Author Archives: Charity Manager

Holy Week 2021

Good News to every Creature

Eco-Congregation Scotland shares reflections this Holy Week and looks forward to celebrating an Easter message that brings ‘Good News to every Creature’. We also encourage job applications and campaign activities next week as we look further ahead to the Scottish Parliament election in May and the COP26 United Nations climate summit in November. Thank you for your continuing involvement and support of our activities and events. Wishing you in advance a very Happy Easter this weekend.

Eco-Chaplain Rev David Coleman is very grateful to St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh for being able to record a major Palm Sunday reflection on Mark 11:1-11 and to Our Lady of Loretto and St Michael Catholic Church with final reflections in a special Musselburgh Covid Stations of the Cross.

As many churches opened their doors for the first time since Christmas with changing coronavirus guidance, our Eco-Chaplain has also been sharing reflections online for devotional use this Holy Week, complementing local worship and prayer across Scotland:

Maundy Thursday – “Let the sea come and wash your feet”, a Holy Thursday footwashing reflection first shared last year, with scripture matched alongside images of our coasts and waters.

Good Friday – reflection on “The Dream of the Rood”, a dream in which the “True Cross” speaks in an ancient “heroic” Passion poem of Creation.

Easter Sunday – reading and reflection on Mark 16:9-20 “Dangerous Words”, live from 7am on 4 April 2021 and accessible any time after on our Facebook page.

David outlines the special reflection for Easter Sunday: “Exceptionally, this works from the neglected ‘old ending’ of Mark’s Gospel, which contains the Inclusive Commission of the Risen Christ to bring ‘Good News to every Creature’, as well as some other untamed and challenging verses.”

“It’s presented as a complement, not a substitute for your own local church events, and will premiere live on our Facebook page at 7am on Easter Sunday.”

Easter 2021: being nothing, yet not inferior – Finally for Holy Week, David shares an Easter post on the Chaplain’s Blog proclaiming “Christ is risen…let’s work with Christ!” – and may be spotted ringing a bell at Gullane. Please contact our Eco-Chaplain to connect and work with your own church, online or in person.

We also encourage you to join in individual or household prayer with Christians across Scotland at 7pm on Easter Sunday evening:
Scottish Church Leaders Forum Statement and Prayer


Eco-Congregation Scotland is delighted to be working with Glasgow Churches Together and its COP26 Co-ordinating Group, a special ecumenical committee encouraging local churches, denominations and faith charities to co-operate in unity on activities and events relating to the city hosting the climate conference.

There is still time to apply for two exciting job opportunities to support the Glasgow Churches COP26 Co-ordinating Group, funded by Action of Churches Together in Scotland (ACTS), with applications sought by Easter Monday, 5 April 2021:

Glasgow Churches COP26 Ambassador
Encouraging Churches to prepare for, engage with and be changed by COP26 coming to Glasgow. Self-employed consultancy basis for at least 40 days, April to 30 November 2021.
Further information.

COP26 Administrator
Support before and during COP26 to member and partner churches, 0.4 full-time equivalent. Co-ordinating hospitality and welcome, including offers of accommodation to individuals and premises to groups visiting Glasgow.
Further information.


Share, Show, Shout for Climate Justice
Wednesday 7 April 2021
6pm – 7pm

Register at this link

We are sharing work from coalitions we are members of and key partner organisations towards the Scottish Parliament elections on 6 May, encouraging candidates to hear directly on the demand for Scotland to do more in championing climate justice. At this training event policy experts and experienced campaigners will share the most effective ways for making your voice heard. There are three ways you can make a difference today:

1. Share the message
Post this video on social media or share with your group chats.

2. Show you care
Strike a pose and share a campaign selfie on social media with your message of climate action, using the hashtag #ClimateJusticeScot.

3. Shout out loud
Reach out to your local candidates to ask for a 15 minute virtual cuppa over Zoom.

This Stop Climate Chaos Scotland campaign is supported by Scottish Communities Climate Action NetworkChristian AidSCIAFTearfundJustice and Peace ScotlandQuakersGlobal Justice NowWater AidOxfam ScotlandWWF ScotlandArkboundJubilee ScotlandUnison Scotland and Water Witness. You can read more in the campaign toolkit.


