Creation Care Network E-news
June 2022
Message from Margaret...
Dear friends,

This Sunday we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost – a date that coincides this year with World Environment Day. As people around the world pray for the land, plants, oceans, rivers, and creatures with whom we share this planet, how will the Spirit come to us? How will She draw us together to bring love and justice into a frightened, weary world?

I trust that the Spirit will be with all who gather in North Andover on June 21 for our in-person retreat that marks the summer solstice. Please join us! Registration is open until June 10. 
• Rooted and rising in love: A summer solstice in-person retreat
Tuesday, June 21 • $80 (financial assistance available)
9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (registration and coffee begin at 9:00; program starts at 9:30 a.m.) 
Led by the Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas
As we celebrate the beginning of summer and the Northern Hemisphere’s longest day of the year, let’s reflect together on our sources of courage and hope. In the face of converging social and ecological crises, what spiritual practices and perspectives can sustain us? As we struggle to protect the web of life and to create a more just society, where do we turn for meaning and strength?

This one-day retreat, held in the beautiful landscape of the Rolling Ridge Retreat & Conference Center in North Andover, will include a mix of presentations, small group conversations, individual reflection, and free time for contemplative wandering and prayer. Together we will explore a framework for the heart to help us become compassionate, prophetic leaders who can take up the mantle of moral leadership that this decisive moment in history requires.

During the pandemic, Rev. Margaret presented this retreat online in several venues. Even if you’ve reflected on this material before, our June retreat will give us a chance to absorb the same material in each other’s embodied presence and in the company of a lake, woods, hiking trails, and an outdoor labyrinth and chapel.

Retreatants are welcome to stay overnight for an extra charge, by making arrangements with Guest Services Director, Lee O'Brien ( To request financial assistance from Diocese of MA, contact Martha Gardner (; from Diocese of Western MA, contact Kim Foster (
To register, visit here by June 10.

• “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives” (John 14:27).
How does the peace of Jesus differ from the peace of the world? I raise that question in my sermon, “Receive the Peace of Christ.” To answer it, I invite two guest speakers to join me at the pulpit to make their respective cases: Industrial Growth Society and the Holy Spirit. See what you think.
A gathering for spiritual directors and spiritual companions
Thursday, June 23
1:00 – 4:30 p.m. • Online ($25, scholarships available)
The BTS Center offers this gathering as an imaginative space for those engaged in the work of spiritual accompaniment who are feeling the weight of the climate crisis – to come together to share and to learn in community. We hope that this gathering – with three thoughtful presenters sharing talks as well as time for small group sharing – will lead to conversation and connection which will nourish you and inform your work in spiritual accompaniment. This gathering is intended for those who have some training and experience with spiritual accompaniment. We also welcome students who are currently enrolled in a spiritual direction training program. For more information and to register, visit here. If you have questions, please email

