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

The season of Lent awakens us to compassion and hope. The Forty Days of Lent invite us to take up spiritual practices that restore our relationships with God, neighbor, and the Earth upon which all life depends. How can we honor Creation as a Lenten practice?
The Creation Care Leadership Circle in the Diocese of Western Massachusetts – a small group that meets with me monthly to offer counsel and advice – invites you to sign up to receive an inspirational daily meditation (including a short quote and an image) during Lent. The quotes come from many sources as we honor the wisdom of many voices and traditions. Please join us as we contemplate the gift of the natural world and our calling to reconcile humanity with the rest of God’s creation. Sign up here.

Looking for a daily devotional?
Here are two suggestions. For the Beauty of the Earth, by Leah Schade, is a booklet of daily Lenten meditations that connect Christian faith with caring for God’s creation. Copies can be ordered in bulk.

Inspired by indigenous wisdom, A Grounded Faith: Reconnecting with Creator and Creation in the Season of Lent is a Lenten devotional that invites participants to reconnect with our Creator and with Creation as a core dimension of Christian practice.
Tuesday, March 15
10:00 – 11:00 a.m. • Online (free)
If the world’s average temperature will soon shoot past the 1.5ºC target to ensure climate stability, how do we preach about hope? Geared to the season of Lent, this informal, hour-long conversation will provide a space for reflecting on Gospel hope, keeping in mind the systemic challenge of keeping fossil fuels in the ground and the connections between racial, economic, and environmental justice. We’ll touch upon a few lectionary readings for Lent, and there will be opportunities for questions and discussion. This ecumenical event is open to all preachers, lay and ordained.

For more information – including a short list of recommended readings – and to register, visit here.
Saturday, March 19
9:30 a.m. – 12 Noon • Online (free)
In every act of reconciliation – with ourselves, with someone else, with the Earth itself – we connect with the boundless love of God. Through brief presentations and conversation, as well as silent prayer and guided meditation, this online Lenten retreat will give us space to explore and to pray about the places in our lives where God may be inviting us to let go our burdens of resentment, guilt, or shame.
Thursday, March 24
6:00 – 7:00 p.m. • Online (free)
Through the season of Lent and into Earth Month, Creation Justice Ministries invites us to discover together how the church might become a hub of resilience in the midst of the spiritual and physical storms of the climate crisis.
With guest speaker the Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, in this virtual workshop we will learn about building climate resilience into our worship. Gain tools on preaching climate justice year-round and learn how to weave climate resilience into your church’s worship for this Earth Day Sunday. Facilitated by Avery Davis Lamb, Co-Executive Director of Creation Justice Ministries.
Thursday, April 7
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. • Online ($50, scholarships available)
This retreat, led by Rev. Steve Garnaas-Holmes and sponsored by The BTS Center, will explore practices to renew our hope. In both gathered activities and in solitude, in online sessions and times apart, participants will engage in some contemplative practices, creative exercises, re-imagining some biblical texts, and small group conversations. We'll explore practices of lament, "divine mindfulness," gratitude, reframing, and reconnecting, to discover trust and courage. Even when times are hard, the future looks bleak, and the air is murky, we can find joy — yes, joy, even! — and shine with light in the shadows, and lead with hope, helping others recover their hope and bear light.

• Planning worship? For inspiration and worship-planning resources from March into May, visit Let All Creation Praise, which provides ecumenical Christian resources to support care for God’s creation. Here you’ll find suggestions for Lenten devotions, programs, and actions.
Goldenrod stems in the snow. Photo: Robert A Jonas.
Ordering palms for Palm Sunday? Visit for “fair trade,” environmentally sustainable, and socially just palms. Place your order by March 5.

Lenten Meditation Walk
The Episcopal Church of Saints James and Andrew (8 Church Street, Greenfield) invites you into a special Lenten Meditation Walk. The walk consists of ten pieces of contemporary iconography, mounted on the walls of our sanctuary and accompanied by quotes from a range of sources. The images and texts prompt viewers to reflect on our corporate brokenness as a society and as the Church, particularly with regard to systemic racism and the climate crisis. The church is open daily for folks to stop by and take an intentional meditative walk around the sanctuary. We hope the walk will inspire prayer and reflection, much like the Stations of the Cross.
This excellent new 6-week Lenten curriculum for all ages was created for the people of the Anglican Diocese of Toronto and can be used for small groups, either in person or online. Definitely worth taking a look!

Thursday, March 8 
12.15 – 1: 30 p.m. • Online (free)
Join The BTS Center for a conversation between its Executive Director, Rev. Allen Ewing-Merrill, and Rabbi Yonatan Neril, Executive Director of The Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development and author of Eco Bible.

