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

Tomorrow, Palm Sunday, we will step into the holiest days of our liturgical year. The same Spirit that carried Jesus through his suffering and death and into resurrected life will carry us, too, as we grieve the crucifixion of God’s Creation and look for signs of resurrection hope. May we ourselves become embodied signs of God’s undying promise of new life.

Six minutes of climate truth
Last month I shared my six-minute video for the Anglican Communion about why the mission of the Church must change in a time of climate emergency. This month I’d like to share a six-minute video from PBS, in which the ever clear-eyed and open-hearted climate scientist Katherine Hayhoe comments on the stark warning about climate change just issued by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Highly recommended!

This newly re-established Task Force met last November. Its mission is to “further expand, support and promote the Creation Care Covenant recognizing that this work seeks to align with the loving, liberating, and life-giving work of evangelism and beloved community,” per Resolution A086. The task force will also support the broader church in reaching the General Convention’s resolution on carbon neutrality by 2030.

Among its priorities are continuing a grant program that focuses on environmental racism, eco-justice, and carbon neutrality; supporting the “development and sharing of creation care theological resources for the wider church”; and implementing a pilot carbon-offset program for church travel.

For more information, check The Episcopal Church’s Creation Care webpage or contact the Rev. Stephanie Johnson, chair of the Task Force (

Sabbatical ahead (May-June-July)
On May 1 I will begin a 3-month leave for study, refreshment, and renewal. I hope to learn more about Earth-honoring forms of Christianity and to reflect more deeply on our contemporary social/ecological predicament. After next month’s newsletter, look for your next newsletter on September 1. 
Earth Day is celebrated worldwide on April 22. Creation-conscious Christians often incorporate care for Creation into a Sunday service near that date. If you are interested in a faith-based observance of Earth Day, here are some suggestions to inform your planning.
On Saturday, April 22, let’s create events that people of all ages can enjoy. We invite congregations to gather outdoors in a place that needs healing – maybe a city park, riverbank, or stretch of woods. Bring whatever tools you need (e.g., gloves, trash bags, rakes, shovels). We’ve created a simple, ecumenical outdoor liturgy that can be adapted to your own needs and location. Healing Our Hearts, Healing the Land is a 90-minute, family-friendly liturgy that includes time for walking, outdoor cleanup, and prayer. It could be followed by lunch or refreshments. Invite the public! 

RING BELLS on Earth Day at 11:00 a.m. 
Church bells have been used throughout history not only to call people to church but also to sound warnings or signal important civic events. In December 2009, churches around the globe rang their bells to send a strong message to world leaders preparing to gather for COP15 in Copenhagen.

As part of the interfaith campaign 11th hour calling, several churches in the Diocese of Western MA now ring their bells every month on the 11th hour of the 11th day to announce the urgency of the climate crisis. Please consider joining this effort and please consider ringing your bells for eleven minutes at 11:00 a.m. on Earth Day.

Earth Sunday worship service (April 23)
Celebrating the Third Sunday of Easter as Earth Sunday provides an opportunity for special prayers and liturgies. Liturgical resources and suggestions are available on the PRAY webpage of the EDWMA website. 
Faith Climate Action Week (April 14-24)
Interfaith Power & Light’s annual program of climate-themed worship services and sermons spans ten days of activities around Earth Day. This year's theme is Living the Golden Rule: Just Transition to a Clean Energy Economy. The kit includes short film suggestions, an updated climate change fact sheet, faith-based discussion materials (including a colorful multi-faith Golden Rule poster), and suggestions and resources for how to engage in supporting local action. Online resources are provided for sermons, talks, worship services, a film screening kit for the 2023 featured film, and more. Free download of Faith Climate Action Week kits is now available. Incorporating the National Climate Prayer into your Sunday worship could be an easy action to take on Earth Sunday.
A library of Christian education materials for Earth Day is available here, including worship aids and suggestions for actions. This year’s theme isSowing Seeds: Prophetic action to climate-changed lands.” This resource focuses on caring for our planet through the food system, and includes reflections, sermon starters, and prayers to guide congregations in faithful action.
Wednesday, March 8 & 22 (every other Wednesday, ongoing)
4:30 – 4:50 p.m. • Online (free)
Offered by Radical Joy for Hard Times, Earth Hospice Rites is a brief, 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.
Thursday, April 20
7:30 – 8:30 a.m. (Eastern) • Online (free)
Anytime you need a place to be with others in your grief and love for our shared home, please join The BTS Center for Lament with Earth, a seasonal, worship-filled gathering online featuring music and liturgy from The Many. This upcoming event will focus on the element of water. For more information and to register, visit here.
For clergy and other spiritual leaders in a climate-changed world
Meeting once per month • May – December 2023
Dates and times vary • Online ($200)
The BTS Center invites clergy and other spiritual leaders grounded in or informed by the Jewish and Christian traditions to gather monthly from May through December in groups of six over Zoom. Each two-hour session will be centered on a prompt related to climate change, liminality, or uncertainty. Rather than engaging in a solution-seeking conversation, group members will respond from their hearts to that prompt and to each other, together investigating spirit-centered responses. More information about the facilitators and group meeting times is available on the webpage here. You can register here.
Environmental Sunday Series
Sunday, April 16
2:00 p.m. • Sts James & Andrew Episcopal Church, Greenfield ($15; students & seniors, $10)
The Green Team at Saints James and Andrew (8 Church St., Greenfield) organizes special creation care events every third Sunday of the month. Everyone is welcome. Aaron Mair (former President and current Board member of Sierra Club, and Director of the Forever Adirondacks Campaign) will speak about environmental justice. The attached flyer shows where to buy tickets in advance of this exciting event. For more info, contact Ella Ingraham:

