Advent through Epiphany
As we launch the pilot program for “An Episcopal Path to Creation Justice,” the Creation Care Justice Network has been thinking a lot about journeys and the paths those journeys take. This season is filled with biblical images of travel--of Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem, the Magi following the star, the shepherds’ journey to the stable, and the Holy Family’s hurried escape into Egypt. All these journeys involved traveling into the unknown, into a future fraught with uncertainty and the chance of hardship and danger.
We are also traveling into the unknown. The congregations in our six-month pilot will each map a journey with their companion, identifying where they have been in regard to caring for creation and where they want to go.
We are pilgrims traveling together, sharing our resources, lifting each other up when we fall and celebrating milestones along the way. Even if you are not a part of the pilot program, it is our hope that you will travel with us this season as we all seek to justly care for creation and faithfully respond to the looming climate emergency.
Observing the season
For a season less focused on consumerism, start with the 2023 Advent calendar. Instead of candies, each day focuses on a facet of the Way of Love. Expand your season with some of the ideas listed below and then check the "Sustainable Life" list for updates and other suggestions throughout the winter.
Pray & Learn:
- “O love, how deep, how broad, how high”: An Advent 2023 online retreat led by the Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas on Saturday, Dec.16, 9:30 a.m.-noon. A morning of listening, prayer and conversation as we open ourselves to the presence of Divine Love. To register, visit here.
The Episcopal Church offers a variety of other resources for Advent and Christmas. Although not specifically focused on Creation Care, they may spark your imagination and reveal the interconnectedness of all God’s creation.
- The Episcopal Church offers a variety of other resources for Advent and Christmas. Although not specifically focused on creation care, they may spark your imagination and reveal the interconnectedness of all God’s creation.
Act & Advocate:
- “Caring for Creation with a Green Advent and Christmas" was developed in 2021 by the Diocese of Colorado’s ministry of Honoring and Protecting Creation. It offers timeless ways to “live more gently, gratefully and sustainably on the earth” during the holiday season and beyond.
- The Episcopal Church has a long history of presence and advocacy at the COP annual meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), scheduled for Nov. 30-Dec.12. Check the Episcopal Church Creation Care webpage and the Episcopal Church COP28 event page and learn ways to faithfully advocate for just and rapid action to avert the worst of effects of climate change.
- Closer to home, the Coalition to Stop Private Jet Expansion at Hanscom or Anywhere is expanding across the state of Massachusetts and beyond, inspiring thousands of people to protest the expansion of private jet use at a tremendous cost to the climate and to those most affected by the extreme weather events exacerbated by climate change
Check "Sustainable Life" for more activities as they become available.
Creation Care Justice Network
We are Episcopal clergy and lay people across Massachusetts, working together to help our congregations PRAY, LEARN, ACT and ADVOCATE on behalf of God's creation and to mobilize a robust, justice-centered response to the ecological and climate emergency.
Here is a short video that frames our mission: a call to climate action in Massachusetts. Please take a look, and then sign up to join our network. Whether you're an experienced climate activist or just beginning your journey, we need your skills and input as we work together to protect the web of life that God entrusted to our care.
If you join the Creation Care Justice Network, you'll receive a monthly newsletter, Green Justice News.
- Sign up here to get connected with the network and receive its e-mail updates.
Ready to roll up your sleeves, leap into action and make some new friends? You're invited to join a working group:
- Action and Advocacy works with groups such as Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light to encourage church and community action and to advocate for policy changes.
- Spiritual Practice and Grounding offers prayers, liturgies and practices to engage with creation and a theology that centers environmental wholeness.
- Communications and Networking focuses on developing a stronger network among congregations and diocesan groups around creation and climate justice.
For more information e-mail email@example.com.
If another meeting is more than you can manage, please fill out this short survey to help us learn more about our collective Episcopal community here in Massachusetts.
Meet our diocese's creation care advisor
The Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas serves as a liaison to the Creation Care Justice Network. She works in both Episcopal dioceses in Massachusetts and the Southern New England Conference, United Church of Christ to build emotional and spiritual resilience as we mobilize action to address climate emergency.
To invite her to preach, lead a retreat or speak in your church, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-341-3566.
She maintains a website, RevivingCreation.org, which includes blog posts, articles, sermons, books, schedule and more. You can sign up for her monthly newsletter, Creation Care Network e-news and get a message on the first of the month that includes opportunities to learn, pray, act and advocate for the earth.
Massachusetts 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.
View recordings of four webinars on responding to the climate emergency 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 Stock 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. 557).
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.
- Episcopal Church creation care webpage: The Episcopal Church's "Covenant for the Care of Creation" is a commitment to practice loving formation, liberating advocacy and life-giving conversation as individuals, congregations, ministries and dioceses. Explore the covenant here and sign up for the newsletter and opportunities to formally adopt the covenant in your community.
- Creation care action alerts and advocacy resources, courtesy of The Episcopal Church's Office of Government Relations
- Diocese of Western Massachusetts webpage for creation care includes resources on PRAY, LEARN, ACT, ADVOCATE; Earth Day, Creation Season and more.
- Massachusetts Interfaith Power and Light: Offers energy assessments for houses of worship; fees for energy assessment are charged on a sliding scale. Also works to mobilize faith communities to advocate strong climate legislation in Massachusetts.
Follow on Facebook:
Episcopalians Caring for Creation hosted by Episcopalians in the Diocese of Massachusetts
Creation Care hosted by Episcopalians in the Diocese of Western Massachusetts
Episcopal Creation Care hosted by The Episcopal Church
Green Anglicans hosted by the Anglican Communion Environmental Network