A Week in the Life of a Program Coordinator!
As my role is to “support and encourage” congregations and networks in their care of creation, I find myself turning up in all sorts of interesting places around Scotland, and often being encouraged myself by the people I meet. The week 9-16 June was a particularly interesting one …..
ECS encourages its staff (and others, too) to use public transport where possible, which is great for a train-lover like me, but for this trip, I confess that the car was used. I’ll invest in some carbon offsetting project to at least compensate for the CO2 I emitted. OK, confession over.
On Friday 9th, we set off up the A7 and A9 – destination Elgin. Saturday was the Moray and Highland mini-gathering – a day conference lijke a smaller version of the ECS Annual gathering. We had around 25 folk attending in a lovely venue – the St. Columba’s South Hall. Rev. Jenny Adams led worship beautifully at the beginning and the end. We sang unaccompanied, and each held a small stone in our hand, reflecting that it was older than any of us, but younger than God. Even the smallest things in creation belong to Him – our job is to take care of them for Him.
I gave a presentation and led discussion on “Climate Change and what we can do about it”, which was challenging, but well received. Some of you in other parts – Dunblane, Peebles, Perth and Colonsay – have heard a similar presentation.
The church folk provided 5 different soups to choose from at lunchtime, and we had the chance to browse the Fairtrade stall.
In the afternoon, we had 5 mini-presentation by different folk on:
- the St Giles hot water system,
- recycling in Moray,
- reducing our transport impact, and
- the Forres ecumenical discussion group.
After the main programme, some of us had a tour of the Elgin community garden, and others took part in a recycling workshop. The added bonus is that 5 folk volunteered to be the Moray network planning group, which means that the Moray network will become more or less self-sustaining from now on. All in all, a very positive day.
On Sunday, I was invited to be the main speaker at the two services in Boat of Garten and Carrbridge. I spoke about the earth – what it provides for us, and how we have messed it up – then about “Why should Christians care about creation”. This seemed to be well received. Rev. Donald Walker is an old friend of ours; his other congregation (Abernethy) is already an eco-congregation.
The next event was to be on Wednesday, so it seemed a bit daft (and not good for the environment) to head all the way back down to home in the Borders, then back up a couple of days later. So, we enjoyed two days exploring Skye (between showers!). The midges didn’t bother us either, despite the fact that we were camping. However, the midges did inspire one slide in my presentations – I’ll tell you about it next time you invite me to a network meeting!
I had been asked to speak at an ecumenical meeting on Wednesday evening organised by Skye Bible Church (SBC) – the original request was to A Rocha, and was forwarded to ECS. Around 20 folk were present, mostly from the SBC, but also one lady from the Episcopal Church and one from the CofS in Portree. I spoke to the group about ECS’ vision and purpose, gave a biblically-based rationale for “care for creation” and gave some pointers about what we can do. If you have 50 minutes with nothing more exciting to do, you can hear what I had to say (and some of the questions that arose) at www.skyebiblechurch.net/sermons/. Perhaps SBC will become an eco-congregation, but in any case we now have some additional contact names for our database and mailing list, and there was a positive response at an individual level. A good end to my “Highland Tour”. And so, home on Thursday through a veritable monsoon ….