Creation Care

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.

Working groups:

  • 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 (adchat@aol.com) or Sue Swanson (sueswanson2003@gmail.com).
     
  • Spiritual Practice and Grounding will offer prayer, liturgies and practices to engage with Creation and a theology that centers environmental wholeness.  Contact Lise Hildebrandt, lise.hild@posteo.net, 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 deaconeliz@gmail.com to join this group.

“Pray, learn, act, advocate”: MA bishops declare climate emergency

MA WMA

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.

Creation care webinars graphic

And next steps: 

On Wednesdays in May, the Creation Care Justice Network and the Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas hosted four webinars on responding to the climate emergency: Pray, Learn, Act and Advocate.

View recordings of the webinars on YouTube here,
courtesy of the Diocese of Western Massachusetts.

Worship and action resources compiled by the Creation Care Justice Network

Planning worship? Click here for “5 easy ways to incorporate creation and climate justice into worship” and other liturgical resources.  

Reimagining and Honoring the Ancient Practice of Rogation: Modern Reflections for Rogation Days, from the Episcopal Networks Collaborative. Click here for the resource.

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.

Video sermon for "Earth Sunday" April 18

A recorded video sermon for Easter 3, "Earth Sunday," April 18, 2021, by the Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, is available for viewing, 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.

Margaret Bullitt-Jonas to serve as creation care advisor

Margaret Bullitt-Jonas Courtesy photo: Tipper Gore The Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas

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

Bishop Gayle Harris The Rt. Rev. Gayle E. Harris

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 (cjordan@diomass.org or 617-482-4826, ext. 307).

Sustaining Earth, Our Island Home Carbon Tracker

Bishop Gates "Sustaining Earth Island Home" video screenshot Click the screenshot above to watch a video invitation from Bishop Gates.

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 (larofinot@gmail.com).

Additional Resources

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.

Reviving Creation website

EcoChurch website for additional ideas and resources

Episcopal Church "Climate Change Crisis" webcast on demand and facilitator's guide

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.

Episcopal Church creation care initiatives

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