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Church needs to do more on ‘one of the biggest issues facing our time’

Rita Kale says that having a conversation about climate change, and praying about it, is a good starting point for church leaders who want to support young people as they engage with this pressing issue.

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned our world upside down, but Rita Kale says we can’t ignore the issue of climate change. “I think it is one of the biggest issues facing our time,” she says. “The issue of climate change is so much more significant and far-reaching than most people realise.”

Rita was in high school when she first became aware of the issue of climate change, and what she learned had such an impact that it influenced her choice of career: she went on to study environmental engineering and has since worked in several sustainability-related fields. She is currently working in the water sector.

“The impact of climate change on water resources is actually so huge,” she says. “Many of us take water for granted here in Australia, but in other countries it is literally a matter of life and death.”

Rita Kale
Rita Kale says we can’t ignore the issue of climate change.

As well as expressing her care for creation through her choice of career, Rita is involved in Christians Together For Climate, an initiative of Tearfund and Common Grace which raises a united Christian voice on the urgency of action on climate change.

“It has been so awesome to hear from the different perspectives of other leaders from all different denominations and how passionate they are about this issue,” Rita says. “Hearing the stories and perspectives has made me more certain than ever that my passion for this issue and my faith are not at odds at all.”

Many of her peers agree that climate change is an important issue, “but there is a level of helplessness and uncertainty on where to start to make a tangible difference”, she says. “This is combined with the feeling that, with the government doing so little, how can any individual contribution be enough?”

She’d love to see the Church supporting young people as they engage with the issue.

“As a starting point, at least having a conversation and praying about it. We are encouraged to seek out our church leaders and community for counsel on all of life’s challenges and topics – this should not be any different. And if church leaders are not sure, that’s ok. Let’s explore it together as a Church and ask God: what is Your heart for this issue? How do You want us to respond?”