Creation Care Network E-news
July 2021
Message from Margaret...
Dear friends,

• Good news! Our two Episcopal dioceses in Massachusetts are working together to build a strong faith-based climate movement.

CCJN Expands to Include the Diocese of Western MA
The Creation Care Justice Network (CCJN) originated in the Diocese of MA and now includes both dioceses in Massachusetts! Here’s the story: after seven years as Missioner for Creation Care in the Diocese of Western MA (and in what is now Southern New England Conference, UCC), on January 1, 2021, I also became Creation Care Advisor for the Diocese of MA. In March, the bishops of both dioceses issued a joint Declaration of Climate Emergency. In May, more than 100 people from both Massachusetts dioceses and several other states and provinces registered for a series of webinars on Responding to the Climate Emergency. In June, the four webinars were followed by a series of Listening Circles (details below).

It has been a pleasure to work with the Creation Care Justice Network over the past six months. I am thrilled to announce that the people and clergy of Western MA can join the CCJN network. We look forward to a fruitful ministry together. 

Please join me at our next CCJN meeting:
Wednesday, July 7
12 Noon (Eastern)• Zoom (free)
All are welcome. We’ll begin planning for the Season of Creation (Sept 1-Oct 4) and other events.
Meeting ID: 832 3607 9803
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Report on Climate Emergency Webinars and Listening Circles
The June meetings covered the four planks identified last March in the Bishops’ Declaration of a Climate Emergency: Pray, Learn, Act, and Advocate. Many ideas were introduced – from preaching on climate change and holding special worship services to organizing film and speaker series; from becoming a climate resilience hub with CREW (Communities Responding to Extreme Weather) to signing up with Mass. Interfaith Power & Light’s “Faith in Action” teams to push for strong climate legislation in Massachusetts.

Recordings of all four sessions are available on YouTube here, courtesy of the Diocese of Western Massachusetts.

The webinars were followed by three virtual Listening Circles for open discussion. What actions do people want to take and how might CCJN help? CCJN invites your ideas and your participation in bringing ideas like these to life. Email us at [email protected]. Join us! Share your passion for the planet!

• As our two dioceses embark together on climate action, I urge Episcopalians in Massachusetts to fill out a short survey about what your congregation is or isn’t (yet) doing to address the climate crisis. We’d like to know who is working on solutions and how we can support you. We welcome surveys from multiple people in the same congregation. Click here to view the survey. 
‘Keep It in the Ground’ banner inside Waltham building where Enbridge office is located. Photo: submitted
• The fight to stop Line 3 has reached Massachusetts. Two days ago, I participated in the non-violent occupation of the Waltham headquarters of Enbridge, the notorious international energy company that is building Line 3 in Minnesota. With the approval of Indigenous leaders fighting Line 3, 60 of us entered the building and unfurled two long banners from the 3rd floor, one of which depicted oil spilling from a pipeline to the river below. Accompanied by brass instruments and drums, we sang and chanted until the police arrived. After being warned that we would be charged with trespassing, most of us (including me) left the building, but sixteen people stayed at the Enbridge office and refused to leave. In the end, the Enbridge office was blockaded for over 24 hours, and three climate justice activists were arrested.  WBUR posted an early report, and other media outlets are also covering the story. 
Climate justice advocates in Massachusetts have challenged Enbridge before. Five years ago, I was arrested in a protest against the construction of its West Roxbury Lateral pipeline, and protest continues against the dangerous compressor station it built in an environmental justice community in Weymouth. Now Enbridge is building the infamous Line 3 pipeline in Minnesota. Line 3 is a proposed pipeline expansion that would carry 760,000 barrels of crude oil a day from Alberta, Canada, to Superior, Wisconsin. The route of the pipeline crosses protected tribal lands and water that are essential to growing wild rice, which plays a central role in the culture and traditions of the Anishinaabe people. The pipeline is an assault on sacred lands and waters, on treaty rights, and on the climate.
Episcopalians at #StopLine 3 protest in Waltham, all of them active in CCJN: Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, Edith Allison, Lise Hildebrandt, Alex Chatfield, and Dawn Tesorero. Photo: submitted.
Please join the struggle to #StopLine3.
The Episcopal Church has voiced clear opposition to the Line 3 pipeline. The Episcopal Church in Minnesota is involved in resistance to the Line 3 pipeline through Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light.

Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light asks us to take the following actions:
  1. Donate. Click here to support the Treaty People Gathering bail fund
  2. Send a message to President Biden asking him to revoke the permits to Line 3.
  3. Call the White House and Climate Office of Gina McCarthy at 888-724-8946. Tell them: “President Biden must honor the treaties and protect our climate by stopping the Line 3 tar sands pipeline now.”
  4. Follow the RISE Coalition Facebook Page and the Water Protector Welcome Page for ongoing action opportunities in Northern Minnesota. 

If you live near the Pioneer Valley, please join Climate Action Now, our local grassroots, all-volunteer climate action group. Hundreds of people read its monthly newsletter and participate in its campaigns, which include stopping new fossil fuel projects, such as Line 3.

Follow @GiniwCollective on Twitter and Giniw Collective on Facebook for breaking news and unfolding actions.

Want to learn more about Line 3?
Check out this Grist article, “The Line 3 pipeline protests are about much more than climate change.” After thousands of people headed to Minnesota in early June, the New York Times reported on Police make mass arrests at protest against oil pipeline.”

View the virtual exhibit Treaties Matterto learn more about indigenous treaty
rights, including those being violated by Line 3.

How can white environmentalists support justice for Indigenous communities?
Read a provocative article from YES! Magazine:White Allies, Let’s Be Honest About Decolonization.”
• In case we needed more evidence of the urgent need for climate action, a leaked draft report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the starkest yet. It is also the first IPCC report to take into account “tipping points” in Earth’s natural systems that would lead to widespread disaster. What is at stake? Every aspect of our lives – the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the safety of our homes, and the health of our children. In an excellent short interview with PBS, climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe comments, “After the polar bear, we are next.”

