Creation Care Network E-news

May 2024

Message from Margaret...

Dear friends,

Before I name this month’s news and opportunities, I’d like to share some personal news: I will retire on July 1.

These past ten-plus years of encouraging a robust, diocesan-level response to our Gospel call to love God’s creation have been a joy. I will step away with a grateful heart, thankful for all the people who have participated in this mission and who will carry it forward. My passion for creation care is unabated, and I expect to keep speaking, writing, and leading retreats in the years ahead.

Next month’s issue of this newsletter will be the last. If you haven’t yet done so, I encourage you to join our Creation Care Justice Network here in Massachusetts and to receive its monthly newsletter, Green Justice News. You can sign up here.

One Home One Future

It’s exciting to see people from diverse religious communities coming together to restore and heal the Earth. I recently spent a weekend in Martha’s Vineyard, where I spoke at a variety of events organized by the island’s Interfaith Climate Action Team. Islanders are acutely aware of the changing climate – a tour of the island’s south coast shows that an unusual series of winter storms washed away dunes – and the local newspaper, MV Times, reported on the weekend’s upcoming events.

I led a multifaith retreat on spiritual and emotional resilience in a time of climate crisis, welcoming a diverse group of people -- municipal leaders, clergy, biologists, conservationists, teachers, farmers, retirees -- into a conversation about how to maintain courage and resolve to take climate action.

I relished driving around and spotting all the banners of One Home One Future that now hang outside various houses of the worship. This national campaign, sponsored by Blessed Tomorrow, aims to educate, support, and activate congregations of all faiths to protect God’s creation. If you’re one of the first 1,000 congregations to sign up, you, too, can hang a free banner outside your building!

Final gathering after Earth Day celebration, April 20th, in Southborough, MA. Photo: David. M. Rider

 • An Episcopal Path to Creation Justice

About 70 clergy and laity from across the two dioceses in Massachusetts, along with friends from Connecticut and Maine and additional participants online, gathered on April 20 at St. Mark’s Church in Southborough for a joyful, much-anticipated Earth Day celebration.  

The Rev. Rachel Field and The Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas. Photo: submitted.

The Rev. Rachel Field (Project Manager of An Episcopal Path to Creation Justice) and I shepherded the event, which featured three stellar speakers who drew from the distinctive wisdom of their research and lived experience – Robin Wall Kimmerer, Bill McKibben, and Mary Evelyn Tucker. During the day, we celebrated completion of the pilot phase of An Episcopal Path to Creation Justice, networked with each other, and renewed our resolve for climate action and creation care. Bishop Carol Gallagher was unfortunately unable to attend the event, but Bishop Doug Fisher presided, and I preached at the closing Eucharist, ending the service with a commissioning ceremony in which everyone was sent out to be healers of the Earth.

Companions: Mary Sherman, John Lemly, and Susan Swanson. Photo: submitted

John Lemly, one of the trained Companions who accompanied and guided congregations enrolled in An Episcopal Path, wrote up a report on the day’s events for Green Justice News, which is available here. You can read my sermon, “Following the Good Shepherd on Earth Day,” here. You can also watch a YouTube recording of the day (and enjoy learning from the excellent speakers!) here. (Kimmerer and McKibben spoke in the morning, and Tucker spoke after lunch.)

At the end of the summer, we hope to launch Open Enrollment in An Episcopal Path in churches across Province One. Other dioceses have also expressed interest in the Path, so we live in hope that our work will bear good fruit across the Episcopal Church. 


Lament-with-Earth-2023-2024-fa1df115 image

• Lament with Earth

Wednesday, May 8 & June 12

7:30-8:30 p.m. • Online (free)

I warmly commend these beautiful, seasonal gatherings sponsored by the BTS Center. Savor original music, poetry, rituals, images, scripture, and videos that reflect different seasons of loss through the liturgical year. Come to pray, lament, and find new strength.

