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

Grab your favorite beverage and pull up a chair – this month’s newsletter is packed! Today we observe the worldwide day of prayer for God’s Creation and the start of Creation Season. (Tonight you’re invited to an interfaith prayer service – see below.) For the next five weeks – until October 4, the feast day of St. Francis – churches around the world will make a special effort this season to pray, learn, act, and advocate on behalf of God’s good earth.

This is the summer that brought “climate weirding” home. On the one hand, Americans saw mega-drought in the Southwest and waters dwindling in the Colorado River. On the other hand, we also saw extreme rainfall events in Yellowstone, Death Valley, Denver, St. Louis, and Kentucky, experiencing what the Guardian calls “America’s summer of flooding.” Here in Massachusetts, we are living through the same erratic patterns of precipitation caused by a changing climate. Most of the Commonwealth has been hot and dry all summer, enduring a severe drought. We’ve watched our lawns go crisp and brown. Plants have wilted, ponds are empty, and harvests will be smaller. Yet more than 7 inches of rain recently fell in some areas of Massachusetts, which led to flash flooding.

I give thanks for the climate legislation that passed nationally and in Massachusetts. I also give thanks for the ways our Church from top to bottom – from the global Anglican Communion to General Convention to our dioceses to individual congregations – is responding to the Gospel call to stabilize the climate and protect the web of life.

The Five Marks of Mission of the Anglican Communion are five succinct statements about what it means to follow Jesus. At this summer’s Lambeth Conference (typically a once-a-decade gathering of Anglican bishops from around the world, hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury), a whole day was devoted to the Fifth Mark of Mission. The Fifth Mark of Mission is “To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and [to] sustain and renew the life of the earth.” A short video from Anglican Communion Environmental Network gives highlights of the discussion about the environment and sustainable development. Reporting from Lambeth, Bishop A. Robert Hirschfeld (Diocese of NH) reflects on the same topic in this inspiring video.

Kenyan environmentalist Liz Wathuti gave a powerful speech to the Anglican bishops. Describing the climate-driven drought in her country, she said, “I held livestock dying of thirst in my arms. I listened to the stories of hungry and desperate people who are losing all hope for their future.” She went on to say, “I believe that an open heart is where the seed of true action lies within each of us… I believe in our human capacity to care deeply and act collectively. And I believe we can absolutely find our way out of the planetary crisis we face – but to do so we will need to change our way of thinking and start telling new stories about what is important and what is possible. And this is where I think the faith community has a vital role to play.”

One of the legacy outcomes of the Lambeth Conference was the launch of the Anglican Communion Forest, an exciting initiative to plant new trees and to restore and protect ancient forests. Episcopal News Service wrote a good article about the project. Here is Bishop Marc Andrus (Diocese of CA) speaking from Lambeth about this “nature-based solution” to climate change. Celebrate your Confirmation or Renewal of Baptismal Vows by planting saplings!

At its July meeting in Baltimore, General Convention adopted a series of environmental resolutions, including commitment to a goal of net carbon neutrality in its operations and the work of staff, standing commissions, interim bodies and General Convention by 2030. On the final day of Convention, the bishops also issued a “Mind of the House” statement about climate emergency – a brief, faith-filled, hope-affirming, justice-loving declaration that packs a punch.
SEASON OF CREATION (September 1- October 4)

How will your congregation mark Creation Season this year? To spark your thinking, consider the theme of the 2022 Season of Creation: “Listen to the Voice of Creation.” Its logo is the burning bush, which symbolizes both the devastating fires of climate crisis and the divine fire of the Holy Spirit. The fire that called to Moses affirmed that God heard the cries of all who suffered and would be with us as we followed in faith to our deliverance from injustice. Resources include ideas for organizing events, leading liturgy, advocacy campaigns, and more. You can register your event so that it appears on the global map.

For more resources, visit the Creation Season webpage of the Diocese of WMA.

