The Uniting Church Synod of NSW/ACT has a vision for our church to be a transforming presence for the common good in the Murray Darling Basin. This presence includes pastoral care for the people and a prophetic voice for the reconciliation and renewal of Creation.
The Synod passed a resolution for At the 2013 Synod gathering for continued ministry in this regard, following a visit by the Moderator (then the Revd. Dr Brian Brown) to the Riverina during the time of debate about the draft Murray Darling Basin Plan, and a subsquent consultation that he facilitated with a diversity of people from across our church.
The Uniting Church Murray Darling Basin group is now taking this ministry forward.
- Watch this video about why the Uniting Church is involved in questions of water reform and other issues facing the Basin
- Read the Synod resolution and access a report prepared for the 2013 Synod
- Read about the purpose of the Murray Darling Basin Group
The group is now involved in two major projects - tours in various parts of the Basin, and the Faith in a Basin Future project in the Southern Basin
Murray Darling Basin tours
The aims of the tours are:
- To enable city dwellers to visit the MDB and learn first-hand about rural issues.
- To build connections between city and country and between rural and urban people.
- To listen to farmers, scientists and other concerned participants who connect with the UCA MDB group to assist people to become informed about the moral and ethical complexities of the situation.
- To give an opportunity for people living in the MDB (including churches) to be heard and for the wider church to support people and churches in the Basin who are in the midst of significant change.
The first tour, from Albury to Mildura, was held in September 2014. It included public forums, meetings with churches over a meal, visits to irrigation and dry land farms, eco tourism, visits to historical sites, time with indigenous groups and more.
- See Rural Chaplain Phill Matthew's blogs and photos about the tour (blog post 1, blog post 2, blog post 3, blog post 4)
- Read Moderator the Revd. Myung Hwa Park's reflection
- View a self-running presentation about the tour and the Murray Darling Basin by Keith Baker
- Use a discussion group resource for your small group, prepared by Jim Vickery using his photos from the tour and reflections by the Revd. Gereldine Leonard
A second tour along the Darling River took place from 1st to 9th August 2015.
- See Rural Chaplain Phill Matthew's blogs and photos about the tour (blog post 1, blog post 2, blog post 3)
- Read article in Insights by the Rev. Nerida Blake and a several short reflections by other tour participants
A tour along the Murrumbidgee River will run from 10th to 18th September 2016. Visit the tour website for the itinerary and to express your interest in participating.
Faith in a Basin Future project
“Faith in a Basin Future” is a community development project, working together with young people to foster vitality, resilience and sustainability in the Murray Darling Southern Basin. Teams in communities along the Murrumbidgee and Murray Rivers will:
- Find out what makes their community vital and how it is changing socially and economically and culturally.
- Look for opportunities that emerge for their community to develop and nurture sustainable futures.
- Identify and plan for a specific project that they agree can strengthen the vitality of their community as it adapts to the future.
You may like to run a worship service connecting with the Murray Darling Basin. here are some resources to assist:
- Service outline, with thanks to St Margaret's Uniting Church Hackett, and St David's Uniting Church Albury
- Children's talk, prepared by Keith Baker
- Self-running powerpoint presentation/address, prepared by Keith Baker
- The River Sunday resources prepared for the Season of Creation