Changing Climate of Christmas Sermons; Church Leaders Take Different Approach to Services

Article excerpt

Byline: SAMANTHA TURNBULL sam.turnbull@northernstar.com.au

WHILE most local church leaders prepare classic Christmas sermons about the birth of Jesus, at least two are taking not so traditional approaches.

Lismore Catholic Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett's Christmas message for 2009 has a political slant, focusing on climate change.

"The news and media in recent months have been dominated by the debate on climate change, driven by evidence put forward by science experts that unless we all act to save the planet from the effects of global warming the wellbeing of future generations will be in jeopardy," he said.

"There's nothing like a common fear to spur human beings into acting before it's too late.

"Passions can be stirred and policies devised that appear like secular parallels to religious beliefs and dogmas, but turning out to depend more on blind faith than balanced with cool reason."

Bishop Jarrett urged the public to put their faith in God to deal with climate change.

"We can't save ourselves, even our material environment, even if all the wisest human beings using all the wealth and resources of the world devoted themselves for lifetimes to the project," he said.

"Rescue must come from outside from a higher power, not material, but spiritual."

Meanwhile, Reverend Mark Harris plans to play pop-punk music at St Andrew's Cathedral in Lismore on Christmas Day.

Rev Harris will play Simple Plan's song Crazy, which he says is about the need to be 'saved'. …