October Environmental Ministry Calendar

October Environmental Ministry Calendar

Curated by Victoria Guest for the SNEUCC Environmental Ministry Team

Step up to the Challenge! Wildfires, droughts, flash floods and heat domes are no longer reported as isolated incidents. Public opinion is shifting from skepticism about climate change to broad-based acceptance that the climate emergency is human caused. People of faith can move the conversation and spark action to protect vulnerable communities and preserve a livable world for future generations.
The SNEUCC Environmental Ministries Team has revised and updated the Green Congregation Challenge to resource congregations with steps to engage all ages, stages, and interests to become a part of the solution.  For more information, check out the Challenge TODAY!  
Check out these great virtual “green” workshops at SNEUCC’s “Super Saturday” on October 2 
  • The Path to Net Zero Carbon Emissions with Mass Interfaith Power and Light leaders. Learn how to reduce emissions and lower the energy impact on your budget.
  • Racial Justice=Environmental Justice=Climate Justice with Dr. Karim Ahmed, founding member of the Global Center for Science and the Environment.
  • Stewardship Beyond Pledge Drives with David Cleaver-Bartholomew and Emma Brewer-Wallin, the new Minister of Environmental and Economic Justice.
  • The Pandemic Showed Us: The Possibility of Cleaner Air with Ruth Cleaver, Lead Writer for Environmental Justice Certificate Program, PATHWAYS Theological Education.
  • What’s the Difference Between Charity, Advocacy and Social Justice: Let’s Talk About What You Are Called to Do with SNEUCC Legislative Advocate, Michele Mudrick and Kathleen Patron, leader organizer for the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization.
  • Reigniting Shared Justice Efforts with Emma Brewer-Wallin, the new Minister of Environmental and Economic Justice.
Click this link to register your team.
Weather Reports: A Series of Online Conversations with Terry Tempest Williams, writer in residence at Harvard Divinity School 

On Mondays evenings - Now through Nov. 29 from 7- 8:30 PM

Upcoming conversations include:
September 27 
The Climate of Sacred Land Protection
Bernadette Demientieff
, Gwich’in activist
Learn how her community in Alaska is standing strong to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge—Coastal Plain from becoming an oil and gas reserve. Zoom registration required.

October 4 
The Climate of Relationships and Intersectionality
Morgan Curtis, MDiv '24, climate activist and HDS student and brontë velez, Black-latinx transdisciplinary artist will discuss the intersectionality of race, class, gender, and climate collapse, and how seeing the world whole through the lens of relationships creates communities of care rather than conflict. Zoom registration required.

October 18
The Climate of Compassion for all Beings
Janet Gyatso
, Hershey Professor of Buddhist Studies and Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs at Harvard Divinity School notes that we are not the only species that lives and loves and grieves on this planet. How might compassion and an understanding toward animals heighten and mirror reciprocal relationships toward each other? Zoom registration required.

October 25 
The Climate of Grief
Victoria Chang,
How do we embrace grief and not look away from all that is breaking our hearts? Zoom registration required.
For more about each week’s program, topics for November, and registrations, visit bit.ly/3AcV6Wu.
Sing for the Planet: Make your Voices Heard at COP26.
Now through October 11
We’ve marched, we’ve voted, we’ve petitioned, now we are going to sing in one large choir, the #HouseOnFireChoir with A Passion for the Planet at the UN Climate Summit. The Climate Emergency means we need to make our voices heard!

Be a part of the finale of the COP26 on-line performance of Geoffrey Hudson’s A Passion for the Planet. Record yourself, your friends, your family, or your choir singing the final hymn, “Holy Earth, Ancient Home.” Send in your performance, and we’ll (literally) bring your voices to Glasgow, Scotland this November! Explore this website for more details on how to participate. (Thanks to the Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, who is helping to organize this!)
Ecological Conversion: Falling in Love with Earth
Saturday, October 2 ~ 9:30 AM – 12 Noon • Zoom (free)
Led by the Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas

