Grove Church Praises Trees – Bellarine Times


THOUSANDS of people exercised their green thumbs to help the environment on National Tree Day, and it also got a spiritual boost from Ocean Grove.

Ahead of the official observance of National Arbor Day on the last Sunday in July, the Ocean Grove Uniting Church held a worship service for the initiative on July 24.

Christianity has a long association with trees, according to the Bible, including the Garden of Eden in the Book of Genesis and the Tree of Life in New Jerusalem in the Book of Revelation, and trees are the third most frequently mentioned living being in the Bible after God and people.

The July 24 event featured guest speaker, Swan Bay Environment Association Gardens and Wildlife Coordinator Sandra Newland-Foreman.

Ms. Newland-Forman spoke about the importance of trees, especially native trees, and the work being done to restore them to the area.

Rev. Bob Thomas’ sermon also highlighted the importance of trees in sustaining life on this planet and noted that since humans had destroyed more than half of the world’s forests, repentance was essential if our little ones children and their grandchildren were to prosper.

Among the things Reverend Thomas suggested to people was to plant trees, and those in service were given stock of tubes to get them started.

He stressed that much more was needed to reverse the tide of climate change, species extinction and other by-products of deforestation, and was needed, especially for those living in the developed world. , to reduce one’s environmental footprint – in other words, to start living less materialistically – so that the physical and economic demands on the forests and all of the earth’s other resources have been reduced.

Dianne Sapwell (right), trustee of Ocean Grove Uniting Church, presents a token of appreciation to guest speaker Sandra Newland-Forman.

He said this change would not come from governments but should start with people.

“It will start with you and extend to those you influence.”

After worship there was a table with pamphlets from Swan Bay Environment Association, Edwards Point Wildlife Reserve, Ocean Grove Nature Reserve, Coastal Moona Woodland, the Department of Sustainability and Environment and Bellarine Catchment Management, as well as a photographic display by native Bellarine trees.


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