February Environmental Ministry Calendar

February Environmental Ministry Calendar

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Curated by the Environmental Ministry Team of the Southern New England Conference UCC

Urgent action on 5 MA climate justice bills!
Please join Mass. Interfaith Power & Light and Mass Power Forward in urgent action on key bills that will die if not reported out of committee by February 3. Five priority bills are still pending before the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy (TUE). Please send an email to TUE Co-Chairs Sen. Mike Barrett (Mike.Barrett@masenate.gov) and Rep. Jeffrey Roy (Jeffrey.Roy@mahouse.gov) and urge immediate action on these bills.  You can also contact your own Massachusetts senator and representative, asking that they communicate their strong support for these bills to Sen. Barrett and Rep. Roy. Find your legislators here
The bills are:
1.  The 100 % Clean Act (H.3288/S.2136), which lays out clear steps and a just transition.
2.  The Green Future Act (H.3292), which provides practical and equitable steps to reach our climate goals and to pay for them. 
3. The Building Justice with Jobs Act (now H.3365/S.2226), which will put thousands of people to work retrofitting one million Massachusetts homes over the next decade to make them safer, healthier, and more energy efficient.
4. The Biomass Burning bill (H.3333/S.2197), which prohibits labeling woody biomass (i.e. our trees) as a renewable resource.
5. The Energy Siting Justice bill, whose provisions would prevent the continued creation of sacrifice zones for dirty energy projects, generally in communities of color and low wealth.
Sacrifice Zone, February 3, 6:00-8:00
Virtual Screening hosted by the JP Chapter of Mothers Out Front and Boston Public Library.
The film documents a Newark-area community's fight for the right to breathe clean air and environmental justice, as a predominantly Black and Latinx community that has been used as an 'industrial wasteland.'
Register here.
Be on the look-out for a mailing from the Conference Environmental Ministries Team to your church which contains information on an upcoming Super Saturday workshop on March 19thThe workshop Living Out the Gospel in Each and Every Election” will feature Nathaniel Stinnett, Executive Director of the Environmental Voter Project. This workshop will introduce ways that your congregation can inspire environmental voters by participating in our UCC Creation Care Voter Pledge challenge. The video from this workshop will also be available online after March 19, so that you can expand the conversation in your congregation.
You can find more information on Super Saturday in the mailing and here.
Also enclosed in the mailing are copies of the updated Green Congregation Challenge trifold and Options for Actions. Those documents, as well as a bulletin insert, are also available online at www.sneucc.org/green-congregation-challenge
Let us know how we can help you. Contact the Reverend Emma Brewer-Wallin or Karen Methot.
Climate Change and Migration: Why Do People Leave the Homes They Love? - February 3 from 7 to 8:30 PM
IREJN, CT Interfaith Power & Light, and the Hartford International University for Religion and Peace will present a 90-minute webinar on Thursday, February 3 from 7 – 8:30 PM on the intersection of climate change and migration. We will focus on how climate change exacerbates both conflict and hunger crises, creating both internal migration and immigration.

Our panelists will be Ali Noorani, President and CEO of the National Immigration Forum, and Tabitha Sookdeo of Sookdeo Consulting, a climate and immigration activist who has worked to settle refugees in America. Eamon Ormseth will moderate our webinar. Spanish interpretation will be available.  Register here
Connecticut Transit Equity Day: From Rosa Parks to Transit Equity Issues in 2022
Friday, Feb 4, 2022 at 12:00 pm;Virtual Event
Transit Equity Day is held each year on the anniversary of Rosa Parks' birthday and highlights the ongoing equity issues that still need to be addressed in transit here in Connecticut. RSVP here.
Massachusetts Transit Equity Day on February 4: Local Event - 10:00-11:30, Nubian Square. Join Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE), and the T Riders Union to stand up for our rights to a Clean and Green, equitable, affordable public transportation system, AND receive a free Covid PPE pack!  Also National Virtual Event for Transit Equity – 12 PM, with Sierra Club and Labor Network for Sustainability on YouTube. Learn more and register. Sign up now for a Virtual Livestream of The Rosa Parks Story on Feb. 18 at 6 PM. click to register.
Spiritual Leadership for a Climate-Changed World
February – May • Online
A joint offering of The BTS Center and Maine School of Ministry, this four-month, online course is for ministers and other spiritual leaders who want to deepen their understanding of what is necessary to guide our communities toward reclaiming a right relationship with the earth and our collective future. For more information and to register, visit https://thebtscenter.org/spiritual-leadership-for-a-climate-changed-world/
Sacred Season for Climate Justice - LAUNCH CALL on February 7th!
Between March 19 and May 6, 2022, there are five major sacred days or seasons, an Equinox, and Earth Day. Together, these days collectively attract billions of people of diverse faiths and none to worship, pray, listen to sermons, reflect, and commit to act on what matters most.  

