Creation care in Ordinary (Summer) Time
The Creation Care Justice Network, the growing band of Episcopalians across Massachusetts, invites you to engage in caring for creation throughout the year. Summer is a particularly good time to enjoy and care for the natural world all around us. Take time to enjoy as you pray, learn, act and advocate!
- Incorporate creation and climate justice themes into worship. Find ideas here.
- Consider holding an outdoor worship service or a "holy hike."
- Resources for these activities and more are listed in the PRAY sections of the "Sustainable Life" resource list.
- Continue to learn and preach about the climate emergency, perhaps focusing on how your congregation can respond to extreme weather. Check the CREW website or see the ACT sections of "Sustainable Life" for more suggestions.
- Consider a church read or watch party. Lists of books and films are in the LEARN sections of the "Sustainable Life" list.
- Other learning opportunities are listed in the LEARN sections of the "Sustainable Life" list.
- Convert some outdoor space into a native habitat pollinator garden or a Good News Garden.
- Consider forming a climate resilience ministry--helping your community prepare for and cope with extreme weather.
- For more information about these and other actions for your church, household and local community, check in the ACT sections of the the "Sustainable Life" list.
- Watch and discuss this 30-minute video: "Christians Advocate for Climate Health."
- Elections are approaching. Consider holding a voter registration drive. For information check the ADVOCATE sections of the "Sustainable Life" list. Other ways to support local, state and national climate efforts are also listed there.
Looking ahead: Creation Season (or CreationTide) is celebrated by millions of Christians around the world. It begins on Sept. 1 with the World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation and generally concludes with the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi on Oct. 4. Additional resources will be available in the "Sustainable Life" list closer to the season.
For a regularly updated list of creation care resources, please visit Sustainable Life: Responding to the Climate Emergency, a collection of resources assembled and periodically updated by members of the Creation Care Justice Network.
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.
We recently created 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 to be concerned about the health of our soils, forests, water and air--to say nothing of the human and other-than-human creatures whose lives depend on them--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 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.
"For the Protection of Creation":
Three of the world's top Christian leaders--Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welbe, Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew--issued a "Joint Message for the Protection of Creation" ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November 2021. This extraordinary ecumenical statement calls on individuals to make meaningful sacrifices for the sake of the planet and asks those in positions of power to lead the transition to just and sustainable economies.
Find the full statement here.
A pastoral reflection by Bishop Harris for 2021 Season of Creation
In a pastoral reflection for Season of Creation 2021, Bishop Gayle E. Harris writes:
To be indifferent to climate change is to be indifferent to what God has given us. If we are to be fruitful--that is, productive--we must engage the science of climate change with the commitment and fortitude of faith. Faith means we know that we are responsible to God, and responsible to and for all life which God has created.
There are many actions we can each take to address climate change and bring stability and greater sustainability of our environment. Some are small, even daily acts of caring for creation. Other actions we must engage with each other on a larger scale.
This is our hope for our future. This we can do, with the help of God and each other. Faith gives hope. It also gives us the wisdom and energy to act. We do this as the people of God for the creation given from 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.
- 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