Opportunities for Environmental Stewardship and Witness

Opportunities for Environmental Stewardship and Witness

To all who love God’s creation:
I write to invite your congregation to engage in any / all of the following opportunities:
  • Lenten Carbon Fast 2012 – Plan  now for a weekly Lenten discussion around the Carbon Fast and sign up now via facebook
  • How Green is my Church? – See where you stand in our Green Congregations assessment and plan how you will become more green
  • Surround the White House on November 6 to urge President Obama to “say no” to the tar sands pipeline
  • Do It In Durban
  • February 12, 2012 – National Environmental “preach in”
  • Who is your congregation’s environmental contact?
Invite your whole congregation to participate in the Lenten Carbon Fast AND – as a Lenten activity – convene participants each week to discuss their experiences/responses to that week’s suggested activities.  THIS CAN BE YOUR CONGREGATION’S LENTEN PROGRAM!  Start by sharing this link to sign up for the Lenten Carbon fast.  Send out an invitation to your congregation, invite them to subscribe to the daily Lenten emails, and plan to convene weekly discussions.
What has your congregation already done to become Green?  What might you do?  The Massachusetts Conference Environmental Ministries has launched a new initiative to certify our local churches as Green Congregations with three levels of achievement. Churches satisfying the requirements at each level will be recognized at our Annual Meetings beginning in 2012, where they will be presented with an award commensurate with their achievement.
Please click here for a printable copy of the Action Steps for each level of greening.  Then take a moment to identify those steps which your church has already done, wants to do, and will need guidance to do. When you’ve completed 80% (any 12) of the steps in a column, contact Willie Sordillo at sordillow@macucc.org  so that your congregation can be recognized at the next MACUCC Annual Meeting.
Click here to learn more about why it’s important to urge President Obama to “say no” to the Canadian Tar Sands pipeline.  On Sunday November 6 environmental activists will encircle the White House in an act of solemn protest. The point will be to remind the President – firmly and peaceably – that millions of people are willing to support his leadership in enacting strong environmental and carbon-reducing policies.  Click here to learn more about this actionClick here to sign up to join thousands of others to encircle the White House on November 6.
The National Council of Churches of Christ Eco-Justice Program folks invite you and your congregation to add your voice to the Do iT in Durban campaign. Do iT in Durban means calling on President Obama to work for the following at the December 2011 United Nations meeting on climate change:
  • Secure a fair, ambitious and binding agreement 
  • Ensure adaptation assistance for the most vulnerable around the world
  • Guarantee climate justice for all
Take postcards to a Sunday service or church gathering and ask others to sign one.  Just  Email Tyler of NCCC and let her know how many postcards you need and where to send them. Alternatively, bring in a few laptops or iPads and ask people to sign the postcard online.
In six months, hundreds of faith leaders of different religious traditions from around the country will use the weekend closest to Valentine's Day as a time to express their love of Creation and their concern about climate change.  Your Environmental Ministries of the MACUCC joins with Interfaith Power and Light to encourage you to give a sermon on the environment or climate on February 12, 2012.  Some congregations will host film screenings and discussions. Others will run Bible study or youth activities around the topic of global warming.  Click here to learn more.
Click here to sign up and receive  a variety of resources as soon as they become available:
  • Denomination-specific liturgical and thematic notes
  • Ready-to-go sample sermons on global warming
  • Global warming fact sheet and bulletin insert
  • Selected DVDs on request with companion discussion guides
Leading up to the event, participating congregations will receive Valentine’s Day postcards to mail in to their representatives, encouraging political leaders to love their neighbors and the Earth by supporting policies that protect the climate and clean air.

Please email Willie Sordillo at SordilloW@macucc.org to tell him the name of the person at your congregation who is passionate about the environment and eager to serve as your environmental contact. 
Jim Antal,
Minister and President
Massachusetts Conference, United Church of Christ


Jim Antal
Jim Antal

Jim Antal is a denominational leader, activist and public theologian.  He led the 360 churches of the Massachusetts Conference United Church of Christ from 2006 to his retirement in 2018.  An environmental activist from the first Earth Day in 1970, ...

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