Monthly Prayer Gathering
Thursday 8 April 2021
4pm – 5pm

Register at this link

South Glasgow and North Glasgow Local Networks of eco-congregations invite you to join their open Monthly Prayer Gathering in the run up to COP26, taking place in their city this November.

Palm Sunday 2021

Rev’d David Coleman was delighted to visit St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh to record a major online reflection for Palm Sunday on Mark 11:1-11.

With churches now able to open for worship from this weekend, please contact our Eco-Chaplain to connect and work with your own church, online or in person.

We are also encouraging you to join in individual or household prayer with Christians across Scotland at 7pm tonight, Sunday 28th March:
Scottish Church Leaders Forum Statement and Prayer

Earth Hour 2021

Earth Hour in Scotland
Saturday 27th March 2021
8.30pm – 9.30pm

https://www.wwf.org.uk/scotland/earthhour

Eco-Congregation Scotland is again delighted to support WWF Scotland for this year’s Earth Hour. Millions of homes across the world will switch off non-essential lights for one hour this Saturday at 8.30pm to show they care about the future of our planet. Please join the movement. Find out more about Earth Hour in Scotland at this link and join the event on Facebook.

Coasts and Seas

Let’s talk about the climate emergency

Let’s talk about the climate emergency – Coasts and Seas
Monday 29th March 2021
7.30pm – 8.30pm

https://www.ecocongregationscotland.org/event/coastsandseas/

As Scotland comes into the spotlight hosting COP26 – the United Nations climate talks due in Glasgow this November – we are calling on all Scotland’s churches to join the conversation and take action on the climate emergency.

One of the most powerful ways we can encourage change is in talking, listening and telling our stories. Eco-Congregation Scotland has produced “Let’s talk about the climate emergency“, monthly themed resources to help congregations take part in awareness raising conversations about the climate emergency, encouraging everyone to take action.

Throughout March our theme has been Coasts and Seas. Scotland has a beautiful coastline, but marine pollution is now noticeable all along our coasts and in our rivers. Plastic bottles, cigarette butts, cotton buds, crisp bags and sanitary applicators form the top five pollutants found on beaches. Much of this waste enters the food chain.

Fishing is still an important part of the economy and identity of many coastal communities. However, it is not without controversy. Climate change will bring sea-level rises and more extreme weather, which will affect vulnerable parts of Scotland’s coasts and threaten the very existence of some nations and communities across the world.

Join us on Zoom, to talk and reflect on Coasts and Seas – you can download the two March pages on this link, or the full year of “Let’s talk about the climate emergency” resources. Breakout discussions will ensure all taking part in small groups. Now and in coming months – let’s talk about the climate emergency.

https://www.ecocongregationscotland.org/event/coastsandseas/

For all working in the marine environment, for the protection of the marine environment by all people and by politicians, for all communities and nations affected by increasing sea levels due to climate change.

Jesus,
you walked on the shore of Lake Galilee,
at a threshold of land and water.

You loved those who worked at that threshold,
calling them to come,
forgiving them their mistakes,
and sending them to share your love.

Rev Jenny Adams
Duffus, Spynie and Hopeman Church minister
Eco-Congregation Scotland trustee

Climate Sunday

Join our special Scottish launch

Climate Sunday – Scottish launch
Monday 22nd March 2021

7.30pm – 8.30pm
https://www.ecocongregationscotland.org/event/climatesunday

Join us for a special Scottish launch of Climate Sunday, providing focus in the year of the COP26 climate conference for churches committed to action combatting climate change.

Local congregations are encouraged to hold a special Climate Sunday service on any Sunday over the months leading up to the start of September, with free resources for every tradition and style of worship.

An initiative of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI), Climate Sunday calls on local churches to take one or more of the following three actions:

Worship
Hold a climate-focused service, to explore the theological and scientific basis of creation care and action on climate, to pray, and to commit to action. Explore our resources and the Climate Sunday website for inspiration and worship resources to suit all church traditions. Please register your service so we can count you in!

Commit 
Make a commitment as a local church community to taking long term action to reduce your own greenhouse gas emissions. Use Climate Stewards‘ new 360°carbon calculator for churches and register as an eco-congregation – or work towards an Eco-Congregation Scotland Award.

