harris and I have released a joint statement on the care and stewardship of the earth and its resources. Please find the communique attached.
This Diocese along with the Anglican Church of Australia has taken seriously the care of the earth. The document “Future Direction 2015-2019”, our own document in regard to ministry for that five year period, states that each Ministry Unit should undertake an environmental audit and promote environmental practices every year.
Over the past few years there have been a number of motions passed at our Synod in regard to the environment. The same is true for General Synod. Attached with this Bulletin is a motion that was passed at the recent General Synod this past September, regarding the Paris Climate Accord.
Joint Statement on the Environment - In the Care of Our Common Home
The Registrar - The Reverend Canon Sharon Hayston:
I am pleased to report that the Registrar is making good progress. We pray for her continued recovery. It is hoped that Sharon will be back in Townsville next week.
The Thank you Gathering:
Robin and I look forward to hosting a gathering at the Lodge to give thanks to God for your ministry.
The date of the gathering is next Friday 3 November. Please rsvp to my PA for catering purposes as soon as possible, to: firstname.lastname@example.org
It is a great way to catch up and celebrate all that has been achieved throughout the year!
The Reverend Bill Ross:
We welcome to the Diocese, The Reverend Bill Ross and his wife Dr Yvonne Ross, who are assisting with ministry in the Whitsunday Parish. They have been with us for about three weeks and will be with us for another two Sundays. I thank them for their ministry and I know it has been a blessing to the Parish.
At the time of writing this Bulletin, it is just under two months to Christmas. You may ask, “Where has the year gone?” However, it is important that Ministry Units start planning for the new liturgical year and Advent now. Advent 1 is on 3rd December. This Advent season is the shortest it can possibly be with Advent 4 on Sunday 24th December and Christmas Day on the Monday.
The Anglican Overseas Aid booklets:
Last weekend I spent time reading and reflecting on the questions in this year’s Advent Reflection, “Always Present”. I found the resource insightful and challenging. This is a free resource and is available online as well.
The Lenten resource for next year is “More is Less”. I have not read this resource but the title is provocative.
Lent is early next year, Easter being 1st April and Ash Wednesday 14th February, 2018.
I have authored the GrassRoots Lenten booklet for 2018. The title is “Our World Today .... Christians can make a difference”. One of the main themes is that we need to be deliberate, we need to be intentional in reaching out to people and helping them to come to faith in Jesus Christ. But first, we must have the will. I have shared this true story a few times before but its message is powerful…….A young stock and station agent was letting a grazier know that the company he worked for had produced a booklet with a title something like ‘Twenty ways on how to improve your property’. This old grazier, admiring the young bloke’s enthusiasm said, I can think of forty ways of improving my property, but the question is, “Do I have the will to do any of them?” In reaching out in the Name of Christ, we must first have the will. Yes, skills are important. Yes, training equips, but first we have to have the will.
The Registry Hours over the Christmas/New Year period:
Thursday 21 December Registry closes at 4pm
Wednesday 3 January Registry Reopens at 8am
The Diocesan Council meets next weekend. Please pray for the Council as it prayerfully considers the various matters that are on the agenda.
The Sunday Journal is now available from Advent 1 through to Epiphany 6. The booklets will be produced for all of next year. If you would like to order copies of these publications, the contact details are below:
Wishing you every blessing.
Yours in Christ
The Right Reverend William (Bill) Ray
Bishop of North Queensland
Sexual Abuse contact line: 1800 242 544 or 07 3835 2266
From General Synod 2017
16.20 Action to contribute to the Paris Climate Accord
The Very Rev’d Dr Peter Catt moving, Dr Beth Heyde seconding,
the global groundswell of community and industry support for effective and rapid action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the very challenging goal expressed in the 2015 Paris Climate Accord (to limit warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels)
the critical importance of community action, both in achieving that goal and in leading governments to act;
the Anglican Communion’s fifth mark of mission: ‘to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and new the life of the earth’, and
General Synod’s Protection of the Environment Canon 2007 which required meaningful action and reporting by participating Dioceses on steps taken to reduce their environmental impact;
The General Synod
1. encourages Federal and State governments in Australia to act quickly to resolve perceived conflicts of interest between the wider community and commercial beneficiaries of fossil fuels, and show leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through effective market mechanisms based on consistent expert recommendations.
2. requests each Diocese that has adopted the Protection of the Environment Canon 2007 to report to the Standing Committee of General Synod in 2018, and to the next meeting of General Synod, on progress in reducing their environmental impact (as required by s.3(1)), with particular emphasis on energy efficiency in order to minimise contributions to global warming.
3. encourages Dioceses to make use of standardised instruments such as the Parish Quick Carbon Self-Report instrument (available through the Public Affairs Commission) in order to develop an internal reporting mechanism.
4. encourages Dioceses to report to the Standing Committee of General Synod in 2018, and to the next meeting of General Synod, on progress made towards divestment from fossil fuels or other measures to improve the ecological sustainability of Diocesan investments portfolios, as encouraged by motion 61/14 of General Synod.
5. encourages Dioceses to engage in teaching and preaching on the theology of the environment.
6. encourages Dioceses to consider the work of the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) towards spiritually-inspired stewardship in reducing greenhouse gas emissions: and to encourage participation in the work of this multi-faith network and consideration also of secular networks with similar aims to reduce global greenhouse emissions.