I gave a keynote presentation in June 2022 for the annual meeting of Province One Episcopal Church Women. In this video I tell the personal story behind my ministry, share a brief PowerPoint on how Christian faith informs our work to safeguard the web of life, and explain how we can pray, learn, act, and advocate for God’s Creation, and do so with joy.
Wednesday, September 1
7:00 – 8:00 p.m. • Online (free)
Hosted by Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light and NH Interfaith Power & Light, this interfaith service will focus on “Listen to the Voice of Creation.” In prayer we will renew our unity, hope, and commitment to action to protect our common home.
I’m thrilled to say that the Episcopal bishops of both dioceses in Massachusetts – as well as the bishops in the Dioceses of VT and ME – have authorized for public use a new liturgical resource for Creation Season. The Rev. John Lein and I worked hard to assemble this hefty ecumenical document, which is full of readings, sermon suggestions, hymns, and special prayers. We hope it will be widely used, for it enlarges the conventional understanding of Christian faith and makes it clear that God’s redemptive love includes the whole world.
We're collecting prayers composed by the faithful of our diocese – lay and ordained. Uploading gives consent for publication on our diocesan website.
Thursday, September 15
10:00-11:15 a.m. • Online (free)
Join us for another lively presentation by two religious leaders committed to encouraging climate preaching that is both pastoral and prophetic. We will leave ample time for conversation and will make suggestions for preaching on some of the lectionary texts in Creation Season. This event is open at no charge to all preachers, lay and ordained.

Participants are encouraged to read my article, “Preaching When Life Depends on It: Climate Crisis and Gospel Hope” (Anglican Theological Review, Spring 2021) and Jim’s chapter, “Prophetic Preaching: Freeing the Pulpit from Fear,” in his book, Climate Church, Climate World.

• Sermon notes for Creation Season may also be found at Preaching for God's World.

Watershed Stewardship Workshop
Led by Rev. Dr. Nancy G. Wright (Pastor for Creation Care for the New England Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America)
Saturday, September 17
10:00 a.m. – 12 Noon • Christ the King-Epiphany Church, 758 Main St., Wilbraham
Caring for water orients a congregation in a new and deep way to its spiritual, social, cultural, and ecological community, while also positioning it to develop supportive ties to other congregations and groups in the area to foster watershed health. When a congregation cares for its local watershed, it potentially promotes awareness and action to ameliorate worldwide water justice issues, including those compounded by climate change and the feminization of poverty. The two-hour workshop will include a PowerPoint description of watersheds, water rituals, information about local collaboration, and reflection on the meaning of “living water.” All Christian congregations and interfaith communities are welcome. For more information, email Pastor Nancy Wright:

• Spiritual resilience in a climate emergency: Faith Forum
Speaker: Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas
Sunday, September 25
12 Noon – 1:00 p.m. (Eastern) • Online (free)
I will give a presentation at a (virtual) Faith Forum hosted by St. Paul's Cathedral in the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego to observe the Season of Creation. We will reflect on climate anxiety and grief and how to stay spiritually strong in midst of the almost unimaginable losses and challenges that press upon us. How do we maintain energy and hope as we struggle to protect this beautiful, sacred creation? How does Christian faith restore our courage? Registration information will be posted on my website,
“Take heart, it is I”: A Creation Season retreat
Led by Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas
Saturday, October 1
9:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon • Online (free)
Strong winds are blowing against us: the winds of white Christian nationalism, the winds of war, the winds of climate change. Like the disciples in their small boat, we may feel “battered by the waves” (Matthew 14:24). Let’s gather to pray for the courage to meet Christ in rough seas, the serenity to trust in Christ’s presence, and the boldness to bear public witness to Christ’s love. Our time together will include silence and guided meditation, presentations and small group conversation, and free time for solitary prayer and a contemplative walk outdoors. This online retreat will be held the day before Faiths for Climate Justice launches 5 weeks of faith-based climate events (Oct. 2- Nov. 6). Please consider planning or joining an event, so that we can pray for you during our retreat.

This retreat is sponsored by the two Episcopal dioceses in Massachusetts and by Southern New England Conference, UCC. Registration is open.

Our friends in the Diocese of Southern Ohio have created “Good News to All Creation,” a set of devotionals designed to help vestries begin their meetings with a brief time of reflection and prayer. Now available for download, it was developed by the Diocese of Southern Ohio’s Creation Care and Environmental Task Force in partnership with the newly formed Center for Deep Green Faith (Sewanee, TN). The devotionals begin in September with the Season of Creation, and follow the liturgical seasons from Advent through Easter. 
Sunday – Wednesday, Sept. 11 – 14
Keynote Address: Sunday, Sept. 11, 6:00 – 7:30 pm (Eastern) • Online (free)
Faith in Place, Interfaith Power & Light’s affiliate in Illinois, is hosting this free event in person and online. Event kicks off with a keynote Address and live Q&A with Dr. Katherine Hayhoe, author of “Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World". Dr. Hayhoe is also chief climate scientist for The Nature Conservancy, and a distinguished professor and chair at Texas Tech University.