If religious groups were to offer an impassioned call for an end to new fossil fuel projects and a just transition for all across these major religious holidays, when they collectively attract massive numbers of worshippers, followers and adherents – it would attract media coverage, help shift cultural narratives on climate change, provide a boost to the climate justice movement, surface new allies from diverse faiths and geographies, and help take religious engagement on climate to a new level by grounding people of faith and spirit around the world in the theological and spiritual teachings that drive them.

So that’s what we’re going to do: People of faith will devote a sermon/spoken teaching or a public ritual/service during their sacred season to call for climate justice– rooted in eco-theologies and eco-spiritualities and then tell the world about it. 
Join the launch call on February 7!    
Eco Grief Circle
Seven Mondays, beginning February 7
7-8:15 PM • Online (free)
In collaboration with Creation Care Alliance of Western North Carolina, The BTS Center is offering an Eco Grief Circle to help participants "tune in and touch in" to feelings around climate grief. Eco Grief Circles are designed to offer mutual support, healing, insight, and love, though are not intended to be therapy.

Participants have expressed profound gratitude for being among people who could talk honestly about grief, suffering, and the ecological and social challenges of our time. The leadership team and facilitators include counselors, pastors, and environmental advocates. Each session includes a brief teaching, opportunities for individual reflection and meditation, conversation in small groups, and rituals for self-care. Register
Climate Justice March
Tuesday, Feb 8, 2022 at 2 PM
In-person event starting at The Old State House, 800 Main St, Hartford

Climate disruption is disproportionately harming the most vulnerable communities and stealing the future from our youth. Yet, the Connecticut government and corporations are failing us on climate action. Join us as we plan to gather for a March in Hartford to amplify the voices of the most vulnerable communities and urge Connecticut to Lead on Climate.

The March will stop at Eversource (CT’s largest utility), Travelers (the worst insurer for climate in the world), DEEP, and finishing at the State Capitol. Masks will be required for this event and all related Covid safety protocols will be in place. RSVP here.
Next Creation Justice Webinar – February 9 at 1 PM
“When Disaster Strikes: Faith Communities Responding with Equity and Justice."
The webinar will focus on specifically climate-related disasters. Panelists will include Marcus Coleman, Jr., from FEMA's Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Marcie Roth from the World Institute on Disability, and the Rev. Fred Meade from the National Disaster Interfaiths Network.
Even if you can’t make the scheduled time of 1 PM ET on Wednesday, February 9, still sign up, and we will send you a recording.
Lament with Earth
Thursday, February 10
7:30 - 8.30 PM. • Online (free)
We have so few opportunities to express our sorrow, fear, sadness and yes, even despair about a future of life in a climate-changed world. It takes courage to touch the places inside ourselves where these truths live — those thoughts and feelings that likely keep many of us up at night, but are too often held inside us, in a space both alone, and lonely.
 
To create space for these feelings, The BTS Center has teamed up with The Many, an extraordinary group of songwriters, spoken word artists and liturgists to create Lament with Earth — five seasonal events which will include original music, poetry, rituals, images, scripture and videos to reflect different seasons of loss through the liturgical year. These events are interactive, inviting you to pray and sing along. You are invited to bring your own sense of loss and sadness. We will lament together and also share that which has been a balm to our grief, strengthening us for the work we know awaits us. Register
Learning the Language of Wild Paradox
A day-long retreat guided by eco-justice poet Lilace Mellin Guignard
Thursday, February 24
9 AM – 3:30 PM • Online ($50; scholarships available)
Art has a vital role to play in our struggle to salvage a livable future. To Lilace Mellin Guignard, art, as a practice, is not primarily about creating beauty; it is first and foremost a survival skill. As the language of paradox, poetry offers a wild space – undomesticated by Western civilization – where doubt and faith, terror and joy, can all exist at once. 
 
During this retreat, sponsored by The BTS Center, participants will spend the day engaging with poetry, exploring the polarities and binaries we perpetuate and how they are linked with our understanding of nature and climate change. Participants will learn to use poetry to participate in the mystery of creation, and how art is an essential part of our individual and collective efforts at adaptation and mitigation. Lilace will guide everyone through readings, discussions, and reflections, with time to respond to writing prompts. Register 
Electric Vehicles 101

Thursday, February 24th @ 10AM
Curious about getting an electric vehicle (EV)? Join us for our popular Electric Vehicles 101 webinar to learn the basics! 

