October Environmental Ministry Calendar - and More!

October Environmental Ministry Calendar - and More!

Join the 2022 Faith Matters Voting Challenge!
Voting is one of the most - if not the most - powerful tools we have as people of faith.  Voting takes your caring values into the public square and thereby into other people’s lives.  Your vote matters, not just in the big national election years, but in all the local and state elections in between, because politicians pay attention to the priorities of people who vote

The Environmental Ministries Team has developed resources to mobilize congregations through the 2022 Faith Matters Voting Challenge.  We have partnered with the Environmental Voter Project (EVP) to promote the SNEUCC Creation Care Voter Pledge and put love into action for every living creature and for every economically or racially marginalized community that suffers from environmental harm.
For more information and resources, visit www.sneucc.org/faith-matters-voting-challenge  While you are there, check out our Green Congregation Challenge, a step-by-step approach that helps houses of worship take small, but consequential, steps towards protecting God’s Creation www.sneucc.org/green-congregation-challenge.
A Great Idea for your Front Lawn at Your Church!
Check out how Eliot Church in Newton is promoting the Creation Care Voting Challenge in their community with this great banner that features a QR code that passersby can use to pledge to vote in every election local, state and national, with the creation in mind. 

Eliot Church is also hosting an Electric Vehicle Show on Sunday Oct. 23, 2022, 11:30 am to 1 pm at the church, 474 Centre St., Newton, MA 02459. Come and check out the banner and some cool EV’s for yourself!
Preaching Climate Justice: A Conversation with Jim Antal and Margaret Bullitt-Jonas
What makes a sermon about climate change “pastoral” or “prophetic”? How should preachers address climate grief? Why should we preach about voting, and what’s the difference between partisan and political activity?
Reverends Margaret Bullitt-Jonas and Jim Antal addressed these and other questions in a climate preaching webinar on September 15, co-sponsored by the two Episcopal dioceses in Massachusetts and Southern New England Conference, United Church of Christ. Check out links to the text and video here.
Tuesday, October 04, 2022• 9:00 AM to
Tuesday, November 29, 2022• 5:00 PM 

We are calling all UCC children and youth: Draw or paint about climate hope, environmental justice, or protecting the Earth. Sunday school class and youth group participation encouraged. Winners will be selected in November!  When you register, you will receive a video that can be used in worship featuring Rev. John Dorhauer, our General Minister and President, creating his very own Climate Hope Card art, a printable Climate Hope Card art template, and regular updates about the Climate Hope Card campaign.
Questions?  Reach out to Andy Wells-Bean at wellsbeana@ucc.orgRegister here 
Dying for Climate Action
Wednesday, Oct. 5, 5 pm. in downtown Boston (location TBA)
Hosted by Extinction Rebellion – a die-in to raise awareness of the climate emergency. Details available when you sign up here.
New Webinar! ~ The Inflation Reduction Act
Wednesday, October 12 at 1 pm ET
For the next Creation Justice Webinar, we will focus on how faith communities can benefit from the Inflation Reduction Act. Did you know that this new law now makes it possible for nonprofit organizations to receive a direct payment from the federal government that equals 30% of a solar installation’s cost? There are also possibilities for taking advantage of incentives for energy efficiency upgrades. Yet, there is much about the law that requires careful attention and navigation.
Even if you can’t make the scheduled time on Wednesday, October 12 at 1 pm ET, still sign up, and we will send you a recording.  Register now!
If you missed the last Creation Justice Webinar, “Birth of a Movement,” celebrating the 40th anniversary of the six-week nonviolent action campaign that gave rise to the environmental justice movement, you can view it here! This webinar features three leaders from the protest against the dumping of toxic waste in Warren County, North Carolina: Dollie Burwell, the Rev. Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jr., and the Rev. William Kearney.
Following up on this webinar, Brooks Berndt announced the creation of the Dollie Burwell Prophetic Action Award to be given out on Earth Day to a UCC church or ministry that embodies and exemplifies Burwell's commitment to environmental justice. Learn how to apply!
Love.Earth.Justice. 2022
Multi-faith Worship and Workshops to Make a Difference
Sunday, October 16, 2-5 pm ET
First Unitarian Church of Worcester, 90 Main Street, Worcester, MA
and online via Zoom
MassIPL presents an afternoon of celebration and community engagement, in collaboration with our host Faith Action Network affiliate, Worcester Congregations for Climate & Environmental Justice. An hour of worship will be followed by two 50-minute workshop slots, each offering two workshops simultaneously. The preacher will be the Executive Director of CREW (Communities Responding to Extreme Weather) Rev. Vernon K. Walker. The event aims to inspire people of faith to take climate action and build climate resilience.
A celebratory multi-faith worship opens the afternoon, with several workshops to build skills and engagement following the service at 3 pm.
Celebratory multi-faith service at 2 pm with prayer, song and reflection from diverse faith traditions. Sermon by Rev. Vernon K. Walker,
At 3 pm and 4 pm: Choose from these workshops to help you build skills and engagement for climate action and resilience:
  • Charting a pathway to net zero for your house of worship
  • Building a climate resilience hub in your community
  • Community organizing, one conversation at a time
  • Advancing climate policy at the local level
Admission is free; donations appreciated during the free will offering.  Prior registration requested for Zoom access and for planning purposes.
More information and register.
Attention GREEN TEAMS! - Next SNEUCC Cross-Pollination Gathering is Monday, October 17, at 6:30 pm
The SNEUCC Environmental Ministries Team has launched a monthly gathering for congregations participating in the Green Congregation Challenge at any level! These zoom gatherings take place on the third Monday of the month at 6:30 pm, with the next on October 17. Bring your challenges and share resources. Depending on your interests, we will host special speakers on topics such as lighting, solar, incentives and rebates, and developing a church green team. Be sure to register to receive the zoom link.
The Intersectional Environmentalist Book Study
Five Tuesdays, October 18 - November 15, 5:00 - 6:15 p.m.
Online ($35, scholarships available)