The full agenda includes a variety of spiritual and practical sessions such as "Healing Centered Justice," "Interwoven: Exploring Environmental Justice from a Faith Perspective," and "Green Team Networking."
This 4-part series of webinars explores environmental themes in theology and worship. Pour that morning cup of coffee and start the day with inspiration!

What does the New Testament have to say about the environment?
Speaker: Rev. Margot Hodson
Monday, September 12
7:00 a.m. (Eastern) • Online (free)

Why are evangelism and creation care essential to each other?
Speaker: Rev. Steve Hollinghurst
Tuesday, September 20
11:00 a.m. (Eastern) • Online (free)

Climate, gender, and racial justice
Speaker: Maria Andrade (Tearfund)
Thursday, September 22
11:00 a.m. (Eastern) • Online (free)

Creation speaks of God's glory
Speaker: Dr Cherryl Hunt
Monday, September 26
7:00 a.m. (Eastern) • Online (free)

Wednesdays, Sept. 21 – Nov. 2
12:00 – 1:15 p.m. (Eastern) • Online (free)
Sponsored by Creation Care Alliance (in Western North Carolina), this 7-week online experience will be offered in sessions that last about 1 hour and fifteen minutes. Together participants will explore grief and sorrow, anxiety and fear, guilt and shame, anger, and despair. This experience is designed to offer mutual support, healing, insight, and love but is not a grief therapy experience. Read about Climate Change and Mental Health in this report from ecoAmerica and the American Psychological Association.
Speaker: Caroline Holmes (Seasonal Park Ranger at Cedar Breaks National Monument in Utah)
Thursday, Sept. 15
7:30 p.m. (Eastern) • Online (free)
Sponsored by Center for Deep Green Faith (in Sewanee, TN), the webinar will include a presentation, panel discussion, and Q & A.
A conversation with author and theologian Carter Heyward
Wednesday, September 21
4:00 pm-5:30 pm (Eastern) • Online (free, donations accepted)
As political tensions continue to rise in the United States, and as divisions become more entrenched, white nationalism has infiltrated and, in some communities, taken the helm of Christianity. How do we understand this devastating alliance, and how do we seek to reclaim Christianity as a religion of peace and justice at a time when it is being co-opted by extreme voices? Co-hosted by the Maine Council of Churches and The BTS Center.

September 24 – 30
Since 2018, Communities Responding to Extreme Weather (CREW) has marked a week of learning, service, and actions to better prepare our communities for extreme weather events and the effects of climate change. This year, CREW will offer events that focus on the invisible impacts of climate change, “from the toll that climate anxiety and grief can take on mental health to how the invisible threat of extreme heat is most powerfully felt in historically redlined and disenfranchised communities.” Check the schedule for talks on preparing communities for extreme heat; on rising sea levels and preparing for Boston’s future; on environmental justice; and more. This event is co-sponsored by the Social Justice Commission of Diocese of WMA. #ClimatePrepWeek, #ClimateCREW
Available anytime you like • Online
Offered by The BTS Center, this 45-minute self-guided workshop is available at any time. Gather a small group of adult learners and enjoy this workshop together. You will be invited into a process of discovering how to imagine a better world and use what you love to get there. Through a series of prompts and creative exercises supplemented by short videos, participants will delve deeply into what helps them to come alive and will be invited to creatively leverage those passions to engage with the problems and possibilities of climate change. It includes a detailed Facilitator’s Guide.

The Rev. Anna Woofenden (Rector, St. John’s Church, Northampton, and author, This is God’s Table: Finding Church Beyond the Walls) researched and wrote this article for Christian Century. How would you answer the question posed in the title of her article?

This essay by Keith Nelson, SSJE, is one of the very best spiritual/theological reflections on climate that I have read. Highly recommended.
Kayaking in Squam, NH. Photo: submitted.
If you’re an Episcopalian in Massachusetts, please join our Creation Care Justice Network (CCJN). We welcome your energy and ideas! Right now, we’re crafting an Episcopal version of the UCC Green Congregation Challenge and we meet online every few weeks. Come check us out! We’d love to greet you. Our next meeting is 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 15. For more information, contact

