Creation Care Network E-news
October 2021
Message from Margaret...
Dear friends,

Two special weekend events complete our celebration of Creation Season:

“Ecological conversion: Falling in love with Earth”
Saturday, October 2
9:30 a.m. – 12 Noon • Zoom (free)
A morning retreat led by the Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas
“Ecological conversion means falling in love with earth as an inherently valuable, living community in which we participate, and bending every effort to be creatively faithful to its well-being, in tune with the living God who brought it into being and cherishes it with unconditional love.” – Elizabeth Johnson

As we approach the end of Creation Season and prepare for the feast day of St. Francis on October 4, what is our next step in eco-conversion? How does God want to meet us through the natural world? Our time together will include silence and guided meditation, presentations and small group conversation, and free time for solitary prayer and a contemplative walk outdoors. Please bring a natural object to this retreat (e.g., a few autumn leaves, a rock, shell, feather, or house plant). 
This retreat is sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts and the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts and is open to the public at no charge. Register here.
“Love. Earth. Justice.”
A Multifaith Service of Prayer, Celebration, and Resolve
Sunday, October 3
3:00 p.m. • Old South Church, Boston (in-person and live-streamed)
Please join me at this special interfaith worship service in downtown Boston, organized by Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light, to celebrate creation and community, mourn all we have lost, and call each other to faithful action. Planned for approximately 90 minutes, the service will include prayer, readings, and uplifting music, with an inspiring sermon from the Rev. Traci Blackmon, Associate General Minister of Justice & Local Church Ministries for The United Church of Christ. Learn more, receive the link for the livestream if you are unable to attend in person, and help MassIPL plan by registering here.

What’s next? Sing, pray, act, and advocate! 
• Join the #HouseOnFireChoir with A Passion for the Planet!
Deadline: Monday, October 11
Bring your voice to COP26. The most important climate talks since the Paris Agreement begin in Glasgow, Scotland on October 31, 2021. The climate emergency means we need to make our voices heard. We’ve marched, voted, and petitioned, and now we are going to sing. We are going to form one large choir, #HouseOnFireChoir with A Passion for the Planet, and sing for the U.N. climate summit!
Please join a worldwide choir in singing, “Holy Earth, Ancient Home,” the finale of the COP26 on-line performance of Geoffrey Hudson’s A Passion for the Planet. Record yourself, your friends, family, or choir singing this simple hymn; send in your performance, and your voice will be heard in Glasgow, Scotland this November! The deadline for sending in your recording is October 11. Explore this website for more details on how to participate.

Be the Spark” Advocacy Training
Tuesday, October 12, 19, 26, & November 2
7:00 – 9:00 p.m. • Zoom
Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light will host Be the Spark, a dynamic interactive workshop that teaches state-of-the-art organizing skills for religious climate justice activists.
Experienced trainers from Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light will present proven, state-of-the-art organizing techniques taught by Harvard Kennedy School’s Marshall Ganz—the perfect lead-in to MassIPL’s new Faith in Action Campaign to mobilize people of faith to influence our legislators on crucial climate justice priorities.

Need to miss a session? No worries. Recordings of all four sessions will be available to registrants. Please register here. Email questions to Rev. Fred Small, MassIPL Policy Director, at [email protected]. Please join me in attending this event! 
Faiths4ClimateJustice: A global multi-religious action
Sunday, Oct 17, & Monday, Oct 18

Two weeks before global climate negotiations begin in Scotland at COP26, people of diverse religions will rise up to send a message: destroying the planet is against our religions. Organized by GreenFaith, people of faith around the world will hold actions ranging from prayer vigils to sit-ins, hymn-singing and bellringing to rallies, in an urgent call for climate justice and care for the vulnerable. To learn more and to join or host an action, please visit Faiths4ClimateJustice. Please consider hosting an event in your area and be sure to register your event on the website. This is a rare opportunity for people of many faiths to join hands in our struggle to protect this fragile Earth, our island home.

Everything you need is on the Faiths4ClimateJustice website! Start by downloading the Faiths for Climate Justice toolkit. Inside, you will find:
Scan the other resources, partner with an ecumenical or interfaith congregation, and decide what kind of event you’d like to create. Keep it simple or go big and bold, but, in any case, be sure to register your event so that your action joins the collective actions of people around the world.

Thank you, St. John’s, Ashfield, for being the first church in Western Massachusetts to register an event! Will your church join them?
• “Unequal Impact: Climate and Environmental Racism in a Warming World”
October 26, 2021
7:00 – 8:30 p.m. • Zoom (free)
This free webinar, co-sponsored by Interreligious Eco-Justice Network and Hartford Seminary, features the Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley, civil rights activist and Chair of Interfaith Power & Light, and Jehann El-Bisi, a Black indigenous climate activist working to fight Line 3, an oil tar sands pipeline. For more information and to register, click here.
Photo: submitted.
Lots of good reading ahead!

