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

The brilliant colors of October – arrays of orange, gold, and scarlet – have been a feast for eye and soul, alike. More times than I can count, I’ve found myself pausing to marvel at God’s handiwork, laughing like a co-conspirator, “I see what You’re doing!” I will be nourished by the memory of autumn’s glory, even as I explore November’s subtler, sparer gifts.
Swing and orange leaves. Photo: Robert A. Jonas
Today, the Feast Day of All Saints, we remember the great “cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1) who surround us, giving us strength to run the race that is set before us. 

• I am happy to share the longest, most substantive article I’ve written in a while, which was just published in the journal BUDDHIST-CHRISTIAN STUDIES and is now posted on my website. “Spiritual Practice and Sacred Activism in a Climate Emergency” reflects on the practices and perspectives that draw us “outside the box” of ordinary consciousness and into a larger, more connected space: a space of healing and transformation. I hope this essay will nourish its readers.

• The world’s eyes are on COP27, the next vital round of U.N. climate negotiations, which will begin on November 6 in Egypt. In the lead-up to COP27, under the banner of Faiths4Climate Justice, people around the world of many different faiths have held sit-ins and rallies, prayer circles and die-ins to call for bold, just action by corporate and political powers to address the climate crisis.  
Leading the prayer service in Northampton: Bishop Doug Fisher, Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener, Rev. Kate Stevens, Amihan Jennifer Matias, Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, Rev. Dr. Andrea Ayvazian, Rev. Dr. Jim Antal. Photo credit: René Theberge
As part of that effort, I helped to organize two Multifaith Prayer Vigils for Climate Justice in front of Bank of America offices in Springfield and Northampton, urging the bank to quit funding fossil fuels and urging customers to sign a pledge to move their money out of the bank if it doesn’t change its policies. Warm thanks to Bishop Doug Fisher for helping to lead the vigil in Northampton and to all the folks from Episcopal Diocese of Western Mass. who came to pray, sing, and bear witness to climate justice.  
After the Bank of America prayer vigil in Northampton: Edith Allison, Lucy Robinson, Bishop Doug Fisher, Susan Miller Coulter, Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, Donny Allison, Rev. Meredyth Ward. Photo credit: Robert A. Jonas
I wrote a blog post about the two vigils: “How to close a bank.”

• Diocesan convention in DioWMA: Creation Care Justice Network will have a table at the DioWMA diocesan convention, just as we did last week for the convention of DioMA. Look for information about CCJN, some of the resources we can provide, and a sneak preview of our new initiative, "An Episcopal Path to Creation Justice." Please drop by! 
Thursday, December 1
7:30 - 8:30 pm (Eastern) • Online (free)
I’ve been regularly joining these seasonal online events offered by The BTS Center. They create a contemplative space, shaped by music and poetry, for praying with our grief for Earth. I hope you will consider coming.

Winter Event: Festivals, with the Element of Fire: “Festivals are times of miracles. Both the Christian story of the birth of Jesus and the Hanukkah story of the oil for the lamp point to unanticipated, and unplanned, miracles. And so many of the festivals involve candles or lights of some kind. How might we, even in our lament, make room for the inbreaking of the miraculous? What is illuminated differently by the candles of the advent wreath, or menorahs, or by solstice bonfires?” For more information and to register, visit here.
Maples and orange leaves. Photo: Robert A. Jonas.
Led by Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas
Saturday, December 3
9:30 a.m. – 12 Noon • Online (free)
We live in a time of radical challenge and change. Advent offers us rich material for prayer, conveying images of disruption, struggle, and endings, and images of reconciliation, birth, and beginnings. In this morning retreat, we will seek to create a space of prayer big enough to encompass both what disturbs and shakes us, and what brings comfort and hope. How do the images of Advent enlarge our capacity to midwife Christ’s birth within us and among us? Our time together will include presentations, silence, singing, solitude, and small group conversation.

If possible, please bring a candle and a Bible, and wear something comfortable for an optional walk outdoors.