Speak up
Use your voice to tell politicians that you want a cleaner, greener, fairer future at the heart of plans to rebuild a strong economy. Read and sign the ‘The Time Is Now’ declaration both as a church and as individuals.

Climate Sunday culminates with a major online service in Glasgow on Sunday 5th September 2021, the first Sunday in Creation Time, to share church commitments across the nations and pray for bold action with courageous leadership at COP26 in the city this November.

Organised by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) with backing from a range of denominations and charities in CTBI Environmental Issues Network, we are encouraging more Scottish support for Climate Sunday and all churches to pray and act in the run-up to COP26.

Join Climate Sunday project coordinator James Anthony to hear all about the initiative – with great ideas on how you can worship, commit and speak up through your local church.

Please register now for the link to join us for this special Scottish launch:

https://www.ecocongregationscotland.org/event/climatesunday

“We need to take action as Christians who care for God’s creation, tackling the climate emergency with urgency now and for future generations. When we welcome thousands from around the world, online or in person to COP26, we can all demonstrate that we are taking action and leading by example in our own church and across the country.”

“We all share a unique opportunity this year for transformational change, taking practical steps to change our own behaviour and calling on governments to agree global action when they gather in Glasgow. Climate Sunday helps link this directly with our spiritual life, focussing local churches on the environment in worship, prayer and action.”

Eco-Congregation Scotland chairperson Mary Sweetland

On the 5th Sunday in Lent, our digital visiting preacher Rev David Coleman joins the Netherlorn Churches – Kilbrandon, Kilchattan, Kilmelford and Kilninve in Argyll – with a reflection on John 12:20-33 ‘The Tipping-point’

All our worship material is now shareable for any church on Eco-Chaplain onlineFacebook and our website where we are building a catalogue behind the scenes – and fits perfectly with a Climate Sunday service.

This coming Sunday 21st March at 7pm we also encourage our volunteers and supporters to join Christians in prayer across Scotland marking the anniversary of the first coronavirus lockdown.


Anglican Communion Webinar
COP26, Divestment and Investment for Climate Justice

Thursday 25th March 2021
7.00pm – 8.30pm

Register at this link

Eco-Congregation Scotland joins the Anglican Communion Environmental NetworkOperation NoahChristian Aid and Tearfund as organisers of this global Anglican Communion Webinar. Among the speakers is Very Revd John Conway, Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh, on the Cathedral divesting from fossil fuels and next steps in the Scottish Episcopal Church.

This follows our recent, well-attended ‘Scottish Churches’ Webinar: COP26, Divestment and Investment in the Just and Green Recovery‘ which you can now view online.

Get involved with your own church

COP26 update

COP26 venue Scottish Events Campus photograph courtesy of Glasgow Convention Bureau.

Eco-Congregation Scotland continues to encourage churches and volunteers across the country to get involved in activities relating to the COP26 United Nations climate conference, still taking place this November at the Scottish Events Campus in Glasgow (pictured above). 

Our new 2-page monthly briefing on what COP26 is and how to get involved is online now. Updated every month and highlighting any new information, please download or visit our webpage for the latest.

We appreciate the volunteer support of Adrian Shaw, former Church of Scotland climate change officer, for the briefing and COP-related activities. Adrian is also supporting Interfaith Scotland as we link closely with other faith groups and wider civil society organisations in all our collective work towards COP26. We are delighted that Glasgow Churches Together has taken under its umbrella as a special sub-committee the COP26 Churches Co-ordinating Group we initiated in 2019, enabling more ecumenical support and activities relating to COP26.

COP26 is a timely opportunity for churches and volunteers in every part of Scotland to get more involved in addressing local environmental issues and tackling the climate emergency.

We are also encouraging you to take part in the world’s biggest ever faith-climate day of action this coming week, Sacred Earth, Sacred People – ringing a bell for climate justice or posting on social media – and sharing more upcoming events. In this first of our regular newsletter focused on COP26 updates, we end with a specific call for church halls in and around Glasgow.

As we near twelve months of engaging online due to COVID-19 with our own programme of events, we thank you for your support and encouragement which is always appreciated.


