Some good news about the environment!

It often feels like a lot of what we read about the environment is bad news: pollution, climate change, loss of habitats, deforestation…

Well today there is finally some good news: 2017 was the ‘greenest year’ on record for Britain with numerous renewable energy records being broken and wind power being a leading energy source. “Breaking short-term output records on top of monthly and annual figures clearly shows that wind is now a major part of the UK electricity mix, and will continue to be in the future,” said Dr Jonathan Marshall, energy analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit. He continued to explain how Britain has some of the windiest regions in Europe and should lead the continent in this renewable energy.

windfarm-static

Something which has added costs to harnessing wind powers has been the infrastructure to transport energy from the windier parts of Britain which often have low populations and small demand to the areas where electricity are needed. Dr Marshall sounded optimistic when he said, “The opening of new infrastructure to transport power south from the windy hills of Scotland is ramping up – and will help to reduce the whole system cost of wind – while technologies to manage variable output are rapidly becoming cheaper.’

Christians are joining this crusade for more renewable energy, over 3,000 churches in Britain have made the switch from fossil fuel to renewable energy sources, and Pope Francis (leader of Catholics) has called for a committed fight against global warming to protect “our common home“. There is something called Creationtide which is a month long period of focus to bring Christians together to pray and work for the protection of the environment that sustains everyone.

creationtide

Good news for once!

Advertisements

Anti-Semitism in France

A Kosher supermarket in Paris was recently daubed with racist swastikas. Then on the 3rd anniversary of a deadly attack by an extremist Muslim gunman, the Jewish supermarket was burned to the ground. France has Europe’s largest Jewish community and in recent years they have faced repeated racism and anti-semitic attacks.

kosher-definition-12

 

UK’s only bomb proof Sunday School

A Presbyterian Church in Dungiven, County Londonderry in Northern Ireland is proud that it has the only bomb proof Sunday Sunday in the UK. Last year it bought an old police station and though the original plan was to demolish it all and build a car park they instead decided to use the old police station for Church activities. It cost them over £200,000 to transform the station so there’s now a new kitchen, elevator, crèche facilities, gym space and meeting rooms.

Church Member Gladys Carmichael explained, “There are lots of rooms now for the Sunday School children and the older groups to meet and play games and if any of the kids misbehave we can also put them in the cell to cool off.”

It was only in 2010 that Dungiven Presbyterian Church made the local news when it celebrated 175 years in the town. At that event the offering money which came to over £1,500, was in aid of the congregation’s Missionary Support Fund. The congregation was supporting the work of Stephen and Angelina Cowan, PCI missionaries in Kenya, Alan and Dorothy Graham, CEF missionaries in Zimbabwe, and Eric and Anne Magowan, missionaries who work with the persecuted church in Vietnam. The evening’s theme was the words of Phil 1:27, where Paul urged the Philippians to conduct themselves in a manner worthy of the gospel. He challenged all present to do likewise if they are to present a credible witness to the world in which they live.

mission-powerpoint-2-638

Presbyterianism is a denomination of Christianity.

What+is+Presbyterianism

Being based upon the teachings of John Calvin (1509-64) it has a central theme of predestination — everything that happens is pre-ordained by God.

The symbols which make up the Presbyterian Church symbol help us to understand what this denomination of Christianity focuses on…

presbyterian-logo-2

UR

TV and Film to Watch this Christmas PART 2

After carefully reading the TV schedules I’ve spotted a few films and TV programmes which are being broadcast this holiday season which will aid your knowledge and understanding of topics we learn in Religious Studies and PSHCE…

Saturday 23rd December

  • Cool Runnings – BBC1, 13:15-14:50 (prejudice, stereotypes, heroism)
  • Gladiator – Channel 4, 23:20- 02:10 (Roman Empire, punishment)

Sunday 24th December

  • Das Boot – History, 16:00-18:00 – (War, World War II)

Monday 25th December

  • Downfall – History, 13:00-16:00 (War, World War II)
  • Dambusters – ITV, 01:45 – 03:50 (War, World War II)

Tuesday 26h December

Wednesday 27th December

  • Bears (a documentary)- Channel 2, 07:55-09:10 (environment)
  • East is East – Channel 4, 23:05-00:50 (multiculturalism, racism, homosexuality, community, Muslim wedding)

Thursday 28th December

  • About a Boy – Channel 4, 23:05 – 00:55 (family, mental health, suicide, bullying)

Friday 29th December

  • Brave – BBC 1, 16:20-17:45 (gender equality)
  • The Green Mile – More4, 21:00-00:45 (prison)

Sunday 31st December

Monday 1st January 2018

  • Ice Age: the Meltdown – Channel 4, 15:35-17:20 (global warming, environment)
  • Noah – BBC 2, 22:00-00:10 (Bible story, The Deluge, covenant with God)

Wednesday 3rd January

 

TV and Film to watch this Christmas to help you with Religious Studies PART 1

On numerous occasions I’ve written about films and TV programmes that students can watch which will help them with their understanding of issues we study such as poverty, war, sexual relationships, climate change, abortion, the death penalty and community. Then there are the more obvious films and TV programmes which focus on religious beliefs, teachings and practises such as Noah, Bruce Almighty and the recent TV series Broken on ITV.

At Christmas time it is a great opportunity to watch Christmas films which show how the Christian festival of Christmas is celebrated:

British soap operas like Eastenders, Coronation Street, Hollyoaks, and Emmerdale will also show families celebrating the festival of Christmas, whereas comedy specials and talk shows will have their studios decorated for Christmas with some themed jokes and interviews.

nativity!

Is everything linked to the commercial celebration of the festival or is there any mention of what is written in the books of Matthew and Luke in the Christian Bible?

 

Pope Francis seems less of a peacemaker as he doesn’t mention persecution of the Rohingya in Myanmar/ Burma

Today Pope Francis, leader of the Catholic church, urged respect for “each ethnicity and its identity”, adding “religious differences need not be a source of division”. This was said when on a visit to Myanmar/ Burma, when lots of people were hoping he would mention the Rohingya by name, and state the fact they’d been persecuted.

persecution

Yet Pope Francis failed and did not mention the Rohingya by name. The reason was that there were fears by the Catholic community in Myanmar/ Burma that if he criticised the government and military there would be repercussions against the small Catholic community in the country. So even the Catholic church has many strengths, including in its humanitarian work, where there are many good men and women working tirelessly to improve the living conditions of people who live in challenged situations, it has weaknesses too.  The facts is that its leader, while he might look like a world peacemaker, should first and foremost look out for his own people. I’m not sure how much Pope Francis is living by the guidance Jesus gave in his Sermon on the Mount

Matthew Persecution

Are animals sentient beings?

First let’s check you know what sentient means.

Sentient – adjective – able to perceive or feel things.

animals around table

Most of the UK’s animal welfare law comes from the EU, so it is quite interesting right now as part of Brexit whether MP’s in Parliament are choosing to continue the EU legislation word for word or water it down for a future UK outside the EU. The first step, with MP’s saying that animals are NOT sentient, seems to show they are not going to see animals as creatures that perceive and feel things.  The RSPCA said to Farming UK: “It’s shocking that MPs have given the thumbs down to incorporating animal sentience into post-Brexit UK law.” Meanwhile Nick Palmer, head of policy at Compassion in World Farming, said: “How can the UK be seen as a leader in animal welfare when the repeal bill fails to guarantee that animals will continue to be regarded as sentient beings? We urge the Government to reintroduce the commitment into the Bill.”

Some countries like New Zealand have shown far greater consideration of animal rights:

sentient new zealand

animal-welfare-350x350