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

Blessings of Epiphany Season to you. This month’s newsletter begins with a special invitation to join Episcopalians across Massachusetts on February 5 to discuss how we will tackle climate change together.
Saturday, February 5
9:00 a.m. -12 Noon (everyone), 1:00-2:30 (working groups) • Online (free)
The theme for the annual retreat of Creation Care Justice Network (Dioceses of MA and Western MA) is "Embodying Change." We can't simply think our way out of climate change, racism, or other systemic ills. Through spiritual grounding, music/movement, and focused conversation, we will explore practices and programs to help us embody/incarnate new (old) ways of relating to others and Creation. Together we hope to develop habits as individuals and congregations that counter ingrained Whiteness and that bring about systemic change toward a just and healthy planet.

This annual working retreat is a precious opportunity for people in both dioceses to collaborate on Creation care. One focus of the conversation will be whether to adapt the UCC’s Green Congregation Challenge for Episcopal churches in our two dioceses. What do you think? To register, visit herePlease join me in this important discussion! (I will be present but quiet, having just had elective surgery.)
Monday, February 7
10:00 a.m. • Online (free)
Within a 48-day stretch between March 19 and May 6, 2022, there are five major sacred days or seasons, an Equinox, and Earth Day. Together, these days collectively draw billions of people of many faiths to worship, pray, listen to sermons, reflect, and commit to act on what matters most. 

To honor this unusual confluence of holy days, Greenfaith is organizing a season of sacred observances in support of climate justice.  During Sacred Season of Justice, people of faith around the world will devote a sermon or public ritual to call for climate justice, and will then tell the world about it. For more information and to join the launch call on February 7, please visit here. I hope you will join me! 
Seven Mondays, beginning February 7
7:00 – 8: 15 p.m. • Online (free)
In collaboration with Creation Care Alliance of Western North Carolina, The BTS Center is offering an Eco Grief Circle to help participants "tune in and touch in" to feelings around climate grief. Eco Grief Circles are designed to offer mutual support, healing, insight, and love, though are not intended to be therapy. Participants have expressed profound gratitude for being among people who could talk honestly about grief, suffering, and the ecological and social challenges of our time. The leadership team and facilitators include counselors, pastors, and environmental advocates. Each session includes a brief teaching, opportunities for individual reflection and meditation, conversation in small groups, and rituals for self-care.
Thursday, February 10
7:30 - 8.30 p.m. • Online (free)
We have so few opportunities to express our sorrow, fear, sadness and yes, even despair about a future of life in a climate-changed world. It takes courage to touch the places inside ourselves where these truths live — those thoughts and feelings that likely keep many of us up at night, but are too often held inside us, in a space both alone, and lonely.

To create space for these feelings, The BTS Center has teamed up with The Many, an extraordinary group of songwriters, spoken word artists and liturgists to create Lament with Earth — five seasonal events which will include original music, poetry, rituals, images, scripture and videos to reflect different seasons of loss through the liturgical year. These events are interactive, inviting you to pray and sing along. You are invited to bring your own sense of loss and sadness. We will lament together and also share that which has been a balm to our grief, strengthening us for the work we know awaits us.
A day-long retreat guided by eco-justice poet Lilace Mellin Guignard
Thursday, February 24
9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. • Online ($50; scholarships available)
Art has a vital role to play in our struggle to salvage a livable future. To Lilace Mellin Guignard, art, as a practice, is not primarily about creating beauty; it is first and foremost a survival skill. As the language of paradox, poetry offers a wild space – undomesticated by Western civilization – where doubt and faith, terror and joy, can all exist at once.

During this retreat, sponsored by The BTS Center, participants will spend the day engaging with poetry, exploring the polarities and binaries we perpetuate and how they are linked with our understanding of nature and climate change. Participants will learn to use poetry to participate in the mystery of creation, and how art is an essential part of our individual and collective efforts at adaptation and mitigation. Lilace will guide everyone through readings, discussions, and reflections, with time to respond to writing prompts.
Tuesday, March 15
10:00 – 11:00 a.m. • Online (free)
If the world’s average temperature will soon shoot past the 1.5ºC target to ensure climate stability, how do we preach about hope? Geared to the season of Lent, this informal, hour-long conversation will provide a space for reflecting on Gospel hope, keeping in mind the systemic challenge of keeping fossil fuels in the ground and the connections between racial, economic, and environmental justice. We’ll touch upon a few lectionary readings for Lent, and there will be opportunities for questions and discussion. This ecumenical event is open to all preachers, lay and ordained.