Monday, April 17
7:00 – 8:15 p.m. (Eastern) • Online (free)
Start Earth Week with an engaging workshop on how to preach about climate change. The Rev. Melanie Mullen and the Rev. Stephanie Johnson will co-host this session. Whether you preach about environmental issues often or are new to preaching on these topics, bring your questions and ideasRegister here.
An Eight Week Online Course
April 20 - June 15 • Online ($125, scholarships available)
In this course taught by Kimberly Knight and offered by The BTS Center, participants will engage their minds, bodies, and spirits in explorations of ideas and practices aligned with EcoSpirituality. The course will include live sessions, asynchronous learning, and an optional retreat day. For more information and to register, visit here.

Thursday, April 20
10:00 a.m. (Eastern) • Online (free)
This webinar will feature an international panel of speakers who will talk about why and how to preach on Creation care. To register, visit here.
  • ‘Why we need to preach on Creation care’: Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas (Episcopal Church, USA)
  • Preaching on creation in my context: Speakers from Polynesia, Brazil, and Kenya
  • Creation care preaching in a parish context: Rev. Dr. Dave Bookless (UK)
  • Introducing thePreaching for God’s World’ website: Rev. Elizabeth Bussmann (Europe)
Tuesday, April 25
3:00 – 4:00 p.m. (Eastern)
Online (free)
Episcopal Parish Network is hosting an important conversation about the challenges of climate change and our opportunities to make a difference. The Episcopal Church has long recognized the impact of climate change on humanity and is committed to caring for God’s Creation. The Church calls her people to action, and many in our pews wonder how to make a difference for the world and for the generations to come. 
Join us for a conversation with Katharine Hayhoe, a leading climate scientist and the author of the bestselling book, Saving Us. During a conversation moderated by Susie Faria (Office of Government Relations, The Episcopal Church) and JoAnn Hanson (President, Church Investment Group), Dr. Hayhoe will discuss how to create support for climate action from the ground up. The conversation will be followed by Q&A. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from and be inspired by an important climate action advocate. 

  • Katharine Hayhoe - Chief Scientist, The Nature Conservancy; Arlington, Virginia
  • Susie Faria - Policy Analyst, The Episcopal Church’s Office of Government Relations; Washington, D.C.
  • JoAnn Hanson - President, Church Investment Group; Atlanta, Georgia

For more information and to register, visit here.

A weekend retreat and workshop 
Friday, May 5 – Sunday, May 7, 2023
Nazareth Retreat Center, Nazareth, KY • $50 (includes meals; scholarships available) 
Hosted by Provinces IV and V Creation Care Networks, this in-person weekend retreat will engage those involved in ministries of Creation care in deeper theological study, sharing of resources and ideas, opportunity for fellowship, nature contemplation, and spiritual renewal. The weekend event will include presentations, conversations, nature walks, and prayer on the beautiful grounds of the Sisters of Nazareth convent in Nazareth, KY. All those interested in Creation care (from any diocese) are invited. Registration deadline is April 14. For more information and to register, visit here. The Rev. John Lein (Project Manager of An Episcopal Path to Creation Justice) will lead one of the workshops.
Monday, April 3
6:30 p.m. • Second Congregational Church, 16 Court Square, Greenfield
Save $10,000 with new heat pump incentives! For information about the workshop, visit here. Pre-register today (or at the door) for the workshop or the video.
April 3 - 23
Food Solutions New England is hosting the 9th version of its food system-oriented 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge. Starting April 3 and for the next 20 days you will receive an email prompt with that day’s short action for food equity and racial justice. Sign up here.
Tuesday, April 4
2:00 p.m. (Eastern) • Online (free)
Hosted by Interfaith Power and Light, this consumer-oriented webinar featuring Vanessa Warheit of Plug In America will address common electric vehicle misinformation, misunderstandings, and myths. Whether or not you can attend at that time, register to receive a link to the recording.

• Interested in Mass Save Rebates on electric lawn equipment? Click here.