Thursday, March 24
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. • Online ($50)
Join The BTS Center at a spacious, day-long retreat in exercising imagination, grounding us in what could be, and connecting with companions along the way. We’ll engage practices of contemplation and reflection on specific places in our lives, fueling our imaginations and our spirits for telling new stories about what could be, about the future we are headed towards. This retreat will be co-facilitated by Rev. Alison Cornish and Rev. Maria Anderson-Lippert.

Thursday, March 24
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.• Online (free)
Truth Tellers is a new documentary film about Maine artist and activist Robert Shetterly and his project Americans Who Tell the Truth. In the film, Shetterly uses art to celebrate the voices of courageous past and present activists fighting for racial equity, environmental justice, and indigenous rights. Over the years, Shetterly has painted over 250 portraits of truth-tellers. The film chronicles the work of Shetterly along with nine subjects of these portraits to educate and inspire students around models of moral courage throughout U.S. history. The BTS Center invites you to join them for a screening of Truth Tellers followed by a live question-and-answer session with artist Rob Shetterly and activists Reggie Harris and Maulian Dana, both of whom are featured in the film.
March 28 – 31 • Online ($15-$50)
Please join me at the 11th annual American Climate Leadership Summit. I will give the opening prayer on March 31, Day 4, at the National Faith & Climate Forum.
The American Climate Leadership Summit is the only national convening exclusively dedicated to building broad public support and political resolve for climate action. Well over 2,000 leaders from across sectors – and spanning local to international in scale – will join to increase American climate ambition, restoration, and justice.

ACLS 2022 will feature two main days on today’s climate context and priorities, including science, solutions, justice, advocacy, and collective impact. Day #3 will be the National Health & Climate Forum, and Day#4 the National Faith & Climate Forum.
All sessions will be virtual, broadcast live on an interactive platform with Q+A, reactions, chats, and breakouts with attendees. ACLS 2022 is for climate leaders of all levels. You can check out the full agenda for all days and see the line-up of speakers here.
Wednesdays, March 9 – April 27
7:00 – 9:00 p.m. • Online (free webinar)
This free 8-week online course at Houghton College is an incredible opportunity to learn about the climate crisis from a Christian perspective and from some of the world's top experts. Taught by Christian climate leader Brian Webb, the course features guest lecturers such as Bill McKibben, Katharine Hayhoe, Bob Inglis, and many other well-known thought leaders. Topics include, among others, climate advocacy, climate science, creation care theology, spirituality, grief, psychology of climate denial, and much more. The course is open to the public for credit ($1,176), audit ($150), or as a FREE webinar. The credit and audit versions include full access to supplementary lectures and forum discussions, as well as the opportunity to interact with guest speakers. To learn more and to register, visit here.
I’ve created 50 monthly newsletters in the past five years. Only two of the books I’ve suggested have been works of fiction: Jenny Offill’s spectacular short novel, Weather, and Richard Powers’ Pulitzer-Prize winning The Overstory. Here comes Suggested Novel #3.

For Lent this year (or anytime), I urge you to read Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Ministry for the Future. Unlike Weather, this novel is long – 563 pages – but it’s broken into short, readable chapters and every page displays an exuberant imagination. A Rolling Stone interview with Kim Stanley Robinson, “What Will the World Look Like in 30 Years?”, calls the book “a plausible, chaotic, and hopeful novel about how the climate crisis could play out.” The Guardian calls it a “chilling yet hopeful vision of how the next few decades might unfold.”

Read 10 pages a day for Lent and learn how we might solve the climate emergency.
Take up a Lenten Carbon Fast
In 2020, Eliza Griswold wrote a good piece for The New Yorker on “Giving Up Carbon for Lent.” Fasting from carbon is a spiritual practice that helps us turn away from a high-carbon lifestyle and turn back to a way of life that honors God’s call to love the whole world and protect the most vulnerable.

To fast from carbon, choose one or more ways to live more lightly on Earth during Lent. For example, eat less or no meat and move to a plant-based diet. Green your electricity. Avoid using plastic.

If you like, sign up to walk with Climate Stewards USA through their guided 40-day carbon fasting plan. As a participant in the Carbon Fast for Lent, you will receive a weekly email containing fasting challenges for that week’s theme.

