This is the latest news from the Dumfries and Galloway Eco-Congregation network.
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Chris Naylor, Director, A Rocha International,
Dumfries − Sunday 5 February
You are invited to hear Chris speak at morning and evening services.
During the 90s, Chris taught science in a school in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. In his spare time he enjoyed birding at a nearby wetland which he realised was of international importance: huge flocks of cranes and white storks moved through in the spring. Migrant waders, terns and crakes stopped off. Chris discovered that the marsh was in danger of disappearing, so he left his teaching job and became A Rocha’s Director in Lebanon, working with local landowners and tenant farmers so effectively that he didn’t just stop the marsh from further drainage – it got bigger and better.
He’s now based in Oxfordshire as A Rocha’s International Director. If you would like a better understanding of the biblical teaching about creation care, or would like to hear encouraging stories about what Christians are doing in various parts of the world to protect threatened species and habitats, please come along – you’ll be very welcome.
Where / when
10.30 am: How big is the Gospel? Dumfries High School (includes communion)
6.30 pm Is environmental care just a matter of survival, or is it really important? Dumfries Baptist Church, Newall Terrace (between the Railway Station and the Midsteeple).
About Chris Naylor
You can watch a 6 minute video here.
For more info contact Barbara Mearns (Mon-Thurs) 01387 710286 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A Rocha is a Christian organisation engaging communities in nature conservation
Dunscore Parish Church, only the fourth congregation to receive an Eco-Congregation Scotland “Continuing Award”, had the award plaque presented on Sunday by Environmental Chaplain, Trevor Jamison. Pictured received the award plaque from Trevor is Alison Boyes, founding member of the church’s Eco group.Alison said:“Dunscore Church has been an EcoCongregation since 2003 and gained our first award in 2005. We continue in our work as a response to the command of Jesus to “Love Your Neighbour”. In every decision our church makes, we must be mindful of the effects on our neighbours – in choosing a brand of tea or coffee to drink after the service, our neighbour is the producer who should be treated and paid fairly. In choosing an electricity supplier, our neighbours are those who will be affected by climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels. In deciding where to keep our money, our neighbours are those who might be affected by the arms trade or the tobacco industry funded by a high street bank.”
Time Travel for Visitors to the Dumfries Environment Fair
Members the local network took young visitors on a trip into the future from their Eco-Congregation stall at the recent Dumfries Environment Fair. Youngsters were invited to climb into a “Tardis” and after suitable time machine noises they emerged into the future to see how we are tackling current environmental challenges. Solutions talked about included:
New forms of energy generation and storage eg:
- The cycle path surface in the Netherlands that is made up of solar panels – and, yes you can cycle on it!
- The “Tesla” power-wall which can be fitted in houses to store up to 7kwh of electricity generated from solar panels for use at night or whenever the sun doesn’t shine.
- The buses in Aberdeen that run on hydrogen produced from electricity that can be generated from renewables
Eating locally grown food eg:
- The Incredible Edible project
- Growing local food in cities underground (in London they are using disused “Tube” tunnels), using ultra efficient LED lighting
- A Danish company “leases” baby clothes. You simply return them for reuse, when your baby has grown out of them. There is another company that does the same for fashion items, such as jeans – the fashion changes and you return your out-of-date pair to be made into a new more fashionable item.
- Encouraging people living in the same area to jointly own and use bigger household and garden items such as lawn mowers and hedge cutters so that they can be shared and not everyone has to have their own.
All these solutions really already exist but will become much more common, as we move to a more sustainable, low carbon world. The message was that, in many ways, we have the technology and we have the solutions – we have hope for the future!
Special thanks are due to Grainne Kennedy (who came up with the idea and manufactured the Tardis), Kate from St Andrew’s RC Church in Dumfries and also members of the Dunscore Eco Team who came to help out on the stall and gave our visitors a candle, a message about Earth Hour and a prayer to take home all in specially designed and environmentally friendly bags.
The 2015 Local Networks Seminar took place in Dunblane on Saturday 26th September. This year the main themes discussed at the Seminar have been used to propose an exciting new way of providing web-based resources, which can be downloaded and printed out to encourage more participation in our congregations.
After considering what other resources are available, the ECS Board now plans to invite individuals / congregations / networks, with the relevant experience and expertise, to contribute to developing and writing the new resources.
Local Networks Seminar Report 2015 also lists a whole host of topics and speakers from networks all around the country (see Appendix 3). If you are not already involved in a network, take a look and see what you might be missing! Everyone is welcome at network meetings – you don’t have to be from a registered congregation. Full information about your local network can be found here.