Introducing Our Eco Group ‘All Things Eco’

Individuals at SSCB who are interested in climate justice and climate change have been meeting since May to look at ways to make our congregation more eco-friendly. After spending some time discussing and praying over our options, we are now ready to start moving forward with some actions. Nothing too drastic but you may see some changes over the next few months at SSCB!
We will soon be registering our intent with Eco Congregation Scotland and hope to hold specific environmental services in October led by Cat and Donald. When Kenny McCartney (our new Youth Pastor) joins in September, we will ask him to encourage our youth to get involved and plan to participate in the COP26 church service organised by Tearfund on 7 November.

As a group, we are looking to reduce waste and energy usage at church and be more conscious of our carbon footprint as a congregation. It is so inspiring to see so many congregational members bringing their reusable cups on Sunday – not only does this save us money but it reduces the amount we send as a church to landfill. We hope to continue to encourage small changes like this as we move forward.

We aim to keep the church family updated by way of a regular update in E-pistle but if you’d like to find out more or have any thoughts, Emma D would love to chat to you at any time. Feel free contacting Emma via the office email: office@comelybankchurch.com

The Eco Group is called ‘All Things Eco’ – inspired by and hinting at the hymn ‘All things bright and beautiful’. It is our aim to care for God’s creation, to nurture it to be indeed bright and beautiful as the Creator intended it. Our sin and selfishness have ruined much of creation and its beauty that cannot be renewed anymore. But we can still care for what we have and revive all that is damaged. We need to come back to God with repentance for the neglect and selfishness that caused so much damage to His creation and ask for His forgiveness and grace to enable us to be the carers for His creation He called us to be.

[from Emma D, Elspeth Pitt & GV]


All things Eco – Eco Group Update – 24 September 2021

What have All things Eco been up to this month?
Our environmental group, All things Eco have had a busy month.

Eco Services

Coming up on 3 and 10 October, we have two environmental themed services led by Donald Bruce (3 October) and Cat Rawlinson Watkins (All Age Service – 10 October). As part of these services, Donald and Cat will explore in depth what it means, as Christians, to care for God’s creation.
On 3 and 10 October we would also encourage those who are able to walk, cycle or take public transport to church rather than driving. If you’d like a buddy to walk or cycle with you, please contact the church office to arrange.


Litter Pick

We are also organising a litter pick in the church garden and Inverleith Park on 10 October- please come along and invite your friends! There will be an opportunity for refreshments afterwards. More details to follow shortly.

Energy Use

We are in touch with the Church of Scotland recommended energy advisor who will carry out an audit of SSCB and advise on potential energy saving once the building works have been completed.

Church Garden

All things Eco would love to hear from members of the congregation who have any ideas about use of the church garden. One proposal we discussed was to set up an eco/community garden and restful space with signage inviting the local community to sit and reflect.

Eco Congregation

We have registered our intent with Eco Congregation Scotland.

COP26 Service

SSCB will be participating in the COP26 service hosted by Tearfund on Sunday 7 November. Please come along and invite your friends! If you’d like to find out more about Tearfund’s Reboot campaign on the climate crisis and how you can get involved, their website has great information: Tearfund Reboot
Our next meeting is 27 September at 19:30 on zoom and all are welcome.

For details, please feel free to contact office@comelybankchurch.com

[Emma D on behalf of All things Eco]


All things Eco – ideas~news~suggestions – 29 September 2021

Article of Interest

Should Christians speak up on climate change?

Suggested Climate Action
  • Join Tearfund’s Reboot Campaign
  • Why not try this small group study series on Christianity and Climate change with your Home Group?
  • Watch the Climate Sunday service held on 5 September at Glasgow Cathedral
  • Check out the Ideas for Action on Eco Congregation’s website. 
  • Sign a petition calling on the UK government to lead the world to a greener, fairer future that limits warming to 1.5 degrees Centigrade.
  • Sign up to receive prayer points about the climate emergency to your phone. Text PRAY to the prayer feed number +44 (0)7916874441. More prayer action points in next week’s E-pistle.
  • Travelling to church – If you are able, please consider walking, cycling or taking public transport to church on 3 October. If you’d like a buddy to join you walking or cycling, please contact the church office.
Upcoming Events

Upcoming events

  • 3 October- Eco Service 11:00am Caring for Creation – Redeeming God’s Creation in a Climate Crisis (preacher Donald Bruce)
  • 10 October- Litter Pick 09:30-11:00 
  • 10 October- Eco Service 11:00 Caring for Creation All Age Service (preacher Cat Rawlinson Watkins)
  • 7 November- COP26 Service 11:00 (preacher TBC)

[Emma D on behalf of All things Eco]


All things Eco – ideas~news~suggestions – 6 October 2021

Eco Tips

All things Eco have collated their top environmental tips to live a more “green” lifestyle. 

