Creation Care Justice Network
Clergy and lay people working together to help churches and communities care for creation through embracing sustainable practices and providing support and ideas for reducing the church’s carbon footprint--saving dollars and the earth; experiencing the outdoors; and preaching about interconnectedness with the natural world.
- Sign up here to get connected with the network and receive its e-mail updates.
- Watch the presentation given by the Creation Care Justice Network via Zoom at the 235th annual Convention of the Diocese of Massachusetts on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, here.
- Action and Advocacy will look at working with outside groups, such as Massachusetts Interfaith Power and Light, to develop church and community action and policy changes. To join this group, contact Alex Chatfield (email@example.com) or Sue Swanson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Spiritual Practice and Grounding will offer prayer, liturgies and practices to engage with Creation and a theology that centers environmental wholeness. Contact Lise Hildebrandt, email@example.com, if you would like to join.
- Communications and Networking will focus on interactions to develop a stronger network among parishes and groups within the diocese around Creation and climate justice. Contact facilitator Liz Good at firstname.lastname@example.org to join this group.
“Pray, learn, act, advocate”: MA bishops declare climate emergency
On March 23, 2021, the bishops of the Episcopal dioceses of Massachusetts and Western Massachusetts declared a climate emergency. From their declaration:
“We believe that God is calling us all to embrace brave and difficult change. Everything we do as faithful individuals and as a church must reckon with the unprecedented emergency in which humanity now finds itself.
“We therefore encourage all Episcopalians to explore The Episcopal Church’s Covenant for the Care of Creation , a commitment to practice loving formation, liberating advocacy, and life-giving conversation as individuals, congregations, ministries, and dioceses.
“We strongly urge congregations across Massachusetts to pray, learn, act, and advocate as we build a bold and faith-filled response to the greatest moral challenge of our time.”
Read the bishops’ full declaration and their suggested actions and resources here.
And next steps:
In May, the Creation Care Justice Network and the Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas will host four webinars on the climate emergency and how to respond to it: Pray, Learn, Act and Advocate.
These will be held on Wednesdays, May 5, 12, 19 and 26 at 7 p.m.
Registration is here.
Coming soon for "Earth Sunday" April 18
A recorded video sermon for Easter 3, "Earth Sunday," April 18, by the Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, will be available for viewing soon, here and here. She serves as creation care advisor for the Diocese of Massachusetts and as missioner for creation care for the Diocese of Western Massachusetts and the Southern New England Conference, United Church of Christ.
How are Christians called to advocate climate health?
Watch a video presentation by the Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas on how Christians are called to advocate climate health, courtesy of the Diocese of Western Massachusetts on YouTube, here. The half-hour video explains six different types of advocacy and offers suggestions for concrete steps that individuals and congregations can take. Find the study guide here and an annotated resource list here.
Worship and action resources compiled by the Creation Care Justice Network
Earth Day is April 22
Faith Climate Action Week is April 16-25
Ecumenical Advocacy Days are April 18-21
Rogation Days are May 10-12
Growing food (and other relationships) is the theme for Earth Day, Faith Climate Action Week and Rogation Days. Interfaith Power and Light is providing resources for Faith Climate Action Week on the theme of Sacred Ground: Cultivating Connections Between our Faith, our Food, and the Climate, which dovetails nicely with the Good News Gardens initiative that is taking hold in the diocese.
Interfaith Power and Light Sacred Ground resources are available here and include joining in the Nationwide Climate Prayer (April 22 at noon), hosting a film screening and discussion (“Kiss the Ground,” on regenerating healthy soil) and worship resources.
Planning worship? Click here for “5 easy ways to incorporate creation and climate justice into worship” and other liturgical resources. Preachers are urged to preach on food growing or climate justice either April 19 or 26 (or May 9, or any Sunday).
Ecumenical Advocacy Days: Imagine God's Earth and People Restored, April 18-21: Learn about the global movement, centered on and led by the people and communities most vulnerable to climate impacts due to historic racial and colonial inequities. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will preach and local pastor Rev. Mariama White-Hammond will keynote. Information, a schedule of events, and registration are available here.
Need other resources or book group ideas? Click here.
Good News Gardens: Want to grow food and feed the hungry? Join Good News Gardens, the newest network of the Dioceses of Massachusetts and Western Massachusetts. For information about Good News Gardens in Massachusetts, click here or go to Good News Gardens Massachusetts on Facebook. You can become part of the movement in Massachusetts by filling out this form.
Additional resources can be found at www.earthday.org.
Margaret Bullitt-Jonas to serve as creation care advisor
Effective Jan. 1, 2021, the Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas is serving as creation care advisor for the Diocese of Massachusetts, in addition to her ongoing role as missioner for creation care for the Diocese of Western Massachusetts and the Southern New England Conference, United Church of Christ.
“To meet today’s challenges, collaboration is essential,” she said in the January issue of the Diocese of Western Massachusetts’ Creation Care E-News . “I am glad to reconnect with the diocese where I grew up and was baptized, confirmed and ordained, and where I devoted the first 16 years of ordained ministry. I hope that my new role will make it easier for Episcopalians across Massachusetts to share in the struggle to protect the Earth entrusted to our care.”
“We are thrilled that Margaret is bringing her expertise and experiences to share with us in the Diocese of Massachusetts,” Missioner for Networking and Formation Martha Gardner said by e-mail. “We are especially looking forward to her utilizing her gifts of teaching and preaching, and helping to connect us with others in the Commonwealth who are concerned about care of creation.”
A pastoral reflection by Bishop Harris for Creation Season 2020
In a pastoral reflection for Creation Season 2020, Bishop Gayle E. Harris writes:
"Justice, for people and this planet in which all life is interdependent, requires vigilance, accountability and commitment. Let it be said by the next generations that we strove for justice, removing the pollution of greed and indifference that destroys life, that justice can flow freely now and in the future, as a pristine river, replenishing all life on this beautiful and awesome planet, created by, as Presiding Bishop Michael Curry proclaims, a 'loving, liberating and life-giving God.'”
Read the full reflection here.
Green Loans and Fossil Fuel Free Fund
Diocesan Green Loans are low-interest loans of up to $100,000 that enable congregations to make energy-efficient changes to their buildings.
- Green Loans are awarded on a rolling basis.
- Congregations interested in applying for Green Loans will find more information and application materials on the Green Loans page.
Fossil Fuel Free Fund: For information about investment opportunities with this broadly diversified portfolio, contact Charlie Jordan, Investment Coordinator, Trustees of Donations (email@example.com or 617-482-4826, ext. 307).
Sustaining Earth, Our Island Home Carbon Tracker
Want to know what your household's carbon output is and how you can reduce it? Want to get others in your congregation and community to work together to reduce your combined carbon footprint? The Episcopal Church's "Sustaining Earth, Our Island Home" online carbon tracker can help.
Go to www.sustainislandhome.org, scroll down to "Massachusetts Diocese" and then click on the "Join the Challenge" button below Bishop Gates's video and letter. The tracker is organized by diocese, congregation, city and region. For more information or to get a Green Team going in your congregation, contact the Rev. Laurie Rofinot (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Creation Tithing Primer: A workbook of resources for creation tithing, a program for houses of worship and their members to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent each year through a dedicated focus on reducing the worst consumer-generated emitters.
Massachusetts Interfaith Power and Light: Offers specialized training and energy assessments based on energy use patterns of houses of worship. Fees for energy assessment are charged on a sliding scale. Ask in advance for details.
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