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Online rally, multi-faith service, to replace cancelled student climate march

Australian Religious Response to Climate Change encourages people of faith to take part this Friday

People of faith are being encouraged to join an interactive livestream on Friday evening organised by the Australian School Strike 4 Climate (SS4C) movement. The Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) is hoping people of faith will turn up in large numbers to the 15 May event, and is hosting an online multi-faith service to support the event at 10am that morning.

Forty-three faith communities from across Australia have already signed up for the multi-faith service, with ARRCC organisers hoping that many will go on to join the SS4C interactive livestream, which will run from 4pm to 8pm. Faith leaders from many traditions will lead parts of the service, including Brooke Prentis, CEO of Common Grace and a Wakka Wakka woman.

ARRCC also asked for people of faith to post photos on social media of themselves wearing something that identifies them as a person of faith - for example, a crucifix or religious attire for religious leaders - with signage supporting the SS4C movement and share them with the hashtag #SignsOfFaith in the week leading up to Friday’s events.

While the SS4C has been known for its large student climate strikes held across the country, which have seen tens of thousands of students leave their classrooms and take to the streets to demand action on climate change, the planned 15 May rallies were cancelled in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

SS4C organisers said they decided to hold this event outside school hours because with schools in many states beginning to re-open this week they didn’t want students to miss the opportunity to attend class after the challenges many have faced in recently through online learning.

The event will feature speakers who are working on the frontlines of several concurrent crises and interactive online activities like Q&As, polls, sign-making and live performances.

ARRCC’s multi-faith service will be held on Zoom and capped at 1000 participants, but organisers say if they are fortunate enough to surpass those numbers the service can still be watched live on ARRCC’s YouTube or Facebook channels.

Common Grace, is an online Australian Christian movement for justice, will host an ecumenical prayer gathering at 3pm, just before the livestream.

For more information on SS4C livestream, click here.

For more information about joining the ARRCC multi-faith service, click here.

For more information about Common Grace's prayer gathering, click here.