 • Singing the Psalms with My Son: Praying and Parenting for a Healed Planet

A Book Study

May - June • 5 Weekly Online Sessions

Two days & times available each week • Online ($35; $50 includes a copy of the book)

As we navigate our lives through times of increased uncertainty and climate chaos, those of us who parent, or who are invested in the lives of young people, are grappling with the future that our children will inherit – and how to guide and encourage in ways which will lead toward life, connection, and meaning. We long for a safe, healed, healthy world in which all children may grow into centered and joyful adults. And yet, with so much instability on our planet, how do we offer children the foundation upon which to build a life of wholeness? Offered by The BTS Center, Moms Clean Air Force, and Lutherans Restoring Creation. Details and registration are here

 • It’s all about love: Festival Thursday

Thursday, May 9

3:00 – 4:00 p.m. • Online (free)

Enjoy the next presentation for the whole church to keep the revival flames going in Evangelism, Racial Reconciliation, and Creation Care!

Worship in a Time of Climate Crisis

Thursday, May 9

4:00 – 6:00 p.m. • Online (free)

Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission invites you to attend a “report out” from our six partner parishes, who will share their stories from creative experiments in centering the climate crisis in worship and mission in the last year. Prayer, breakout rooms, response time, and short stretch break will also be included. This work was made possible through a Vital Worship Grant from the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship, Grand Rapids, Michigan, with funds provided by Lilly Endowment Inc. Register here.

May Creation Care Compline

Monday, May 20

9:00 p.m. • Online (free)

You’re invited to the next Creation Care Compline offered by The Episcopal Church-wide Task Force on Care of Creation and Environmental Racism. Please RSVP here.

Lexington Theological Seminary, in partnership with The BTS Center and Creation Justice Ministries, has been awarded a $1.25 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc, for their project COMPELLING PREACHING FOR A CLIMATE-CHANGED WORLD.

 • Climate Preaching

Lexington Theological Seminary has received a $1.25 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. for their project, “Compelling Preaching for a Climate-Changed World.” LTS will partner with The BTS Center and Creation Justice Ministries on the initiative that aims to equip preachers with training, resources, support networks, and research for addressing the urgency of the climate crisis and other environmental issues. Learn more here. If you’re interested in applying for the next eco-preacher cohort, learn more and apply here.

Sacred Earth, Sacred Soul

Saturday, June 1

12:00 noonOnline ($20)

The American Teilhard Association’s annual event features speaker John Philip Newell, Canadian and Scottish teacher of Celtic spirituality. Register here and scroll to the $20 Zoom option.


 • And God Saw That It Was Good: A Spirituality Course Accompanying Ken Burns' film "The National Parks: America's Best Idea"

New course launching Tuesday, May 7!

The Center for Spirituality in Nature is teaming up with Avery Davis-Lamb from Creation Justice Ministries to launch a new course, "And God Saw That It Was Good: A Spirituality Course Accompanying Ken Burns' film ‘The National Parks: America's Best Idea’." This four-session, self-guided offering is perfect for use as a summer study. Whether you are visiting the national parks this summer, or are loving them from afar, this program will enhance your understanding and enjoyment.

 • Spiritual Caregiving and Ecological Grief: Perspectives and Practices for Chaplains

Tuesday, May 14

12:00 - 1:00 p.m. (Eastern) • Online (free)

This hour-long presentation, offered by The BTS Center & the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab, will explore the spiritual challenge of responding to the myriad losses of living in a climate-changed world. 

 • Green Teams Gathering

An in-person gathering of members and friends of congregational Green Teams, Earth Care Teams, and Climate Action Teams from Southern Maine (and beyond)

Sunday, May 19

2:00 – 5:00 p.m. • Free (Cape Elizabeth United Methodist Church, 280 Ocean House Rd, Cape Elizabeth, ME)

In these times of planetary change and chaos, the work we do on a small, local level can seem insignificant. Yet the calling to tend to the ecological commitments of our congregations and communities forms the foundation for the resilient networks that are essential to surviving and thriving in this climate-changed world. This local work has ripples that go far beyond what we might imagine. Sponsored by The BTS Center, this free program is open to people of diverse faith traditions and backgrounds, and to people who may not yet have a Green Team established in their community. For more information and to register, visit here.

Collective Honesty and Complicated Hope: An Evening with Katharine Hayhoe, Climate Scientist

Tuesday, May 22, 2024

7.00 - 8.30pm (Eastern) • Online ($15; for scholarships, contact Program Director Nicole Diroff,

This special evening event, sponsored by The BTS Center and One Home One Future, features renowned climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe, author of Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Call for Hope and Healing in a Divided World. Dr. Hayhoe is a leading voice in connecting the data of climate change with a faithful and meaningful response. Dr. Hayhoe will be joined by a panel of conversationalists to discuss how we face with honesty what is happening, how we hold faith and climate science in conversation with one another, and how we embody complicated hope as we respond to the intersecting crises of our day.

