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Eco Church newsletter

News from Eco-Congregation Scotland this month
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Welcome to the latest Eco-Congregation Scotland Enews.
Recent weeks have been increasingly significant for the environmental movement, with Scotland's First Minister declaring a "climate emergency", reports highlighting the stark impact of climate chaos around the world and climate protests closer to home, notably involving young people inspired by Greta Thunberg.
This coming week, we are inviting you to an open fringe event during the Church of Scotland General Assembly, debating the need to divest from fossil fuels and invest in a zero carbon future - the "just transition" we discussed at our recent Annual Gathering. Please join us if you are free on Monday 20th May from 12.30pm in St Columba's by the Castle, a very active Edinburgh Eco-Congregation.
We are also planning a busy year ahead of engagement across the country and want to hear more of the work you are already doing in your own church - please contact our staff team or share through Facebook or Twitter - and please also let us know your own ideas for our newsletter or future activities.
Thanks for all your efforts in caring for Creation. Your work and support is always appreciated.

Stephen Curran
Eco-Congregation Scotland manager
0131 240 2274

DIVESTMENT FRINGE EVENT
Investing for positive change: The Church of Scotland, divestment and a zero carbon future
Monday 20th May 2019
12.30pm - 2.00pm
St Columba's by the Castle Scottish Episcopal Church,
14 Johnston Terrace, Edinburgh EH1 2PW 

Following the lively debate on fossil fuel divestment at the 2018 General Assembly, join this year's open fringe event hosted by Eco-Congregation ScotlandOperation NoahChristian Aid and Friends of the Earth Scotlandto discuss how the Church of Scotland can use its investments to accelerate the just transition to a sustainable future.
More than a thousand institutions around the world - including the University of Edinburgh, the Church of Ireland and New York City - have taken the step of divesting from fossil fuels.
As climate change threatens the lives of millions of people around the world, especially those living in poverty, how should the Church respond?
Please come along to learn more and join the debate at this open event. There will be time for discussion afterwards. A free lunch of sandwiches, fruit and tea/coffee will be provided.
Guest speakers are Rev Sally Foster-Fulton, Eco-Congregation Scotland trustee and Head of Christian Aid Scotland; Rev Jenny Adams, Minister of Duffus, Spynie & Hopeman Church; and Rev Dr David Pickering, Moderator of the URC National Synod of Scotland, fresh from proposing divestment at United Reformed Church Mission Council where it receivedunanimous backing this week.

CLEAN UP SCOTLAND
The national Spring Clean organised through Keep Scotland Beautiful is well underway with over 21,000 people out and about across the country working hard to help. There is still time to get involved, tackling roadside litter this week or flytipping near your church next week.
Clean Up Scotland is the national campaign to build community pride and make Scotland clean for future generations. With litter and flytipping levels at the worst levels in a decade, we all need to do much more. Keep Scotland Beautiful provide Clean Up kits to help spread the message that a litter-free environment will improve well-being, community spirit and environmental sustainability.
We are keen to encourage church volunteers to organise or take part in a local Clean Up event. With over 400 events last year, the Clean Up Scotland map is a great tool for groups or individuals to find events locally.To find out more, please register to get involved and make a difference.


CHURCH AND COMMUNITY ORCHARDS
We are looking for four churches in Scotland to take part in an orchard twinning project with churches in Hungary. The aim is to learn from thePlant Native Fruit Trees in Church Gardens project that has planted hundreds of orchards across Hungary and won the ECEN (European Christian Environmental Network) Roman Juriga Award in 2018.
We want to inspire church and community orchard planting in Scotland. Planting fruit trees is both a symbolic and practical expression of care for Creation. Recognising the fruitfulness of Creation and a source of healthy food, an orchard requires care and nurture to thrive, and with care will enhance green spaces both for humans and wildlife, particularly in urban areas.
Any Eco-Congregation in Scotland may apply but we are looking primarily for churches in Edinburgh and Glasgow. We would also like to involve Priority Area churches in urban areas and will seek to support where necessary to enable churches with limited resources to participate.
To take part you must have access to land suitable for an orchard, be prepared to work with a Hungarian church partner, including travel and providing hospitality and make a long term commitment to look after an orchard. For more information, please email Paul Williams or call 0131 240 2277.

TEAM UPDATE
Following our wonderful Annual Gathering and AGM in Dundee - thank you again to our hosts Gate Church International and everyone who took part - our Environmental Chaplain and our staff been have been busy engaging with churches and organisations over the past month. For more on our spiritual work in worship and praise, please follow our Chaplain's Blog from Rev'd David Coleman.
We are delighted to welcome two new part-time Programme Coordinators later this month, joining James Anthony who is based in Dundee: Judith Macleod in Inverness and Ruth Livingstone in Edinburgh, adding to her current work as our Membership & Office Administrator. Thank you to everyone for their encouragement and participation in our recruitment process. Our new team will be in touch soon with Local Networks as we develop more public engagement and encouragement for churches across the country.

JOIN US - REGISTER YOUR CHURCH
Thanks to St Margaret's Justice & Peace Group recently hosting a Climate Conversation opened up to a wider local audience in Lochgilphead's MS Centre. Please get in touch if you would like to host similar public engagement on environmental issues with your church or wider community. Welcome also to our new Eco-Congregations:

Ardrossan Park Parish Church, Ayrshire
Corsock & Kirkpatrick Durham Church, Kirkcudbrightshire
Crossmichael, Parton & Balmaghie Church, Kirkcudbrightshire
Crown Church, Inverness
Dumfries: Maxwelltown West Church
Greyfriars Scottish Episcopal Church, Kirkcudbright
Newton Mearns Baptist Church
St Serf's Catholic Church, High Valleyfield
St Mary's Scottish Episcopal Church, Gatehouse of Fleet
The Storehouse, Kilsyth
If your church is also concerned about the environment and wants to do something about it, it is simple to join us. Just fill out your details online or print a form and post it to us. Registering as an Eco-Congregation leads to support through our Local Networks and Programme Coordinators, information through free resources or our newsletter and eligibility to apply for Awards as you develop your work. Please join us today - or you cansupport our work as an individual too.

Further news items can be found on our website news page.
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