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Volume 2, Issue 2
April 2021
This Month in Kairos Call to Action:
Earth Day – the perfect time to lift up Creation Care and the Kairos Call to Action in your community. 
In this issue:
  • Article: There is an ongoing “Kairos Covenant Conversation” . . . 
  • Congregational Focus: Food Sustainability at St. John’s Madeline Island
  • Earth Day Resources
  • Sustainability Tip
  • Climate Good News
  • Earth Care Advocacy
  • Solar Powered
  • Moment of Awe
  • Creation Care Grant Story
Our Ongoing “Kairos Covenant Conversation”
There is an ongoing “Kairos Covenant Conversation” . . . developing in our communities, in our congregations, and in our world . . . about how we will move forward together in the context of gravely challenging environmental developments . . . and how our faith informs the way we do this together. The Wisconsin Conference Creation Care Team is here to help you and your congregation. We want to talk with you, to share resources for creation care initiatives, help you make connections, and strengthen your advocacy. We invite you to share with us – and through us, with others throughout Wisconsin (and beyond) – stories like the ones below about how Kairos Covenant Conversations find expression in your lives and the lives of your families, congregations, and communities.

Growing: Community & Covenant for Sustainability
The Kairos Moment at St. John’s Madeline Island
In many ways and across many years, people in the St. John’s community have been working hand-in-hand with the wider Madeline Island community around issues of food and sustainability. In 2020, this came to fruition in a big way . . . 

Earth Day Resources

  • Webinar and Film Screening opportunity from Interfaith Power and Light, April 21 - Kiss the Ground is a new film how about how regenerating the world’s soils has the potential to rapidly stabilize Earth’s climate, restore lost ecosystems, and create abundant food supplies. This film explains why transitioning to regenerative agriculture could be key in rehabilitating the planet, while simultaneously invigorating a new sense of hope and inspiration in viewers. Once you register you will receive the links to view the film and can view the film at your leisure between April 10-26.

  • Lecture - Climate Change: Science, Religion and Public Policy. Online lecture Wed, April 21 4:00 pm. Arthur Petersen’s work as scholar, researcher and adviser lives at the intersection of science and religion. He is a professor of science, technology and public policy at University College London, and is editor of Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science. On April 21, Petersen will present “Climate Change: Science, Religion and Public Policy,” this year’s Niebuhr Lecture at Elmhurst University. Free lecture, register to get event link.
  • Gonna Trouble the Water: Ecojustice, Water, and Environmental Racism de-centers “water as commodity” and centers the dignity of water and its life-giving character. This live reading and book discussion is presented by the Justice and Local Church Ministries of the UCC. Thurs, April 29, 2:30 CDT. Gonna Trouble the Water is a book of essays about water, edited by Miguel A. Torre.Press. Register here.

  • Cathedral On Fire: A Church Handbook for the Climate Crisis, FREE while supplies last. Take advantage of a special offer for Wisconsin UCC members to get a free copy of Cathedral On Fire: A Church Handbook for the Climate Crisis from UCC Environmental Justice Minister Brooks Berndt. It’s a great tool to help to spur conversations about the Kairos Covenant! Order here and use promotion code 2020FREE.

  • Radical Amazement by Judy Cannato. "Twentieth century science completely revolutionized human understanding of the world, rewriting the story of the universe with exciting discoveries and theories--the big bang, the relativity of space and time, the accelerating expansion of the universe, along with increasingly refined ideas of evolution and the origin of life. Radical Amazement unifies the worlds of science and religion, weaving profound spiritual lessons from our new knowledge. Through thoughtful and practical reflections, enhanced by prayers and meditations, Judy Cannato reveals the connectedness of all creation and invites us to explore the harmony of science and spirituality."
If you would like to share resources for future use in creation centered worship and in Earth Day Celebrations, please e-mail them to the Conference Creation Care Team. One of our goals is to provide congregations and leaders with resources that will assist you in engaging in the Kairos Call to Action and mobilizing for climate justice.
Sustainability Tip
Try Laundry Detergent “Sheets”
Several companies are now marketing “dehydrated” laundry detergent in small sheets that dissolve in the wash machine. Most are free of the chemicals of concern that can harm human health, aquatic life and water quality. Some come in compostable cardboard boxes. Cutting out the transport and disposal of plastic detergent containers is big savings in solid waste, as recycling the containers can be difficult. It is estimated by one manufacturer the we use over 700 million detergent bottles every year in the US. How many up-cycled bird seed scoops can one family use? In-depth on-line reviews of these new “dry” products are very favorable for both cleaning clothes and protecting the environment. ~ Thanks to Kathy Bartilson, Creation Care Team
Climate Good News
Where is God at work? Kenosha County!
We Energies' parent company, WEC Energy Group is looking to purchase the 310MW Paris Solar Farm & battery storage project slated for Kenosha County. "WEC subsidiaries We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service Corp. would own 90% of the project, and MGE would own the other 10%." The project is part of WEC’s plans to invest $2 billion in new solar, wind and battery-storage projects by 2025 while retiring 1,800 megawatts of fossil fuel capacity, including the South Oak Creek plant near Racine. The PSC would need to approve the purchase. Read more here.
Justice Advocacy

WEBINAR - Justice Reset: Advocating As People of Faith, Tues, April 20th 6:30 - 8:00 pm. In recognition of the many ways that justice issues intersect, the Wisconsin Conference's Immigration Working Group has partnered with the Creation Care Team to sponsor a conversation with Katie Adams, the Domestic Policy Advocate in the UCC’s Washington D.C. office. Katie will share information on current legislation that is being worked on, as well as practical tips on how to best advocate for issues of justice. Katie will share why she believes it is vitally important for us, as people of faith, to advocate for the issues that matter most to us. Register here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Questions: Contact Lisa Hart.
Solar Powered!
In 2015, First Congregational Church, River Falls, installed fifty-four solar panels on the roof of Fellowship Hall and began converting sunlight into electrical power. This solar array is a long-term initiative by the congregation and by the River Falls Municipal Utilities and WPPI Energy, all of which shared in its installation costs. Since the solar array went online, it has generated more than 115,596 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy, reducing energy charges for the church and reducing their environmental footprint. For more details on the impact of this rooftop solar array, view First Congregational CCC's Environmental Impacts flyer.

If your church has a solar installation, please send us a photo and description, and we will feature it in a future Kairos Newsletter!
Moment of Awe
This Lovely illustration of the connectedness of all life in general, and the hidden life of trees in particular, is shared thanks to Rev. Dr. Marilyn Pagan-Banks, pastor of San Lucas UCC and adjunct faculty at McCormick Theological Seminary. Video was shot on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan at Tower Hill Camp. View video.

Take a moment to experience the beauty of creation. And share a photo or video for us to include in a future newsletter by emailing to [email protected].
Creation Care Grants Make a Difference
Congregational Church UCC, Ladysmith makes the news - The March 25 Ladysmith News reported on the church's conversion to energy-efficient LED lighting, aided by Creation Care Grants from the Wisconsin Conference and the Northwest Association, and reduced cost bulbs from Focus on Energy. The article quoted congregation member Nancy Kraft saying, “These three grants were used to purchase and install LED lighting in our lower-level fellowship hall and kitchen, and our utility bills will decrease while we are being more responsible to the environment.” Read the article here. For more information on Creation Care Grants, which are funded by the Wisconsin Conference Catalyst initiative, contact Lisa Hart.

View Franz Rigert's video Announcing the Wisconsin Conference UCC Kairos Call To Action and share with your congregation!

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Wisconsin Conference Kairos Call to Action