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

• “Happy are the people whose strength is in you! whose hearts are set on the pilgrims’ way ” (Psalm 84:4). Our pilgrim diocese is on the move, with a newly energized network of people engaged in Creation care. Watch this space for news about events and opportunities in the year ahead (and don’t forget to check our diocesan web pages for Creation care resources on learning, prayer, action, and advocacy). 
At the Bending Toward Justice retreat on January 25, members of the diocesan Creation Care Network gathered for conversation.
Photo: submitted.
• One of my sermons, “Journeying with the wise men,” was published online at , an ecumenical website that provides weekly sermons about God and God’s Creation. (It’s a helpful website: preachers can search for Bible passages and find related sermons.) Here's an excerpt from my “Journeying” sermon:

“The wise men have been called the first conscientious objectors in the name of Christ. They are the first in a long line of witnesses to Christ who from generation to generation have carried out acts of non-violent civil disobedience in Jesus’ name. The journey of the wise men is our journey, too, for, as Gregory the Great reportedly remarked in a homily back in the 7th century: ‘Having come to know Jesus, we are forbidden to return by the way we came.’”
Dawn at Cathedral Ridge, the retreat center of the Episcopal Church in Colorado.
Photo: submitted.
• Last month I traveled to Colorado to preach and to lead a retreat for the diocese, which recently named Creation care one of its top “realities” (i.e. significant aspects of the world that deserve sustained action and attention). Bringing greetings from our diocese, I met clergy and lay people who are eager to put their Christian faith into practice as they find ways to live more gently on the Earth. I enjoyed swapping experiences and “best practices” with diocesan staff, staying at a retreat center high in the Rocky Mountains, and watching a full moon rise over the craggy peaks. I also had a chance to meet soon-to-retire Peter Sawtell, who founded Denver-based Eco-Justice Ministries 20 years ago and whose weekly essays on Christianity, justice, and Earth-care are well worth reading.
Margaret Bullitt-Jonas with Peter Sawtell, founder of Eco-Justice Ministries.
Photo: submitted.
• Closer to home, I led an evening program at Temple Israel in Greenfield that was hosted by Interfaith Council of Franklin County (ICFC), which “seeks to promote understanding, support, and collaboration among different religions and traditions throughout Franklin County.” The climate crisis is on everyone’s mind, and we are looking at ways that faith leaders and communities can help to mobilize a strong moral response. Now is a good time to build partnerships not only with other Episcopal churches and dioceses, but also with other religions and traditions. When your congregation creates a special educational event or worship service around Creation care, which other faith communities might you invite to partner with you?
The Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is coming to Greenfield! Making its 11 th stop on its 25-state pilgrimage across the U.S., the We Must Do M.O.R.E.* tour will stop at Second Congregational Church (16 Court Square, Greenfield) at 7:00 p.m. on February 5 . This is the only place in Massachusetts where the Poor People’s Campaign will stop, and carpools are being organized from across the state (visit the Facebook page for more information). I hope to see you there! We will hear from local leaders directly affected by systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, militarism, and the war economy. We will also hear from National Co-Chairs, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, as people come together to build towards the Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington on June 20, 2020
*Mobilize. Organize. Register. Educate.
• Ready to make a longer pilgrimage? Please consider joining me in Washington, DC, on March 25-26 at the 9th annual  American Climate Leadership Summit (ACLS 2020) . I will be one of the speakers at the conference, whose focus will be AMBITION • RESTORATION • JUSTICE . From the ACLS Website: this summit is “the nation’s largest and most diverse gathering of leaders dedicated to broadening and catalyzing action and advocacy for climate solutions. Learn strategies and ideas to help transform climate action into a true national priority. ACLS2020 offers inspiring keynotes, immersive conversations, and collaborative sessions on accelerating efforts to restore our climate, raise ambition, convert our challenges into opportunities, and ensure that our pathways forward are centered on justice and equity.” We expect a strong presence from people of faith, and I hope you will join us. For more information and to register, click here.
• You are also invited to join me on Saturday, March 28 , when I lead the annual retreat for Pax Christi MA at Elms College in Chicopee. Everyone is welcome! Our focus will be “Spiritual resilience and leadership in a time of climate crisis.”  In the face of ecological crisis, how do we maintain courage and hope? What spiritual practices and perspectives sustain us as we struggle to protect the web of life and create a more just society? The retreat will explore a framework for the heart to help us become compassionate, prophetic leaders who are willing to take up the mantle of moral leadership that this decisive moment in history requires. Our time together will include presentations, guided meditation, group sharing, and space for solitary reflection and prayer. Suggested donation: $25 (scholarships available). High school and college students with ID are free. Lunch will be in the cafeteria on one's own. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. The program begins at 10:00 a.m. For more information, download the flier here .  
The altar area after the retreat for the Episcopal Church in Colorado
Photo: submitted.
• On Wednesday, April 22, the world will celebrate the  50 th  anniversary of   Earth Day . What special Earth Day worship service or event will your congregation offer? This year, Earth Day Sunday can be celebrated on April 19 or April 26, and many resources are available to you.

