May Environmental Ministry Calendar

May Environmental Ministry Calendar

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 Curated by Victoria Guest for the SNEUCC Environmental Ministry Team
 
“Living Out the Gospel in Each and Every Election” -  Now available online!
Check out this new resource featuring Nathaniel Stinnett, founder and Executive Director of the Environmental Voters Project and several clergy serving churches in our conference ONLINE!  Learn why identifying and mobilizing non-voting environmentalists into a critical mass is vital and how you and your congregation can make this happen. In addition to Nathaniel Stinnett’s presentation, clergy from local churches who have promoted the voter challenge in their congregations share their experience of participating in the Creation Care Voter Pledge (CCVP) challenge in 2020.
 
The Environmental Voter Project estimates that about 15 million people who consider the environment a priority don’t vote.  Why is that important?  Because political campaigns pay attention to the concerns of voters.  If those for whom the environment is a priority don’t vote, then environmental initiatives are not a priority for legislators.
Sound the Alarm for Climate Action!  
 Church bells have a long history of calling communities together to respond to a crisis.  In the Southern New England conference there are several clusters of congregations gathering on the 11th of every month to ring their bells and sound the alarm that we are approaching the “11th hour” of the growing climate crisis. for more information visit the website.  

Sound the Alarm for Climate Action is also an excellent opportunity to invite participants and passersby to take the Creation Care Voter Pledge and increase the number of voters concerned about the environment.  If your congregation decides to make a commitment to ring your bell on the 11th of each month, we want to hear about your ideas and experience. Contact Karen Methot and share your story so that we can get the word out and inspire others!
Spring into Action this spring! Join the Green Congregation Challenge!
Check out the updated and expanded the Green Congregation Challenge for the Southern New England Conference with links to topics like advocacy, voting, environmental justice, intersectionality and civil disobedience, as well as books and curriculum for children and adults, opportunities for youth, and contact information for SNEUCC climate leaders.  You will find ample resources to progress from to “Creating a Plan,” to “Building Momentum,” and “Expanding Impact.” Each level encourages congregations to spread out their engagement over five different areas: Educate, Organize, Reduce/Recycle/Rethink, Connect and Advocate.  Download these resources today:

Trifold brochure: https://www.sneucc.org/files/sneucc/general+documents/gcc+brochure2.pdf+.pdf
Bulletin insert: https://www.sneucc.org/files/sneucc/general+documents/gcc+bulletin+insert.pdf
Options for Actions: https://www.sneucc.org/files/sneucc/general+documents/gcc+levels.pdf
To join the Challenge, visit www.sneucc.org/green-congregation-challenge and check out our other resources at www.sneucc.org/environmental-ministries.
Climate Change as Spiritual Practice
Tuesday, May 10
3  – 5 PM Eastern • Online (free)
Join Joanna Macy, author of Active Hope, and Jonathan Gustin, the founder of Purpose Guides Institute, to discover your authentic place in the world and to offer your soul-level purpose as a gift of service to life in this time. Can’t make it? Sign up for free and receive a recording. For more information and to register, click here.  
Embodied Regenerative Weekly Practice
Thursday, May 12 (and weekly thereafter)
5 – 6:15 PM Eastern • Online (free)
“The climate and ecological emergency is a trauma inflicted on all beings by white supremacy." -- Embodied Antiracism Practice, Extinction Rebellion, NYC
Embodied Regenerative Practice is an interfaith gathering of people working to develop a spiritually grounded, anti-racist climate justice community. Recognizing that white supremacy culture is at the root of systemic racism, the climate/environmental crises, and profound alienation from our bodies and the bodies of all living beings, we seek to create a safe space for truth-telling, healing, and empowerment. The weekly Zoom practice will provide movement, grounding/prayer, video or other prompts, and small group reflection to create awareness of our embodied racialized behaviors and develop new habits in how we relate to others and the Creation in our lives and organizing work. For more information, click here. To sign up or indicate interest (even if the time doesn’t work), contact Lise Hildebrandt.  
Climate Migration: Responding with Faith, Care, and Equity
Wednesday, May 11
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Eastern • Online (free)
Migration stemming from the damage done to our climate is underway right now as the lives of people around the world are uprooted and disrupted. From sub-Saharan Africa and the Pacific Islands to Alaska and Louisiana, we see the present consequences of drought, extreme weather, and rising sea levels. According to a recent UN climate report, 20 million people have been displaced each year since 2008 due to extreme weather that is often exacerbated by the climate crisis. While climate-related migration is bound to increase, there is much we can do as people of faith to both mitigate the severity of the climate crisis and reduce worsening inequities amid forced displacement. Hosted by the Rev. Brooks Berndt and the Rev. Michael Malcom, this webinar will feature those working to address climate migration from a place of deeply held values. You can register here.
New Offering from MassIPL: Zero Carbon Assessment
With last year's passage of the Next Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy, MassIPL updated our Environmental Stewardship Assessment report to include recommendations on actions to take to achieve 50% carbon reduction by 2030 and get on the path to net zero carbon by 2050. If your house of worship hasn't ever had an ESA, please consider getting one now! If your house of worship has had an ESA in the past, we are now offering an update that focuses on the Zero Carbon Assessment. We build on the work of the prior assessment and update the recommendations to align with the Commonwealth's goal to phase out burning fossil fuels and improve building energy efficiency.
 
