• As we head into the New Year, much of my time is going into finishing
Rooted and Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis
, the anthology of essays by faith-based climate activists that I am co-editing with my colleague Rev. Leah Schade. The publisher, Rowman & Littlefield, needs the manuscript in 6 weeks, so the heat is on in more ways than one! We have chapters from people like Katherine Hayhoe, Jim Antal, and Gerald Durley, to name just a few of the 18 contributors on board.
Here are some of the questions we asked our authors to consider:
- What are your sources of hope in the midst of the climate crisis?
- What gives you courage?
- What sustains you in the struggle for a just and sustainable future?
- What pulls you through to the other side of despair?
- Are there spiritual practices or perspectives that help you to stay grounded and to cultivate a peaceful heart?
The contributors are answering these questions in quite distinctive ways. How would
Mill River in Northampton
• Speaking of books, I am happy to commend a fine book that was just published,
God’s Good Earth: Praise and Prayer for Creation
, a collection of “52 beautiful, ready-made prayer services, each around a specific theme, drawing from a rich variety of ecumenical resources.” Compiled by Anne and Jeffrey Rowthorn, the book has garnered enthusiastic reviews from, among others, Bill McKibben, Rowan Williams (former Archbishop of Canterbury), and Katharine Jefferts Schori (former Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church).
posted on the book’s Website at Liturgical Press
, including my own review: “What a splendid book this is, packed with beautifully chosen prayers, hymns and reflections that celebrate the sacredness of God's skies and seas, larks and eagles, petals and leaves! I hope that
God's Good Earth
will be widely used, not only as a source of liturgies during Creation Season but also as a wellspring of material for weekly services, for special services throughout the year, and for personal prayer. In this time of climate crisis, species extinction, and collective trauma, when so many of us feel numb or overwhelmed, these liturgies can restore our souls: they give voice to our need to praise and give thanks, to grieve and repent, and to renew our resolve for the long struggle ahead.”
In a must-read article, Naomi Klein analyzes “
The game-changing promise of Green New Deal
and comments: “…Here’s the truly strange thing: I feel more optimistic about our collective chances of averting climate breakdown than I have in years. For the first time, I see a clear and credible political pathway that could get us to safety, a place in which the worst climate outcomes are avoided and a new social compact is forged that is radically more humane than anything currently on offer. We are not on that pathway yet — very far from it. But unlike even one month ago, the pathway is clear…”
As 2019 begins, I am glad to support this concerted effort to transform our society at the pace and scale that are needed in order to resolve the climate crisis.
• For now, here are two simple things you can do: If you live in Agawam, Easthampton, Holyoke, Longmeadow, Northampton, Springfield, West Springfield or surrounding communities, please
sign this public comment to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
regarding Columbia Gas’ intent to expand in your area. The petition will be filed on January 7 by Columbia Gas Resistance Campaign.
• Speaking of carbon pricing legislation in Massachusetts, I am thrilled to report that Grace Episcopal Church and South Congregation Church – both in Amherst – have started up an ecumenical climate action group. Inspired by reading Jim Antal’s new book,
Climate Church, Climate World
, the group decided to take action. With guidance from
Climate Action Now
, they are speaking in local churches and pushing to make Massachusetts one of the first states in the nation to pass a fair price on carbon. If you’d like some help in launching a similar effort to urge key elected officials to support carbon pricing, contact
Climate Action Now
. This is what faith in action looks like!
(The Rev. Dr.) Margaret Bullitt-Jonas
Missioner for Creation Care