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Advent: The Judge to Cheer the Forest

“Advent is the Cinderella of Christian seasons. Crowded out by the ugly sisters of fear and commercialism.”

“Advent readings are a wild lucky-bag of horrors and hopes; spiritual resources for times of threat and turmoil. All the stuff we shy away from. All the stuff we need to hear, together with the love that’s behind it.”

The Judge to Cheer the Forest will likely be the most ecumenical and varied video Advent Calendar online this year, offering a 1-2 minute reading and reflection from Advent Sunday to Christmas Eve, with contributors ‘leaning into the green’ for Eco-Congregation Scotland, but otherwise no holds barred.”

“You are most welcome to share the items as they come out: you’ll find them daily at Eco-Chaplain online, here on the Eco-Congregation Scotland website and on Facebook and Twitter from Advent Sunday 29th November.”

Rev David Coleman, Environmental Chaplain 

Advent with the Eco-Chaplain

Today’s newsletter:

Criticism for UK Aid cut

Leading Christian international development charities have condemned UK Government plans to cut overseas aid from the pledged 0.7% of Gross National Income.

Christian Aid Scotland head and Eco-Congregation Scotland trustee Sally Foster-Fulton joined Rev Susan Brown, Church of Scotland Faith Impact Forum convener, in “Life and Work” to criticise the announcement by Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

Hundreds of churches across the country are supporting Christian Aid this first Sunday of Advent, singing or sharing ‘When Out of Poverty is Born‘, with collective worship in hope and solidarity for the world’s poorest.

SCIAF (Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund) urges us to take action now, contacting our MPs and tweeting messages for the Prime Minister, Chancellor and Foreign Secretary.

Tearfund Scotland said the cut “couldn’t have come at a worse time for people living in poverty”, asking us to please pray for vulnerable communities pushed to the brink of survival every day.

Please support our aid charities – and key partners of Eco-Congregation Scotland – in campaigning and praying for this vital support to continue, maintaining our global connections to address climate justice.

Our Global Connections

Let’s talk about the climate emergency – Our Global Connections

Let’s talk about the climate emergency – Our Global Connections
Monday 30th November 2020
7.30pm – 8.30pm

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

As Scotland comes into the spotlight hosting COP26 in November 2021, it becomes imperative that our churches 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‘ – a pack of resources with monthly themes to help congregations hold awareness raising conversations and encourage everyone to act. The November theme is Our Global Connections.

How we live has a direct impact on climate change and the lives of others. The way we choose to travel, the food we eat, the way we heat our homes, our continuing demands for goods and services and the way we deal with the waste produced all have a direct impact on other people.

Certainly the worst of the changes in weather patterns can be seen in other areas of the world producing severe storms and conversely severe droughts leading to famines and other humanitarian crises:

  • Pollution of water courses and air as other countries attempt to recycle our rubbish affecting the health of many people.
  • Effects of global warming on our oceans and on plants and animals threaten the web of life.

Inequalities can be seen too in the ability of countries to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, with less affluent countries struggling to provide basic healthcare, sanitation and access to food.

THE SHEEP AND THE GOATS
Matthew 25: 31-46

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
It’s tough, but this is what we’re faced with. We know what our species is doing. “What you did to the Earth, you did to me!”
You can watch our Eco-Chaplain Rev David Coleman reading and reflecting on this passage, also sharing how Pastor Martin may have differentiated sheep and goats…

In this month where leaders from many countries across the globe were to have converged on Glasgow for COP26 to consider how best to address the issue of climate change and agree a way forward working together, how will we respond to ensure a fairer world for current and future generations?

Conversation Starters:

  • How do you feel when you hear about the effects of climate change on the planet and the effects it has on people’s lives?
  • As Scotland comes to the forefront of international attention, what message would you like the leaders to take home to their country about what is happening in this country?
  • Is it easy to adopt the kinds of changes that experts suggest we need to if we are to reduce our impact on the world’s climate?
  • What makes these easy/ tricky to do? (eg: eating less meat, reducing waste, insulating our homes, using public transport, changing the kinds of energy we use, buying Fairtrade goods)
  • Do you feel differently about any of these changes in the light of the pandemic? How have the views and behaviour of other people changed?

Join us to talk, pray and reflect on Our Global Connections, to help ensure a fairer world for current and future generations. Breakout discussions will ensure all taking part in small groups. Now and in coming months – let’s talk about the climate emergency. Please register here.

Dundee’s golden Gate

Dundee’s golden Gate – our ‘outstanding’ seventh Gold Award 🥇

Today’s newsletter shares the exciting news of our seventh Gold Award recipient and encourages volunteers to register for the Climate Challenge Fund annual gathering and film night discussion. Great photo courtesy of Gate Church International of solar panels on the community centre immediately behind the church building.