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Vicar's Musings for Ordinary Sunday 19

13 August, 2017

"I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well." (Ps 139:14)

This year, for the first time at St Peter's Eastern Hill, we are joining with St Paul's Cathedral to celebrate National Science Week. The 2017 theme being explored across Australia is "Future Earth." We are delighted to welcome Prof. Andrew Wood BSc (Hons) (Bristol Uni., UK), MSc (Uni. of East Anglia, UK), PhD (Uni. of London, UK) as our guest preacher today at the 9.30am Family Mass and 11am High Mass. Andrew is Chair of the Department of Health and Medical Sciences at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, with research interests that include the investigation of possible health effects associated with non-ionising radiation; calcium signalling in brain cells; blood-brain barrier permeability; and mathematical modelling of radiofrequency absorption in biological tissue. He is also a fellow of ISCAST, a network of people, from students to distinguished academics, exploring the interface of science, technology, and Christian faith.

After Mass, from about 1pm in the parish hall, there will be a panel discussion on "Future Earth." Prof. Wood will be joined on the panel by two St Peter's parishioners: Dr Jenny Sasse, a biological chemist and also a fellow of ISCAST; and Mr David Spriggs, CEO of Infoxchange, a not-for-profit social enterprise that has delivered technology for social justice for over 25 years. The conversation will not explicitly relate to the sermon. Rather, the panel will be invited to respond from their areas of expertise to the question: "How will humans meet the challenges of the future earth?" Our hope is that after the panel has responded, the discussion will become broader and include the opportunity for questions and responses from others. So, please be encouraged to bring your own thoughts and areas of expertise to the debate.

Finally, something to reflect on ahead of the conversation: the Future Earth organisation (www.futureearth.org) has developed eight areas they see as guiding the way to Future Earth:

  • Deliver water, energy, and food for all
  • Decarbonise socio-economic systems to stabilise the climate
  • Safeguard the terrestrial, freshwater and marine natural assets underpinning human well-being
  • Build healthy, resilient and productive cities
  • Promote sustainable rural futures
  • Improve human health
  • Encourage sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Increase social resilience to future threats.
What are your thoughts on "Future Earth"?

The Rev'd Dr Hugh Kempster

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