Social Justice and Change
The different churches of the diocese serve their local communities in so many different ways, offering space for community activities, companions on the journey of faith, and hospitality. Many churches are involved in their local Food Banks and cook and serve at the Bethany nightshelters.
Some websites that might help in your ministry:
Eco-congregation Scotland – Most churches of the diocese are now members of the eco-congregation network. Their website provides lots of ideas for how to continue to care for creation, resources for worship and preaching, and other information. At the General Synod in 2020, the SEC committed to be carbon zero by 2030. This ambitious vision is being worked on at a number of different levels around the SEC and diocese.
Fair Trade Scotland – Many of our churches have served fairtrade coffee and tea for decades, often also running Fair Trade stalls at coffee time. The Fair Trade Scotland movement aims to gather all those who are involved in the campaign for fair wages together to increase our voice.
Refugees and Migrants
The Bible reminds us of the importance of the visitor and foreigner in our midst and many churches yearn to discover more about the current refugee and asylum system and to work out how to support those who find themselves a long way from home in and around our beautiful diocese.
Edinburgh City Mission have a refugee programme called Salaam, which provides training and support for congregations to develop their own plans. They will also come to speak to the churches to raise awareness and answer questions about the issues. It also runs a befriending scheme and a weekend club.
Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees seeks to co-ordinate and promote action by faith communities in Scotland to support asylum seekers and refugees.
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland have a range of information and resources, including a Bible Study, around the issues of refugee and asylum seeking
The World Council of Churches also have good resources on migration and ministry:
Bethany Christian Trust operate in Edinburgh and across Scotland, working with individuals and local communities across Scotland to prevent and end homelessness. They seek to support families, young people, rough sleepers and people recovering from addiction. Over the last few years, the Night Shelters which operate from October to April have been held each night at a central location and different groups and congregations have cooked each night to enable the support workers to concentrate on supporting those who need it. As well as a Care Van and Night Shelter they run a befriending service and offer training to equip churches towards build meaningful friendships with people who are lonely and socially isolated in the community.
Fresh Start – offers practical help to those who are getting their first accommodation.
Street Pastors run teams of volunteers whose aim is to talk to and assist folk to help them stay safe and happy, sometimes when they are at their most vulnerable.
Please let us know of other websites – for information, support and action that may be useful