• In case you missed it, a recording of Mass. Interfaith Power and Light’s webinar, Solar for Houses of Worship, is available here, and Planning the Energy Future of Your Congregation is here.
• Banking on Our Future
The fossil fuel industry depends on the financial support of just a few banking institutions. On March 21 (3.21.23), hundreds of people across the U.S. demonstrated inside and outside bank branches in a National Day of Action, organized by Third Act and over 50 partners, to stop this money pipeline.
The crowd at Chase Bank protest rally in Northampton. Photo: Robert A. Jonas
Here’s what we did in downtown Northampton: A fresh breeze blew as almost three hundred people gathered for a climate rally in Pulaski Park. We heard from several speakers, including elders, teenagers, and faith leaders, and we chanted and sang. Then we marched down both sides of Main Street, led by an exuberant marching brass band, pausing to chant at Bank of America and TD Bank. The crowd assembled at the intersection beside the new Chase Bank office that will soon open at 1 King Street. Holding signs, we lined the sidewalks and cheered as about a dozen customers took turns cutting up their credit cards. Accompanied by the band’s high-spirited music, we carried out a ceremonial cutting-up of an oversized Chase Bank credit card by an oversized pair of scissors. We pledged to picket Chase Bank regularly and to make it clear that no one should bank there until it stops funding fossil fuel expansion.
MBJ speaks at Chase Bank protest rally in Northampton. Photo: Robert A. Jonas
The Daily Hampshire Gazette covered the story, “Northampton rally targets Chase Bank for backing of fossil fuels companies,” and quoted me as saying, “Fear, sorrow and anger have brought us here. But above all, we are here because we love, we love this beautiful earth… We are here to stand up for life, and we are not alone. We will speak and sing and march in the company and with the support of all the creatures and elements with whom we share this planet.”

The full text of my speech at the rally is here. In my op-ed published the week before the event, “Put your money where your heart is,” I envisioned the range of people I hoped would come. I was thrilled when indeed we had a strong showing from people of faith. Not only did many clergy and laypeople from local congregations join the crowd (thank you, everybody!), but Jewish, Buddhist, Unitarian, and Christian leaders also offered blessings and led us in singing. 

If you were not able to participate, it’s not too late to take a stand! You don’t need to be an account holder to get involved. Sign the Banking on Our Future Pledge here. Learn more about how and where to move your credit card business here. Local (western MA) resources for moving your money and credit cards out of banks that fund fossil fuels are here

Thanks to the Sierra Club’s campaign, Tell America’s Largest Banks: Stop Funding Fossil Fuels!, you can also write a personal note to the CEO’s of the top banks that fund fossil fuel expansion.        

If enough of us raise our voices to demand that banks stop financing fossil fuels, we can hold them accountable for putting our climate and communities at risk with their investment decisions. 
April 25-27
8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (Eastern) • Online ($50-75)
The Episcopal Church is one of the many sponsors of Ecumenical Advocacy Days, a movement of the ecumenical Christian community and its recognized partners and allies, which seeks to strengthen our Christian voice and to mobilize for advocacy on a wide variety of U.S. domestic and international policy issues. This year’s theme is Swords into Plowshares: Achieving Enough for All & Pursuing Peace. For more information and to register, click here.
It’s All About Love: A Festival for the Jesus Movement
July 9-12
Baltimore, Maryland
Come to a churchwide festival of worship, learning, community, and action for the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement! It will be held Sunday, July 9 through Wednesday, July 12, at the Baltimore Convention Center. Register by May 8 for Early Bird rate of $185.

“It’s All About Love” features three Jesus Movement festival “tents” – Evangelism, Creation Care, and Racial Reconciliation. Each tent will offer an evening revival worship service and major plenary speaker, plus dozens of day-time workshops, panels, practice opportunities and other ways to engage. Stick with one tent or explore across the tents, following the themes of: worship and liturgy, formation, justice and advocacy, leadership, preaching, stewardship, and youth and children. For more information and to register, visit here.

(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.)
Crocuses. Photo: Rachelle Kritzer-Filipek
Opportunities for engagement
21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge

Join in a shared journey of learning and charting a course of action to dismantle racism in our food system and our world. Go beyond individual or interpersonal racism by helping to demystify structural and institutional racism. Inspire you to act...

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Interfaith Resources
Swords into Plowshares: Achieving Enough for All

April 25-27 - Wars are used to justify increases in military spending, investments in more efficient tools of destruction and death. Meanwhile, every four seconds someone dies of hunger. Let us discern how we can re-forge weapons of destruction in...

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Watch this...
PBS NewsHour | Climate scientists warn steps needed to...

Climate Scientist Katharine Hayhoe of The Nature Conservancy joined Amna Nawaz to look at what can be done to change the direction the planet is headed.

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Explore this...
11th Hour Calling

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of every month, we join with interfaith communities to call attention to the urgency of our climate crisis.

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