Some days, memories can feel more present than reality.
Today, we remember those separated from us this Christmas, whether through death or distance or disappointment.
Christian Aid Scotland lead our thoughts today, International Migrants Day.
Can we have an International Migrant Day this year?
I mean, can we call them migrants?
Can we call them, 'them'?
Eilidh Marks from the Church of Scotland Guild writes...
Advent is such an exciting time – there is so much to look forward to and so much anticipation of the big celebration to come. For some of us, there is also so much to plan!
If you’re anything like me, you’ll love a good planning session. At Christmas, I love to plan everything. I like to plan present lists (sub-categorised into which shops or sites I’ll need to visit to buy everything), Christmas dinner to perfection (potatoes in the oven while turkey rests while carrots cook) and even a list of activities the family to enjoy on Christmas Day (actually my family has asked me to stop ‘planning fun’ for this year!).
There is something about the opening to the nativity story in Luke 1 which leaves me a bit bemused.
Elizabeth and Zechariah have longed to have a child of their own for many, many years. But no child has ever appeared and it seems that the time has run out.
Wendy Young, Christian Aid Scotland, urges us to keep on raising our voices about climate change this Advent.
I write this on the weekend that the climate change talks happening in Paris (COP21) come to an end. The earliest indications of the outcomes are more positive than at previous talks but there are still key issues that need to be agreed in these final days.
Informal reports say there has been a spirit of cooperation and willingness to tackle climate change, exemplified by the US doubling its pledge of climate aid to poorer countries.
Scotland has also pledged to double the Climate Justice Fund, from £6million to £12million to help those countries most affected who have done the least to cause the problem.
This does suggest that the pressure put on countries by development groups, churches, the media and others to be ambitioushas paid off.
Hundreds of pilgrims from all over the world descended on Paris to urge ambitious action on climate change. Not to mention the eco-congregations baton that made its way via many towns and villages across Scotland, even up a Munro, to take the message of Climate Justice to Paris!
One of the crucial calls is not only to be ambitious but to introduce an ambition accelerator to ensure the national commitments to reducing carbon are met and stuck to to prevent a catastrophic increase in global temperatures! Ambition is central to this advent at the talks!
There is much still to be done but take heart this advent that there is good will in the world to help the most vulnerable and that by raising our voices with them we can make sure they are heard and change happens!
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