For more information – including a short list of recommended readings – and to register, visit here. (NOTE: This event replaces the one originally scheduled for January.)
A Lenten Quiet Day with the Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas
Saturday, March 19
9:30 a.m. – 12 Noon • Online (free)
In every act of reconciliation, we connect with the boundless love of God. Through brief presentations and conversation, as well as silent prayer and guided meditation, this online Lenten retreat will give us space to explore and to pray about the places in our lives where God may be inviting us to let go our burdens of resentment, guilt, or shame.

• Looking ahead to Lent: Daily prayers for creation
During Lent, which begins on March 2, please consider praying daily for God’s creation. Here are two offerings. 

Lent invites us to reflect on our relationships with God, each other, and the Earth upon which all life depends.  The Creation Care Leadership Circle, a small group in the Diocese of Western Massachusetts that advises our Missioner for Creation Care, invites you to sign up to receive an inspirational daily meditation (including a short quote and an image) during the Forty Days of Lent. The quotes come from many sources as we honor the wisdom of many voices and traditions. Please join us as we contemplate the gift of the natural world and our calling to reconcile humanity with the rest of God’s creation. Sign up here.

Before Lent begins you might also like to get a copy of Leah Schade’s daily devotional, For the Beauty of the Earth. Its daily Lenten meditations connect Christian faith with caring for God’s creation. This small book can be ordered in bulk at a discount, and the price is very reasonable.
February – May • Online
A joint offering of The BTS Center and Maine School of Ministry, this four-month, online course is for ministers and other spiritual leaders who want to deepen their understanding of what is necessary to guide our communities toward reclaiming a right relationship with the earth and our collective future. For more information and to register, visit here

Anytime you like • Online
Offered by The BTS Center, this self-guided workshop is available at any time. Gather a small group of adult learners and enjoy this workshop together. You will be invited into a process of discovering how to imagine a better world and use what you love to get there. Through a series of prompts and creative exercises supplemented by short videos, participants will delve deeply into what helps them to come alive and will be invited to creatively leverage those passions to engage with the problems and possibilities of climate change. It includes a detailed Facilitator’s Guide. 
Anytime you like • Online (free for those who audit)
Enroll in these free courses from Yale University and Coursera to understand the ecological teachings and practices of religious traditions across the planet. Accessible to a general audience, these courses let you start anytime and work at your own pace. Topics include “Introduction to Religions and Ecology,” “Indigenous Religions and Ecology,” “Christianity and Ecology,” and much more. The courses are intended to help galvanize the moral force needed for transformative change. To learn more, visit here, where will also find a fact sheet of frequently asked questions.

Wednesdays, March 9 – April 27
7:00 – 9:00 p.m. • Online (free webinar)
This 8-week online course at Houghton College is an incredible opportunity to learn about the climate crisis from a Christian perspective and from some of the world's top experts. Taught by Christian climate leader Brian Webb, the course features guest lecturers such as Bill McKibben, Katharine Hayhoe, Bob Inglis, and many other well-known thought leaders. Topics include, among others, climate advocacy, climate science, creation care theology, spirituality, grief, psychology of climate denial, and much more. The course is open to the public for credit ($1,176), audit ($150), or as a FREE webinar. The credit and audit versions include full access to supplementary lectures and forum discussions, as well as the opportunity to interact with guest speakers. To learn more and to register, visit here.

Looking for a good book? Katharine Hayhoe is one of my heroes – an Evangelical Christian who is also a leading climate scientist and a renowned communicator. She wrote an essay on “The Imperative of Hope” for my co-edited anthology, Rooted and Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis. Her new book, Saving Us, is a national best-seller and has received strong reviews. After hearing for months about Hayhoe’s new book, I finally decided to read it. Will you join me?  
February 23: Garden Planning and Layout 
6:00-7:00 p.m. | Zoom (free)
Good News Gardens is starting its second year in Massachusetts, led this season by Jimmy Pickett (Project Director), Rachel Field (Farm Educator), and Melanie Cortis (Project Manager). GNG in MA has just restarted its monthly newsletters – to stay in touch with GNG, please sign up here

This year's Good News Gardens MA theme is “Grounded in Prayer.” Gatherings will be held on the last Wednesday of each month. Whether you're a first-time gardener or a multi-year growing champ, there will be something for everyone. To register for February’s gathering, please visit here.