Household 

  • Where possible, wash your clothes In cold/cool water.
  • Skip the tumble dryer when possible- line dry or use a pulley/clothes horse.
  • Swap regular light bulbs for LED bulbs
  • Decorate your house with plants, for cleaning the air
  • Find your local community’s Facebook page- it’s great for swapping items you don’t need and picking up those you do!
  • Cut up old clothes which can’t be donated to use as cleaning rags instead of kitchen roll. Wash and reuse.

Kitchen

  • Eat less meat- why not try “Meat free Monday”
  • Don’t waste food- look at Zero Waste Chef for some helpful tips. Compost your leftovers or order a food waste bin from Edinburgh Council. 
  • Turn off appliances when not in use.
  • Make your own vegetable stock from peelings and scraps. Recipe here.
  • Use Bicarbonate of soda for cleaning your kitchen sink- it works wonders!
  • Buy reduced veg, chop and freeze it to use at a later stage. 
  • Use pasta water to thicken pasta sauce. 

Out and about

  • Take your own bags with you when shopping
  • Go, with your containers, to an eco shop to refill eg cereals, flour, spices etc. Some great local eco shops include the Refillery, the Eco Larderthe Good Store and Earthworks
  • Shop local where possible. 
  • Take your own water bottle and reusable coffee cup. 

Gardening

  • Buy peat free compost for gardening
  • Get a compost bin, or better get 2, for garden waste – include shredded paper/card, twiggy bits as well as peelings etc
  • Cut grass less frequently
  • Try the ”no dig” approach when you grow vegetables

Parenting

  • Try cloth nappies (even part time)- Edinburgh Real Nappy Community is a great source of advice. 
  • Buy second hand toys and books or swap with friends.
  • Pass on outgrown clothes to friends with younger children

With thanks to Diana, Pamela C and Emma D for providing their top eco tips!

Prayer Action

  • Sign up to receive prayer points about the climate emergency to your phone. Text PRAY to the prayer feed number +44 (0)7916874441
  • Join in with Prayer in the Park.
  • Get involved with Climate Intercessors.
  • Pray for All things Eco at SSCB and ask for guidance as to how our church family can take initial steps in this journey. 

Travelling to church

If you are able, please consider walking, cycling or taking public transport to church on 10 October (hopefully to join the litter pick at the earlier time of 0930!) 

Upcoming events

  • 10 October- Litter Pick 0930-1100 
  • 10 October- Cat Rawlinson Watkins- All Age Service
  • 7 November- COP26 Service

All things Eco – ideas~news~suggestions – 15 December 2021

Eco-friendly Christmas

Christmas is a time of great joy for Christians- we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and give thanks to God for the gift of his Son.

In non-pandemic times, Christmas is also a time of fellowship- meeting together and sharing food and gifts.

But Christmas can also be a time of extravagance and over-consumption. The lessons we learnt from COP26 show us that our planet, God’s planet, is in crisis and steps need to be taken now to address this.

Individual action, whilst smaller, can be no less powerful – so why not start this Christmas? There are small steps you can take, even now, for the benefit of God’s creation.

Here are some tips to get you started!

1. Gifting

  • Buy less- try the four gift rule (something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read)
  • Buy second hand- we have so many wonderful charity shops in Stockbridge or check out Oxfam online.
  • Buy local.
  • Give a charity gift, for example, through  Bethany Christian Trust or Fresh Start
  • Reuse wrapping paper, use recyclable paper and paper tape.
  • Cut up your Christmas cards this year to make gift tags for next!

2. Christmas Dinner

  • Plan your meals ahead;
  • Make stock from your turkey or chicken bones and veg peelings (great for soups);
  • Use your freezer;
  • Buy local;
  • Consider eating less meat;
  • Buy loose/avoid plastic packaging;
  • Transform your leftovers into something new- turkey curry anyone?

3. Christmas Tree

4. Fellowship

Connection and fellowship are so important, especially in these COVID times. There are so many ways to show Christ’s love to our neighbours.

  • Why not take a neighbour some home baked biscuits or a plant (socially distanced if possible)?
  • Meet a friend for a winter walk or pop a thoughtful card through their door.
  • Let someone know you are praying for them.

5. Keep perspective

Recognise your limitations and do what you can- if you are housebound and can’t go to the local shops, buy online and don’t give it a second thought! If you can’t buy or cut your own vegetables loose from a greengrocer, buy pre-cut in plastic and don’t worry!

Remember, Christmas is firstly about the birth of Jesus Christ and the hope and joy of God’s amazing grace to us in the form of his Son.

Feeling inspired? Check out this Tearfund article on Ethical Christmas for further ideas!

[from Emma D]