September 23 – 24 (or any date you prefer)
Connecticut River Conservancy hosts the annual Source to Sea Cleanup, a yearly trash cleanup of the Connecticut River system in NH, VT, MA, and CT. As one of its Creation Season activities, St. David’s (Agawam) is gathering a team to participate in a cleanup of the Westfield River. (Thank you, Mary Moore, member of the Creation Care Team at Saint David's, for letting me know!). Does your congregation want to create its own cleanup event? Check the Source to Sea website for how to plan it.
Start now to reduce energy costs this winter
MassIPL reminds us that prices of gas, oil, and electricity will likely remain high for the foreseeable future. Doing what we can to reduce energy use is our best course of action, and getting started now will put us ahead of the official Energy Efficiency Day, October 5.
For your house of worship, consider engaging MassIPL for an Environmental Stewardship Assessment. Geared to the unique design and use of faith communities' buildings, the assessment examines 24 energy-saving opportunities and provides specific recommendations, ranging from easy, low-cost actions to major projects, like upgrading heating equipment. Check the link above or email to learn more.
Collectively, our homes use far more energy than the building in which we worship. If you haven't had a MassSave assessment in two years, schedule a free home assessment now. The program updated its incentives this year and continues to pay 100% of the cost of air sealing your home and 75% for adding insulation -- and up to 100% for low-income customers. You already pay for the MassSave assessment through a small charge on your utility bill each month. Take advantage of this opportunity to get some of the money back while you lower your carbon emissions!
Greenfaith’s Faiths 4 Climate Justice is a global, multifaith action to call for an immediate end to new fossil fuel projects, deforestation, and related financing, a massive commitment to green jobs to reduce climate pollution and end poverty for millions, and climate reparations from wealthy countries to equip vulnerable nations for a better future. Start planning your event now! Events will take place from October 2 to the eve of COP 27 on November 6. Download your Faiths 4 Climate Justice action guide and register your event here.

This is an election year. Voting is widely considered one of the single best ways to address the climate emergency.
League of Women Voters of Massachusetts has a webpage dedicated to voting (how to register, how to check your registration status, where to vote, etc.). Already registered? Take the pledge to be a Faith Climate Justice Voter.

Faithful Voter Reflection Guide
Interfaith Power & Light recently released a multi-issue Faithful Voter Reflection Guide to help educate and inform people of faith and conscience about the issues at stake in the 2022 elections. Download a guide here. Printed guides are now available for purchase for you and your faith community.
Want to extend your involvement? The Environmental Voter Project is a non-partisan organization that encourages registered voters with identified environmental interests to vote regularly. They hold “Get Out the Vote” campaigns across the country, using phone banks and canvassing. Massachusetts is one of the 17 states targeted for in-person door knocking! Any of these activities can be done by groups or individuals.

You've heard that Bitcoin fuels the climate crisis, but did you know that a software code change could clean it up? Sign the petition to tell big tech and finance corporations to stop Bitcoin from polluting the planet.

Thursday & Friday, October 6 – 7
The BTS Center is organizing another stellar convocation, its annual online gathering of top-notch speakers. This year’s presenters include Ched Meyers (activist theologian), Cole Arthur Riley (author, and creator of Black Liturgies), and Rob Hopkins (activist, author, cofounder of Transition Network), among others. Registration begins today!
Sunday, October 16
2:00- 5:00 p.m. (Eastern) • First Unitarian Church of Worcester, 90 Main Street, Worcester
Please join me at MassIPL’s afternoon event of celebration and community engagement, in collaboration with Worcester Congregations for Climate & Environmental Justice. We will gather at First Unitarian Church in Worcester to celebrate creation and community, mourn all we have lost, and call each other to faithful action. The event will open with a service featuring a sermon from Rev. Vernon Walker, executive director of CREW: Communities Responding to Extreme Weather. Following the service, we will take part in workshops teaching key skills of climate action and resilience. The event will also be remote-accessible. RSVP here. Please contact Miriam at with any questions.

• If you want to be in touch with me, please send a note to

(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.)
Summer cabin. Photo: Robert A. Jonas
Opportunities for engagement
Source to Sea Cleanup

Clean up the Connecticut River - Each fall, thousands of volunteers come together to do their part and spend a few hours making the water cleaner, the river banks safer, and the wildlife happier.

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Interfaith Resources
The Seven Deadly Sins of White Christian Nationalism...

Sept 21, online - Hear the call to overcome today's culture of hate and bring healing and hope into our life together.

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Read this...
What does it mean to be a green church during a climate...

At Presbyterian-New England Congrega­tional Church in Saratoga Springs, New York, environmental sustainability is woven into every aspect of church life, from how the church is heated to what happens at coffee hour to the content of sermons to...

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Explore this...
No-Cost Energy Assessments

Mass Save® offers no cost virtual or in-person Home Energy Assessments to help you learn about your top energy-saving opportunities in an easy, convenient way. An Energy Specialist will assess your current energy use, help you develop a plan to...

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