We'll cover environmental and consumer benefits, information about batteries and charging, state and federal incentives, and more. Plus, we'll have plenty of time to answer all of your questions.  Register 
Renewing God’s Creation: Daily meditations for Lent 
Lent invites us to reflect on our relationships with God, each other, and the Earth upon which all life depends.  The Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts hopes that you will 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 many sources as we honor the wisdom of many voices and traditions. Join us to contemplate the gift of the natural world and our calling to reconcile humanity with the rest of God’s creation. Sign up here.
Daily Lenten Meditations: For the Beauty of the Earth
 
Before Lent begins you might also like to get a copy of Leah Schade’s daily devotional, For the Beauty of the Earth. Its daily Lenten meditations connect Christian faith with caring for God’s creation. 

This small book can be ordered in bulk at a discount, and the price is very reasonable.
 
God, Country, and Climate Change: A Christian Perspective on a Global Problem”
Wednesdays, March 9 – April 27 
7 9 PM • Online (free webinar)
This 8-week online course at Houghton College is an incredible opportunity to learn about the climate crisis from a Christian perspective and from some of the world's top experts. Taught by Christian climate leader Brian Webb, the course features guest lecturers such as Bill McKibben, Katharine Hayhoe, Bob Inglis, and many other well-known thought leaders. Topics include, among others, climate advocacy, climate science, creation care theology, spirituality, grief, psychology of climate denial, and much more. 

The course is open to the public for credit ($1,176), audit ($150), or as a FREE webinar. The credit and audit versions include full access to supplementary lectures and forum discussions, as well as the opportunity to interact with guest speakers. To learn more and to register, visit here.
 “Living Out the Gospel in Each and Every Election” at Super Saturday, March 19
The workshop will clearly explain why identifying and mobilizing non-voting environmentalists into a critical mass is vital. An organizational leader and voting guru, Nathaniel Stinnett will describe how you and/or your congregation can make this happen. In laying the groundwork, the workshop will assist you and your congregation in learning more about and participating in the Creation Care Voter Pledge (CCVP) challenge.
  • Pre-recorded guest speaker: The founder and Executive Director of the Environmental Voters Project (EVP), Nathaniel Stinnett uses data analytics and behavioral science, to effectively convert non-voting environmentalists into a critical mass too big for politicians to ignore.
  • Rev. Dr. Jessica McArdle is a member of the Environmental Ministries Team of SNEUCC, Co-Chair of Environmental Justice at FCCW, and trained as a leader in the Climate Reality Project. She formerly served as settled and interim pastor for churches in MA, NH, and CT.  
  • Rev. Vicky Guest is Co-Chair of the Environmental Ministries Team of SNEUCC and Board member at Massachusetts Interfaith Power and Light.
  • Guests(s): Clergy from local churches who have promoted CCVP in their own congregations.  Registration deadline – March 13. Register here.  

Preaching Hope in a Climate Emergency: A Lenten Conversation with Jim Antal and Margaret Bullitt-Jonas
Tuesday, March 15
10 – 11 AM. • Zoom (free)
If the world’s average temperature will soon shoot past the 1.5ºC target to ensure climate stability, how do we preach about hope? Geared to the season of Lent, this informal, hour-long conversation will provide a space for reflecting on Gospel hope, keeping in mind the systemic challenge of keeping fossil fuels in the ground and the connections between racial, economic, and environmental justice. We’ll touch upon a few lectionary readings for Lent, and there will be opportunities for questions and discussion. This ecumenical event is open to all preachers.
 
More information – including a short list of recommended readings – and registration  
 (NOTE: This event replaces the one originally scheduled for January.)
Reconciliation: Putting a Burden Down
A Lenten Quiet Day with the Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas
Saturday, March 19
9:30 a.m. – 12 Noon • Online (free)
In every act of reconciliation, we connect with the boundless love of God. Through brief presentations and conversation, as well as silent prayer and guided meditation, this online Lenten retreat will give us space to explore and to pray about the places in our lives where God may be inviting us to let go our burdens of resentment, guilt, or shame. Register
2022 American Climate Leadership Summit 
March 28-31 • Zoom
Only 6% of Americans talk about climate change regularly, even though 78% are concerned. We know that climate change is already affecting us, and that every person every day can be part of the solution. Your climate leadership can make a difference. You can help inspire more Americans to climate action. Sign up to participate in the 11th Annual American Climate Leadership Summit (ACLS 2022) which will take place virtually March 28-31, 2022. ACLS 2022 is for climate leaders of all levels. 
Save the date and register now!   
Plan ahead for Earth Day!
The 2022 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 safeguard a thriving Earth for future generations.
Faith Climate Action Week is Interfaith Power & Light’s annual program of climate-themed worship services and sermons that spans ten days of activities around Earth Day, with this year’s dates being April 22 - May 1, 2022. Join the community of people of faith preaching, teaching, and acting to heal the climate in 2022! 