Lomond Parish Church – Prayers and Reflection
Sunday 7th March 2021
11.30am

https://www.facebook.com/events/437861000602477

On the 3rd Sunday in Lent, Eco-Chaplain Rev David Coleman joins Rev Ian Miller and Lomond Parish Church – our Eco-Congregation Gold Award winner in West Dunbartonshire – with a reflection on John 2:13-22 ‘Jesus bleak and wild’ eight months ahead of COP26. Prayers and reflections will be live on Lomond Parish Church’s Facebook page at 11.30am. All our worship material is now shareable for any church – and fits perfectly with a Climate Sunday service. 

This coming Sunday 7th March at 7pm we encourage our volunteers and supporters to continue joining Christians in prayer across Scotland.


Women’s Voices in Climate Action
Wednesday 10th March 2021
10.00am – 11.15am
https://tinyurl.com/mrmjn7av

To mark International Women’s Day 2021 and COP26Interfaith Scotland hosts an interactive dialogue for women of all faiths and beliefs with keynote speakers Zarina Ahmad, climate change communicator and Fiona Buchanan of Christian Aid Scotland. To sign up please fill in the Google form.


Sacred People, Sacred Earth
Thursday 11th March 2021

https://sacredpeoplesacredearth.org

On 11th March, grassroots people of diverse religions are coming together around the world for Sacred People, Sacred Earth, the biggest-ever faith-based global day of action to sound the alarm for climate justice. The Greenfaith International Network has ten demands for global action by faith communities, governments and financial institutions. You can watch a video and sign the multi-faith climate statement here.

Please join in from home – or even your church if you have access – by ringing a bell on the day, or even banging a pot or pan. Christian Climate Action is doing this at 12 noon in the UK, or you can join any time convenient for you that day. Please share your call for climate justice with us by email or on social media

  1. Make a paper sign calling on the action you wish to see. You can make your own or print this link.

2. Hold the sign in or outside your home for a photo or video with you or your household.

3. Email your photo to manager@ecocongregationscotland.org – or post on social media with the hashtags #Faiths4Climate and #SacredPeopleSacredEarth tagging @greenfaithworld and @ecocongregation on Twitter – or @greenfaith and @ecocongregationscotland on Facebook. Please say where you are too.


What can Churches do for Climate Justice?
Tuesday 16th March 2021
3.00pm – 4.30pm

https://climatefringe.org/sccs-live-events/

There are many ways that churches and people of faith can contribute meaningfully to climate action – before, during and after COP26. Join us to hear inspirational campaigners from churches who have taken action on climate, how their faith inspires them and find out how you can get involved in 2021. This Stop Climate Chaos ScotlandClimate Fringe event is in partnership with Eco-Congregation Scotland, Christian AidSCIAF and Tearfund.


Call out for accommodation help
Could your church hall host visitors in November this year for the UN climate talks? As part of the wider civil society COP26 Coalition, we are helping to source ‘crash pad accommodation’ in and around Glasgow, looking for willing partners to help. 

Our vision
The COP26 Coalition is keen to build a network of decentralised crash pad spaces in and around Glasgow to cater for the different needs of activists coming for COP26. Spaces will be inclusive, inviting, and reflect the needs and vision of the international climate movement. Spaces should not only provide accommodation options but be places where different types of people from all walks of life across the globe meet, connect, learn and organise together.

What are crash pad spaces?
‘Crash pad spaces’ cater to those who don’t mind crashing on the floor of a church hall or gym with a sleeping bag – either for a few nights or the two weeks of COP. We expect them to be used by activists who haven’t found suitable accommodation or it has fallen through last minute. Spaces may be of differing sizes but they will meet minimum requirements in terms of hygiene, safeguarding, security and warmth. Ideally these would be church halls or community centres – with room enough to house 20-30 people and perhaps with additional facilities like a kitchen.

Details
We’re looking for around 500 crash pad spaces in and around Glasgow between 1st and 12th November. Obviously COVID makes this type of accommodation very challenging; there’s a big possibility that these spaces won’t be possible under pandemic restrictions. The COP26 Coalition is also developing an online Guest Host platform with Human Hotel – a little like Couchsurfing or an alternative to AirBnB – that should be much more feasible. However, we are keen to find around 500 crash pad spaces as a back up, in case restrictions are lifted before COP.

This is one way churches can help welcome and support those visiting Glasgow for COP26. We will be in touch again soon on churches supporting more activities in Glasgow and across Scotland – plus church volunteers offering rooms at home through the online Guest Host platform.