Our assessment is a complement to a MassSave assessment: our report looks holistically at how your use your buildings, heating/cooling systems, electricity usage, and the building itself. We will connect you to the right people at MassSave who will then assess which of our recommendations qualify for incentives and rebates from the program and introduce you to contractors for the work.
For more information or to get started on an assessment for your house of worship, email esa@MassIPL.org
Green Gospel for a Pale Blue Earth: Online Class
4 Wednesdays: May 4, 11, 18, 25
8 – 9 PM Eastern • Online ($50)
Led by course instructor, John Gatta (writer, theologian, and professor emeritus at the University of the South, Sewanee.
The health of our common home, once imaged by astronomer Carl Sagan as a lovely but pale blue dot of vulnerability floating in the immensity of space, today looks more doubtful than ever. How, though, might we renew for ourselves that deep green faith? How might we reclaim environmental consciousness as a central – not merely a supplementary or special interest – component of Christian faith and practice? How might we root it in gospel teachings, including those associated with traditional terms such as salvation, incarnation, God’s reign, and Christ’s resurrection and transfiguration on Mount Tabor?  For more information and to register, click here
Eco Preacher Workshop
Thursday, May 19
12:30 – 3 PM  • Online ($25)
In these times of accelerating climate change and devastating losses, we need spiritual leadership that is strong enough to speak prophetically to the challenges at hand, yet tender and nuanced enough to allow the message to resonate. Those of us who preach regularly, or even occasionally, can feel at a loss as to how to incorporate climate change into our sermons and reflections, complex and painful as these subjects are. And yet, the need for preaching in a climate-changed world is profound. Knowing the importance of ecological preaching,  The BTS Center is pleased to partner with Rev. Dr. Leah D. Schade and Rabbi Yonatan Neril for an Eco Preaching Workshop in which participants will gain tools to become “EcoPreachers” in their contexts. For more information and to register, click here.
Rooted and Rising in Love: A Summer Solstice in-person Retreat
Tuesday, June 21, 2022 • $80 (includes lunch)
9:30 a.m. – 3:30 PM (registration and coffee begin at 9 AM, program starts at 9:30) 
Led by the Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas
 