The Season of Via Positiva, featuring All Beings
Thursday, June 23
7:30 – 8:30pm • Online (free)
“In a healthy environment, our first spiritual moments are moments of awe and wonder, and delight. The mystics call this the Via Positiva. When we allow these gifts to penetrate our souls the organic response includes gratitude, reverence, and joy.” – Matthew Fox
Presented by The BTS Center: As days lengthen and temperatures warm, many of us are drawn outside to first-hand experiences of awe, wonder, and delight – the characteristics of creation spirituality's via positiva. Our creatureliness awakens and is enlivened by the blooming, burgeoning, bountiful world. Yet the more we are aware and alive, the more keenly we feel the threats to our fellow beings — the extinction of species, their loss of habitat, and the despoiling of dwelling places by powerful forces which threaten the extraordinarily diverse and resplendent world which we share with all that lives and breathes along with us. Come join us as we celebrate and  mourn, awaken and grieve, love and  despair. Come to be together, for to share these feelings, thoughts, and sadnesses is the key to moving towards life. Click here to register.
Just published! Rev. Margaret contributed 16 entries to “Connections with Creation,” a section of the new edition of Sundays and Seasons, the indispensable annual guide to worship planning that follows the Revised Common Lectionary. For more information and to order your copy, visit Augsburg Fortress.
Available anytime • Online ($10)
In this new online course offered by ChurchNext, Bill McKibben shows us that we still have time to take climate action -- but not as much time as we once had, and not as completely as we once might have been able to manage. Bill's main messages: we need to act now, and we need to act in groups. Fortunately, faith communities are good at group activities and maintaining hope against the odds.
Bill's video lectures include:
  • Theological Foundations
  • How We Got to This Point
  • The Situation Today
  • What We Can Do
This course is ideal for any Christian concerned about climate change. For more information and to register, click here.
Yellow spring flowers. Photo: submitted.
Available anytime • $14.95
Screen a film for your congregation with a DVD from Interfaith Power & Light! IPL’s summer film, “Virginia’s Calling,” tells the story of a homemaker galvanized into action when her home floods. “A warm, intimate portrait of a strong and determined woman of faith, VIRGINIA’S CALLING offers a sensitive look into the human effects of climate change on an evangelical family that never thought climate change would affect them. Virginia’s new purpose has far-reaching effects.” Just the right length for small group discussion, this 30-minute documentary comes with a screening kit and discussion questions. For more information, visit here. To view trailers, purchase DVD’s, and host screenings of other movies, visit IPL’s Climate Movie Kits.

Read Bill McKibben’s big story in the New Yorker about how banks are driving the climate crisis. “A report from a consortium of environmental groups made clear that for the biggest, richest companies on earth, the cash they keep in the banking system (which gets lent out for pipelines and the like) produces more carbon than their actual, you
know, business… If you’ve got money, that money is giving off huge amounts of carbon. If you’ve got a considerable sum, it’s producing more carbon than anything else you’re doing.”
Please join Bill McKibben in the campaign to get banks to quit funding fossil fuel projects. Check it out!
Wednesday, June 1
2:00 – 3:00 p.m. • Online (free)
Co-sponsored by Interfaith Power & Light and Creation Justice Ministries, this webinar from American Meteorological Society will discuss the role of faith-based communities in strengthening community resilience from high-impact weather events. For more information and to register, visit here.
Crabapple by pond. Photo: submitted
On April 7, MassIPL hosted a webinar that featured three houses of worship currently in the process of evaluating and installing solar. The speakers described the challenges and how they are working through them. An "open forum" followed, which addressed a wide range of questions, including how to deal with historic commissions and how to finance with funds from congregants.

You can view the entire Solar Open Forum webinar here. The YouTube page lists the questions that were addressed, along with the timing of when they were discussed, so you can jump right to the topic that most interests you.
Has your faith community considered solar? MassIPL can help guide you through the process! Email MassIPL with your solar inquiry:
Wednesday, June 8
1:00 p.m. • Online (free)
With the need for a rapid reduction in greenhouse gas emissions within the next few years, careful discernment is needed on where people of faith and conscience should place their time and energy in organizing for the policies that will lead us to a more just and hospitable world. Should the focus be on climate legislation currently being considered in Congress? Should the focus be upon presidential emergency powers? To help answer these questions, this webinar will feature three leaders in the climate movement:
  • Keya Chatterjee, Executive Director of U.S. Climate Action Network
  • Miranda Ehrlich, Federal Field Director for the Sierra Club
  • Jean Su, Energy Justice Director for the Center for Biological Diversity

Even if you can’t make the scheduled time, sign up, anyway, and you will receive a recording.

