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

• More than two years ago, a colleague and I started dreaming about the book we wanted to read: a collection of essays that would offer spiritual strength, wisdom, and companionship to anyone concerned about the climate crisis. It would tell stories about people working with their fear, anger, and grief and finding new purpose in their lives. It would describe spiritual practices that can sustain energy for bold, effective action. It would offer perspectives from a wide range of authors – African-American, Native American, and white; Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Quaker, and Unitarian; gay and straight; millennial and elder. It would be a book that cares about justice. It would be a book worth re-reading.

I am thrilled to say that our book – its co-editor being Leah Schade, a Lutheran pastor and educator in Kentucky – has just been published. Rooted and Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis features twenty-one essays by scientists, scholars, faith leaders, and activists. It also includes study questions and spiritual practices, making it a good choice not only for individual reflection but also for book groups and classes. 
Boxes of Rooted & Rising land on the front porch . Photo: submitted.
My first book event will be held at 7:00 p.m. on November 20 at Edwards Church in downtown Northampton, sponsored by Broadside Books. (A flier is here.) I will also speak about the book at 7:00 p.m. on December 11 at Grace Episcopal Church in Amherst, with books sold by Amherst Books (their event page is here ). 

You can also buy Rooted & Rising directly from the publisher for 30% off, by using the discount coupon available here . The coupon has no expiration date.

• I gave a keynote address, “Rising as Fire ,” for an interfaith forum, “Reality, Hope, and Action in a Time of Climate Change,” sponsored by Inter-religious Eco-Justice Network and held at St. James Episcopal Church in New London, CT. The text of my talk is here . Steve MacAusland created an 18-minute video . Would you like to use it in your congregation as a springboard for conversation? 
 Margaret Bullitt-Jonas speaks at the interfaith forum, “Reality, Hope, and Action in a Time of Climate Change.” Photo credit: Steve Cartagena.
In my remarks, I developed ideas I heard a couple of weeks ago from Naomi Klein, who spoke about her new book, On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal . I considered the three fires now burning around the world: the fire of climate change, the fire of hatred, and the fire of love. Speaking about that third fire, I said:

This is where communities of faith have a vital role to play, for our task as faith communities, our vocation – indeed, our very reason for existence – is to tend and build the fire of love. How do we access that fire? How do throw off our helplessness, inertia, and despair, reach into our deep reserves of wisdom and courage, and rise up to take part into the movement to heal the web of life?  

I went on to discuss some of the practices that help us tend love’s fire. As Jesus said: “I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!” (Luke 12:49).
• If you are part of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts, you know that our annual convention will be held on November 9 and that it’s theme will be “ Holy Earth, Holy People: Restoring God’s Creation .” In our prayers, preaching, discussions, and resolutions, we will reflect together on how God is calling us to join in God’s mission to create a more just and beautiful world. Please join me in praying that the Holy Spirit will bless, guide, and embolden our gathering.
Lucy Robinson, Edie Allison, DeAnne Riddle, Chris Riddle, and Sandy Muspratt introduce Sustaining Earth, Our Island Home to Grace Church, Amherst on Oct. 27. Photo: submitted.
• Have you ever wished you could communicate about climate change in a way that really connected with other people and inspired them to take action? I’m delighted to announce that my friend Alex Chatfield – a climate activist leader in the Diocese of Massachusetts – received a grant from Province One and has organized a free climate communication workshop that will be held at All Saints Episcopal Church in Worcester from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 30 .
For more information about “ How to Talk About Climate Change so that People Will Engage, ” please download the flier here . As you will see, we strongly urge you to register a pair of people from your church, rather than a single individual. The buddy system turns out to the best kind. Jesus sent out his disciples two by two.
• You are invited to join me at an ecumenical “Thanksgiving Sunday” service that will take place at 10:00 a.m. on November 24 at First Congregational Church in Westfield . This special service will include Episcopal, Congregational, and American Baptist congregations from at least four local churches. Come join us for a lively and meaningful service of thanks for God's Creation and for the Spirit-led power to bless, heal, and protect it. I will be preaching.
• Many people of faith have been struggling valiantly for five years to prevent a fracked gas compressor station from being installed in Weymouth, MA. Rev. Gretchen Elmendorf has written a poignant appeal for support in “ A Call to Action in a David and Goliath Struggle .” As Gretchen explains, “Despite vehement bipartisan opposition from residents, 3 mayors, 6 city councils,  29 State Senate Senators all 14 legislators of the South Shore , Physicians for Social Responsibility, Senator Warren, Senator Markey, Representative Stephen Lynch, emergency planning councils, public health researchers, climate scientists, and all major environmental groups of Massachusetts,” the global gas company, Enbridge, is forcing a deadly gas compressor station on a site that already suffers from the environmental and public health burdens of heavy industry. Please call Governor Baker (617-725-4005) to urge him and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to deny remaining permits and stop the Weymouth Compressor Station. Construction could begin anytime after Nov. 1. If construction does begin, we can expect acts of non-violent civil disobedience.

• Please sign the Massachusetts Interfaith Call for Carbon Pricing , if you haven’t yet done so. Hundreds of clergy, denominational, and lay leaders have already signed. Click  here  to read the call. Clergy, lay officials, and chairs of faith community committees are asked to sign. Click  here  to add your name. 
• Key environmental legislation is advancing through committees on Beacon Hill. It’s time to contact the chairs of the committees considering the following bills, as well as your own representatives, asking them to advocate for the bills with the relevant committee. Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light has a terrific web page that summarizes the top tier bills and helps you find your legislators .
Would you be willing to make at least one phone call to support one of these bills?

Autumn glory in Ashfield, MA. Photo: submitted.
May you be warmed by the fire of love that the Holy Spirit kindles in your heart.

May you be strengthened by steadfast resolve to share in God’s mission of justice and healing.

May you be blessed by the beauty of these autumn days, and rejoice in the signs of grace that abound.  

(The Rev. Dr.) Margaret Bullitt-Jonas
Missioner for Creation Care
Opportunities for engagement
Call your legislators:
Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light's Legislative Priorities
Green New Deal Faith Principles

As the 2019-2020 Massachusetts legislative session kicks into high gear, here are Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light's legislative priorities. An Act to Promote Green Infrastructure and Reduce Carbon Emissions: H.2810 ...

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Resilience Planning Resources
Here are some resources developed by CREW and other organizations to help you prepare your home and community for climate change. They have divided resources into categories based on what they offer, and have further labelled most resources as either 'Basic' (simpler; faster) or 'Detailed' (higher time commitment; more data required).
Read this...
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Environmental Justice Committee | Arise

The Arise Environmental Justice Committee started in 2009, when community members came to Arise seeking to stop the construction of a biomass waste incinerator in their neighborhood. Arise worked with those community members to build a coalition...

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MBJ photo credit: Tipper Gore, 2014
Small, MBJ, & Sterling photo: R en é Th é berge
Trinity Milford photo: Edith Allison