Creation Care Network E-news
January 2023
Message from Margaret...
Dear friends,

Let’s ring in the New Year with praise to God and renewed resolve to safeguard God’s Creation! I give thanks for the COP 15 biodiversity conference in Montreal, which concluded in mid-December with nations signing a “historic agreement to protect nature.” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who is often blunt in his assessment of climate progress, said, “We are finally starting to forge a peace pact with nature.” 

Update from CCJN (Creation Care Justice Network)
Our work is reaching a new phase: we are close to creating a draft of An Episcopal Path to Creation Justice that we will make available to a wider audience for critique and feedback. We are gathering resources, developing a website, and making decisions about how to make this program as accessible and useful as possible to congregations eager to participate in Christ’s mission of healing and restoring Creation. We hope to launch An Episcopal Path to Creation Justice in 2023.

We’ll hold our next CCJN meetings at 7:00 - 8:15 p.m. on January 4 & 18. To receive a Zoom link, send a note to Please join us!
Saturday, January 21
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. • All Saints Episcopal Church, South Hadley ($15, financial assistance available)
This event is not to be missed! Sponsored by the Social Justice Commission of DioWMA, our annual conference draws Episcopalians from across Massachusetts who are passionate about issues of justice. The Rt. Rev. Douglas J. Fisher will preside at the Eucharist, with the Rev. Tina Rathbone, preaching. The Rt. Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows (Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis, and the first African-American woman to be elected a diocesan bishop) will give the keynote address, via Zoom. You can choose from six affinity groups in the afternoon, including one on Building Creation Care Justice that I will co-facilitate with Alex Chatfield, a leader of CCJN in the Diocese of MA. For the complete schedule and to register, click here. Please come! 
Wednesday, January 11 & 25 (every other Wednesday, ongoing)
4:30 – 4:50 p.m. • Online (free)
Offered by Radical Joy for Hard Times, Earth Hospice Rites is an online, bimonthly gathering to lament, celebrate, share, and offer mindful attention to the places and species we love that are endangered by climate change. Together we take a deep collective breath and say, “Yes, the Earth as I know it is dying.”. Co-hosts are Alison Cornish of The BTS Center and Trebbe Johnson of Radical Joy for Hard Times. More information is here. Visit here to register.

An exercise adapted from Earth Hospice Rites: Consider a place or a species that you fell in love with as a child. What has happened to it? What would you say to it if you knew it could hear you?
A new oratorio by Linda J. Chase for Chorus, Soloists and Orchestra
The libretto was adapted from Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si’. Text advisor was Rev. Dr. Harvey Cox. Listen to the premiere performance (June 25, 2022, at Old Cambridge Baptist Church) now posted on YouTube, and stay tuned for a high-quality studio recording!
Thursday, January 9, 16, 23, 30
7:30 – 8:45 p.m. (Eastern) • Online ($105)
A recent study surveyed Americans to explore the state of religion in this country. When asked what activities they found most spiritually fulfilling, 45% of respondents chose “being outdoors or in nature” and 42% said “prayer.” Only 25% of those surveyed selected “attending religious worship.”
This course encourages us to expand our understanding of church life to include our everyday engagement with all of creation. Each session will involve some advance reading and reflection, with class time largely devoted to group discussion.
Sponsored by the Center for Deep Green Faith, the course will be led by Robin Gottfried, Ph.D. Click here to register.
Refugia Faith: Seeking Hidden Shelters, Ordinary Wonders, and the Healing of the Earth, by Debra Rienstra
This wonderful book explores how Christian spirituality and practice must adapt to prepare for life on a climate-altered planet. I highly recommend it for individuals and also for group study (you can request a free discussion guide at Rienstra’s website).
Refugia (reh-FU-jee-ah) is a biological term describing places of shelter where life endures in times of crisis, such as a volcanic eruption, fire, or stressed climate. Ideally, these refugia endure, expand, and connect so that new life emerges.
Debra Rienstra applies this concept to human culture and faith, asking: In this era of ecological devastation, how can Christians become people of refugia? How can we find and nurture these refugia, not only in the biomes of the earth, but in our human cultural systems and in our spiritual lives? How can we apply all our love and creativity to this task as never before?
Environmental Sundays at Saints James & Andrews
Sunday, January 15
11:30 a.m. • Sts James & Andrew Episcopal Church, Greenfield (free)
The Green Team at Saints James and Andrew (8 Church St., Greenfield) has organized special Creation care events every third Sunday of the month. They welcome participation from beyond the parish.

