Creation Care Network E-news
July 2020
Message from Margaret...
Dear friends,

• This week I’m preaching every day at a 9:15 a.m. worship service in a sermon series on climate change for Chautauqua Institution . CHQ Assembly (the new online format for Chautauqua programming) is focused this week on “Climate Change: Prioritizing Our Global and Local Response”  and  “Faith to Save the Earth.” Upcoming lecturers include, among others, Christiana Figueres  (who led world leaders to agree on the Paris Climate Accord) and  Dahr Jamail  (author of  The End of Ice ).

To watch any/all of these live presentations (FREE!) – and to watch the recordings – you need to subscribe to CHQ Assembly All-Access Video Pass.  To sign up for the free 90-day trial  click   here . You’ll have free access to all the excellent programing of the 2020 Chautauqua season.  (90 days after you sign up, you’ll be charged $45 for a year-long subscription, unless you cancel anytime during the initial 90 days.)
For complete information, visit the Chautauqua Assembly website   here .
I will post texts of all six sermons on my website, , at the end of this week. Themes include: Love and fear in a time of emergency. Are we listening? What is breaking our hearts? Who do we think we are? What are we longing for? What will sustain us in the struggles ahead?

• Here is an excerpt from the sermon for June 29, “Faith to Save the Earth: Are We Listening?”:

One of the core characteristics of a prophet is the willingness to listen. Are we listening? To what and to whom are we listening? What is the quality of our listening? It’s easy to listen with half an ear, to look as if we’re paying attention when someone speaks, while actually we’re busy composing our reply. It’s also easy to plant ourselves at the center of what we’re hearing, so that we only listen for confirmation of what we already believe and only for what might be useful to us – never mind the rest. And if I hear something that makes me uncomfortable or that I don’t want to hear, I’m outta here. If the speaker belongs to a different political party, I’m outta here. If the speaker is of a different color or religion, I’m outta here. So many opportunities to close our ears! I’m tuning you out!

Millions of white people are now listening more deeply to the voices and pain of Black communities. I, for one, realize that I need to speak more clearly and often about the intersections between climate justice and social/racial/economic justice. 
Margaret with her stepdaughter Chris Labich at the #Black Lives Matter march in Northampton, June 6, 2020. Photo credit: Robert A. Jonas
What does racism have to do with climate justice?

Recent protests across the country against police brutality and systemic racism have illuminated the failures of many environmental organizations to support racial justice. I was heartened to see that more than 230 climate and environment groups signed on to a letter of support for the week of action from the Movement for Black Lives.

• Many Christians are concerned about the ways that “white Christianity” is being deployed to divide this country and to fuel the rise of authoritarian leadership. My colleague Leah Schade wrote a blog post announcing the formation of a Clergy Emergency League, which is loosely modeled on the Pastors Emergency League in Nazi Germany that arose to resist the Third Reich. In just two weeks, the Pastors Emergency League alr eady has 500 members. It will officially launch on July 4.

If you are a clergy person interested in joining the Clergy Emergency League, you can ask to join the Facebook group  here .

• Last month (ironically, on World Environment Day) the Trump Administration rolled back protections for the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument . I wrote a statement of protest and rebuke that was included in a statement by Creation Justice Ministries.
Charlemont Forum with Karenna Gore, July 9, 7:00 p.m.
Karenna Gore (Director, Center for Earth Ethics, Union Theological Seminary) will be the keynote speaker for the Charlemont Forum, “ Forging an Earth Ethic in a Time of Crisis .”

"The coronavirus pandemic has revealed injustices in the fabric of our society and demonstrated the strong relationship between science and ethics and the potential for systemic change. As we meet the challenge of this pandemic, we must also reckon with the looming climate crisis and forge a new earth ethic together."

To register for this free, online event, visit here . You can download a flyer here .
Rooted & Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis Book Study Group 
Thursdays, July 16   – August 27, 2020
4:00-5:15pm • via Zoom
Registration deadline: July 13
Register here .
Suggested donation, which will go towards presenter honoraria: $25 per person.

This summer you’re invited to join a group of friends and colleagues to read and discuss Rooted & Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis. We’ll be exploring the seven sections of the book together over the course of seven weekly sessions with each session including a presentation by an author, small group conversation, and an invitation into spiritual practice.

The Bangor Theological Seminary Center (BTS Center) is hosting this book study group in partnership with  Renewal in the Wilderness . The group will be co-facilitated by  Rev. Nicole Diroff (BTS Center Program Director) and  Aram Mitchell (Renewal in the Wilderness Executive Director).

Participating authors include Rev. Dr. Leah D. Schade, Jay O’Hara, Rev. Dr. Jim Antal, Peterson Toscano, Dr. Natasha DeJarnett, and Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas.
First-ever global climate advocacy training! Climate Reality is hosting a global online training for climate activists that will not only educate you about how to solve the climate crisis, but will also build your skills in public speaking, advocacy, community organizing, and digital media outreach to be an effective activist and leader.

Help our diocese grow new leaders! Sign up today for this virtual event that will feature one to two hours of programming each day between July 18-26, 2020.

While some sessions will be pre-scheduled based on your time zone, others can be streamed on demand, allowing you to create an agenda that works for your schedule.

