Richard Murray writes:
The inspiration behind creating a representation of an angel out of tea bags has a number of dimensions. All Saints, Whiterashes is an EcoCongregation and we decided to use recycled tea bags in an imaginative way to raise awareness about recycling things we so easily discard, but also to encourage some reflection on the production process and the people involved in the supply chain. At the same time, we were asked to take part in a Scottish Civic Trust Doors Open Day project, as we are a listed building because of the work of a famous church architect and designer, the Aberdeen-born Sir Ninian Comper. He designed our stained glass windows and the altarpiece. This led us to commission a Banffshire artist and sculptor Alison Simpson, who has a fine arts degree from Edinburgh University and one of only a handful of artists who work with paper, to produce a contemporary piece of church art pointing us to God’s grace and beauty, following Comper’s example. And lastly, we had the idea that, as part of our culture, the offer of a cup of tea to a friend or stranger, is a sign of welcome. So the vestry chose Embrace Middle East as the charity we shall support this year, because of their work with Syrian refugees in particular and we hope to raise funds for them when our church is open on 17th September.
When doing her master’s degree Alison took a special interest in church art and vestments, so the angel is ‘dressed’ like a deacon. Alison has used the tea bags not only as pulp but has laminated tea bags into the paper ‘exoskeleton’, which is attached to an ‘armature’ (a metal frame) to create a ‘luminarium’ using LED lighting. We have had to learn a whole new language! When we made an appeal for tea bags, churches from Shetland to Ballater responded. We lost count after 10,000!
The show “My Neighbourhood: Cairo’s Rubbish Collectors” by Christian Stejskal is on at the Edinburgh Just Festival on Friday 26th August. You can see the details here.
This show is a colourful personal journey from my birth city of Vienna to Ethiopia by foot, then into the lives of Cairo’s rubbish collectors, whom I met during this pilgrimage. After finishing my walk in Axum, I returned to Cairo and lived with the Zabbaleen. Supporting myself as a violinist at the Cairo Opera House, I spent five years taking photos and listening to stories of their joys, struggles, tragedies and small triumphs. Through seven spoken word vignettes, photos and violin music performed live, this show recounts lives of the Zabbaleen and my encounter with them.
However, you could have this show at your church on Friday 2 Sept or Sat 3 Sept. They are currently four shows planned in Edinburgh and Glasgow and the organisers would like to stage other one in another Scottish city.
The financial implications for the host would be “in-kind,” consisting of the following:
Donation of space for the performance, including use of video projector that can be plugged into a laptop, a head mic to amplify the spoken-word narrations, and a spotlight on the performer. If they lack this equipment, I can try to arrange to bring with us. Advertising and dissemination of information about the event.
If you are interested please contact Jamie Furniss Jamie.Furniss@ed.ac.uk
Stonehaven South Church Eco Group hosted a Candlelit Supper to celebrate Earth Hour on Saturday night. The food for the buffet was provided by the congregation and we were entertained by a group of musicians from their linked church of Stonehaven Dunnottar. Just before ‘lights out’ they sang the hymn Walk in the Light which set the tone for an evening of food, fellowship and fun.
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.
On Saturday 21st November at 7.30pm in Cults Parish Church, Quarry Road, Cults, the Riding Lights Theatre Company is presenting (for one night only!) “BAKED ALASKA”.
This show has been commissioned by the Diocese of Lichfield, Christian Aid and Operation Noah and is presented by a solidarity of Christian organisations committed to raising a compassionate voice in the call to worldwide action on climate change. Coming to Aberdeen in the run up to the vital UN Summit on Climate Change in Paris, which begins on 30th November, this is the ideal opportunity to raise awareness and get active in your congregation / parish.
For further information please read the summary. Tickets are £12 or £9 for concessions. There is also a group rate for groups of 8 or more young people (under 18s) of £7.50 per person. You can also purchase tickets from Cults Kirk Centre office: 01224 869028 or at the door.
Don’t miss this unique opportunity! Here is a poster / flier and we would be grateful if you could print this out and display it in your church buildings.
A Baked Alaska summary is available for download.
Members of St Ternan’s Scottish Episcopal and St Columba’s Roman Catholic Churches, along with other Episcopal, Methodist and Church of Scotland neighbours, are gathering in Banchory this autumn for an inquiry series using Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si: Care for our Common Home to explore how local faith communities can be a voice for change.The Eco-Congregation Baton made an appearance at the end of its journey along Deeside, Aberdeenshire.
You are invited to an “extra” network meeting on Thursday 12th November, 7.30pm, which is being held jointly with Queen’s Cross Church. The issue of “should the Church invest in fossil fuel companies?” is one that is likely to be more controversial in the north east, where people are more directly affected. Adrian Shaw, the Church of Scotland’s Climate Change Officer would therefore very much like to discuss this issue with you. For full details, please see poster.
Click here to download this poster as a PDF file.