January’s event is a discussion of Bill Gates' How to Avoid a Climate Disaster. A #1 New York Times bestseller, this book is widely available and very readable. Bring a brown bag lunch. Snacks will be available. For more info, contact Ella Ingraham (

Saturday, February 25
1:30 – 3:00 p.m. • Online (free)
Offered through Lexington Theological Seminary and led by the Rev. Dr. Wilson Dickinson, this free webinar will explore how our food ministries can be transformed to embrace food justice, so that we work for wider-scale change and find ways to root our work in joy. For complete information and to register, visit here.
Photo: Robert A. Jonas
Developing Green Congregations
Feb. 27 – March 25 • Online course
Led by the Rev. Dr. Leah Schade (Associate Professor of Preaching and Worship) and the Rev. Carol Devine (Director of ecoAmerica’s Blessed Tomorrow), this online, asynchronous course from Lexington Theological Seminary will equip students to engage their congregation or local organization in the areas of environmental justice, climate crisis, eco-anxiety/eco-grief, and developing resilience and restoration for and with God’s Creation. Along the way, participants will engage in readings, presentations, discussions, and eco-spiritual practices to help process our own emotions and sustain our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health for this vital work. Auditors are welcome! Registration for Spring courses hasn’t yet opened, but students can click this link to be put on the list to register when the course opens.
Wednesday, January 11
2:00 p.m. (Eastern) • Online (free)
Are you considering an electric vehicle? Do you want to learn more about them? Interfaith Power & Light invites you to hear from a leader in electric vehicle consumer advocacy, Rosa Mitsumasu Scotti of Plug In America! Topics will include why EVs are better, charging infrastructure, battery technology, available financial incentives, and more. Register here to sign up for this free webinar. If you can’t make this time, please register anyway – you’ll receive a recording after the event.
• Start a Green Team in your congregation
By now, every Episcopal congregation in MA should have a green team up and running. If that’s not the case in your parish, do get started now. Call it whatever you like – a Green Team, Creation Care Committee, Creation Justice Taskforce, or something else. Whatever you call the group, a few people who are passionate about Creation care can create momentum for effective action in your congregation. For tips, check out “How to start a green team at your church.” If you haven’t done so already, please give me the contact info of the Creation care leader of your congregation in Diocese of Western MA ( Thanks!
Thursday, January 12
7:00 – 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) • Online (free)
Featured guest Peter Lehner, director of Earthjustice’s Sustainable Food & Farming Program, will spotlight ways that climate activists can use current laws to advocate for food justice. We don’t need to wait for new laws! Sponsored by Climate Action Now, every Action Party packs valuable information and concrete action into 60 minutes. It begins with a 20-minute presentation by a featured guest, followed by 20 minutes of Q&A, and then 20 minutes of optional action-taking with the Climate Action Now app. For more information and to reserve a spot, visit here.

• Sign a climate letter to our next governor
Please join me in signing a statewide letter of support to Governor-Elect Maura Healey, urging her to take quick action on climate. Click here to read the letter, which is being distributed by Mothers Out Front. Click here to sign. The letter will probably be delivered in early January.

Complete a post-election survey from our next attorney general
Attorney General-Elect Andrea Campbell is circulating a survey asking Mass. residents about their priorities for her office. Climate and environmental justice are not on the list of choices. Take the one-minute survey to let her know in the “other” field that Mass. residents want to prioritize environmental and climate justice. (Thank you, Betsy Sowers!)

Creation Justice Ministries is hiring a Theological Education & Training Coordinator. Details, including salary range, can be found here.

Mass Interfaith Power and Light is seeking a volunteer to help create their monthly newsletter. To learn more, contact Cindy Davidson,

Has your congregation scheduled any Creation care events or prayer services? Do you have other good news to share? I’d be glad to spread the word in this newsletter. Just send me a note ( 

(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.)
Photo: Robert A. Jonas
Opportunities for engagement
Bending Toward Justice: Annual Day of Prayer and Reflection

Sponsored by the Social Justice Commission of the Diocese of Western Massachusetts - Come, meet others who are passionate about the issues. Listen to the Word and discern how the Spirit is calling the Church to action.

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Interfaith Resources
Climate Action Party: Food Justice with Peter Lehner of...

January 12 at 7 pm ET - Learn how climate-concerned citizens can urge our government leaders to help accelerate the transition to a more just and sustainable food system.

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Read this...
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COP15: Nations reach 'historic' deal to protect nature

Nations have agreed to protect a third of the planet for nature by 2030 in a landmark deal aimed at safeguarding biodiversity. There will also be targets for protecting vital ecosystems such as rainforests...

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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.
MBJ photo: Tipper Gore, 2014