Creation Care Network E-news
October 2019
Message from Margaret...
Dear friends,

• Has this been a memorable Season of Creation or what? Around the world, over four million people – many of them people of faith, motivated by a deep love of God and God’s Creation – took to the streets to demand action on the climate crisis. If you haven’t yet listened to Greta Thunberg’s impassioned speech at the U.N. Climate Summit , I hope you’ll do so now. This young Swedish climate activist gives new meaning to the phrase, “a little child shall lead them” (Isaiah 11:6). Thanks to Greta Thunberg, both young and old are rising up to insist on a habitable planet.

On Sept ember 20, the first day of the Global Climate Strike, I spoke at the midday vigil in do wntown Springfield and at the afternoon rally in downtown Northampton. My reflections and the text of my remarks are posted at “ Global Climate Strikes: Standing for Life. ” I am grateful to all of you who took part in a Global Climate Strike event!
Margaret speaks at the climate strike vigil in Springfield, MA. Photo credit: Marisa Brown Ludwig
• Earlier in September I traveled up the coast of California, from Santa Barbara to Cupertino, speaking and preaching in multiple cities about the climate crisis and leading a retreat for clergy in the Diocese of El Camino Real. I’ve never met so many folks who had so recently suffered the effects of climate change. I spoke, for instance, with a couple who’d been evacuated four times because of wildfires, floods, and mudslides, and with a woman who found it too painful to return to a beloved area that had been scorched by fire. I didn’t need to persuade them about the urgency of the crisis – these folks were already undergoing it firsthand, and eager to talk about solutions and how to stay spiritually strong.

I preached in Santa Barbara on the passage in Deuteronomy where Moses gives his community a choice between life and death, blessing and curse: “ Choose life for you and your children!
Margaret speaks in San Luis Obispo, CA, at an interfaith conference on the climate crisis. Photo credit: Caro Hall
Earth Island Journal asked me to write an essay about the ethics of technology, and I ended up sending them a story about insomnia, climate change, and the power of friendship to revive the soul. It was published in their Autumn 2019 issue, and you can read it here: " God in the machine "
• How do you handle your anxiety and grief about the climate crisis? Where do you find courage and hope to keep fighting for a better world? These are some of the questions addressed in my new book, Rooted and Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis , co-edited with my friend Leah Schade. The collection features 21 essays by faith-based leaders in the climate movement, and includes study questions and spiritual practices, making it easy to use for a study group or class. It is available for pre-order and will be published on November 15. For a discount coupon worth 30% off, valid through December 31, click here .
• I contributed to the new study just published by EcoAmerica and Blessed Tomorrow, “ How Faith Communities Fuel Social Movements: Lessons for Climate Advocacy from the Immigration, Black Lives Matter, and President Trump Election Campaigns .” I’ll make the report this month’s suggested reading – it’s short and worth a look!

• Here’s a way to mark the end of Creation Season: please consider joining a Webinar on Thursday, October 3, 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm. Join Blessed Tomorrow, Climate for Health, The Planetary Health Alliance, The Center for the Study of World Religions, and Harvard Divinity School for a discussion with faith leaders and health professionals on the moral imperatives of taking action on planetary health. You can   register here

• Also on October 3, I invite you to join me in Ashfield for “Earth Care, Soul Care: Reflections from the Front Lines.” Co-sponsored by St. John’s Episcopal Church and First Congregational Church of Ashfield, this special evening will start with a 6:00 p.m. potluck dinner (ideally made with local ingredients!) at First Congregational Church. Beginning at 7:00 p.m., I will reflect on the local and worldwide movement to address climate change and on how working to heal the web of life can help to heal our soul. I hope you’ll join us for reflection and conversation! To download a flier, click here .
• On Thursday, Oct. 10, Naomi Klein will speak from 7:00-8:30 p.m. at First Parish Church, Cambridge: “On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal.” Get tickets here .   This should be a gripping evening! 

• Looking ahead, I’ll be preaching at First Church, Amherst, at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, October 13. You are welcome to join us. 
I also invite you to head to Connecticut on Sunday, October 20, 2:00-3:30 p.m., for an interf aith forum, “Reality, Hope and Action in a Time of Climate Change,” at St. James Episcopal Church (76 Federal Street, New London). I will be the keynote speaker. For complete information, visit my website here . The forum is free, but RSVP’s are required. Light refreshments will be served. To RSVP, click on the Facebook Event page here . The event is hosted by  Interreligious Eco-Justice Network .

• Creative young people express themselves! Anyone aged 29 and under is invited to submit a video by November 10 to the Arcadia Climate Change Video Contest . Win $500 or a number of other cash prizes, and exposure to a wide audience via social media. This is a great opportunity for young people to engage in the climate conversation. Might this be a good project for a church’s youth group?

We breathe what they burn. Say No to biomass! Take a look at the short video explaining why Springfield residents are fighting against dirty biomass and sign the petition to Governor Baker and Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Kathleen Theoharides. Let’s eliminate clean-energy subsidies for wood-burning and waste incineration and put that money to work for truly clean energy.

Talk to you next month. Until then – keep the faith!  

(The Rev. Dr.) Margaret Bullitt-Jonas
Missioner for Creation Care
Interfaith Resources
Free Webinar
"The Moral Imperative to Improve Planetary Health Through Climate Solutions"
In this webinar, health professionals will illuminate the current environmental crisis, highlighting how climate change, biodiversity loss, global pollution, and other factors are putting us at risk of disease, malnutrition, injury, mental health challenges, and other threats to our health and well-being. Recognizing the urgency of these issues, our speakers will discuss how we can safeguard our health and promote social justice by mobilizing communities to take environmental action.

This webinar will provide a setting for faith leaders to learn about these challenges and their direct health impacts and moral implications, as well as dialogue with health professionals about advancing change.
Opportunities for engagement
Say NO to Biomass! Sign the petition!
We Breathe What They Burn: Say NO to Biomass!

Burning biomass pollutes the air we breathe. People who live near these polluting incinerators are at a higher risk for asthma, heart disease and cancer just from breathing the air. But Governor Baker and his administration are trying to pass off ...

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Interreligious Eco-Justice Network

Empowering and inspiring religious communities in Connecticut to be faithful stewards of the earth

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Join our diocesan Creation Care Facebook group !
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MBJ photo credit: Tipper Gore, 2014
Small, MBJ, & Sterling photo: R en é Th é berge
Trinity Milford photo: Edith Allison