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

O come, o come, Emmanuel! Advent invites us to open wide our hearts (2 Corinthians 6:13), to renew our practice of prayer, and to wait with eager, prayerful confidence for Christ to be born anew. I would like to commend to you a small book of daily meditations for Advent and Christmas that I wrote a few years ago. Published by Forward Movement, Joy of Heaven, to Earth Come Down calls us to a daily practice of prayer grounded in reverence for the earth and to intentional living in harmony with the natural world. For an excerpt and more information, visit here . The book can be ordered directly from the publisher here .
Prayer is essential preparation for radical, compassionate action. Bishop Marc Andrus of the Diocese of California led the Episcopal contingent that represented Presiding Bishop Michael Curry at the U.N. climate talks in Bonn, Germany, which took place in November. While those negotiations were in session, Bishop Andrus published a fine article in the San Francisco Chronicle about the importance of honoring the “inner dimensions” of climate action . “Before we can act effectively,” he wrote, “we must find in our hearts the will to protect the vulnerable, the sense of responsibility to preserve the splendor of nature, and the bravery to change the world. As a faith leader and longtime climate activist, I believe the inner aspects of climate action can be cultivated through a strong spiritual connection to one another, and with God.”

Amen to that! Meanwhile, last month I led an all-day retreat on Christianity and care for Creation that likewise began and continued with prayer. Nearly 50 Christians from a wide variety of denominations and from across Massachusetts gathered at Rolling Ridge Retreat & Conference Center in North Andover to reflect on how God speaks to us through the natural world and how God calls us to become healers and justice-seekers as we confront the hard realities of species extinction and climate change. 
This unusual ecumenical event will be followed by a big interfaith conference on Creation care that will be held at Rolling Ridge on July 21-22. Save the date!
Those of you who subscribe to blog posts at know that on November 16, the day before the U.N. climate talks came to an end, I engaged in peaceful civil disobedience at Boston’s State House . Supported by hundreds of fellow activists, twenty-six of us were charged with trespassing and unlawful assembly after we sat in front of Governor Charlie Baker’s office and refused to leave. We are urging the Governor to become a climate leader and to issue an executive order that directs all relevant state agencies to do everything in their legal authority to prevent construction of new fossil fuel infrastructure, including fracked gas pipelines and compressor stations.
In the absence of national leadership on climate, it is more urgent than ever that local and regional groups do everything in their power to steer us toward clean, renewable energy and energy conservation and efficiency. Once again, I give thanks that our diocese passed the “We Are Still In” resolution at our diocesan convention, committing us to public advocacy on behalf of God’s Creation. I was happy to note that five of the 26 of us who risked arrest in Boston were members of the Episcopal Church.

May your Advent season be rich in prayer as we seek to be midwives of the Beloved Community that Jesus longed to bring into the world!


(The Rev. Dr.) Margaret Bullitt-Jonas
Missioner for Creation Care
Opportunities for Engagement
Sandra Steingraber, renowned ecologist and author, is coming to Lenox Memorial High on December 2nd. Steingraber has written books such as Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment, Having Faith: An Ecologist’s Journey to Motherhood, and Raising Elijah: Protecting Our Children in an Age of Environmental Crisis, works that are rooted both in her personal experience as well as her work as a scientist. She will speaking on how PCBs, fracked gas, and pipelines are impacting ecological and human health.

Event is free and open to the public. There will be a Q and A session and a book signing following the presentation. For more information, visit the Facebook event page here .

When: Saturday, December 2 (5.00pm to 7.00pm) 
Where: Lenox Memorial High, 197 East St, Lenox, Massachusetts 01240
Indigenous Ceremonial Stone Landscape Protection and Climate Action Now are hosting a benefit presentation to support the protection of indigenous sacred stone landscapes.

Doug Harris, Narragansett Indian Deputy Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, will give an illustrated talk about ceremonial stone landscapes titled "Let the Landscape Speak." There will be Q and A at the end where he will be joined by Attorney Anne Marie Garti, one of the founding member of STP (Stop the Pipeline).

Suggested donations at the door are between $5-$50, but no one will be refused entry for lack of funds. Come listen, learn, and support!

For more information about the event, visit the event Facebook page here . To learn more about the legal fund for the protection of ceremonial stone landscapes, visit their YouCaring campaign here .

When: Sunday, December 3 (3.00pm to 5.00pm) 
Where: Hitchcock Center for the Environment, 845 West St, Amherst, MA
24 Hours of Reality:
Be The Voice of Reality
Coming to a screen near you December 4-5!

