Creation Care Network E-news

April 2024

Message from Margaret...

Dear friends,

Christ is risen! Many of the offerings listed below relate to Earth Day (April 22). Every one of them is illumined by the presence of the risen Christ, who loves and redeems the whole Creation.

In the weeks before Easter, I traveled to Houston to speak at the Episcopal Parish Network Annual Conference about the roles that churches can play in responding to the climate emergency. Then I traveled to Assisi, Italy, to join an Anglican delegation of liturgists and theologians at an ecumenical gathering focused on whether to add a Feast of Creation to the liturgical calendars of Western Churches. I wrote a short blog post about what we hope will be remembered as an historic ecumenical event that bore good fruit! – “Has the time come for a Feast of Creation?” 

Anglican delegation at "The Feast of Creation and the Mystery of Creation: Ecumenism, Theology, Liturgy, and Signs of the Times in Dialogue" seminar in Assisi, Italy. Photo: submitted

Hope amidst a climate crisis

At the request of the Episcopal Church in Colorado, I created a video about orienting to hope during a climate crisis. Here’s an excerpt:

"What shall we say about hope? Hope is forward-facing – it’s the capacity to look toward the future with confidence that something good is ahead – but then we learn that by 2050, over a billion people could be displaced due to natural disasters and climate change. Or we learn that current global climate policies set the world on a path to heat by about 2.7 degrees Celsius by 2100, which would threaten modern human civilization within the lifespan of children born today. Hear things like that and it’s easy to be overcome by helplessness and by what theologian Sallie McFague calls a 'crushing state of futility.' Say the word 'hope' too glibly and it reeks of escapism and wishful thinking."

What is distinctive about Christian hope? You can view the YouTube video here and read the text here. Questions for reflection are posted at the end of the text.  

An Episcopal Path to Creation Justice: Earth Day Celebration

Saturday, April 20

9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. • St. Mark’s, Southborough ($20, suggested donation to cover lunch) and online

Join clergy and lay leaders from across Massachusetts as we mark the completion of the pilot phase of An Episcopal Path to Creation Justice, celebrate the wonders of creation, and renew our calling as kin and caregivers of this planet.

Listen to celebrated ecologist and educator Robin Wall Kimmerer (author of Braiding Sweetgrass) speak in a video recorded just for us about reciprocity from a Native American perspective. Be inspired by internationally known author, environmentalist, and climate activist, Bill McKibben, speaking to us in a livestream. Enjoy the wisdom of Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker, co-founder and co-director emeritus of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology, who, with her husband John Grim. created the academic field of ecology and religion. At our closing Eucharist, be moved by the preaching of Bishop Carol Gallagher, a member of the Cherokee tribe and Assistant Bishop, Diocese of MA, and by the liturgical leadership of Bishop Doug Fisher, Diocesan, Diocese of Western MA.

As a closing hymn, the congregation will sing “Holy Earth, Ancient Home,” the finale of the climate oratorio A Passion for the Planet, composed by Geoffrey Hudson. Want to learn the hymn in advance? Here’s a brief tutorial on YouTube.

Registration is open. Please let us know you’re coming! Feel free to reach out to Rev. Rachel Field ([email protected]) with any questions. I hope to see you there!


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Earth Hospice Rites

Wednesday, April 3 & 17

12:00 – 12:20 p.m. • Online (free)

Earth Hospice Rites is a bi-weekly online gathering in which participants share their grief and confusion about the looming threat of climate change – and open to the marvels that Earth offers us everywhere and every day. Please bring a candle or other means of marking your presence in a special time and space. Here is the Zoom link. Earth Hospice Rites is a partnership between Radical Joy for Hard Times and the BTS Center.

One Home, One Future: From Prayer to Action, Taking Heart in a Time of Climate Crisis

Sunday, April 7

2:00 – 5:30 p.m. • Free (West Tisbury Free Public Library, 1042 State Rd, Martha’s Vineyard)

This retreat, led by the Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas and sponsored by Interfaith Climate Action Team of Martha’s Vineyard, is for people of all faiths. Earth cries out for prayer and healing. It cries out for the recognition that we belong to the Earth and that the web of life is holy. Spiritual resilience requires that we hear this voice among the clamor of our day and gain clarity about how to act. How does God speak to us through the natural world?” and “How do we move through denial and despair into the joy of courageous living?” Registration is encouraged but not required. To register, call (508) 693-0332.  

As part of the weekend’s events, Rev. Margaret will also join in the Shabbat service at the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center on Friday, April 5 at 5:30 p.m., and preach at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Edgartown, on Sunday, April 7 at the 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. services. 

Igniting the Advocate's Heart: Spirituality in Nature and Creation Care

Thursday, April 11

3:00 – 4:00 p.m. • Online (free)

The Episcopal Church’s Creation Care office is sponsoring this "It’s All About Love: Festival Thursday" webinar, presented by Payton Hoegh. Come explore how immersive engagement with, and mindful practice in, nature operates in life-giving balance with practical efforts pursuing creation care and climate justice. For more information, click here. To register, click here.