What is climate justice?

Path to Positive Communities, a program of ecoAmerica, has just released a two-page primer on climate justice. If you’d like to know how to define and address climate justice, download “Introduction to Climate Justice.”

• How do we support children’s mental health in a time of climate change?

Blessed Tomorrow, the interfaith component of ecoAmerica, has just released a two-page guide for faith leaders, Children and Youth Mental Health in Our Changing Climate.


 • For a limited time – MassSave will pay for 100% of insulation and air sealing in houses of worship!

Mass. Interfaith Power & Light (MassIPL) reminds us that the days are warming up and heating bills are shrinking, but memories of this winter's heating bills aren't that far in the past! Weatherization -- insulation, air sealing, weatherstripping doors and windows -- is one of the easiest and highest impact projects you can do to reduce energy consumption, carbon emissions, and cost for heating. 

MassSave has told MassIPL that the program has increased the incentive payments for these projects from 70% to 100% for most houses of worship. If you haven't had an energy assessment in the past two years or more, you can schedule another. For more information and to schedule an assessment, click here.


 • Faiths for Climate Justice

May 3-12

Please note: Greenfaith’s international week of events for climate justice has been curtailed. Last month, ten GreenFaith Circle leaders in rural Tanzania were detained by police for the “crime” of meeting with GreenFaith Director Rev. Fletcher Harper when he visited them to learn about their courageous work opposing the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline. These innocent people of faith were detained because they spoke out peacefully and publicly about their opposition to a fossil fuel project that has taken away their homes and the land that they farm to sustain their families. Learn more and sign the open letter calling for a stop to this injustice.

GreenFaith: Rising Leaders Fellowship Program

GreenFaith has a strong history of hosting eco-spiritual learning Fellowship experiences. This year, GreenFaith is excited to be launching the Rising Leaders Fellowship for young adults aged 18-35, with a passion for climate justice and faith-based activism. The Rising Leaders Fellowship is a transformative year-long program designed to equip and empower young adults to make a tangible difference in their community and beyond.

Learn more about this exciting opportunity on the website and/or join the informational call on Thursday, May 2, at 7:00 p.m. (Eastern). Feel free to post or share this pdf flier. Questions? Reach out to Applications are due on Sunday, May 12. Please spread the word to young adults, youth, or young adult ministry coordinators!

 • “Sacred Right to Vote: Panel Discussion with Faith Leaders

Tuesday, May 7

8:00 p.m. • Online (free)

Third Act Faith’s year-long focus on the "Sacred Right to Vote" continues with a panel of faith leaders led by Rev. Dr. Jim Antal, who will be joined by Rev. Carol L. Devine, Rabbi Stephanie Kolin and Mubarak Elamin. As Antal wrote in a Third Act Faith (TAF) essay on the subject, “In a democracy, there is no more responsible way for a person of faith to show their faithfulness than to uphold our sacred right to vote.” These faith leaders will talk about the concept in general, and how people of faith can put it to work, specifically during this very important 2024 election season. For more information and to register, visit here.

Third Act Faith’s look at the “Sacred Right to Vote” will continue this summer when Jim Antal leads a discussion and workshop on his essay about preaching election sermons. Here are some ways you can get involved with Third Act and plug into their campaigns – check out your options here.

 • Faith Votes: A non-partisan campaign of Interfaith Power & Light

Interfaith Power & Light’s 2024 Faith Votes is a non-partisan campaign that mobilizes people of faith to express their values through voting, focusing on caring for the planet and respecting one another.

Resources for faith communities will soon be released at this link, including “Politics and the Pulpit: A Guide to Rules and Regulations on Political Activity by Religious Organizations,” and prayers, litanies, and other resources for considering voting through the lens of faith.

Sign up for Faith Votes and email updates here.

 • ACTION ALERT – Tell the MA legislature: No backtracking on biomass!

MassIPL is one of many signatories asking Senator Barrett and Representative Roy, Co-Chairs of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy (TUE), and Committee members to oppose provisions concerning woody biomass energy that were included in a bill that recently emerged from the Joint Committee.

