Keynote Address: Colossians Bible Study

Dr. Vicky Balabanski Director of Biblical Studies, Uniting College for Leadership and Theology, Adelaide.

The Letter to the Colossians has the highest view of Christ of any of the New Testament writings, and its theology of divine permeation invites us to notice the ecological potential of this letter. Vicky Balabanski brings contemporary ecological questions into dialogue with the distinctive Christology and cosmology of the letter.

You can watch Vicky’s presentation below.

If you want hear and see more of Vicky below are some links you might like to follow.

The video can also be watched directly on YouTube here:

Keynote Address: Ecological theology:

an introductory discussion of some of the ways Christian thought has been responding to the environmental crisis

Dr Deborah Guess

Dr Deborah Guess is a systematic theologian whose primary writing and teaching focus is on ecological theology. Other research interests include Christology, Anglican thought and the Christian contemplative tradition.

Deborah’s doctoral thesis at the University of Divinity (2015) was titled: God So Loved the Cosmos: an Ecotheological Discussion of the Incarnation. The thesis explored the ecotheological implications of the work of two Anglican thinkers, Norman Pittenger and Arthur Peacocke, in relation to the Incarnation. The supervisor was Professor Andrew McGowan.

Deborah currently teaches the Pilgrim unit A Changed Climate for Theology and was formerly tutor then teacher at Trinity College Theological School for the unit Christianity and Ecology. From 2012 to 2016 she was Copy Editor and Business Manager of Colloquium: the Australian and New Zealand Theological Review.

In recent years she has been involved with the project Ecological Aspects of War: Religious Perspectives from Australia and is currently co-editing a book exploring the topic of a just and ecologically sustainable peace.

A Green God, Interview with Dr Deborah Guess

For God so loved the world – thinking theologically about creation

Workshop Leader: Wendie Wilkie

Wendie Wilkie shares resources and approaches to incorporating ecology and creation into worship services and meditations. Starting with a review of Bruce Sanguin’s book “Darwin, Divinity, and the Dance of the Cosmos” Wendie leads a discussion about seeing God’s love for the whole of creation.

What does it mean to be a ‘green church”? 

Workshop Leader: Mark Zirnsak

With climate change representing an increasing threat to our well-being and the well-being of neighbours overseas, the session will examine what congregations can do to be ‘greener’. Measures and actions include what can be done in worship, what can be done to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from activities in the church building and what can members do in their own homes.

Mark Zirnsak, is the senior social justice advocate with eLM, having joined the Synod in 1999. He is a member of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Ministerial Advisory Council, the Commonwealth Government Seasonal Worker Program Advisory Group and the Commonwealth Attorney General’s National Roundtable on Slavery and Human Trafficking. Mark is also a member of the Secretariat for the Tax Justice Network​ in Australia and is actively involved in anti-corruption movements.

Season of creation

Workshop Leader: Rev Tony Davies

The Season of Creation is a time to renew our relationship with our Creator and all creation through celebration, conversion, and commitment together. During the Season of Creation, we join our sisters and brothers in the ecumenical family in prayer and action for our common home. Starting in September and running across 5 Sundays the season covers 5 themes: Forest, Land, Outback, Rivers, and Animals. This workshop allows worship leaders to familiarise themselves with the themes and explore how they might use the Season of Creation in worship. During the workshop participants broke into break out rooms to discuss a specific theme. These have been edited out of the video. Thanks to the Rev Tony Davies for leading this workshop.