April Creation Care Compline - Earth Day

Monday, April 15

9:00 p.m. • Online (free)

The next Creation Care Compline offered by The Episcopal Church-wide Task Force on Care of Creation and Environmental Racism will be held on the Monday before Earth Day. Please RSVP here.

• “A Passion for the Planet” movie

Monday, April 15

6:00 p.m. • Greenfield Garden Cinema (361 Main Street, Greenfield)

The Green Team of Sts. James & Andrews Episcopal Church, Greenfield, invites you to join them to celebrate Earth Day 2024 with a showing of A Passion for the Planet, a climate oratorio composed by Amherst resident, Geoffrey Hudson. One of the producers will host a discussion after the movie. A Passion for the Planet premiered live in Northampton, MA in June 2019. Its lyrics blend scientific prose, poetry, and sacred texts from many faiths. The work has been performed across the United States and Europe. Donations gratefully received, but no charge for attending.

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Lament with Earth

Wednesday, May 8 & June 12

7:30-8:30 p.m. • Online (free)

I warmly commend these beautiful, seasonal gatherings sponsored by the BTS Center. Savor original music, poetry, rituals, images, scripture, and videos that reflect different seasons of loss through the liturgical year. Come to pray, lament, and find new strength.


Finding Our Way: The St. Paul Center course with the Rev. Rita Powell

Tuesday, April 2

7:00 -8:00 p.m. • Online (free)

This course, from The St. Paul Center for Theology and Prayer, is led by the Rev. Rita Powell, Episcopal Chaplain at Harvard. In ‘Finding our Way’, the goal is to connect to the land around us, and the history of that land, in prayerful, healing, and transformative ways. Attendees will be able to take the ideas explored in the course back to their own parishes and landscapes.

Learn more and register for Finding Our Way

Earth Day Resources from Creation Justice Ministries (CJM)

This year’s CJM resource will help churches prepare for Earth Day and equip them to care for God’s Creation throughout the year. Plastic Jesus: Real Faith in a Synthetic World is designed to help us think through the ways that plastic appears in our culture and to consider how we can best love God, Creation, and neighbor in a world overrun with waste and pollution. The resource contains theological framing, sermon starters, advocacy ideas, resources for children, and three original songs commissioned to fit this year’s theme. You can download the resource here.

National Faith + Climate Forum 2024

Tuesday, April 16 • In your community or online

Sponsored by ecoAmerica/Blessed Tomorrow, this annual event will deepen your understanding of how to engage your congregation in Creation care, help you work toward just and equitable solutions, and connect you with other faith leaders locally and nationally. There are three ways to participate: attend at a designated location, be a host yourself, or attend live online. Check out the growing list of host locationswill your congregation be the first Episcopal host location in Massachusetts? Register 15 attendees for your location and receive a stipend of $450. Check out the impressive list of speakers! Visit here to learn more and to register.

Faith Climate Action Week, April 19 – 28

Faith Climate Action Week is Interfaith Power and Light’s annual program of climate-themed worship services and sermons that spans ten days of activities celebrating Earth Month. The theme of 2024’s Faith Climate Action Week is “Common Ground: Cultivating Connections Between Our Faith, Our Food, and the Climate.” We’ll examine how our food systems contribute to injustice and to climate change, and how our faiths call us to respond through practical solutions. The 2024 Faith Climate Action Week Kit is now available as a free download in English and in Spanish. While you’re at it, consider ordering IP&L’s Pizza Garden Seed Kit.

Preaching in a Climate-Changed World: Engaging Climate Science, the Bible, and Theology

Tuesday, April 23

6:00 – 8:00 p.m. • Online (free)

What does it mean to be the church in a climate-changed world, and how can preachers embrace an approach to sermons that nurtures biblical, theological, and ecological imagination?

Moderated by The Rev. Dr. Leah Schade, Lexington Theological Seminary (LTS) associate professor of preaching and worship, this Earth Week Webinar is made possible by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion through their Climate Science in Theological Education grant. Speakers include climate scientist Carlos Martinez, Dr. Esther Parajuli (LTS assistant professor of Christian theology), and Dr. Jerry Sumney (LTS professor of biblical studies). The webinar is free and open to the public. For more information and to register, click here

Singing the Psalms with My Son: Praying and Parenting for a Healed Planet

A Book Study

May - June • 5 Weekly Online Sessions 

Two days & times available each week • Online ($35; $50 includes a copy of the book)

As we navigate our lives through times of increased uncertainty and climate chaos, those of us who parent, or who are invested in the lives of young people, are grappling with the future that our children will inherit – and how to guide and encourage in ways which will lead toward life, connection, and meaning. We long for a safe, healed, healthy world in which all children may grow into centered and joyful adults. And yet, with so much instability on our planet, how do we offer children the foundation upon which to build a life of wholeness? 