Join former Vice President Al Gore, Climate Reality, and an all-star cast of artists, thought leaders, business visionaries, politicians, musicians, and more for a live global broadcast event "celebrating the climate activism happening all around the planet and calling on each of us to make a difference." Over 24 hours, Al Gore and company will cover climate developments across the globe, from country to country and continent to continent (you can check out the schedule on the website ).

This event aims to be "largest social broadcast on the climate crisis," a goal that requires voices from people like you to spread the word. To that end the organizers have made the proceedings incredibly easy to access and share. The event is free and accessible wherever there is internet connection! To learn how to get involved, be it by hosting a screening or sharing effectively on multiple social media platforms, go here . For more information about the event (e.g., speakers, special guests), sign up for updates here .

When: From Monday, December 4th at 6.00pm (EST), to Tuesday, December 5th at 6.00pm
Where: Anywhere, everywhere
Mark your calendars! Lutherans Restoring Creation , alongside New York Upstate and Energy Star, are holding a bootcamp January 12-13 in Albany, NY, that will help jumpstart our individual and collective creation care efforts for this upcoming new year!
Come join for a weekend of networking, worship, resource building, and learning. Engage with everything "from energy saving tools to share with facilities managers, to resources for preaching about political issues without getting partisan, to hand-on techniques to engage youth and practical examples of incorporating waste reduction in food sharing programs." Leave knowing that you are supported by a community of like minded folks committed to acting for environmental justice. 

The event is free, but pre-registration is encouraged. For more information and to register, visit here .

When: Friday, January 12 (6.00pm to 9.00pm) and Saturday, January 13 (9.00am t0 4.00pm)
Where: First Lutheran Church, 646  State St, Albany, NY

Building Climate Leadership
ecoAmerica is an organization that "builds institutional leadership, public support, and political will for climate solutions in the United States." ecoAmerica does this by utilizing consumer marketing tools to help leverage networking and movement building and by working closely with leaders and institutions across five main sectors (faith, health, communities, higher education, and business). Over this past decade, ecoAmerica has grown a valuable network and has put out many good resources – including guides on how to talk about faith and climate change, amongst other crucial topics.

You access resources, learn more about ecoAmerica, and sign up for their newsletter by visiting their website here . You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter .

Climate Change and
International Development
Adapted from the EPPN ( Episcopal Public Policy Network ) November Newsletter:

In September, the Office of Government Relations and the Advocacy Office of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America hosted Lister Nyang'anyi, director of the Department of Development Services of the Central Tanganyika Diocese of the Anglican Church in Tanzania, and Mabel Madinga, general secretary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi, in Washington for several days. There, Nyang'anyi and Madinga shared their concerns about climate change and how it is increasing food insecurity, gender injustice, and health issues in their countries with several congressional and administration staff.

In Malawi and Tanzania, where 80 percent of people live in rural areas and depend on agriculture, drought is increasing. Both churches are helping smallholder farmers adopt conservation agriculture, a farming method that helps restore degraded land, improve yields and protect the environment.

Nyang'anyi shared that smallholder farmers with whom they work depend on agriculture as their main source of income. Therefore, it is important for the farmers to adopt other ways of doing agriculture, and to diversify sources of income. The diocese of Central Tanganyika has been able to implement programs that help farmers to achieve these goals.

Madinga said displacement due to climate change forces women who remain behind into survival mode. "Women are more vulnerable by having to travel longer distances to draw water and are at greater risk of rape when they do so." The Malawian church has installed solar-powered water pumps to reduce this risk.

Churches in the developing world can only implement development programs on a small-scale due to a lack of resources. Similar scarcity hinders national governments' capacity to expand economic development programs. Through foreign assistance funding, the U.S. government can help fill this gap. The Office of Government Relations will continue urging Congress to ensure robust funding of life-saving development and humanitarian programs.

You can take action by signing a petition here .
If you've enjoyed this newsletter, please feel free to forward to one or two friends you think may be interested! Blessings.
Photo Credits
MBJ: Tipper Gore, 2014
"Joy of Heaven, To Earth Come Down" cover art: Albonetti Design and Robert A. Jonas, 2012
"Mystic Christ" icon on display at the Rolling Ridge during Christians and Creation care retreat: Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, 2017
The Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas & the Rev. Dr. Jim Antal risking arrest at Boston State House: Shalom Kristanugraha, 2017