The creation waits in eager expectation... (Romans 8:19)
As we enter Creation Care Season, observed in our diocese beginning with the Feast of St. Francis, Oct. 4 through the last Sunday after Pentecost, Nov. 24, we invite you to open your hearts and minds to the urgency of stewardship of God's creation. How might each of us be a better neighbor? For nearly a decade our diocese has celebrated Creation Care Season. How might each of us celebrate it in action, worship and prayer?
A recent, thunderous wave of hope has washed over the widespread indifference of our day, sounding a prophetic word:
"This is the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced; you cannot solve a crisis without treating it as one. Stop telling people that everything will be fine. As it looks now, everything won't be fine."
These words of Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish activist, in her address to the United States House Ways and Means Committee on Sept. 18 of this year, is a youth-driven message that we need to face the climate crisis with urgency. Our Episcopal Church has provided us with resources, including these two new tools:
• Take the Creation Care Pledge: www.episcopalchurch.org/creation-care
• Participate in Sustaining Earth, Our Island Home, an online carbon tracker to help individuals be better stewards of creation and take positive actions to reduce their carbon footprint.
Additional creation care and justice resources are listed on this page for each of us to consider and use.
In the words of our Massachusetts colleague Jim Antal in Climate Church Climate World: "As the weight of climate injustice, environmental racism, the sixth extinction and so much more now rests on our generation, it's time for the church to embrace its long history of prophetic witness. The fulfillment of our covenant and the community of life on Earth depend on it."
The Rt. Rev. Alan M. Gates
The Rt. Rev. Gayle E. Harris
Learn more about Episcopal Church creation care initiatives here.
What can you do?
All are invited to focus prayer, special worship services, study, spiritual formation, advocacy and commitments toward reducing carbon emissions in our churches, homes and communities. A team of creation care advocates and ministers in the diocese has prepared a tip sheet of resources to help.
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.
This network is asking for help in improving how its creation care work is communicated, and invites you to complete this survey, which should take less than five minutes.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-482-4826, ext. 307).
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.