Offered by The BTS Center, Moms Clean Air Force, and Lutherans Restoring Creation. Details and registration are here

Green Teams Gathering

An in-person gathering of members and friends of congregational Green Teams, Earth Care Teams, and Climate Action Teams from Southern Maine and beyond

Sunday, May 19

2:00 – 5:00 p.m. • Free (Cape Elizabeth United Methodist Church, 280 Ocean House Rd, Cape Elizabeth, ME)

In these times of planetary change and chaos, the work we do on a small, local level can seem insignificant. Yet the calling to tend to the ecological commitments of our congregations and communities forms the foundation for the resilient networks that are essential to surviving and thriving in this climate-changed world. This local work has ripples that go far beyond what we might imagine. Sponsored by The BTS Center, this free program is open to people of diverse faith traditions and backgrounds, and to people who may not yet have a Green Team established in their community. For more information and to register, visit here.

Claiming Your Call for a Climate-Changed World: A Three-Day Retreat and Community of Practice

Thursday, June 20 – Saturday, June 22

Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, ME - Free!

The BTS Center and Creation Justice Ministries are offering an exciting opportunity for congregations in northern New England! Applications are now open for a Three-Day Retreat and Community of Practice for teams from New England congregation. Recruit a team of four from your congregation and apply to participate. Nine congregations will be selected. For more information and to apply, click here.  

The path up to Mt. Subasio, Assisi, where St. Francis lived and prayed. Photo: submitted.


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One Home One Future

The leadup to Earth Day is a great time to register your church in this national campaign sponsored by eco-America/Blessed Tomorrow to educate, support, and activate congregations of all faiths to protect God’s Creation. The campaign offers trainings, resources, webinars, and guidance through seven engagement pathways designed to meet you where you are – PLUS, if you’re one of the first 1,000 congregations to sign up, you receive a free banner to hang outside your building!

How to plan a sustainable wedding for 2024

Since a beloved family member just got engaged, I was happy to come across this article! 


Citizens Climate Lobby: Episcopal Action Team

Thursday, April 18

8:00 p.m. • Online (free)

Meet with other Episcopalians to discuss the upcoming Citizens Climate Lobby national conference. and other items. Here is a link to register.

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Faiths for Climate Justice

May 3 -12

People of faith around the world are mobilizing for a week of action calling for an end to fossil fuels, a sustainable future, and a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty. Join or organize an event, and we’ll be part of this global effort sponsored by GreenFaith International. Would you like to help organize an event in western Mass.? Please contact me ([email protected])!

Citizens Climate Lobby: Summer Conference and Lobby Day

June 8 -11• Washington, D.C.

This June, lobby for the good of the planet on Capitol Hill. You’ll join with 1,000+ people from across the country to tell Congress that later is too late to stop the pollution that’s overheating the planet. For more information (speakers, venue, program, registration, etc.) visit here. Early bird registration for $129 closes April 9 (plus travel, lodging, and meal costs on your own). Regular registration is $179 (April 10-May 20).

Endorse the #FossilFuelTreaty today

Join the Social Justice Commission (Episcopal Diocese of Western MA) – and a growing bloc of 12 countries – in calling for a fossil fuel treaty to manage a global transition to safe, renewable, and affordable energy for all. Click here to learn more and to endorse the Fossil Fuel Treaty as an individual or an organization.

Would you like to join Creation Care Justice Network and receive its monthly newsletter, Green Justice News? If so, visit here. As always, please drop me a note if you’d like to be in touch ([email protected]).  


(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.)

View of Assisi, Italy. Photo: submitted

Opportunities for Engagement

Endorse the #FossilFuelTreaty today

Join the Social Justice Commission (Episcopal Diocese of Western MA) – and a growing bloc of 12 countries – in calling for a fossil fuel treaty to manage a global transition to safe, renewable, and affordable energy for all.

Click here to learn more and to endorse the Fossil Fuel Treaty as an individual or an organization.

Interfaith Resources

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One Home One Future

The leadup to Earth Day is a great time to register your church in this national campaign sponsored by eco-America/Blessed Tomorrow to educate, support, and activate congregations of all faiths to protect God’s Creation.

The campaign offers trainings, resources, webinars, and guidance through seven engagement pathways designed to meet you where you are – PLUS, if you’re one of the first 1,000 congregations to sign up, you receive a free banner to hang outside your building!

Learn more about One Home One Future

Read this...

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Singing the Psalms with My Son: Praying and Parenting for a Healed Planet

by T. Wilson Dickinson

"In Singing the Psalms with My Son, Wilson Dickinson charts a path where the practices of parenting lead to transformation and hope. The everyday tasks of caring for children radiate with the alternative energy of creativity and cooperation. If we learn from them, our homes can become schools for movements of joy and justice, rather than fortresses fearfully set against the world."

Read more

Explore this...

Plastic Jesus: Real Faith in a Synthetic World

Everywhere we look in our culture you will find plastic. One place where you will not find plastic, however, is in the Bible.

This resource is designed to help congregations think more deeply about the ways that plastics impact our lives and God's creation. It is also intended to equip people of faith to take actions to address this epidemic in faithful and practical ways.

Learn more

Join our diocesan Creation Care Facebook group!

If you've enjoyed this newsletter, please feel free to forward to one or two friends you think may be interested.


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