Creation Care Network E-news

February 2024

Message from Margaret...

Dear friends,

Today is the feast day of Brigid of Kildare, the Celtic saint who died 1500 years ago. She is cherished as the saint who loves the earth, midwives at new beginnings, inspires poets and artists, and, as patron saint of blacksmiths, keeps the flame alive to transform old patterns into new. What new beginnings do you wish to nurture as the season turns to early, early spring?

Here are lines from a song, “Beloved Brighde,” by Simon de Vail:

Oh wise midwife, threshold keeper

there's a harsh bitter cold in these times but in your tender heart there lives a beauty,

it's the gold that fills the cracks where we divide.


An Episcopal Path to Creation Justice

The Rev. Rachel Field (Project Coordinator) reports:

"Our 12 Pilot parishes and 7 companions have been hard at work all winter to reflect on engagement with creation justice and to develop a plan for deepening their work around the four pillars (pray, learn, act, advocate) of the Path. Each of the parishes has unique gifts and unique challenges for this work. Some parishes are without a clergy person, and some have small numbers, so prioritizing creation care can be a challenge. So far, the strength of working with the Path is that it’s a dynamic program! It’s not meant to be one-size-fits-all. Some parishes are still completing a “creation care ministry review,” which is the first step in the Path. Others are working on long-term goals and visioning for the areas that they are looking to expand.

No matter where a parish is on its journey, we are noticing that there is excitement and the potential for lasting impact. We are also noticing some trends in our parishes. We have noticed that almost all the parishes engaged in the Path have done some work around the third pillar, Act. This could mean an energy audit, compost bins, swapping out single-use plastics for reusable items at coffee hour, or even installing a solar array to offset carbon emissions. By contrast, the pillar that has had the least amount of engagement by the parishes in the Pilot is Advocate. A close runner up was Pray! 

As we move forward through the Pilot, we are eager for these learnings so that we can partner with others in the Episcopal Church to develop a plan that will support parishes to deepen their engagement in Prayer and Advocacy. Of course, we will continue to support parishes in their work to Learn and Act as well! One opportunity that will be open to the wider public for prayer, learning, action, and advocacy, is the Earth Day celebration to celebrate the close of the Pilot phase."

Registration is now open for our Earth Day celebration at St Mark’s Episcopal Church in Southborough on April 20th from 9-3. We hope to see you there! 


Renewing God’s Creation: Daily Meditations for Lent 2024

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 diverse sources as we honor the wisdom of many voices and traditions. Please join us for our third annual series of Lenten meditations as we contemplate the gift of the natural world and our calling to reconcile humanity with the rest of God’s creation. Registration is open.

Preaching Climate Justice in Lent

Tuesday, February 20

10:00 – 11:15 a.m. • Online (free)

As the world awakens to catastrophic threats to our climate and as authoritarian leaders threaten democracy, Lent invites us to join Jesus on his journey to Jerusalem. If we are to engage the greatest moral challenge humanity has ever faced, we need Jesus’ guidance. This webinar will suggest ways in which our Lenten texts provide an opportunity to shape sermons that offer hope to our congregations, engage their imagination, and inspire them to take action for climate justice. 


The Rev. Dr. Jim Antal (Special Advisor on Climate Justice to the General Minister and President, United Church of Christ). His book, Climate Church, Climate World, has been read by hundreds of congregations and is now in a new, updated edition.

The Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas (Missioner for Creation Care, Episcopal Diocese of Western MA & Southern New England Conference, United Church of Christ; Creation Care Advisor, Episcopal Diocese of MA). A selection from her co-edited book, Rooted and Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis, was recently featured in Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations.

Lament with Earth

Wednesday, February 21

7:30 – 8:30 p.m. (Eastern) • Online (free)

If you’ve never attended one of these beautiful, seasonal gatherings sponsored by the BTS Center, here’s your next opportunity! Come to pray. Come to savor original music, poetry, rituals, images, scripture, and videos that reflect different seasons of loss through the liturgical year. Come to lament and to find new strength.

Group Spiritual Direction Circles | for spiritual leaders in a climate-changed world

Meeting once a month, March/April to October/November

Several options for days, times, leaders • Online ($200, some scholarships available)

The BTS Center is offering an 8-month opportunity in which spiritual leaders strengthen their holy hearing and sharing in group spiritual direction / companioning. Gathering monthly from March through November in groups of six over Zoom, each two-hour session is centered on a prompt related to climate change, liminality, or uncertainty. Rather than a solution-seeking conversation, group members are invited to respond from their hearts to that prompt and each other, together investigating spirit-centered responses. For more information, including choices of dates and leaders, visit here.


EcoSpiritual Leaders: Encounters with Wholeness Course

February – April • Online ($200; some scholarships available)

Offered by The BTS Center and Kimberly Knight, this course is for spiritual leaders serving in congregational or community settings. Course description: In this course we will engage our minds, bodies, and spirits in explorations of ideas and practices aligned with EcoSpirituality. We will move through four sections — Gratitude & Grief, Forest Bathing, EcoSpiritual Practices, and Creation Care. Each week participants will engage in a bit of reading to pique our curiosity, watch a video to expand our understanding, experience embodied practice to connect us with nature, craft a prayer to nourish our spirits, complete an “invitation,” and participate in a conversation to collaborate in our interdependent growth. For more information and to register, visit here.