This free retreat is open to the public and is sponsored by both Episcopal dioceses in MA and by Southern New England Conference, United Church of Christ.
A flyer is here.  
November 2022 - November 2023
Third Thursdays, once a month, 1:00 - 2:15 pm • Online (variable fees)
Are you looking for ongoing support, education, and inspiration for engaging climate and environmental issues in your preaching? The BTS Center has partnered with Creation Justice Ministries to offer the EcoPreacher Cohort, a year-long community of learning,
and exploration with monthly online meetings, beginning in November. Facilitated by Rev. Nicole Diroff of The BTS Center and Avery Davis Davis Lamb of Creation Justice Ministries, with collaborators Rev. Dr. Leah Schade and Dr. Rebecca Kneale Gould, this cohort will offer an expansive opportunity for connection, creativity, and grounded responses to climate change through the art of preaching. For more information and to register, please visit here. The first session starts on November 17.
• Caring for Creation with a green Advent and Christmas
Now is a good time to set our intention about how to mark the “holiday” season. How might we decrease our level of consumption, waste, and stress, and increase our level of appreciation, wonder, and interpersonal connection? Our friends in the Diocese of Colorado have created a list of ideas. I encourage you to scan them quickly and to consider how you might make this Advent-Christmas season the simplest, most joyful, and most meaningful one yet.
Please read and consider signing this strong petition from GreenFaith International, which will be presented both at COP27 in Egypt and at the G20 meetings in Indonesia. In signing the letter, you will be taking your place in a global, multi-religious community as we push for an end to new fossil fuel projects, a fair phase-out of coal, oil, and gas, and a generous investment in a better future.

• Vote your values on Tuesday, November 8
Some municipalities in MA offer a non-binding ballot question on carbon pricing, Question #5. I encourage YES on Question #5, which simply asks the representative of the ballot district to introduce and vote for legislation that puts a fee on carbon and returns most of the proceeds in equitable ways to individuals as a cash-back dividend. Check out this Letter to the Editor by Northampton resident, Kit Sang Boos.
Fall colors. Photo: submitted.
With a small team of Christians, I was blessed to help write a faith statement that was signed and released in Nairobi, Kenya, on October 21, two weeks before COP27. The statement – A Faithful Voice on Hunger and Climate Justice” – announces our deep intention to come together across boundaries of nationality, race, and class to address climate change and hunger. I value this proclamation of lament, confession, and commitment. I hope that many readers of this newsletter will take a look, for it should be useful to anyone, including preachers, who wants to understand the climate and hunger crisis from a Christian perspective. I wrote a blog post about this apparently first-ever collaboration between Christian leaders in Africa, Europe, and the U.S. on climate and hunger.

Please join me in praying for COP27 and for all of us who are committed to sharing in Christ’s mission to reconcile humanity to God, each other, and the rest of God’s Creation. I invite you to pray with the closing prayer from A Faithful Voice on Hunger and Climate Justice:

Gracious God… make us bold to stand together as Resurrection people. Empower us to step out of fear, despair, and inertia and to join – and lead – the joyful, justice-seeking, Spirit-led unstoppable movement to make a swift and just transition to clean, renewable energy, to support vulnerable communities, and to safeguard the world that you entrusted to our care.

• If you’d like to be in touch, please send a note to And please consider joining Creation Care Justice Network as we build friendships and ideas for climate action among Episcopalians across Massachusetts.

(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.)
Pond in beauty of fall, 2022. Photo: Robert A. Jonas
Opportunities for engagement
Bank on our Future Pledge - Third Act

Sign one of our two Banking on our Future pledges: "If by the end of 2022, Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo, or Bank of America are still funding climate-destroying fossil fuel projects, I pledge to close my account and cut up my credit card.

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Interfaith Resources
GreenFaith Petition

Sign the Multi-Faith Letter for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty - The current scale of the climate crisis requires a cooperative global solution that addresses the fossil fuel industry directly. We call on governments t...

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Deep Green Faith

Grounded in both theology and contemplative practice, the Center cultivates the growth of deeper green faith for individuals and their faith communities.  Our offerings blend eco-theology with eco-spirituality, combining biblical studies and...

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