The theme of 2022’s Faith Climate Action Week is “Sacred Trust: Our children’s right to a livable future.” We will examine our responsibility to safeguard our Earth for future generations, and how our faiths call us to respond with bold and just solutions to climate change. More info and Organizers Kit available for $24
Pursuing Our Passions in a Climate-Changed World
Anytime you like • Online
Offered by The BTS Center, this self-guided workshop is available at any time. Gather a small group of adult learners and enjoy this workshop together. You will be invited into a process of discovering how to imagine a better world and use what you love to get there. Through a series of prompts and creative exercises supplemented by short videos, participants will delve deeply into what helps them to come alive and will be invited to creatively leverage those passions to engage with the problems and possibilities of climate change. It includes a detailed Facilitator’s Guide. Sign up.   
Religions and Ecology: Restoring the Earth Community
Anytime you like • Online (free for those who audit)
Enroll in these free courses from Yale University and Coursera to understand the ecological teachings and practices of religious traditions across the planet. Accessible to a general audience, these courses let you start anytime and work at your own pace. Topics include “Introduction to Religions and Ecology,” “Indigenous Religions and Ecology,” “Christianity and Ecology,” and much more. The courses are intended to help galvanize the moral force needed for transformative change. To learn more, visit here, where will also find a fact sheet of frequently asked questions.
ACTIONS, OPPORTUNITIES AND UPDATES!
 
Job posting: SNEUCC Environmental Justice Internship
The Southern New England Conference, UCC, is accepting applications for an Environmental Justice Intern. If you know young adults (18-30) in the Northeast who might be interested, check out this opportunity at https://www.sneucc.org/environmental-justice-internship  
Ask the Biden Administration to Address Global Plastic Pollution.
From February 28-March 2nd, governments around the world have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to discuss a historic agreement to tackle global plastic pollution. The US needs to be a leader on pushing for the boldest, most ambitious version of the Global Plastics Treaty, based on the Rwanda-Peru Resolution introduced at the U.N. Greenpeace asks us to Take 30 seconds to message President Biden to co-sponsor the Rwanda-Peru Resolution to address the entire lifecycle of plastics.
Weymouth Compressor Update!
We Can’t Give up the Fight. Read the interview with Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station president, Alice Arena, on the necessity of continuing efforts to shut Enbridge’s Weymouth compressor station as a matter of environmental and climate justice.
Check out these resources on electrifying your home and place of worship, and your car, recommended by Massachusetts Interfaith Power and Light:
  • Electrify Everything in Your Home. This free guide from Rewiring America walks you through 10 places you can electrify your home and provides a checklist to help you prioritize which actions to take when. (A note from our friend, Rev. Betsy Sowers: Most of these actions are appropriate for your house of worship, too!)
  • Normal Now. Don't let the charming, light-hearted tone of this site distract you from the great information about the capabilities, benefits, and electric car models available. Not ready for pure electric yet? The site also lists hybrids and plug-in hybrids.
Greenfaith: Take Action Together in 2022
Check out Greenfaith’s 2022 Global Faith-in-Action call regarding deforestation, an interfaith summit on climate finance, and a Sacred Season of Climate Justice. If you’d like to learn more or to help with planning, please visit https://greenfaith.org/take-action-together-in-2022/.
Third Act Launches!
If you are over 60 and missed the launch of Third Act, being organized by Bill McKibben and Akaya Winwood, you can view it here and visit their web site. Plans include a faith working group. Also, Third Act is campaigning to stop big banks from funding climate destruction. The top four banks that fund fossil fuel projects are Citibank, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Chase. Third Act is a brand-new climate advocacy group for people over 60, but everyone is invited to sign the pledge.
You can sign one of two pledges, depending on whether or not you are a current customer and/or credit card holder. Here is the pledge:
“If by the end of 2022, Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo, or Bank of America are still funding climate-destroying fossil fuel projects, I pledge to close my account and cut up my credit card. If I don’t bank at these institutions now, I pledge I won’t do so in the future.
 

Contact Information

Karen Methot

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Author

victoria guest crop.jpg
Vicky A. Guest

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

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