Creation Care Network E-news
April 2019
Message from Margaret...
Dear friends,

• Exciting news! Sustain Island Home is almost ready for launch in our diocese ! Sustain Island Home is a new initiative by the Episcopal Church to help us reduce our carbon emissions and make better energy choices in our daily lives. Sustain Island Home provides a “carbon tracker” to help us mark our progress, and it aggregates our commitments, so that we can see how our personal life-style changes are contributing to the larger whole.

The builders are in the final stages and we expect that in the very near future it will be easy to create your account and to complete your energy profile. We will notify our diocese via email when the platform is ready. Stay tuned.

One special aspect of Sustain Island Home is that it’s intended for congregations, not only individuals. We have formed a diocesan team that can help introduce the website and carbon tracker to your congregation. If this interests you, please contact our Team Convener, the Rev. Eric Elley (phone: 860/394-8728; email: ). 

St. Paul’s, Stockbridge, and St. John’s, Ashfield, have already scheduled congregational meetings to learn about Sustain Island Home. We look forward to helping other congregations get started.
Your diocesan Sustain Island Home team holds its first planning meeting.
Left to right: Edith Allison, Eric Elley, Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, Lucy Robinson, and Sandy Muspratt (not pictured: DeAnne Riddle).  
• On the last Sunday after Epiphany I preached at Immanuel Lutheran Church (Amherst, MA) about Jesus’ Transfiguration on the mountaintop , when three of his disciples find him deep in prayer and shining with a dazzling light. How does Jesus’ transfiguration – and ours – connect with caring for God’s Creation? As I said in my sermon, “The vivid image of Jesus lit up from within aligns with the experience of mystics from every religion who speak of a vibrant, shimmering energy or light that flows through everything… We may not consider ourselves mystics, but anyone who has ever been overcome by the beauty of the world… knows what it’s like to see the hidden radiance of Christ, whose living presence fills the whole Creation… Seeing the world with eyes of love is to see the world shining – to see its suffering… to see its brokenness and imperfection… but also to see it as cherished by God, as precious in God’s sight, as shining with God’s light. To see the world with eyes of love is to see it with God’s eyes…I think this is one of the great gifts that people of faith can offer the world in this perilous time: the perception of Creation as a sacred, living whole, lit up with the glory of God.” 

• Last month I gave a presentation on “Spiritual sustenance in a time of climate crisis” at an interfaith summit in downtown Boston on “Climate Change, Extreme Weather and Vulnerability.” In my remarks, I addressed some of the questions I think about every day. What spiritual resources give us strength and courage as we struggle to combat climate change and to re-weave the web of life? What do we do with our feelings of fear, grief, helplessness, and despair? My remarks laid out what I’ve been calling “a framework for heart”: a path of cultivating an awakened heart, accepting a broken heart, and manifesting a radiant heart.

• I was interviewed by Daily Hampshire Gazette about my five years of serving as Missioner for Creation Care. The reporter asked me how I got into this ministry and focused many of her questions on the book I’m co-editing, Rooted and Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis . Rowman & Littlefield will publish the book, an anthology of essays by twenty-one climate activists, in November.
• Please join me in attending an all-day conference on April 10, sponsored by Merrimack University, “Religion, Science and Ecology: Shared Responsibility for the Future.” The conference supports the Faith Science Alliance for Climate Leadership and features a stellar line-up of speakers, including (among others) climate champion Jim Antal, author Roger Gottlieb, and former EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy. For information and to register, click here .

• How will your congregation celebrate Earth Day this year? April 22 falls on Monday in Easter Week. Visit Creation Justice Ministries for resources you might wish to use on April 28, which many congregations will celebrate as Second Sunday of Easter and Earth Day Sunday. As Creation Justice Ministries says on its website, “Our 2019 theme is ‘Next Generation Rising’ and focuses on children and youth leading the way for creation justice. This resource will feature stories such as that of the youth who brought the Our Children's Trust climate change lawsuit against the federal government.”

• Need a day of retreat in a beautiful setting? Sign up for “Down to Earth Spirituality: Living the Great Work in Our Generation,” with Father Norm Comtois, OMI, held on Saturday, April 27, at Rolling Ridge Retreat Center in North Andover. “Thomas Berry reminds us that we are called to do the Great Work of our generation. We find ourselves in a critical moment when our religious traditions must awaken again to the natural world as the primary manifestation of the divine. Science has given us a story of a time-developmental universe in which humans are related to all other forms of life, but this has not yet penetrated into our religious and spiritual consciousness.”

• Come celebrate the 100th anniversary of Pete Seeger’s birth on April 27 with a concert by Annie Patterson and Peter Blood, along with singers who worked closely with Pete. Held at 7:00 p.m. in Northampton, the event will be a fundraiser for our local, grassroots organization, Climate Action Now. I urge you to buy tickets before they run out! For information and tickets, click here .

Endorse the faith principles of the Green New Deal . Please consider signing the statement by Interfaith Power & Light , which supports the goals of the Green New Deal by upholding faith principles such as truth and science; restoration and renewal; compassion and fairness; and interdependence across boundaries. 

Please consider signing the statement by Greenfaith , People of Faith for a Green New Deal. To learn why so many people of faith support the Green New Deal, visit the GreenFaith website and read about the purpose and elements of the Green New Deal. You can even take 2 minutes to write and send a Letter to the Editor of your local newspaper! 

• Looking ahead to next month, International Endangered Species Day is on May 17. Creation Justice Ministries has developed a bulletin insert and toolkit to help your faith community celebrate.

• This month, I am saving the best for last. Take the pledge to Creation Care. The Episcopal Church has launched a beautiful new website for Creation Care . Watch a video of our Presiding Bishop speaking about his commitment to follow Jesus by honoring the Earth that God entrusted to our care. Please reflect on how God is leading you to renew your own relationship with Creation. The pledge suggests some actions you can take to heal Mother Earth. What will you pledge to do?

(The Rev. Dr.) Margaret Bullitt-Jonas
Missioner for Creation Care
Interfaith Resources
Creation Justice Ministries'
Toolkit for Endangered Species Day
Endangered Species Day Tools - May 17, 2019

Toolkit for congregation green teams / creation justice teams to plan for Endangered Species Day. Download now.

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Opportunities for engagement
32nd Annual Local Environmental Action Day
Local Environmental Action Day 2019 - April 27

At Worcester State University - Join hundreds of community leaders, environmental justice advocates from across the region to build organizing skills, discuss new ideas, and be inspired for the work ahead. Hosted by MA Climate Acti..

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Join Us for a Concert!
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Endorse the Faith Principles for a Green New Deal

Interfaith Power & Light - We believe the principles outlined below are central to responding faithfully to the opportunity to achieve the goals of the Green New Deal. Solutions that are in line with scientific consensus on global warming and that...

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MBJ photo credit: Tipper Gore, 2014
Sustain Island Home team photo: submitted