Author Archives: Paul Williams

EVENT: The Economics of Arrival: ideas for a grown up economy by Wellbeing Economy Alliance

If the only way is up, how do we know when the economy has reached its destination? What does it mean for an economy to Arrive?

Instead of pursuing endless growth at all costs, it’s time for governments and other decision makers to prioritise shared wellbeing on a healthy planet.

In their new book “The Economics of Arrival: ideas for a growth up economy”, Dr. Katherine Trebeck and Jeremy Williams present the exciting new concept of economic Arrival. They invite us to consider that “the agenda of fighting for survival could be over if the economy were to engage with a new challenge: that of building ourselves a lasting home in this place of plenty.”

Join the authors for a short talk on the book, followed by a Q&A and discussion about applying these ideas to contemporary Scottish politics, hosted by Jamie Livingstone, Head of Oxfam Scotland. The discussion will be followed by a book signing and light refreshments will be available.

 

Busy time at Zero Waste workshops

These folk look busy at something!

Wonder who they are?

They are a few of the 37 individuals from 24 different eco-congregations who took part in the Zero Waste workshops, organised by Eco-congregation Scotland, in Edinburgh and Glasgow  at the end of November.  The day flew by, with a 2-hour session in the morning called Love Food Hate Waste, followed after lunch by a 2 hour session on Love Your Clothes.  Together we learned about the contribution that food waste and the clothing industry make to climate change, and some practical steps that we can all take to reduce our environmental impact.  Great fun, but deadly serious too.   The idea was that those who came along and took part can go back to their churches or networks or groups of friends and run their own informal activities and information events based on what they learned and the materials they have access to.

Wish you have been there?  Don’t worry!

You have several options.

  1. Maybe someone from your church or area was at one of the workshops?  If so, ask them if they will run a local mini-workshop to share what they found out!
  2. If not, we are planning to repeat these “cascade” workshop events:

(a) in Stirling on Saturday 2nd February

(b) in Cupar on Tuesday 5th February

(c) in Inverness on Friday 8th February.

Detailed information and booking forms will be out shortly, Hope to see you there!

When Government fails to respond to climate change, we have a duty to act

Its been a few weeks of bad-news stories in the climate action movement.

The UK Government is failing to respond to the overwhelming calls for climate action, which some are calling a failure to govern and unforgivable betrayal.

Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas and six other MPs, including Labour’s Clive Lewis and former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron signed the letter, which says “pushing policymaking into the long grass of Brexit at this stage represents an abject failure to govern in the interests of the people you are elected to serve.” Read more here:

Others have gone further, calling the Government’s failure a breach of the social contract and cause for the climate action movement to step up a gear. Many, including figures like Rowan Williams, are calling for mass civil-disobedience in protest.  

The latest IPCC report a  says time is already running out and we need to change now to prevent drastic climate break down. Most of the world’s children are already breathing toxic air

If you’ve been sitting on the fence about taking stronger action in your life and church, maybe its time to hop down on the side of hope?

Theres so much you can do to bring the change we need to see.

Register as an Eco-Congregation and help us make the world a better place. Or let us know what you’re doing at home and in your congregation so we can share it to inspire others.

 

“That’s the way it will be back home!” – Chaplain’s Blog

Matthew 13:51: 

Every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of their treasure what is new and what is old.”

Some years ago, I was at an international church gathering where  we were challenged by daily bible studies on neglected parts of Scripture.

These particular ‘treasures’  immersed us in  stories of violence and barely believable  injustice.

We batted ideas around, but it was noticeable  that one of our number, from Burma/Myanmar was very quiet.

Eventually, we were all longing to hear what he might have to say.  When he did speak, he silenced us all. “That’s the way it is back home….”

As I’ve begun to get my teeth into Eco-Chaplaincy,  at this  time of high drama in the news, with a growing awareness of the  urgency of action, so too, I’m rummaging around in the treasure-box of Christian scripture and tradition.

What is coming to light, is both  how widely Christianity is equipped for catastrophic times…. and how universally that equipment  is ignored, disregarded, ridiculed, or completely misunderstood.  With Advent in sight, when lectionaries and other traditions entertain apocalyptic Bible readings, these previously quaint or ornamental texts of turmoil are beginning to assert their relevance, with language full or environmental and political upheaval.

When visiting congregations, I’ve been very open, both about the seriously grim prospects for climate change, as well as looking for ways to say, with eyes wide open, and with integrity ‘Halleluyah anyway’.  As a movement,  we are certainly a work in progress, but with great potential in shaping the witness of the churches in a time of threat without precedent.  Because, without action, “that’s the way it’s going to be back home” … for our common home, the Earth.

love & peace,
Rev’d David J.M.Coleman 

Faith Action for Nature – Helensburgh and Lomond Churches visit RSPB Reserve

As part of the Faith Action for Nature pilot, members of eco-congregations from the Helensburgh and Lomond network connected with their local RSPB Scotland representative to explore Gartocharn.

This is a story from them:

Our link is with RSPB Gartocharn, one of the newest reserves in RSPB Scotland portfolio, and we have been in contact with reserve manager Paula Baker, and community manager, Emma Martinelli.   Rev Elizabeth Houston from Alexandria Parish church is a life fellow of RSPB and Mary Sweetland, a member.

In August, Rev Liz and Mary walked the site with Emma, thinking on preparing a reflective walk to be used by visitors, and Rev Liz prepared the pamphlet RSPB Loch Lomond.   On Sunday 16th Sept, during Creation Time, a group of 16 members of Alexandria Parish Church (and one dog)  met at the reserve, on a beautiful afternoon and completed the walk in just over an hour. Only two had visited the site before, and what was surprising was that a few did not realise that RSPB is a charity, they thought it was funded by government.

A group of children had been pond-dipping before we arrived and we were able to see what treasures had been found with instruction from the staff.

The walk around the reserve is suitable for all, not too strenuous and wheelchair accessible, (but one steep part needs care). A group of children had been pond-dipping before we arrived and we were able to see what treasures had been found with instruction from the staff.

In Autumn, although the Ospreys have headed back to Africa for the winter, we kept our eyes peeled for a red squirrel, and the wicker animals.   There were an astounding crop of fungi this season, but we didn’t have a mycologist with us!

A donation was made to the RSPB from the offerings from the Harvest Lunch at Alexandria Parish Church at the end of October.

The members of the Helensburgh and Lomond network completed the walk on 5th October and we plan to promote a visit again in spring 2019. They’ve also produced a leaflet on RSPB Loch Lomond Points to Ponder for RSPB Scotland staff can for other visitors.