If your church has the space and resources to help on ‘crash pad spaces’, please email Flick Monk at Friends of the Earth Scotland on fmonk@foe.scot.

Church Heating

Church Heating – Practical Considerations

Net Zero

Monday 15th February 2021
7.30pm
8.30pm
https://www.ecocongregationscotland.org/event/churchheating/

How do you heat your church?

Church buildings come in lots of different shapes and sizes, historic and modern. How will you know which kind of heating is right for your building? What are the practical issues that need to be thought through in changing a heating systems? What kind of heating system should you install in a new building?

What do you need to change to achieve net zero emissions? 

Responding to the Climate Emergency, the October 2020 General Assembly of the Church of Scotland agreed to develop a strategy for the entire organisation to transition both locally and nationally to net zero carbon emissions over the coming decade.

In December 2020, General Synod members of the Scottish Episcopal Church also backed a motion paving the way for a commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Register now

Join us and hear from Andrew MacOwan – Chartered Energy Engineer and the Church of Scotland General Trustees Heating Consultant – as he shares his experience and talks about some of the practical considerations in looking to achieve net zero carbon emissions from church heating systems. There will be time for questions and discussion. Please register at the following link: 

https://www.ecocongregationscotland.org/event/churchheating/


Climate change impact

Christian Aid Gathering

Tuesday 16th February 2021
10.00am12.00noon
https://www.christianaid.org.uk/events/gatherings
Email to register

Christian Aid Scotland is a key partner of Eco-Congregation Scotland and we are delighted to encourage you to join the Supporter Gathering next week. Christian Aid Ethiopia will be sharing the impact of climate change, locusts and conflict on vulnerable communities.

There will also be a look forward to the COP26 climate talks and how we can all be involved in the fight against climate change. Email to register and receive the joining instructions: edinburgh@christian-aid.org

https://www.christianaid.org.uk/events/gatherings


https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/methodist-webinar-the-climate-emergency-cop26-and-fossil-fuel-divestment-tickets-137622419361

Join the Lenten Journey

What is the hope of COP26?

Scottish Catholic Laity Network
What is the hope of COP26? – Professor Jim Skea 

Thursday 18th February 2021
7.00pm8.30pm
Further information
Email to register

Eco-Congregation Scotland is pleased to support the Scottish Catholic Laity Network and invite you to join its Lenten Journey of discernment “to help us imagine the way in which we are being called to prepare a future that gives hope to all the children of our world, and their children’s’ children, and to Mother Earth.”

Opening the series on the hope of COP26, Eco-Congregation volunteer Margret MacPhail will introduce speaker Professor Jim Skea, currently chair of Scotland’s Just Transition Commission and co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group III on mitigation of climate change. Margret leads the Eco-Group at St Ninian’s Parish in Professor Skea’s home city Dundee. Please email slaitynetwork@gmail.com to register.

https://www.ecocongregationscotland.org/event/what-is-the-hope-of-cop26/


Worship, reflection, prayer and action

Eco-Chaplain online

Eco-Chaplaincy open for invitations: however and wherever you are this year!

Rev David Coleman continues his work through coronavirus restrictions, engaging imaginatively with local churches as a visiting digital preacher. Please email the Eco-Chaplain to connect and work with your own church on dates throughout this year.

This coming Sunday 14th February at 7pm we encourage our volunteers and supporters to continue joining Christians in prayer across Scotland.

We are also now linking all our resources to Climate Sunday, the initiative hosted by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland encouraging all congregations to:

  • Worship – hold a climate-focused service before the start of September and Creation Time
  • Commit – take action as a local church community, reducing greenhouse gas emissions as an eco-congregation
  • Speak up – call for the UK Government to lead action on the climate crisis, signing the The Time Is Now declaration towards COP26 in Glasgow

Please email for more information or to register your own Climate Sunday service.

https://www.climatesunday.org


Read our new monthly briefing on COP26 and how you can get involved.

Register for free and begin your church’s journey as an eco-congregation. Please consider church membership to become more active in the charity and support our Local Network activities – join online.

Please donate if you can, to help support our work and encourage growing interest across Scotland’s churches. If you or others in your church would like to receive this newsletter regularly, please subscribe.