Fox in snow. Photo: Robert A. Jonas
In Massachusetts: Fix Mass Save
Mass Save is the primary state program helping residents and businesses retrofit their buildings to deal with energy costs through weatherization and energy efficiency. It is funded by a fee on electric and gas bills and run by private utility companies who subcontract most of the actual work. The gas utilities have balked and slow-walked conversion of gas heat to technologies such as electric heat pumps. The Baker Administration’s Department of Public Utilities (DPU) is going along with utilities on this. The latest Mass Save plan, adopted in January 2022, seems designed to protect gas company profits more than the earth. 350Mass asks us to sign the e-card that they will bring to the DPU and the Governor this spring, asking them to promote the most direct route to electrification as well as weatherization in Mass Save services, and to scale the program up to the required 100,000 to 120,000 converted buildings a year. (Thank you, Rev. Betsy Sowers!)

The top four banks that fund fossil fuel projects are Citibank, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Chase. Please sign one of the two pledges offered by, depending on whether or not you are a current customer and/or credit card holder.

Earth Day Sunday is on April 24 (Second Sunday of Easter). I plan to pre-record a sermon for April 24 that will be available in both dioceses in MA and in Southern New England Conference, UCC. It will mention GreenFaith’s Sacred Season for Climate Justice. If you decide to use my sermon in your worship service or if you preach your own climate justice sermon, please register your event with GreenFaith (see below)!

Prepare now for a special Holy Week and Easter! Within the 48 days between March 19 and May 6, 2022, the world will mark five major sacred days or seasons, plus an Equinox, Earth Day, and World Water Day. Together, these days collectively draw billions of people of many faiths to worship, pray, listen to sermons, reflect, and commit to act on what matters most. To honor this unusual confluence of holy days, GreenFaith is organizing a season of sacred observances in support of climate justice. During Sacred Season of Justice, people of faith around the world will devote a sermon or public ritual to call for climate justice and will then tell the world about it.

I invite you to create a special Holy Week, Easter Season, or Earth Day Sunday service that focuses on eco-crucifixion and God’s urgent call to us to heal and reconcile. Offer a climate justice prayer or sermon and be sure to register your event, so that it is counted among the events being held around the world. For more information and to host an event, please visit here.
Thursday, April 21
7:30 - 8.30 p.m. • Online (free)
The BTS Center, together with The Many, an extraordinary group of songwriters, spoken word artists and liturgists, presents the fourth of five seasonal events honoring the pain of loss through the liturgical year. If you attended any of the earlier events (all of which can be viewed here), you already know the emotional and spiritual power of these meditations on eco-grief. I hope that one day the Church will provide regular opportunities for people to express lament with Earth in ritual, prayer, and song. Please join me in April for this reflection on The Season of Via Transformativa, featuring the Element of Water. 
April 22 – May 1
For ten days in April during Earth Month, IP&L focuses on how we can all take action to protect our climate. The theme of this year’s Faith Climate Action Week is “Sacred Trust: Our Children’s Right to a Livable Future.” IP&L provides a kit that includes faith-based discussion materials, a climate change fact sheet, suggested short films, and a Youth and Children Blessing ceremony. You can also screen “Youth v Gov”, a climate change ‘superhero’ movie, by streaming for your in-person audience or over Zoom during the window April 11 – May 1. For more information and to order supplies, visit here.

Sunday, April 24
This year’s Earth Day Sunday resource theme from Creation Justice Ministries, “Weathering the Storm: Faithful Climate Resilience,” discusses the importance of churches being hubs for resilience in the midst of the climate crisis. Sign up here to receive this resource.

In the meantime, I wish you a blessed Lent! 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.)
Rising moon in Ashfield. Photo: Robert A. Jonas
Opportunities for engagement
Free 8-week webinar course
Mar 9 - Apr 27

"Few issues are more complicated, more controversial, or more important than the threats to our global climate. But what does the science actually say, and can we trust the data? Why is it so politically divisive? And how do I respond to Uncle Bob’s snarky comments about the weather?

We will address these and many other questions, as we delve into the complex intersections between faith, science, and politics around the topic of global climate change."
Interfaith Resources
IPL's Faith Climate Action Week
Sacred Trust: Our children’s right to a livable future

Faith Climate Action Week is Interfaith Power & Light’s annual program of climate-themed worship services and sermons that spans ten days of activities around Earth Day, with this year’s dates being April 22 – May 1, 2022. Join the community of peo..

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Carbon Fast for Lent - Climate Stewards USA

Beginning March 2nd, we're fasting to draw near to God and deepen our care for the climate. Each week will feature a different theme designed to help us take climate action. Sign up for the Carbon Fast for Lent and walk with us through our guided ...

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Join our diocesan Creation Care Facebook group!
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MBJ photo: Tipper Gore, 2014