Eco-congregation

Eco-Congregation

ecomembership_0001
Selkirk Parish Church is registered as an Eco-Congregation.

This commits the congregation to take action to promote our caring for God’s creation and to do all that we can to be good stewards of the world entrusted to us.

For detialed information about waste recycling, see:Zero Waste leaflet 2019


  • harvest – creation in our care

    harvest – creation in our care

    This year, our “creation in our care” service (on 22nd September) was led by a group of members.

    The themes for the service were 4 elements of God’s creation:
    – air (God’s spirit energising our lives)
    – fire (God meets us, like Moses at the burning bush, and fires us up for action
    – water (necessary for life, but not available to many in the world)
    – earth (we celebrate the earth in all its diversity.
    An augmented choir led the congregation in singing specially composed versions of “We plough the fields and scatter”, “Standing on Holy Ground” and “Wide, wide as the ocean”.
    The themes were illustrated with a waterfall cascading down from the balcony into the font, bubbles being blown over the congregation, a new “fire” banner, a display of harvest goods in front of the communion table, and photos on the screen (thanks, Alan!)


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  • Back to Our Roots

    Back to Our Roots – a meal organised by the Eco Group, highlighting Earth Hour

    Friday 29th March 2019

    All ready to welcome guests to Back To Our Roots

    Can you see the Earth Hour poster in the background and the Sunday Gang poster reminding us that we can all do something to help look after the future of the planet?

    Are we ready?

    Here they come …

    The waiters memorising the menu…and what a great job they did.


    As well as excellent company, good food, food for thought and action, we were able to send £140 to Green Environment Protection, an organization working to support and empower rural communities in South Western Uganda. GEP will be able to use it in their work. It costs £35 a month to pay a teacher so that gives an indication of how far our contribution can go.

    In between courses, we watched two short videos reminding us of Earth Hour and also the problems surrounding the loss of insect species. There is action we can take, however, by following these links to add our support.

    pesticides petition

    Sign this petition to make sure there’s clear plan to reduce pesticides and make the countryside a safer place for wildlife.

    plasticfreescotland petition

    Customers’ voices can be powerful. Click on the logo of your regular supermarket to ask them to ditch single use plastics for good.


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  • Out of Africa meal

    Colourful Africa-themed tables

    Out of Africa, 28th Sept 2018

    Out of Africa, on 29th September, was an evening of good food and company – colourful kangas on the tables and David T. got a round of applause for wearing his kaftan, embroidered by disabled people in Malawi.

    The cooks did a great job, and the young people once again charmed everyone with their waitering skills and smiles.

    No-one wanted to go home after the meal was over – the sign of a good evening.

     

    3 of our waiter/waitress team, looking very smart and ready to serve.

    The meal was part of our Harvest weekend and was planned by the Eco-congregation and Fairtrade groups.

    The surplus from ticket money, £165, was donated to the Christian Aid Harvest project, supporting people like Aster in rural Ethiopia where she runs a solar-powered shop as she can not longer rely solely on farming for an income.

    The Fairtrade stall also made a good number of sales and we heard about the difficulties faced by Traidcraft.


     

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  • SPC to disinvest from fossil fuels

    SPC to disinvest from fossil fuels

    Following the General Assembly’s decision to continue to “engage” with fossil fuel companies, despite this policy being ineffective in persuading them to change their strategy, the Kirk Session and Congregational Board have agreed to withdraw the funds we currently have invested in the Church of Scotland Growth Fund.

    The full text of the letter sent to the Investors Trust is provided below:

    In the light of our concerns about climate change driven by the continued burning of fossil fuels, most recently highlighted by Pope Francis in his meeting with oil executives, and the failure of the Church of Scotland’s policy of engagement to bring about significant change in the policies and practices of Shell, BP and Total over the last 2 years, Selkirk Parish Church has decided to withdraw its funds invested in the Church of Scotland Growth Fund.

    As an eco-congregation, we do not believe it is ethically acceptable to invest in, and gain profit from, companies whose main aim is to continue to explore for, and to extract, fossil fuels. For example, BP states on its website that its strategy is to “invest in more gas and oil, producing both with increasing efficiency”. In fact, we believe that these investments are contrary to the Investors Trust’s current policy not to invest in companies whose “activities … are felt to harm society more than they benefit it”. The activities of Shell, BP and Total (and other similar companies) are driving the whole world towards dangerous and potentially uncontrollable climate change, already causing harm to people across many parts of the planet.

    We disagree with the Church of Scotland’s policy to continue to “engage” with these companies as being impractical and ineffective. Many large institutions, including cities, universities, some pension funds, the British Medical Association, the Church of Ireland and the United Reformed Church in Scotland have already agreed to fully divest from all fossil fuel exploration and extraction. We believe that the Church of Scotland should be leading the way for others, and should fully divest now from all companies involved in fossil fuel exploration and extraction; this would give a stronger signal to these companies than any engagement is ever likely to do.