Anglican Communion Environmental Network (ACEN) webinar

Thursday, February 8

11:00 a.m. (Eastern) • Online (free)

Join ACEN for an informative and engaging webinar on “Building a movement around environmental justice.” This is a wonderful opportunity for us to learn from and to stand with our global siblings in faith. Registration is open.

Sign up for the ACEN Digest! 

Anglican Communion Environmental Network publishes a newsletter with inspiring stories from around the world. You can sign up here.

Conversation Circles: Earth and Climate Chaplaincy

February - August 2024 • Online ($300; partial scholarships available)

The BTS Center, in collaboration with the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab, offers four new opportunities for chaplains committed to working at the intersection of Earth, climate change, and spiritual care to be in ongoing conversation with one another, sharing experiences, offering support, and seeking inspiration for their ongoing work. For more information, including choices of dates and leaders, visit here.

Ecology and Faith in Christian History

Four Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (Eastern) 

Feb. 17, Mar. 16, Apr. 20, May 18 • Online Taught by the Rev. Holly Morrison and the Rev. Dr. Stephen Hastings, this course from the Maine School of Ministry (a program of the Maine Conference, United Church of Christ)

will consider how Christian communities have related to land, water, animals, and all life. Topics covered in the course include ancient scripture, medieval mystics, global church experiences, sacrament and ecology, rural life, foodways, oral tradition, the encounter of colonization and indigeneity, the church’s influence on environmental movements in Maine, and practical examples of congregations engaging their ecological legacy today. Course syllabus will be emailed to registrants after January 12. Learn more here and register here.

Religion in Times of Earth Crisis | A Series of Public Online Conversations

Mondays, 6:00 –7:30 pm (ET) • Online (free)

Harvard Divinity School will host a series of 6 online public conversations with members of the HDS faculty to explore what an expansive understanding of religion can provide in these times of Earth crisis. Two of the upcoming events are listed below. A full list is available here. Optional follow-up conversations are 7:45–8:45 p.m.

Apocalyptic Grief: Reckoning with Loss, Wrestling with Hope

Monday, February 26 • The Rev. Matthew Ichihashi Potts, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church

Human-caused climate change already contributes to manifold global disasters. As the planet inevitably continues to warm, these disasters will be routine and unrelenting. Addressing the reality of loss must become a basic spiritual task of our climate present and future, along with summoning the resolve to respond to all our losses.

In this session, Matthew Ichihashi Potts will consider the apocalyptic roots of the Christian tradition in order both to diagnose how Christianity has contributed to the present crisis, as well as to suggest possibilities for a different way forward. Through particular attention to grief and hope as religious categories, and with specific reference to various moments and movements from within the Christian tradition, Potts will reflect upon the spiritual crisis at the heart of climate catastrophe and suggest the potential for a religious response. To register, visit here.

The Practice of Wild Mercy: Something Deeper Than Hope

Monday, March 4 • Terry Tempest Williams, HDS Writer-in-Residence

Can personhood be granted to mountains, lakes, and rivers? What does it mean to be met by another species? How do we extend our notion of power to include all life forms? And what does a different kind of power look like and feel like? Wild Mercy is in our hands. Practices of attention in the field with compassion and grace deepen our kinship with life, allowing us to touch something deeper than hope. Great Salt Lake offers us a reflection into our own nature: Are we shrinking or expanding? To register, visit here.

Christmas cactus. Photo: submitted

Episcopal Parish Network 2024 Annual Conference: “Inspiring Leaders”

Wednesday, March 6 - Saturday, March 9

Houston, TX

As “the largest and most anticipated annual gathering in the Episcopal Church," the EPN conference brings together over 700 clergy, lay leaders, educators, sponsors, and exhibitors. This year’s theme is "Inspiring Leaders." On March 7, I will serve as a panelist for the workshop, “Perspectives on Creation Care – How Can the Church Respond to the Climate Crisis?.” This workshop will be held right after Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s keynote address. For a description of all the workshops, visit here. For complete information about the conference and to register, visit here.

Transforming Climates: Preaching Environmental Justice

April 2-4 • Sewanee, the University of the South

Racial and planetary climates are shifting in ways that demand transformation: of our society, of our communities, and of our preaching. This conference will explore how preaching changes when colonialist and exploitative conceptions of humanity break down. In small-group workshops and lectures, participants will develop tools for an embodied, attentive, and place-based approach to preaching that can invite transformation of racial and environmental injustices. For more information and to register, visit the Sewanee website. Register before February 15 for a $50 discount.

Ecological Restoration and Environmental Justice: Earth Repair

April 5 (1:00 – 6:00 p.m.) & April 6 (9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) • Online ($150)

Communities around the world are working to restore health and balance to damaged ecosystems. In this two-day, virtual course with Professor Karenna Gore, students will learn from restoration projects that are grounded in complex “ways of knowing” where ceremony, community, and longstanding and attentive relationships with the land are fundamental. Karenna Gore is the founder and executive director of the Center for Earth Ethics and visiting professor of practice of earth ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York. Complete information is here. Registration deadline is March 22.


