Synod Highlights: Diocesan Environmental Group Shares 2024 Focus

Our Diocesan Environmental Group shared its 2024 focus for engaging with the Net Zero Action Plan of the Scottish Episcopal Church during Diocesan Synod. Alongside their report and presentation, the group produced the video below, aiming to highlight the urgency of the climate crisis and our shared responsibility for discipleship, engagement and action.

2024 Focus for Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway Environmental Group

Discipleship, Rooted Worship, Faith@Home

We propose that the Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway will initially engage with the work towards Net Zero by spending 2024 focusing on the Provincial Guidance Points of:

Training & Education
Rooted Worship
Build a Movement

We consider this is an appropriate starting point in relation to our Christian stewardship of our common home and will encourage participation amongst our congregations.

The way we will focus on these points is through the lens of Discipleship. Our calling as Christians is to protect both the world which God has made as well as all of God’s beloved children around the world. This is an expression of our love for God and our love for neighbour – and it is a direct result of Jesus’ greatest commandment. (Matthew 22:34-40) This is a foundational element of our faith. By providing opportunities for Christian Formation focused on the Environmental Crisis through the lens of our faith, worship and prayers that are born of this renewed focus, and creating ways to build a spiritual practice at home by incorporating a mindfulness towards the ways our actions affect the environment we will Build a (Diocesan) Movement that joins with the Climate Justice and Environmental Stewardship movements that are long established.

Using materials available from Eco Congregations Scotland and others who have built upon the overlap between Care of Creation and Christianity, the DEG will encourage congregations to spend the year learning more about the ways in which we are called to “[rule] over the works of [God’s] hands.” (Psalm 8:6) The DEG will provide resources that can be used by congregations to support formation programs about environmental issues throughout the year. We will provide materials that can be used for Lent and Advent study groups, book clubs, etc…

In addition, where appropriate, the DEG may host diocesan learning days or congregational events which will focus on specific aspects of the NZAP and how to make changes in our daily lives which can support our role as stewards of Creation.

Hand in hand with this training as Disciples for Creation Care, we will have a Diocesan focus on “Rooted Worship” all year round. We will consider ways we can be prayerful about our care for the earth as well as the ways the creation cries out for justice. We will pray for those in the Global South who are most affected by climate change, and we will consider ways our worship can support the path towards Net Zero.
We will use the tool kit provided by the Province, as well as other means, to inform our congregations in “quick environmental wins” they can start making part of their personal lives and how they can be seen as spiritual practices. We will begin to open up the issues of buildings and congregational life which have a direct impact on things such as energy conservation and use. This will have the added benefit of cost savings in many instances which will speak to our congregations who are, no doubt, concerned about the current cost of living crisis in which we find ourselves.
Finally, by engaging in these key areas of focus – and in encouraging our formation as Disciples of Jesus Christ who care deeply for this “fragile earth, our island home”(Eucharistic Prayer C, 1979 Book of Common prayer, TEC)– the Diocese will work to join the environmental movement that has been building for the last several decades. We will strive to encourage congregations to share with their local communities the work they are doing and to invite others to come alongside in this quest towards NetZero.

As the year goes on, we will gauge progress, provide support as needed, and discern what the focal points for 2025 and beyond will best support our progress as a diocese.

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