Attendees who complete the training requirements will join a powerful network of over 20,000 Climate Reality Leaders in over 150 countries around the world.

For information and to register, visit here .

American Climate Leadership Summit 2020 (ACLS) will now be a 100% virtual live event!  Join us each Thursday during the month of August for a three-hour webcast series featuring thought-provoking topics and speakers in an engaging and interactive online experience. This shift gives us an opportunity to greatly expand the diversity of topics, speakers and participants while reducing our carbon footprint.

If there was ever a time to make a difference on climate change, that time is now. Join to hear from the audience and leaders to help raise awareness, understanding and action on climate change in America.

Every Thursday, August 6th - 27th 2020, at 2 p.m ., ecoAmerica will host dynamic and interactive panels and discussions. We are featuring engaging topics and speakers as originally planned, with the addition of new themes and speakers to address the hurdles and opportunities of our compounded crises.

You can find the updated agenda here . Register for ACLS LIVE ONLINE here
Photo: submitted
Vote for climate and get out the vote! We urgently need principled, well-informed, and trustworthy leadership in this country.

Environmental Voter Project is a non-partisan group with a clear mission: to get more environmentalists to vote in every election. “The Environmental Voter Project aims to significantly increase voter demand for environmental leadership by identifying inactive environmentalists and then turning them into consistent activists and voters.” They don’t endorse politicians; instead, they focus on voters.

Please consider signing their pledge to be an environmental voter and, if you are able, please join me in making a donation to support their work.

• Shave the Peak: With summer temperatures and economic re-opening contributing to greater energy usage, be sure to sign up for Shave the Peak . You’ll be notified on peak energy days, when supplementing the grid with dirty coal and oil can be avoided by our cutting back on consumption by postponing activities like doing laundry, using dishwashers, or charging electric cars, and by raising our thermostats a few degrees.

Ready to be politically engaged? Courtesy of Rev. Betsy Sowers’ bi-weekly “OCBC Earth Justice Update,” here is information about how YOU can help push for an environmentally sustainable and socially just recovery from COVID in Massachusetts.

#MAClimateStrong COVID recovery plan : Mass Interfaith Power and Light, Citizens Climate Lobby, 350MA, Mothers Out Front, Our Climate, and Clean Water Action endorse this climate-informed, environmental justice-based, post-COVID plan.

1. The Roadmap bill H.3983 , would commit MA to zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and a 50% reduction by 2030. It is currently before the House Committee on Ways and Means .
2. These Environmental Justice Bills would protect low-income people and people of color: H.4264 is in the House Committee on Ways and Means and S.464 is in the Senate Committee on Ways and Means .
3. A Carbon Pricing bill ( H.2810 , Joint Energy Committee ) would help speed the clean energy transition while protecting low-income people from being disproportionately affected.
4. A 100% renewable energy bill ( H.2836 / S.1958 , Joint Energy Committee )
5. Several gas leaks bills, including the FUTURE Act ( H.2849 / S.1940 , Joint Energy Committee ).
Time is running out to get bills to the floor before the session ends on July 31. Click on the committee links and send an email to the chairs , asking them to report these bills out favorably. Copy your own Mass. Rep. and Senator , asking them to contact the Committee Chairs on behalf of the bills. Tell all of them to be sure these priorities are included in whatever climate bills actually make it to the floor. Find your legislators here .

If you don’t have time to write individual emails, do sign the #MAClimateStrong petition .
• Looking for some summer reading? I highly recommend the novel Weather , by Jenny Offill . It is funny, dazzling, and very short. I read it in practically a single gulp, for I couldn’t put it down. Among other things, it conveys what it’s like to be an ordinary person with an out-of-the-corner-of-the-eye awareness of climate change. One of several enthusiastic reviews in the New York Times is here . A similarly enthusiastic Guardian review is here .

• I will be taking a summer break in August. Look for the next Creation Care Network newsletter on September 1 – the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation – as we mark the start of Creation Season, September 1 – October 4 .

Just as we were going to “press,” I discovered that our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and the leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the Anglican Church of Canada, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada have already prepared a series of devotions for observing Creation Season! Way to go, everybody! The suggested prayers, reflections, and hymns are based on the lectionary. You can find the Creation Season devotions here .

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:3).

(The Rev. Dr.) Margaret Bullitt-Jonas
Missioner for Creation Care
Storm clouds. Photo credit: Robert A. Jonas
Opportunities for engagement
Shave the Peak
A New Way to Green the Grid
How Does Shave The Peak Work? Consumer action is a better, cleaner, and cheaper way to meet electric demand on peak days. Sign up for Shave the Peak alerts to receive notifications about peak events. We’ll let you know when a peak day is coming up and send you some suggestions for cutting down on electricity use during peak hours...
Interfaith Resources
Clergy Emergency League
Clergy Emergency League
Loosely modeled on the Pastor’s Emergency League in Nazi Germany that rose up to resist the Third Reich, the Clergy Emergency League is made up of primarily Christian clergy (although clergy of other faiths have also joined). We are united in standing against the oppressiv...

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CHQ Assembly

CHQ Assembly is the digital expression of Chautauqua (CHQ) Institution - a nonprofit organization that exists to explore the best in human values and the enrichment of life. This exploration takes place in an interdisciplinary and...

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MBJ photo: Tipper Gore, 2014