In The Intersectional Environmentalist: How to Dismantle Systems of Oppression to Protect People and Planet, author Leah Thomas explores the ways in which climate change affects different groups disproportionately and offers ideas and actions toward a more inclusive vision of ecological justice. The BTS Center is sponsoring a book study to delve into the important questions, challenges, and opportunities of an intersectional ecological lens. To inquire about scholarships, please contact nicole@thebtscenter.org.
Environmental Justice is Racial Justice: Faith Communities Respond
Thursday, October 20, 1:30 to 3 PM
Join a panel of leaders on the front lines of environmental justice. Panelists include Dr. Robert Bullard, "The Father of Environmental Justice,” Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy, Texas Southern University, author of 18 books, and co-founder of the HBCU Climate Change Consortium;. Rev. Mariama White-Hammond, Founding Pastor of New Roots AME church in Boston, and a nationally-recognized environmental justice advocate;. Rev. Dr. Deborah Conrad, who was Pastor of People's Church in Flint, MI (ABC/Alliance), during the lead poisoning crisis, and Rev. Betsy Sowers (Moderator), Co-chair of the Alliance of Baptists Creation Justice Community, and Minister for Earth Justice at Old Cambridge Baptist Church, Cambridge, MA.   
Multifaith Prayer Vigils for Climate Justice.
October 21 and 28
In these prayer vigils organized and led by Christian, Jewish, and Muslim women religious leaders in the Connecticut River Valley, people of many faiths will gather in front of Bank of America to pray, sing, and speak for climate justice and to demand an end to fossil fuel financing.
Please join one of these vigils, consider bringing a church banner or a homemade sign, and help us bring our faith into the streets and urge Bank of America to quit funding fossil fuel projects.
Faiths 4 Climate Action
October 2 - November 6, 2022.
Greenfaith’s Faiths 4 Climate Justice is a global, multifaith action to call for an immediate end to new fossil fuel projects, deforestation, and related financing, a commitment to green jobs, and climate reparations from wealthy countries to equip vulnerable nations for a better future.  Events will take place from October 2 to the eve of COP 27 on November 6. Download your Faiths 4 Climate Justice action guide and register your event here.
Join us for a Blessed Tomorrow Climate Training – Nov. 5 from 11 AM to 3 PM ET
The United Church of Christ and ecoAmerica are partnering to offer the Blessed Tomorrow Ambassadors Training Program. This free, virtual, interactive training will cover the links between climate and faith, the spectrum of solutions, how to speak effectively on the topic, and opportunities to act and advocate. Join us on Saturday, November 5, from 11 am - 3 pm ET. Learn more and register here!
EcoPreacher Cohort
November 2022 - November 2023
Third Thursdays, once a month, 1 - 2:15 pm • Online (variable fees)
The BTS Center has partnered with Creation Justice Ministries to offer a year-long cohort intended to support, educate, and engage preachers as they integrate climate consciousness into their preaching. This cohort will offer monthly meetings to help preachers understand climate change and other environmental justice issues more deeply as spiritual crises that requires creative, faith-rooted action. Facilitated by Rev. Nicole Diroff of The BTS Center and Avery Davis Lamb of Creation Justice Ministries, with collaborators Rev. Dr. Leah Schade and Dr. Rebecca Kneale Gould, this cohort will offer an expansive opportunity for connection, creativity, and grounded responses to climate change through the art of preaching. Visit here for more information and to register.
Fall Eco-Grief Circle
Wednesdays, Sept. 21 – Nov. 2
12 – 1:15 p.m. (Eastern) • Online (free)