Every year, Creation Justice Ministries offers Christian education materials to equip faith communities to protect, restore, and more rightly share God's creation. The resource is written to be useful year-round. Their 2020 theme is " The Fierce Urgency of Now ,” a reference to a quote from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King in his final sermon at Riverside Church: 

We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there ‘is’ such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”  

You can order (free) Episcopal materials from Creation Justice Ministries here

Creation Justice Ministries encourages your faith community to include your Earth Day Sunday celebration as part of Interfaith Power & Light's Faith Climate Action Week (April 17-26, 2020). IP&L’s theme this year is “ Love Made Visible: Engaging in Sacred Activism ” to protect the people who are most affected by climate change. Find timely action resources at  Faith Climate Action Week and post your Earth Day Sunday celebration to  Faith Climate Action Week's Event Map .

• This month I’m recommending a book that I’ve just begun – The Green Good News: Christ’s Path to Sustainable and Joyful Life , by T. Wilson Dickinson, a writer, pastor and organizer who teaches theology at Lexington Theological Seminary in Kentucky. Dickinson mailed me a copy of his new book, and its opening pages have already moved me and pulled me in. I look forward to reading it all the way through. It comes with a 7-part study guide and received glowing reviews from Walter Brueggemann and Bill McKibben. 
• I am grateful to be on this pilgrimage with you as we follow Jesus’ Way of Love and seek to create loving, liberating, and life-giving relationships with God and all of God’s Creation. 

(The Rev. Dr.) Margaret Bullitt-Jonas
Missioner for Creation Care
Opportunities for engagement
We Must Do M.O.R.E.

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is organizing a 20+ state “We Must Do M.O.R.E.” Tour from September 2019 to May 2020. This tour will lead into the Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington, where thousands of poor people and moral agents will gather at the nation’s capitol on June 20, 2020 to demonstrate our power. We will demand the implementation of our  Moral Agenda  and call all people of conscience to engage in deeply moral civic engagement and voting that cares about poor and low-wealth people, the sick, immigrants, workers, the environment, people with disabilities, the LGBTQ community, and peace over war.

The “We Must Do M.O.R.E.” Tour will shine a light on the conditions of those most impacted by systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, militarism/the war economy, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. Join us!

Interfaith Resources
Interfaith Power & Light

A Religious Response to Global Warming - Interfaith Power & Light inspires and mobilizes people of faith and conscience to take bold and just action on climate change.

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Eco-Justice Ministries

Eco-Justice Ministries helps churches "go green". Why? Because it is good for the church, good for the movement, and good for Earth!

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MBJ photo credit: Tipper Gore, 2014
Small, MBJ, & Sterling photo: R en é Th é berge
Trinity Milford photo: Edith Allison