    Within Selkirk Parish Church, we are committed to caring for God’s creation. We can no longer wait for the Church or Scotland to act in this matter, so we are taking our own small steps to make ourselves “fossil free”. Withdrawing our funds is one step in this journey that we are able to make now, and therefore we are doing so. We hope that other congregations may follow our example.

    The funds withdrawn may be either reinvested in an ethical fund or used to part-fund a children and families worker; we consider this to be a much better way to invest for growth in God’s Kingdom.


     

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  • Silver eco-award presentation – Feb 2018

    Silver eco-award presentation – Feb 2018

    On Feb 18th, 2018, we were privileged to have a visit from Mary Sweetland, chair of Eco-congregation Scotland, who had come to present our silver eco-award plaque.  The award was made back in September, when we were the first congregation is Scotland to achieve that award.

    Our award commended the congregation for:

    ❖ the clarity of your planning and monitoring of your action plan;
    ❖ your eco-policy, which we may use as an example for other congregations to consider;
    ❖ your active involvement in aspects of global living, especially the toilet-twinning;
    ❖ the active involvement of members of your congregation in the ECS local network and national gathering;
    ❖ the overall impression of an imaginative and creative church, fully committed to environmental issues.

     

    and gave us the following recommendations for our ongoing “care for creation”, perhaps working towards a gold award:

    1. Work towards developing a longer-term sustainable action plan over a number of years, and consider expanding the number of individuals involved in your core group.
    2. Consider an event to engage all your church leadership team in discussion of environmental issues.
    3. Continue to challenge and support individual members to take action to reduce their environmental impact where possible, and try to evaluate the effectiveness of your campaigns.
    4. Consider carrying out a survey of attitudes, both within and outwith the congregation to discover (among other things) whether your work is having an impact in the community.
    5. Consider taking the lead in some community-based environmental action.
    6. Continue to explore further practical actions to reduce the environmental footprint of the church buildings.

    The congregation gathered together after the service with minister Margaret Steele and Session Clerk Colin Macintosh holding the plaque.

    The congregation gathered together after the service with minister Margaret Steele and Session Clerk Colin Macintosh holding the plaque.


     


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  • Fareshare

    Fareshare

    At the Cyrenians Fareshare depot in Edinburgh

    At the Cyrenians Fareshare depot in Edinburgh

    Three of us from Open Door visited Fareshare in Edinburgh last week to meet the Cyrenian staff and volunteers who work hard to process tons of good food destined otherwise for the dump. We were able to have a good conversation about our Open Door and the food we find useful, in quantities that are manageable. They told us that they partner with over 100 projects, delivering about 7,000 meals annually so it’s a major challenge for them to keep us all in mind and get it right for everyone all the time. It’s a big operation! It was a very useful, enjoyable visit and we are increasingly appreciative of our link with the Cyrenians and very glad to be saving waste.

    Cyrenians.scot/community-and-food/good-food/fareshare/

     

    For more photos, and the story of our visit, click on this link: Fareshare visit pictures
     


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  • Have you got the bottle?

    Have you got the bottle?

    At the Earth Hour service on March 25th, we all had the chance to sign this petition. Our letters were delivered to Rosanna Cunningham. We were pleased to hear subsequently that work on how a potential deposit return system might operate in Scotland has been commissioned by the Scottish Government. Zero Waste Scotland will investigate design options and the associated costs and benefits of how a deposit return scheme could work here.

     


     

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  • Worship by Candlelight

    Worship by Candlelight : Saturday 25th March 2017

    We celebrated Earth Hour on 25th March with a candlelit service. People were encouraged to switch off lights at home and celebrate the planet even if they couldn’t come to the service.


     

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  • Food by Candlelight

    Food by Candlelight : Friday 24th February

    As part of the eco-group’s Food Focus February, and in honour of a notable birthday for a popular lady, Elissa, Anne and Mo organised a wonderful festive meal on Friday evening (24th Feb).  Sixty guests enjoyed a three course meal, interspersed with a food-themed quiz.  We all sang a special song, with lyrics by John Nichol, then the cake was cut, and Happy Birthday sung.  An excellent evening, enjoyed by all.

    tables all nicely set by the girls

    beautiful birthday cake by Marjorie

    time for a song …

    Margaret cutting the birthday cake


     

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  • Eco-award Presentation

    Trevor Jamison hands over the award plaque to Magaret Steele, in front of the new eco-banner

    Trevor Jamison hands over the award plaque to Margaret Steele, in front of the new eco-banner

    Presentation of first Eco-award, Sunday 3rd July, 10.15am

    Trevor and Margaret cut the celebration cake


    Trevor and Margaret cut the celebration cake

    On Sunday, 3rd July, at the morning service, we were presented with our first Eco-award.  Eco-congregation Scotland’s chaplain, Trevor Jamison, led the service and presented the award.  All celebrated afterwards with a special cake, baked and iced by Marjory Inglis.  The new Eco-banner (see home page), created by the banner group, was also on display for the first time – a reminder that creation is God’s gift to us, but we are all responsible for its care.

    Now to start working towards our next award …..

     

     


     

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