Rooted in faith, Eco-Congregation Scotland is first and foremost the programme of a religious organisation. Scotland has a rich mosaic of religious communities, and Scotland is also rich in natural beauty. We see clearly, therefore, the potential impact that religious faith can have in Scottish life, because we see the work of the Creator God around us.
We believe that God’s work of creating and sustaining continues to this day, and that all people can take a share and play a part in that continuing creative activity. So the first core area of Eco-Congregation Scotland is dedicated to helping people make the links between issues of faith and issues concerning the environment. Though for now Eco-Congregation Scotland, by embracing a wide range of denominations, is framed within the Christian tradition, it seeks the participation of other faith traditions, to more fully reflect the religious face of modern day Scotland.
The Ideas for Action under this section includes:
- Greening Worship
- Theology and the environment
- Children and Creation Care
- Young people and the environment
- Resources for small groups
As with all work that seeks change, we seek to change ourselves first of all. This helps us understand more fully what we are capable of, and by starting in our own faith community we do this among friends. As with all that we do in our place of worship, where we find God, our goal is to take this beyond the doors out into the world where God is also to be found.
So this first core area encourages parishes/congregations to explore and develop their own environmental understanding. It helps them celebrate the creation that is all around them, from the majesty of the mountains to the modesty of the window-sill plant pots in the kitchen. To help congregations/parishes to celebrate creation, we offer a number of resources that contain ideas for worship, bible study, theological reflection, work with children and young people and practical ideas to engage and get out into nature.
These resources are collectively designed to help congregations/parishes deepen their theological and spiritual understanding of ecology and environmental concerns. Theology is literally ‘the study of God’ and spirituality is the ability to recognise God at work in our lives and our world, finding God in all things. Theology was famously described by St Anselm as ‘faith seeking understanding’, and that is a good description of this core area. By understanding environmental concerns in the light of faith, illuminated by our scriptures, we will make an important contribution to the wider work of care for the environment that we see in society around us. By experiencing the beauty and power of the environment through lives of prayer and reflection we will root ourselves in the heart of the Creator God.
Our faith communities have no future without the growing participation of our children and young people, so this core area also includes many resources and ideas for children and teenagers, for their own study, action, worship and reflection.