The North Argyll Eco-Congregation Scotland network is hosting a mini-gathering on Saturday 17th September in Glencruitten House and gardens, just outside Oban. We hope to welcome friends and supporters from all of Argyll and also from surrounding areas within reach of Oban. More details and registration forms will be circulated later, but please note the key information – date, time and place.
The link between Ardrishaig Parish Church (an eco-congregation) and Montreat Presbyterian Church (an Earth Care congregation from North Carolina) has been mentioned in an article in Black Mountain News (part of the USA Today network):
Meanwhile, others from Montreat Presbyterian visited Scotland in 2015 for a much smaller scale meeting. As a result, the church has “twinned” with a congregation located in Argyll, 90 miles west of Glasgow.
Ardrishaig Parish Church is recognized as an “Eco-Congregation” of the Church of Scotland, and Montreat Presbyterian Church (MPC) is an “Earth Care Congregation” of the Presbyterian Church (USA). In a formal statement of cooperation the two similar-sized churches have agreed “to pray for and encourage each other’s ministry, to share ideas and promising and/or successful practices which may be our own or those of our larger communities, to be a voice for the care of creation within our communities and nations, and to pray and work for the day when all God’s people are united in loving care of the world we have been given.”
A date for your diary – please note that the Eco group will be holding its Annual Coffee Morning on Saturday 16th January 2016, from 10.00 till 12.00 in the North Hall, Ardrishaig.
As usual, part the proceeds from this will be used towards Eco Group expenses, (for example, our membership of Eco Congregation Scotland, and costs which will be incurred in any projects we undertake, such as the development of the garden at the Church Hall).
This year, we are proposing to send the rest of the proceeds to the Toilet Twinning Scheme, run by TEAR Fund. This provides for the building of toilets, either for individual homes, (costing £60.00 each), or schools, (costing £240.00 for a block) specifically in rural areas in the developing world.
Here are some statistics about the need for proper toilets:
“Lack of access to clean water and proper sanitation traps people in poverty. Their health suffers and the prospect of developing economically remains far out of reach. Here are some of the hard facts:
2.4 billion people across the world don’t have somewhere safe to go to the toilet (WHO / UNICEF)
1 billion people don’t have access to any sanitation at all and openly defecate (WHO / UNICEF)
There are 46 countries where at least half the population does not have access to proper sanitation (WHO)
748 million people lack access to clean, safe drinking water (WHO / UNICEF)
Poor sanitation is one of the world’s biggest killers: it hits women, children, old and sick people hardest
Every day, about 1,400 children under the age of five die of illnesses linked to unclean water and poor sanitation. That’s more than half a million a year – or about one a minute (UNICEF)
Diarrhoea is the second biggest killer of children under five worldwide (CHERG)
More than half of primary schools in developing countries don’t have access to water and sanitation. Without toilets, girls often drop out at puberty (UNICEF)
The lack of a loo makes women and girls a target for sexual assault as they go to the toilet in the open, late at night. Many get bitten by snakes as they squat in the grass
In Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every year just walking to collect water. Women and girls carry two-thirds of this burden
Poor water and sanitation result in economic losses estimated at £153 billion annually in developing countries, or 1.5% of their GDP (UNICEF)
For every £1 spent on a water and sanitation programme, £8 is returned through saved time, increased productivity and reduced health costs (UNDP)
In 2000, 189 countries signed up to the UN Millennium Development Goals. The sanitation target for 2015 is currently way off-target and may not be met in sub-Saharan African for another 150 years”
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.