Category Archives: Uncategorized

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!

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.

Disinvesting from fossil fuels

Could your church divest this Season of Creation?

As our scorching summer gradually begins to fade into autumn, Operation Noah is inviting local churches of all denominations to make divestment commitments during the Season of Creation (1 September – 4 October).

 
For churches without existing investments in fossil fuels, this would simply involve a pledge not to make such investments in the future.
 
By making a commitment to divest (disinvest) from fossil fuels, your local church can send a powerful message about the need for urgent action on climate change as well as keeping up the pressure for national Churches to divest.
For more information, please contact Operation Noah or visit the Bright Now website: http://brightnow.org.uk/action/divest-your-church-season-of-creation/

If your church would like to join the divestment announcement at the end of the Season of Creation, please email richard.collettwhite@operationnoah.org by 12 noon on Monday 1 October. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

ECO CONGREGATION SCOTLAND WELCOMES STEPHEN CURRAN AS NEW MANAGER

Eco-Congregation Scotland is excited to announce the appointment of Stephen Curran as manager.

Stephen  brings a wealth of skills and experience with him  to this important post.   As a Glasgow City Councillor he has served as City Treasurer, and Executive Member for Education and Young People; and has been active in the Justice and Peace movement and a wide range of community organisations.

Mary Sweetland, Chairman of Trustees, welcoming Stephen to the team said:

We look forward to a step change in Churches taking action to mitigate the impact of climate chaos with the appointment of Stephen and our new Eco-Chaplain, Rev David Coleman, next month.

Stephen is joining ECS at a time of rapid growth, with the number of eco-congregations across Scotland now over 430 and growing.  He said:

With a longstanding interest in environmental issues and faith action, I am delighted to take on the charity manager role at Eco-Congregation Scotland, supporting churches to tackle climate justice and address more sustainable use of assets and resources.

I recognise the growing impact of individual congregations striving to live the Gospel today in addressing climate justice, linking environmental issues to faith in practice.

Encouraging and supporting this work is one of the great challenges of our time and I am honoured to be asked to manage Eco-Congregation Scotland to help achieve this.    

Stephen has been involved in church life across Scotland, supporting and encouraging a range of churches on social action. He has three children and has lived on Glasgow’s south side for twenty years where he attends St Helen’s parish.

 

Biographical details:

imageStephen has three decades of voluntary involvement in a range of charities, boards, committees and campaign groups. He developed a keen interest in environment and development issues at church and school in Ayr, where he started a Justice and Peace group, fundraising for charities working at home and overseas.  He studied law to postgraduate level at the University of Dundee, where he chaired the Catholic Society and participated in ecumenical chaplaincy activities including the Christian Union and One World Group.

He subsequently worked in healthcare, retail management and IT training before eight years as a parliamentary aide for an MP and MSP representing Scotland’s most ethnically diverse constituency, engaging with local churches and campaigners on sustainability and climate change.  He continued that interest through his role as an elected Councillor in Glasgow since 2003 – assuming senior roles on finance, service reform, health and social care integration, scrutiny of policing, education and community planning – bringing to the charity manager post significant experience in building partnerships.

Stephen served ten years as a Strathclyde Pension Fund trustee and successfully encouraged more focus on corporate, social and environmental responsibility in local government pension fund investments.  For the past nine years, he was also a board member of The Hidden Gardens Trust, a community development charity encouraging volunteering through a multi-cultural greenspace.

Since 2015 he has served three years in his most recent employment as Scotland and North of England operations manager with Community Money Advice, a Christian charity supporting 157 free debt advice centres run by churches, foodbanks and local groups.

Creation Time 2018 resources now available!

From the 1st of September to the Feast of St Francis on 4th October  churches around the world will be marking Creation Time.  This is a time to “be dedicated to prayer for the protection of Creation and the promotion of sustainable lifestyles that reverse our contribution to climate change”. (3rd European Ecumenical Assembly in Sibiu, Romania in 2007).

Creation Time 2018 follows the theme “Passing our Planet on”  linking to Scotland’s Year of Young People and also to the theme of the Eco-Congregation Scotland Annual Gathering in April 2018.  It reflects on our planet passing on from one generation to the next, and the gifts given us by God to support and guide us in our care for creation.

It comes from an ecumenical writing group, with contributors from the Church of Scotland, the Roman Catholic Church, the Salvation Army, the Scottish Episcopal Church and the United Reformed Church.  Readings from the Gospel of Mark are emphasised, which appear in the Revised Common Lectionary in September.

The resources are available here

Granton Goes Greener!

Congratulations to Eco-congregation Granton Parish Church who obtained a Climate Challenge Fund grant for a joint project with the local community under the banner “Granton Goes Greener”.  On a beautiful summer day – Saturday 30th June – the project was launched by local MP Deirdre Brock, with a guided walk, children’s activities, bike repair workshop, poetry readings, miniature garden workshop, clothes swap, and soup, cakes and coffee in the church.  Read more at http://grantongoesgreener.org.uk/2018/07/02/granton-goes-greener-has-now-officially-launched/

Eco-Congregation Scotland are hiring a new Charity Manager!

Could you be the one to bring about the future and vision of Eco-Congregation Scotland?

We are looking for a new Charity Manager to take on the exciting opportunity to manage Scotlands’ leading faith-led environmental charity and help us support churches to care for God’s creation.

Eco-Congregation Scotland is looking for a charity manager who will shape and grow the movement. With over 430 registered churches  across all  Christian denominations in Scotland, we have grown steadily since starting in 2001 and are now recognised as an international leader in Faith Action for the Environment.  We challenge church members and congregations to promote care for creation through worship, advocacy and in taking practical action to tackle climate change in their own lives and in the lives of their churches and surrounding communities, including action for climate justice around the world.

As manager you will have:-

  • exceptional interpersonal and leadership skills
  • experience of managing a small team and volunteers
  • fundraising and compliance experience in the charitable sector
  • a vision of how churches can contribute to tackling climate justice

Please click the link to see more about the post, including how to apply HERE

It is unlikely that candidates with less than 5 years since graduation will have the necessary experience for this post.

Interviews will be held in Edinburgh on 8th August