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Report to 2023 Conference

Conference of 2022 adopted our suggested decision for a Decade of Climate Justice and the theme was “Rekindle the Vā of Papatūānuku”.

Since Conference the CJWG has established a pathway to take the church on this journey for the next ten years. We have two yearly themes to guide the church: Zero Waste, 2023-2024; Climate Migrants, 2025-2026; Water, 2027-2028; Improving energy efficiency, 2029-2030; Poverty reduction/ food creation and sharing, 2031-2032. We will continue to consult the wider church through education, storytelling, lobbying government and policymakers, encouraging actions that would assist the healing of our environment.

At Conference this year we are also pleased to publish a booklet defining the theological meaning of the theme of the decade, “Rekindle the Vā of Papatūānuku”. The booklet will be a resource for parishes and will include stories, poems, and prayers to inspire our people to share their stories, to compose poems, and write liturgies that reflect our care for the environment.

We are also working on publishing another Climate Justice Calendar for 2024. One of the purposes is to inform our church and beyond about the four climate seasons and the important festivals, both secular and Christian that we celebrate during those seasons. It features practical actions to encourage everyone to participate in helping our environment flourish. There are theological reflections on the calendar to inspire our people to think theologically in our dealing with justice issues, especially the impact of climate change on the most vulnerable members of our earth community, both human and non-human.

On the 23rd of August, CJWG co-hosted a talanoa session with Trinity Theological College and St John Theological Colleges at Wesley Hall on a lecture by Dr Maina Talia from Tuvalu. The theme of his lecture was, “god is good sometimes”. He used the story of Noah (Genesis 6) as his text for his theological reflection but read it from a Tuvaluan lens. He invited his audience, which is us to think critically about this text and the image of God that is portrayed and to relate it to how the Tuvalu people are currently experienced as their island nation is slowly submerged under the seawater.

CJWG has received stories from synods, parishes, and congregations who have started activities that help the environment but at the same time raise awareness on the impact of climate change in our communities. We love to hear stories from the wider connexion. We plan to publish these stories in Touchstone in the future. In sharing our stories, people will be motivated and empowered to engage in activities that help to mitigate climate change.

Membership of CJWG for 2024 – Siosifa Pole (Chair), Marion Hines (Secretary), Mark Gibson, Siniva Isaia, Joeli Ducivaki, George Zachariah, Peter Lane, Elisapesi Havea and Gillian Laird.