The leaders of the Anglican Communion, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Eastern Orthodox Church issued a joint statement on climate change and made an urgent appeal for the future of the planet. This historic statement urges everyone to pray for world leaders ahead of the U.N. climate change conference (COP26) in November.

Rev. Fletcher Harper, GreenFaith’s ED, comments on that statement in a stirring essay for Sojourners, “Stop preaching about “being good stewards of the Earth.’” Preachers, what do you think?

• My new article, "Climate Change, Addiction, and Spiritual Liberation" was just published by the journal Religions. Drawing on my long-term recovery from addiction and my decades of ministry as a climate activist, I reflect on how understanding the dynamics of addiction and recovery might inform our efforts to protect the web of life and bear witness to the liberating God of love. Topics include, among others, climate grief, denial, and “Is climate change my fault?”

Rev. Jim Antal and I put together a selected list of resources for climate crisis preaching. If you have additions to suggest, please let me know. And if any preacher would like to consult with me before or after delivering a sermon about climate change, I’d be glad to offer a listening ear and my warm encouragement of your efforts ([email protected]).

• In recent weeks I preached about why Creation Season is particularly meaningful in 2021. I also spoke at a rally in front of Congressman Neal’s office in Springfield to urge him – as Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee – to support full funding of the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package (An appeal to Congressman Richard Neal: No cuts in climate, care, jobs, or justice”). 
Photo: Robert A. Jonas
Other ways to act and advocate for a healthy climate:

Over 60 and eager to help solve climate change? Join, environmentalist Bill McKibben’s new initiative to harness the wisdom and resources of elders (people over 60) to ensure that we leave a fair, stable planet for future generations. The powerful Sunrise Movement is led by folks under 30. What if us folks over 60 got organized and began to have as big an impact?

• Putting your garden to bed? Here’s an article from Grow Native Massachusetts about the importance of leaf litter. Rather than burning fossil fuels to blow, bag, and transport leaves, consider leaving the leaves on the ground to support soil health and biodiversity.

Videos to watch individually or in a small group:

Christianity and Climate Change is a nine-part video series for small groups featuring Katharine Hayhoe, the internationally renowned climate scientist and Evangelical Christian. The videos are only six minutes long, leaving plenty of time for discussion:
           • What the Bible says about the natural world,
           • Climate change is a poverty issue,
           • How to persuade others to care about climate change,
           • What we can do as a church,
           • Speaking to other Christians about climate change,
           • Grateful for fossil fuels but time to move on,
           • Climate change is a threat multiplier,
           • There can be a better future, and
           • It is not too late.

The Story of Plastic is an Emmy-nominated documentary that is available for free on YouTube from the Discovery Channel for a limited time. This must-see film tells the hidden story of plastic pollution, from production to incineration—as well as the incredible heroes who are rising up to stop big plastic. It’s a must-see! (Thank you, Betsy Sowers.)
Photo: Robert A. Jonas
This 20-minute interview with the brilliant, Buddhist eco-philosopher Joanna Macy addresses an essential question: How are we going to live our lives fully, with inner peace and courage (and even joy) as we confront a world that is destroying itself? Joanna Macy says, “The greatest gift we can give our world is our full presence.”

Last, but not least…

Job opening! Grace Church, an Episcopal Community in the Southern Berkshires, seeks a full time, year-round Director to manage its 1.5-acre farm and to gather, teach and mentor local youth who work in the garden as interns and volunteers. Ordination is not required. For more information and to apply, 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.)
Photo: Robert A. Jonas
Opportunities for engagement
Destroying the planet is against our religions
Faiths 4 Climate Justice - GreenFaith

A Global Multi-Religious Action. 17-18 October 2021. SIGN UP. Two weeks before global climate negotiations, people of diverse religions will rise to send a message: destroying the planet is against our religions. Join us!...

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Interfaith Resources
Free Advocacy Training
hosted by Mass IP&L
Oct 12, 19, 26, & Nov 2
7:00 – 9:00 p.m. • Zoom

Be the Spark is a dynamic and experiential leadership development workshop series that builds interfaith community and gives participants premier organizing tools and strategic approaches for engaging their community of faith in climate change solutions.

Be the Spark participants learn how to invite the gifts and skills of those in their community to take action that inspires a sustained and creative effort in building a more just and sustainable world.

Watch this...
Explore this...
Third Act

WELCOME TO YOUR THIRD ACT. We're over 60 - the Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation. We have skills, we have resources, we have time-and many of us have kids and grandkids. We also have a history.

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