Creation Care Network E-news
March 2019
Message from Margaret...
Dear friends,

• Next week we enter Lent, the 40-day season that helps us grow in freedom to answer God’s call to love God with our whole heart, mind, and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves. 

Lent invites us to ask ourselves: Where have I gotten trapped in ways of thinking and acting that are not faithful to God’s love? What changes can I make in my life so that my actions are more in tune with Jesus’ mission of mercy, compassion, and hope?

I am happy to tell you that we have a special way of marking Lent in our diocese this year. The Episcopal Church is inviting every follower of Jesus to make a “Care of Creation” pledge to take personal actions that will protect and renew the Earth—and all who call it home. Our Presiding Bishop reminds us that Jesus’ way is the Way of Love. We are eager to follow Jesus in developing loving, liberating, and life-giving relationships with God and each other and the whole of God’s Creation. 

We know that the Earth community is crying out for justice and healing. Climate change is already taking a toll around the world and right here at home. So this Lent I invite you to join me in making a Creation Care Pledge.  

On Ash Wednesday (March 6) or thereafter, please visit The Episcopal Church’s new website for Creation Care ( ). Here you will find a pledge that suggests some actions you can take to restore the web of life that God entrusted to our care. What will you decide to pledge? It’s up to you. 

• I preached last month in a historic church in New London, CT: St. James Episcopal. My sermon was entitled, “ Rooted in love, rising in action .” For only the second time in my life, I dared to sing from the pulpit. It turns out that even a preacher who is shy about singing may—if moved by the love of God and the conviction that we must stand firm in protecting the Earth—feel impelled to launch into Pete Seeger’s classic song, “ We shall not be moved .” (Check the link—you can’t help but get happy when you hear him singing.) Like a tree that’s standing by the water, we shall not be moved
This simple sign planted near one of the doors to St. James Episcopal Church says it all:
this historic church may be grand, but what we really are is a movement, a people following Jesus on the Way of Love.
• Speaking of preaching, I commend to all lay and clergy preachers a fascinating book about speaking from the pulpit about climate change, Climate-Crisis Preaching: Ecology, Theology, and the Pulpit , by Leah D. Schade. How do we preach about climate change when we’re not experts in science? How do we share the good news of resurrection in a time when humanity is crucifying Creation? I’ve been preaching for years about climate change, but this book will give me fresh insights. Its author—a Lutheran pastor and homiletics professor—is also my colleague in co-editing a collection of essays by 21 faith-based climate activists, Rooted and Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis . We submitted the manuscript this week (whew!) and the book will be published this fall. Stay tuned!

• I headed to Boston last month for the kick-off gathering of Faith Science Alliance for Climate Leadership . As its website states, “The purpose of this coalition of scientists and faith leaders is to advocate for public policies in Massachusetts that address the ecological and moral emergency of climate change with bold, swift, and substantive action.”
• I invite you to join me in Boston on March 10 , when I will be one of the speakers at a free, public event, “ Climate Change, Extreme Weather and Vulnerability: An Interfaith Summit on How to Respond .” The interfaith summit will be held from 1:30 - 6:00 p.m. at Old South Church, 645 Boylston Street, in Boston. Some of the other speakers include Bishop Bud Cederholm (Diocese of MA) and Rev. Don Remick (Transitional Interim Conference Minister for the Massachusetts Conference, UCC, and an expert on disaster preparedness).

Organized by Communities Responding to Extreme Weather (CREW), the summit will focus on the role of faith communities in helping their community members prepare for future climate impacts such as floods, extreme heat, and severe storms. We will share knowledge on the types of changes we are already seeing and can expect to see in the Northeast, discuss practical ways congregations can prepare themselves and their surrounding community, and discern together how our spiritual practices can help sustain not only our efforts, but also our souls, hearts, and minds, as we engage in this most critical mission.

To RSVP, visit . Agenda and details are available on the CREW website here .

• Did you read the powerful essay by David Wallace Wells recently printed in the New York Times , “ Time to Panic ”? Citing the latest scientific reports on climate change, he argues convincingly that it is rational and appropriate to be alarmed. In the words of one person that he quotes, “If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.” Fear is what galvanizes many of us to take action. 

But if fear is paralyzing you, or persuading you that it’s too late to make a difference, check out Blessed Tomorrow’s February 2019 Talking Points, “ Turning Climate Panic Into Progress .” The essay explains: “If someone approaches you in a panic about the dire state of our climate, here is what to say.”

Whatever else you do this week, please take 11 minutes and watch this extraordinary TEDx talk by16-year-old Swedish climate activist, Greta Thunberg, “ The disarming case to act right now on climate change .” In August 2018 she walked out of school and organized a strike outside the Swedish parliament to raise awareness of climate change. Tens of thousands of students in Europe and Australia have joined her. Thunberg says, “The climate crisis has already been solved. We already have all the facts and solutions. All we have to do is to wake up and change.” Let’s do it.
• Plan now for Earth Day Sunday 2019 . Sign up at Creation Justice Ministries for resources you might wish to use on April 28, which many congregations will celebrate as Second Sunday of Easter and Earth Day Sunday. 

• Sign up for Jet-Set Offsets . Air travel makes up a large portion of this country’s dirty carbon emissions. The best solution is to fly less, but if you really have to fly, you can purchase carbon offsets to help mitigate the effects of your trip. A new company, based in New England, makes it easy: sign up with Jet-Set Offsets , and one penny for every mile you travel will automatically be donated to a 501(c)3 environmental organization that is working to combat climate change. You can choose which organization your offsets will support. Have questions about Jet-Set Offset? Contact founder Anna Ford,

I wish you and your community a blessed Lent.

(The Rev. Dr.) Margaret Bullitt-Jonas
Missioner for Creation Care
Interfaith Resources
Turning Climate Panic into Progress
Turning Climate Panic Into Progress: Your Talking Points ...

A new polling report reveals that Americans are willing to take steps in their lives to take action on climate with just a bit of nudging from those a...

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Opportunities for engagement
Consider giving up single-use plastic for Lent
Episcopal Climate News

This Lent we are challenged to turn from the sin of damaging God’s planet and hurting our neighbors by our over-use of single-use (throwaway) plastic.

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Green New Deal - Sunrise Movement

This month, after Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Markey dropped twin resolutions in Congress for a Green New Deal, Sunrise Movement organized dozens of office visits, had rallies, sit ins, a camp out in Kentucky, and visited Sen. McConnell's office...

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MBJ photo credit: Tipper Gore, 2014
ME, MBJ, & KBD photo: submitted