This monthly installment of Creation Justice Webinars is co-hosted by the Rev. Dr. Brooks Berndt (Minister of Environmental Justice, United Church of Christ) and the Rev. Michael Malcom (Executive Director, Alabama Interfaith Power & Light and the People's Justice Council. For more information and to register, click here.
Thursday, June 9
7:00 p.m. • Online (free)
The outcome of the 2022 election will affect our nation's response to climate change for years to come. This year, Interfaith Power & Light’s Faith Climate Justice Voter Campaign is reaching out to people of faith and conscience to make sure they are registered and ready to vote, and to mobilize them to vote their values of caring for our common home and loving our neighbors. Voting is how we create a society based on our shared values. That’s why Interfaith Power & Light is offering a multi-issue Faithful Voter Reflection Guide.
The June 9 webinar features IP&L’s President, Rev. Susan Hendershot, The Climate Reality Project’s William J. Barber III, and other IPL partners who will discuss the guide’s key themes and how you can use it this year. To register, visit here. Printed voter guides and digital versions will soon be available.
Saturday, June 18
Washington, D.C.
Episcopalians are heading to Washington for public witness. This will be not just a day of action, but a declaration of an ongoing, committed moral movement. Led by Bishop William Barber and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, the Poor People’s Campaign march will focus on voting rights and economic justice as part of their intersectional understanding that climate justice depends on racial justice and a healthy democracy. Learn more and sign up here. The two Episcopal dioceses in Massachusetts have formed a Poor People’s Campaign Network. Contact Martha Gardner for more information (next meeting is June 1 at 7:00 p.m.). 

Whether or not you’re headed to the beach this summer, you are surely aware of the urgent need to protect the ocean and marine life. Join Creation Justice Ministries in calling on Congress to fund the full requested budget for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to ensure protection of God’s planet and people. Click here to send an email to your members of Congress (for greater impact, you can put the message in your own words).
The Creation Care Justice Network (CCJN) continues to work on building an Episcopal version of the UCC’s excellent Green Congregation Challenge.” We have named our program “An Episcopal Path to Creation Justice.” With generous support (of both time and money) from the Diocese of Massachusetts, we are beginning to develop a webpage. Through this program, we hope to help Episcopal congregations in Massachusetts to amplify their climate action, weave care for Creation into every aspect of their life together, and reflect on questions like these:

Pray: How will we bring climate and environmental justice concerns into the religious life of our community – into our preaching, prayers, and worship? What spiritual grounding do individuals need in a climate-changed world?
Learn: How will we educate children, youth, and adults to live faithfully in a climate-changed world? What do we need to learn as we join God’s mission of reconciling us to God, each other, and the rest of creation?
Act: What practical steps will we take as individuals, households, and congregations to live in greater harmony with Earth, to reduce carbon emissions, and to transition to a zero-carbon future?
Advocate: How will we mobilize to advocate for just climate and environmental legislation? How will we contribute to societal transformation? 

If you, too, are also seeking to answer these questions, I hope you will join our work! We generally meet every other Wednesday evening. Our next meeting is on Wednesday, June 8, at 7:00 p.m. If you would like the Zoom link, please email us at We look forward to hearing from you!

• As always, if you have suggestions or wish to be in touch, feel free to drop me a note at

(The Rev. Dr.) Margaret Bullitt-Jonas

Missioner for Creation Care (Episcopal Diocese of Western Mass. & Southern New England Conference, UCC)

Creation Care Advisor (Episcopal Diocese of Mass.)
Storm and double rainbow. Photo: Robert A. Jonas
Opportunities for engagement
Free webinar from the UCC
Discerning and Deciding: Bold Climate Action
June 8, 1pm ET - According to a recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world has less than three years for its greenhouse gas emissions to peak and head into a relatively rapid decline. Careful discernment is needed on where people of faith and conscience should place their time and energy in organizing for the policies that will lead us to a more just and hospitable world.
Interfaith Resources
Free webinar from the American Meteorological Society
Build a Weather-Ready Nation
June 1, 2pm ET - Spiritual and faith-based houses of worship are often places of safety, volunteerism, and crisis management during and after high-impact weather events. This AMS webinar brings together perspectives on the roles of spiritual/faith-based communities and organizations in building a Weather-Ready Nation, and identifies opportunities to work together to strengthen community resilience from high-impact weather events.
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Green Congregation Challenge

The Green Congregation Challenge is a step-by-step approach that helps churches take small, but consequential, steps towards protecting God’s Creation.   No matter your congregation’s physical size, geographical location, histor...

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MBJ photo: Tipper Gore, 2014