Recently, Representative Roy advanced new pro-biomass provisions in the newly numbered Bill H.4503, one of six climate "minibus" bills he released. This bill amends the previously filed H.3216 to include language that doubles the subsidies for burning trees as "renewable" energy in large wood boilers and furnaces that produce heat, and that eliminates a state-mandated study on the health and environmental impacts of biomass energy.

Please write to your legislators today to say no backtracking on biomass! Ask them to remove the pro-biomass sections 8 and 22 of H.3216 (included in the new proposed legislation), and to add the policies outlined in S.2136 /H.3210 and S.2137/H.3211 that would assure that renewable energy is also clean energy.

Get all details and READ THE 74-organization BIOMASS LETTER HERE. Contact your reps and the TUE Chairs here!

ACTION ALERT - Stop Private Jet Expansion at Hanscom or Anywhere

Please take a few minutes to submit a public comment opposing the proposal to expand private jet traffic at Hanscom Field (or anywhere). Mothers Out Front has created a simple toolkit to make it easy to do. Check it out here. If you’d like more details about the proposed expansion and why so many people oppose it, visit here. Check out video from WCVB of the arrest of 20 peaceful protesters at the airfield on April 20. Deadline for submitting a public comment is May 10. Thank you!

Citizens Climate Lobby: Summer Conference and Lobby Day

June 8 -11

Washington, D.C. • In-person ($179)

This June, lobby for the good of the planet on Capitol Hill. You’ll join with 1,000+ people from across the country to tell Congress that later is too late to stop the pollution that’s overheating the planet. For more information (speakers, venue, program, registration, etc.) visit here.

• Thanks to years of advocacy by the Sunrise Movement and others, the American Climate Corps opened for applications on Earth Day. Young adults may learn more and apply here.

As always, drop me a note if you’d like to be in touch. 


(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: submitted

Opportunities for Engagement

Tell the MA Legislature: No Backtracking on Biomass!

"We've been working to remove the remaining subsidies for wood burning from Massachusetts’ clean energy programs with two new bills this session. Another bill has emerged from committee that would instead backtrack on our progress on biomass. This bill would DOUBLE the subsidies for wood boilers and furnaces that produce heat, and ELIMINATE a state-mandated study on the health and environmental impacts of biomass energy.

Please write to your legislators today (and the relevant committee chairs) to say no backtracking on biomass - and support our priority bills!"

Click here to write to your legislators

Interfaith Resources

Third Act: Sacred Right to Vote Panel

May 7, 8pm EDT


"Rev. Dr. Jim Antal writes, 'In a democracy, there is no more responsible way for a person of faith to show their faithfulness than to uphold our sacred right to vote….Voting is about what matters and who counts.'

Antal’s essay offers historical context and a thorough discussion of the concept of one’s 'Sacred Right to Vote,' and how that relates to faith communities, following up on his January essay on preaching election sermons. These essays launched Third Act Faith’s year-long focus on the 'Sacred Right to Vote.'

To further explore the idea, TAF will host a panel of faith leaders on May 7, 2024, 5:00 pm PDT / 8:00 pm EDT, as its next General Meeting. Led by Jim Antal, the panel will include Rev. Carol L Devine, Rabbi Stephanie Kolin, and Mubarak Elamin. These faith leaders will talk about the concept in general, and how people of faith can put it to work, specifically during this very important 2024 election season."

Click here to register for Sacred Right to Vote panel

Read this...

Children & Youth Mental Health In Our Changing Climate - A Guide for Faith Leaders

by Blessed Tomorrow

Research by the American Psychological Association and ecoAmerica on mental health and climate change highlights the profound impacts of climate change on human well-being, particularly children. The research indicates that children and youth are uniquely vulnerable groups, with impacts ranging from direct trauma from severe weather events to anxiety about longer-term changes. 

Read more

Explore this...

Faith Votes: A Nonpartisan Campaign of Interfaith Power & Light

Interfaith Power & Light’s nonpartisan Faith Votes campaign inspires and mobilizes people of faith and conscience to express their faithful values through voting. Through the power of our vote, we can communicate our shared values of caring for our common home and living out our love and respect for one another. We can join together to protect our Sacred Earth and create a better world for current and future generations.

Learn more

Join our diocesan Creation Care Facebook group!

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