Reducing Plastic Waste: The Role of Faith Communities

Sunday, Feb. 4

3:00 - 4:30 p.m. (Eastern) • Online (free)

Faith communities can do their part to limit plastic waste, whether by reducing waste generation at their facilities, participating in clean-ups in public spaces or by advocacy for relevant policy. Join Luke Metzger of Environment Texas to find out how. Register here.

• Using Renewable Energy: Solar Panels, Solar Panel Incentive Programs, and Financing

Sunday, February 18

12 Noon • Sts. James & Andrews Episcopal Church, 8 Church St., Greenfield (free)

John Ward of Greenfield Solar will speak. He and his wife Claire Chang formed the Solar Store of Greenfield in 2005 and have been designing and installing solar panels in the area since then. They have planned and installed over 500 installations. If you like, bring a lunch or snack. Questions? Contact Ella Ingraham: [email protected].

• Save the dates! Faith Climate Action Week, April 19 – 28

Faith Climate Action Week is Interfaith Power and Light’s annual program of climate-themed worship services and sermons that spans ten days of activities celebrating Earth Month. The theme of 2024’s Faith Climate Action Week is “Common Ground: Cultivating Connections Between Our Faith, Our Food, and the Climate” We’ll examine how our food systems contribute to injustice and to climate change, and how our faiths call us to respond through practical solutions. 

The 2024 Faith Climate Action Week printed organizer’s kit is now available! The resources in this kit will equip you to lead faith-based discussion and action at your congregation to ensure a safe climate for our neighbors and communities. To learn more and to order a kit, click here.

While you’re at it, consider ordering IP&L’s Pizza Garden Seed Kit! “We understand the importance of spring garden planning and the joy it brings to cultivating a sustainable and diverse garden. These specially curated kits feature a variety of seeds, including delicious tomatoes, peppers, onions, and herbs, all carefully selected to create the perfect ingredients for homemade pizza."


• Save the dates! Faiths for Climate Justice, May 3-12

In events supported by GreenFaith International, people of faith around the world will be mobilizing for a week of action calling for an end to fossil fuels, a sustainable future, and a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty. Would you like to help organize an event in western Mass.? Please contact me ([email protected])!

Stop private jet expansion at Hanscom (or anywhere)

Good news! The Social Justice Commission of the Diocese of Western MA has joined the coalition to stop the proposed private luxury jet hanger expansion at Massport-run Hanscom Field. Creation Care Justice Network (CCJN), a network of Episcopal clergy and laypeople across MA, is also publicly supporting this campaign.

Organizers are now appealing to the project’s principal investor, Jeffrey Leerink, to withdraw. Alex Chatfield, one of the leaders of CCJN, was photographed at the recent protest at Leerkink’s office. His protest statement includes these words:

“Given your deep love of the ocean, and your commitment to future generations of children, we wonder how you can reconcile those values with the plans you are making to build new hangars for private jets at Hanscom. Carbon dioxide is terrible for the health of oceans, causing rising acidity that harms marine life.”

More information and photos of the protest are here. If you have not already done so, please:

The two advocacy opportunities below come to you thanks to the fine newsletter of Rev. Betsy Sowers (Old Cambridge Baptist Church):

  • Consider signing the letter from the Environmental Justice Table in support of S.2113/H.3187, “An Act relative to energy facilities siting improvement to address environmental justice, climate, and public health” (Rep. Madaro).
  • Consider signing the letter supporting a series of forest and urban canopy preservation bills.

As always, drop me a note if you’d like to be in touch ([email protected]).  


(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.)

Mill River in snow. Photo: submitted

Opportunities for Engagement

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Ecological Restoration & Environmental Justice: Earth Repair

Apr 5, 1pm-6pm; and Apr 6, 9am-5pm


Communities around the world are working to restore health and balance to damaged ecosystems. In this two-day, virtual course with Professor Karenna Gore, students will learn from restoration projects that are grounded in complex “ways of knowing” where ceremony, community, and longstanding and attentive relationships with the land are fundamental.

Learn more and register

Interfaith Resources

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Religion in Times of Earth Crisis: A Series of Public Online Conversations

Feb 5, 12, 26, Mar 4, 18; 6pm


Harvard Divinity School will host a series of online public conversations with members of the HDS faculty to explore what an expansive understanding of religion can provide in these times of Earth crisis.

Learn more and register

Read this...

Lorna-COP28-FaithPavilionspeech-980x654 image

After COP28 – Where Governments have failed, Faiths must now lead

By Dr. Lorna Gold, Chief Executive at FaithInvest

"Faced with a deeply troubling outcome of COP28, what should faith groups who care deeply about climate change and care for God’s earth do next?..." 

Read more

Explore this...

Faith Climate Action Week

Apr 19-28

Faith Climate Action Week is ten days in April during Earth Month when IPL congregations focus on how we can all take action to protect our climate. This year's theme is

Common Ground: Cultivating Connections between Food, Faith, and Climate.

Learn 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.


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