Sponsored by Creation Care Alliance (in Western North Carolina), this 7-week online experience will be offered in sessions that last about 1 hour and fifteen minutes. Together participants will explore grief and sorrow, anxiety and fear, guilt and shame, anger, and despair. This experience is designed to offer mutual support, healing, insight, and love but is not a grief therapy experience. Read about Climate Change and Mental Health in this report from ecoAmerica and the American Psychological Association.
"Climate Justice: Beyond Denial and Despair" 
Thursdays, Sept. 29 – Nov. 3, 7:30-9:00 pm
Hosted by Riverside Church, NYC, this 8-week series of educational programs will open and confront your mind, heart, and spirit with the reality of climate change and the pervasive presence of environmental racism, and invite you to action. For more information and to register, visit this link.
The Spiritual Wisdom of Trees: Insights from our Elders
Sept. 30-Nov. 10
A six-week video and Zoom class from The Center for Spirituality in Nature, weaving together forest ecology, spiritual insights, and experiential practices. See the class schedule and register here.
The Water Crisis in Jackson, Mississippi Flows from Systemic Racism
Read more from the Southern Poverty Law Center here. 
Survey for AARP Members
If you’re an AARP member, be sure to take their new survey seeking to learn what is of greatest concern to older Americans. Let them know how many of us are concerned about climate and its impacts on our health and well-being and the future for our children and grandchildren! Hearing stories about how global warming has begun to hit you and your family directly and in concrete ways will carry the most weight. Here’s the link.  There are only two questions.
Videos from Racial Justice Summit
Racial justice is environmental justice, and environmental justice is racial justice. Videos will soon be available of the plenary conversation between Rev. Dr. Diane Schmitz and Bishop Yvette Flunder, SNEC Theologians in Virtual Residence, and moderated by Rev. Darrell Goodwin, SNEC Conference Minister.
In addition, videos will be available from the worship services, including the sermon by the Rev. Dr. Danielle J. Buhuro, Founder and Executive Director of the Sankofa CPE Center and author of “Spiritual Care In An Age of #BlackLivesMatter: Examining the Spiritual and Prophetic Needs of African Americans Living In A Violent America.”  
You can also  register now for the two online sessions that Rev. Dr. Diane Schmitz will lead primarily for white-identified individuals. Oct. 8: Breaking through Barriers: Interrupting How White Supremacy Culture Works to Keep Racism in Place and Nov. 5: Creating Change in Your Sphere of Influence.
Enrollment is free, but space is limited. For more info, contact the Rev. James Ross rossj@sneucc.org
Join Interfaith Power and Light’s 2022 Faith Climate Justice Voter Campaign to reach out to people of faith and conscience, to make sure they are registered and ready to vote, and to mobilize them to vote their values of caring for our common home and loving our neighbors.
You can also download IPL’s Faithful Voter Reflection Guide which discusses many issues on the ballot: damage to the climate, immigration policies that tear families apart, mass incarceration that devastates communities of color, and threats to global public health and security. Download the guide here.
Solar for Houses of Worship!
If you missed Mass IPL’s spring webinar on installing solar for your house of worship, you can view the entire Solar Open Forum webinar here. The YouTube page lists the questions that were addressed, along with the timing of when they were discussed, so you can jump right to the topic that most interests you. The speakers described the challenges and how they are working through them. An "open forum" followed, which addressed a wide range of questions, including how to deal with historic commissions and how to finance with funds from congregants. 

Has your faith community considered solar? MassIPL can help guide you through the process! Email MassIPL with your solar inquiry: solar@massipl.org. Or consider engaging MassIPL for an Environmental Stewardship Assessment. This assessment, geared to the unique design and use of faith communities' buildings, examines 24 energy-saving opportunities, and provides specific recommendations ranging from easy, low-cost actions to major projects like upgrading your heating equipment. Email esa@MassIPL.org to learn more.
Christians and Climate Change with Bill McKibben
Available anytime • Online ($10)
In this new online course offered by ChurchNext, Bill McKibben shows us that we still have time to take climate action -- but not as much time as we once had, and not as completely as we once might have been able to manage. For more information and to register, click here.
Green your electricity with locally generated, renewable energy
If we make the right renewable energy choices, we can shift the New England electric grid away from fossil fuels. Customers of National Grid or Eversource in MA/RI can sign up with Green Energy Consumers Alliance.  In any case, ditch your clothes dryer and hang laundry on a line!

Contact Information

Karen Methot

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victoria guest crop.jpg
Vicky A. Guest

The Rev. Victoria Alford Guest is co-chair of the SNEUCC Environmental Ministries Team and former pastor of the First Congregational Church in Natick, MA.

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