This one-day retreat, held in the beautiful landscape of the Rolling Ridge Retreat & Conference Center in North Andover, will include a mix of presentations, small group conversations, individual reflection, and free time for contemplative wandering and prayer. Together we will explore a framework for the heart to help us become compassionate, prophetic leaders who can take up the mantle of moral leadership that this decisive moment in history requires.
During the pandemic, Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas presented this retreat online in several venues. Even if you’ve reflected on this material before, our June retreat will give us a chance to absorb the same material in each other’s embodied presence and in the company of a lake, woods, hiking trails, and an outdoor labyrinth and chapel.
Retreatants are welcome to stay overnight for an extra charge.  Contact Guest Services Director, Lee O'Brien. To register, visit hereRegistration is open until June 10. 
Climate Disasters, Faithful Resilience: Preparing your congregation for climate disasters
Thursday, May 19
6 – 7 PM Eastern • Online (free) The question around disasters is not if a disaster will happen here but when – especially as we see climate change increasing the severity and frequency of severe weather events. When disasters occur, congregations can offer vital care and resources for their members and wider communities. Advance preparation and planning can position churches to respond well.
As we enter another season of climate-driven disasters, it is time to step back and ask: How can our congregations be hubs of climate resilience, helping our communities weather the spiritual and physical storms of the climate crisis? In this workshop, facilitated by Avery Davis Lamb, Co-Executive Director of Creation Justice Ministries, participants will learn about the domestic and global context of climate disasters, get connected with resources for disaster response and recovery, and engage in conversations and activities for developing context-specific disaster preparedness and response plans.  You can register here.
Let Them Have DominionWhat is Creation Care?
Thursday, May 26 (Ascension Day)
7:30 PM Eastern • Online (free)
The Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas will be the final speaker in this 6-week speaker series through the season of Easter, sponsored by the Creation Care ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri and hosted by Parker Williams, Missioner for Creation Care and Stewardship. For a complete list of speakers and to register, click here.  
New book published on Earth Day! 
The Creation Care Bible Challenge: A 50 Day Bible Challenge, edited by Marek P. Zabriskie.
This remarkable collection features 50 days of reflections composed by scholars, priests, bishops, and leaders from around the Anglican Communion. Each biblical passage is accompanied by a brief essay on its ecological meaning, and a prayer. 
Available from the publisher, Forward Movement, and wherever books are sold.
Why Prophets Matter Today: Confronting the Climate Crisis
An excellent keynote lecture by the Rev. Dr. Brooks Berndt (Theologian-In-Residence for Ames United Church of Christ, and the United Church of Christ’s Environmental Justice Minister). In a clear, straightforward presentation he outlines 10 “Naked Truths” that point to the need for prophetic action and the key elements of prophetic action. Visit here for the list of 10 naked truths. The YouTube link is here (his presentation is from 6:30-45:00).
From Our Partners at Mass Interfaith Power and Light:
Join the Faith Action Network for Climate & Environmental Justice
Have you heard?! Mass IPL is launching the Faith Action Network for Climate & Environmental Justice (FAN): local multifaith teams that will hold our legislators and other decision-makers accountable on climate and environmental justice. Grounded in their home congregations, Faith Action Network (FAN) Teams will reach across boundaries of religious tradition to work together on statewide legislative campaigns and local issues. Mass IPL will offer training, guidance, and support. For more information, please contact organizer Miriam Cohen at mcohen@massipl.org. If you’d like to get involved in the Faith Action Network, please fill out this form: bit.ly/faithactionnetwork
Now Is The Time To Learn About Heat Pumps
Yes, heating season is over, but it isn't too early to prepare for the next one. Especially if your furnace or boiler gave you trouble over the winter, you are thinking of replacing it, or it is more than 15 - 20 years old.
Because heat pumps use electricity and don't burn fossil fuels, they are the preferred solution for lower-carbon heating.  As the electric grid adds more wind and solar sources, electricity will become lower carbon and eventually zero carbon. The Baker Administration's 2050 Decarbonization Roadmap says "Electrification of space and water heating is a low-risk, cost-effective strategy for decarbonizing the majority of the Commonwealth’s building stock.” 
Here are three great resources to help learn about heat pumps and plan to install them at your home and house of worship: Join MassIPL in urging passage of H.3333 and S.2197: An Act to prevent biomass energy to protect the air we breathe.  
Wood-burning power plants are not “clean energy” and should not qualify for renewable energy credits. The legislation aims to prevent this. Smokestack CO2 emissions from utility-scale wood-burning power plants are worse than coal per unit of energy generated. They also emit large quantities of other harmful air pollutants and are damaging to our health, our climate, and our forests. And without renewable energy credits, they are not economically viable. 
This act removes woody biomass from the list of technologies eligible for renewable energy incentives in the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) and Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (APS). These ratepayer-funded programs are best used to incentivize clean, non-emitting energy technologies, such as wind and solar, not wood-burning technologies, which cause harmful air pollution while exacerbating climate change. 

Email your state legislators! Ask your House Rep to cosponsor H3333; ask your Senator to pass S2197. Click here to find out who your state legislators are and how to contact them. Or send an email through the Action Network site and they’ll find them for you!  Learn even more about the pitfalls of biomass energy and the shortcomings of MA’s proposed regulatory changes from Partnership for Policy Integrity and No Toxic Biomass.
 Poor People’s Campaign Moral March on Washington 
Saturday, June 18, all day (in person and livestream)
For more info on SNEUCC pre- and post-trip gatherings for participating congregations, contact the Rev. Emma Brewer-Wallin brewer-walline@sneucc.org. For more info on the campaign: https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/june18/

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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