A group of 7 of us associated with Selkirk Parish Church arranged to meet with our MSP, Rachael Hamilton, at one of her surgeries last week. We explained why we were concerned about climate change, and urged her to press for an even stronger Climate Bill. She listened to what we had to say, and commented than “no constituent had ever raised the issue of climate change” with her before. After half an hour of discussions with her, we left her (and her MP colleague, John Lamont) to ponder what we had said.
Some of us hope to continue the conversation with her at the Mass Lobby on 19th September. We encourage you to do the same. You can sign up at https://www.christianaid.org.uk/events/mass-climate-lobby.
Following the vote at the Church of Scotland General Assembly to continue with the policy of “engagement” with oil and gas companies, despite 2 years of this policy having little or no effect, Selkirk Parish Church, as an eco-congregation, has decided to withdraw its funds from the Church of Scotland Growth Fund (which currently invests in Shell, BP and Total).
In a letter to the Church of Scotland’s Investors Trust, the Kirk Session and Congregational Board states, “As an eco-congregation, we do not believe it is ethically acceptable to invest in, and gain profit from, companies whose main aim is to continue to explore for, and to extract, fossil fuels. We believe that the Church of Scotland should be leading the way for others, and should fully divest now from all companies involved in fossil fuel exploration and extraction; this would give a stronger signal to these companies than any engagement is ever likely to do.
Within Selkirk Parish Church, we are committed to caring for God’s creation. We can no longer wait for the Church or Scotland to act in this matter, so we are taking our own small steps to make ourselves “fossil free”. Withdrawing our funds is one step in this journey that we are able to make now, and therefore we are doing so. We hope that other congregations may follow our example.”
The congregation may instead invest the cash released in an ethical fund, or use it towards employing a Children and Families Worker. As their letter concludes, “we consider this to be a much better way to invest for growth in God’s Kingdom.”
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
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/
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
Plastic Free July is well under way already, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still take part. This is good opportunity ti take stock of your plastic consumption and learn what plastics you can live without. Why not take a look here?
After seven years as Manager of Eco-Congregation Scotland, Gordon Hudson is leaving to pursue new career opportunities. During his tenure as manager we have grown to 431 registered congregations, increased our income and become established as one of the leading environmental organisations in Scotland. We thank Gordon for his efforts over the past seven years and wish him well for the future.