Dr. Hayhoe often notes two great myths about climate change: 1) “It won’t affect me” and 2) “There’s nothing I can do.” The IPCC report makes it clear that it will affect us – in fact, it already does. As a searing heat wave grips the West, the Boston Globe reports that here in New England, 90-degree days are occurring earlier and more often, with a rising toll of health effects. The New York Times reports on a new study showing that more than a third of heat-related deaths in many parts of the world are related to climate change.

As for the second myth, there is plenty we can do: cut carbon emissions deeply, adapt to a rapidly changing climate, and build a more just and healthy future. Dr. Hayhoe’s interview cites some of the actions we can take.

Shave the peak
Here is one simple step that everyone can take. Sign up with Green Energy Consumers Alliance to receive alerts that tell you when to lower your energy consumption and keep the grid from adding more dirty energy sources. Get alerts to save energy when it matters most. 

Plastic Free July
It’s that time of year again! Join millions of people who are reducing their plastic waste. Will you be part of Plastic Free July by choosing to refuse single-use plastics?
• New short film: Other Side of the Hill
Available July 10-25 • Online (free)
Interfaith Power & Light is offering a new 30-minute film that we can watch at home or share with our congregations via Zoom. “Other Side of the Hill” is described as “a hopeful, inspiring look at local leaders on the ground in rural American who are leading climate action in their communities. But it is also about coming together, finding common ground and new climate frameworks, and shining a light on rural voices as we envision a path forward.”

The film will be available for free online viewing, July 10-25. To register, watch the trailer, and download a discussion guide, visit here. The IPL screening kit will include faith-based questions for discussion, a Climate Conversation Guide on how to talk about climate change with people across the religious or political spectrum, and a link to view a pre-recorded conversation with IPL President, Rev. Susan Hendershot, and two of the film’s activists.
Thursday, July 22
1:00 p.m. (Eastern) • Zoom (free)
Some proposed climate policies have been described as false solutions by climate activists and policy analysts because they fall short in meeting the moral demands of science, equity, and justice. Learn what faith communities need to know in this webinar that will feature Leah Stokes, who authored the acclaimed book Short Circuiting Policy, and Gabriela Sarri-Tobar, who serves the Center for Biological Diversity as the Energy Justice Campaigner. Even if you can’t make the scheduled time, please sign up, anyway, and you will be sent a recording. This event is sponsored by UCC’s Climate Justice Council.

• Season of Creation, Sept 1 to Oct 4: Not too early to start planning!
How will your congregation observe the Season of Creation? CCJN will provide resources, but you might start thinking now about adapting whatever you’re already doing to your local context.
  • Do you have a Good News Garden? Consider planning worship there.
  • Is your community in a “heat island”? Lean about tree planting and other mitigating practices and make a plan to carry them out.
  • Do you have vulnerable people in your community who will suffer from extreme climate events? Become a CREW Resilience Hub.
  • Do you want to build your anti-racist environmental muscle? Use the season for events and practices that will strengthen your collective abilities.
Stay tuned for more resources and ideas!

Save the Date: “Be the Spark” Advocacy Training
Mark your calendars now for Tuesday evenings, October 12, 19, 26, and November 2.
Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light is thrilled to announce that it will host Be the Spark, a dynamic interactive workshop that teaches state-of-the-art organizing skills for religious climate justice activists. If you’ve ever wanted to be more effective in engaging others to join our movement and have more impact in the world, this is for you! Stay tuned for more information and registration, or email Rev. Fred Small at [email protected] to let him know you are interested.

• Given the news in the leaked IPCC report, now is a good time to learn how “feedback loops” work. Take a look at these five short educational films, narrated by Richard Gere.

• If you need an article that is honest about climate grief and hopelessness but steadfast in affirming that our actions can create a space for hope and joy, read “Loving a Vanishing World,” by Emily Johnston.
Japanese stewartia. Photo: submitted.
• Finally, I was recently interviewed by Spirit Matters in a wide-ranging conversation about spirituality, faith, climate action, and hope. You can find a link at the Spirit Matters Website and on YouTube.  

• I’m taking vacation and won’t produce a newsletter in August. Look for your next issue of Creation Care Network e-news on September 1, the World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation, which marks the start of Creation Season. 

(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.)
Leopard frog. Photo: Christine Labich
Opportunities for engagement
Sign up for Shave the Peak Alerts
Consumer action is a better, cleaner, and cheaper way to meet electric demand on peak days.

Shave the Peak empowers people to use less electricity when it matters most.

Become a member of a growing community committed to reducing electricity use at home on days when skyrocketing overall demand is met by the dirtiest and most expensive fossil fuels. These are called “peak days.”

Our collective actions advocate forward-thinking policies that can transform our electric grid.

Sign up to receive conservation alerts on peak days, learn more about the electric grid, and support our advocacy efforts to clean up the New England power system.
Interfaith Resources
Join Interfaith Power & Light for a free webinar
Thursday, July 22, 1:00 pm, EST

Some proposed climate policies have been described as false solutions by climate activists and policy analysts because they fall short in meeting the moral demands of science, equity, and justice.

Read more
Read this...
White Allies, Let's Be Honest About Decolonization -...

Indigenous environmental movements in North America are among the oldest and most provocative-from the Dish With One Spoon Treaty between Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples to the Mni Wiconi ("Water Is Life") movement of the Standing Rock...

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Explore this...
Plastic Free July - Be Part of the Solution

Join our global movement to reduce plastic pollution. Discover solutions and ideas to help you reduce plastic waste in your home and community.

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