• Check out these resources on electrifying your home and place of worship, and your car, recommended by Massachusetts Interfaith Power and Light:
  • Electrify Everything in Your Home. This free guide from Rewiring America walks you through 10 places you can electrify your home and provides a checklist to help you prioritize which actions to take when. (A note from our friend, Rev. Betsy Sowers: Most of these actions are appropriate for your house of worship, too!)
  • Normal Now. Don't let the charming, light-hearted tone of this site distract you from the great information about the capabilities, benefits, and electric car models available. Not ready for pure electric yet? The site also lists hybrids and plug-in hybrids.
Urgent action on 5 climate justice bills in Massachusetts
Here in Massachusetts, please join Mass. Interfaith Power & Light and Mass Power Forward in urgent action on key bills that will die if not reported out of committee by February 3. Five priority bills are still pending before the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy (TUE). Please send an email to TUE Co-Chairs Sen. Mike Barrett
( and Rep. Jeffrey Roy ( and urge immediate action on these bills.

You can also contact your own Massachusetts senator and representative, asking that they communicate their strong support for these bills to Sen. Barrett and Rep. Roy. Find your legislators here.
The bills are:

1.  The 100 % Clean Act (H.3288/S.2136), which lays out clear steps and a just transition.

2.  The Green Future Act (H.3292), which provides practical and equitable steps to reach our climate goals and to pay for them.

3. The Building Justice with Jobs Act (now H.3365/S.2226), which will put thousands of people to work retrofitting one million Massachusetts homes over the next decade to make them safer, healthier, and more energy efficient.

4. The Biomass Burning bill (H.3333/S.2197), which prohibits labeling woody biomass (i.e. our trees) as a renewable resource.

5. The Energy Siting Justice bill, whose provisions would prevent the continued creation of sacrifice zones for dirty energy projects, generally in communities of color and low wealth.
Icy birch leaves. Photo: submitted
Support water protectors
Hundreds of water protectors, including Mass. residents, took nonviolent direct action to stop the Line 3 pipeline. Now they face criminal charges. Send a letter to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and Governor Walz and urge them to drop the charges. Take action here.

Did you know that the top four banks that fund fossil fuel projects are Citibank, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Chase? Please sign one of the two pledges offered by, depending on whether or not you are a current customer and/or credit card holder. 

“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. If I don’t bank at these institutions now, I pledge I won’t do so in the future.”

Third Act is a brand-new climate advocacy group for people over 60, but everyone is invited to sign the pledge.  
March 28-31 • Online
Get ready for four days of ground-breaking insights and opportunities for action with the brightest and most successful leaders working to mobilize a broader diversity of support for climate solutions locally, nationally, and beyond. The American Climate Leadership Summit 2022 (ACLS 2022) will take place virtually from March 28-31. Your climate leadership can make a difference. You can help inspire more Americans to climate action.  

That’s why I hope you will join me at the 11th annual American Climate Leadership Summit (ACLS 2022) on March 28-31, 2022. ACLS 2022 is for climate leaders of all levels. Save the date – and register now!

Episcopalians in Massachusetts are developing a Creation Care Justice Network (CCJN). Clergy and lay people are working together to build a robust response to the climate/ecological emergency. Three working groups meet separately from time to time: Action and Advocacy, Spiritual Practice and Grounding, and Communications and Networking. Join one or more of them, or simply attend the periodic plenary meetings (and come to our retreat on Feb. 5!). For more information, please email: creationjusticeepisma@gmail.comTo connect with the network and receive its email updates, please sign up here.

Job posting
The Southern New England Conference, UCC, is accepting applications for an Environmental Justice Intern. If you know young adults (18-30) in the Northeast who might be interested, please share this with them

• Please visit the Creation care pages of the Diocese of Western Mass and decide how you will Pray, Learn, Act, and Advocate for God’s Creation this year. If you have suggestions or wish to be in touch, feel free to drop me a note at

(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.)
Winter view of a pond in Ashfield. Photo: submitted
Opportunities for engagement
Support Water Protectors
Tell Attorney General Ellison & Gov. Walz: Drop the...

Line 3 endangers critical natural resources, violating the rights of the Anishinaabeg in the 1854, 1855, and 1867 treaties. Indigenous Water protectors have been arrested on charges of trespass on lands where they are entitled to hunt, fish,...

Read more
Interfaith Resources
Online Course from Yale
Religions and Ecology: Restoring the Earth

Gain broader literacy and deeper knowledge of the world’s religions and their ecological perspectives. Experience the vitality of religious environmental action and the longstanding contributions of Indigenous peoples for ecological flourishing.

Read more
Read this...
Explore this...
Normal Now

Electric cars, they are normal now. Find out firsthand from these normal people who drive electric vehicles

Read 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.
MBJ photo: Tipper Gore, 2014