“Ecological conversion means falling in love with earth as an inherently valuable, living community in which we participate, and bending every effort to be creatively faithful to its well-being, in tune with the living God who brought it into being and cherishes it with unconditional love.” – Elizabeth Johnson
As we approach the end of Creation Season and prepare for the feast day of St. Francis on October 4, what is our next step in eco-conversion? How does God want to meet us through the natural world? Our time together will include silence and guided meditation, presentations and small group conversation, and free time for solitary prayer and a contemplative walk outdoors. Please bring a natural object to this retreat (e.g., a few autumn leaves, a rock, shell, feather, or house plant). This retreat is sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts and the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts and is open to the public at no charge. Registration is now open.
Love, Earth, Justice:  A Multifaith Service of Prayer, Celebration, and Resolve
Sunday, October 3, 3:00 p.m. • Old South Church, Boston
Celebrate creation and community, mourn all we have lost, and call each other to faithful action. The service will include prayer, readings, and uplifting music, with an inspiring sermon from Rev. Traci Blackmon, Associate General Minister of Justice & Local Church Ministries for The United Church of Christ. Hosted by MA Interfaith Power and Light, with co-sponsors Boston Catholic Climate Movement, Climate Crisis Task Force of Old South Church, Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts, and Jewish Climate Action Network. Visit this URL for updated info., COVID protocols, directions, and more. Funds from the offering will be given to GreenRoots and MassIPL’s new Faith in Action Campaign.
Monday, Oct. 4, 10:00-11:00 AM
Join the Environmental Justice Table for a Virtual Briefing for Siting Justice on S.2135/H.3336 An Act Relative to Energy Facilities Siting Reform to Address Environmental Justice, Climate, and Public Health. Decisions on where to locate energy facilities play a critical role in managing pollution and safeguarding communities. The Massachusetts Siting Reform Bill will protect vulnerable communities, and ensure that everyone’s voice is heard. Register at bit.ly/3hbMXd9 and use this tool to invite your legislators bit.ly/3DXcX60.
JOIN US in Washington, D.C. To Demand a Fossil Free Future
From October 11 to 15, thousands of people will take action at the White House, participate in civil disobedience, and demand that President Biden choose a side: People vs. Fossil Fuels. People v. Fossil Fuels will be a multi-faith action, led by indigenous leaders.  Fossil fuel projects are a daily health and justice disaster for communities that live near them — especially Indigenous, Black, Brown, and communities of color fighting a long legacy of environmental racism and toxic pollution. Pipelines like Line 3, Line 5, Mountain Valley, and Dakota Access violate Indigenous treaty rights and threaten our land, air, and water. Fossil fuel development is damaging our public lands and sacred Indigenous sites. Fracking continues to contaminate our water and endanger public health. Expansion of oil and gas exports to new markets and major plastics facilities like the proposed Formosa Plastics plant jeopardize the health and safety of communities in the Gulf South and across the country. For more info: visit this website or contact Emma Brewer-Wallin brewer-walline@sneucc.org.
Save the Date: “Be the Spark” Advocacy Training
Tuesday evenings, October 12, 19, 26, November 2, 7 to 9 PM
For the bold action necessary to address the climate emergency, we need to provide leaders with the most effective organizing tools.  Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light will host a dynamic interactive workshop, teaching state-of-the-art organizing skills for religious climate justice activists. Experienced trainers from Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light will present proven organizing techniques taught by Harvard Kennedy School’s Marshall Ganz—the perfect lead-in to MassIPL’s new Faith in Action Campaign to mobilize people of faith to influence our legislators on crucial climate justice priorities. Attendance at all four sessions is highly recommended, but is not required. Recordings of all sessions will be available to registrants. Please register here.
Join Faiths 4 Climate Justice ActionOctober 17 at 12 noon at Church of the Covenant in Boston, organized by Massachusetts Interfaith Power and Light. Info. and registration here. The event is part of GreenFaith’s global multi-religious action, taking place October 17 and 18. Organized by GreenFaith and partner organizations, two weeks before global climate negotiations begin in Scotland at COP26, people of diverse religions will rise to send a message: destroying the planet is against our religions. If you can’t make it to Boston, check out this interactive map for other events, or organize your own! You can download an action toolkit here.
The Emmy-nominated documentary, The Story of Plastic, is available for free on YouTube from the Discovery Channel for a limited time. This must-see film tells the hidden story of plastic pollution, from production to incineration—as well as the incredible heroes who are rising up to stop big plastic. It’s a must-see! Watch here.

Action Items!

  • Environmental Justice Takes Center Stage in Mass. Legislative Session. Building on last session’s Next Generation Roadmap bill, four significant pieces of legislation have been introduced this session that relate to environmental justice (EJ), including OCBC’s September Bill of the Month. Read ClimateXChange’s explanation of the four bills and contact your state legislators, asking them to co-sponsor bit.ly/39qVnZO.
  • Join Creation Justice MinistriesInterfaith Power & Light, and Catholic Climate Covenant in asking your Senators and Representative to support the two major priorities of the "build back better" agenda: the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that has passed the Senate with bipartisan support, and the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill currently being crafted by lawmakers. The legislation forms the basis of the revised U.S. pledge under the Paris Agreement on climate change to cut the nation's emissions by 50% to 52% from 2005 levels by 2030. If your elected leaders support the bills, thank them! Avery Davis Lamb, co-executive director of Creation Justice Ministries, said the bills represent a "Kairos moment" that could set up the country's response to climate change for decades. "And let me be clear it's not just a political window of opportunity — it's a moral window of opportunity." Learn more at bit.ly/3tGnPAy.
  • Take Action to Support Water Protectors Against the Line 3 Pipeline Expansion. The Line 3 pipeline expansion would bring nearly a million barrels of tar sands per day from Alberta, Canada to Superior, Wisconsin. The pipeline violates the treaty rights of Anishinaabe peoples and nations in its path, and would contribute more to climate change than Minnesota's entire economy. Minnesota police are using “pain compliance” on Line 3 water protectors. Call and demand an immediate end to use of excessive force on Water Protectors: @keithellison: 651-296-3353 (MN Attorney General), @mnhumanrights: 1-833-454-0148, @LtGovFlanagan: 651-201-3400.
If you are looking for ideas of how you can help de-carbonize your city or town, the Mass Power Forward Checklist is a terrific resource. It contains numerous ways you can engage your community in efforts to create a local environmental task force, increase energy efficiency, promote clean energy and transportation infrastructure, and prepare for the effects of climate change. (Thanks to 350 Mass and Rev. Betsy Sowers!)
Want to ensure that your money is funding the clean energy future and not dirty fossil fuels? It's easy to identify the worst offenders — like Chase, BlackRock and Liberty Mutual — but it's much harder to identify companies that have banished fossil fuels from their business. That's why you might want to explore this new tool from Bank for Good, which enables you to quickly and easily find 31 (and counting) financial institutions that have pledged never to finance, insure, underwrite or invest in the fossil fuel industry. To curb the climate crisis, institutional investors need to pull their money from fossil fuel projects — individual banking choices aren’t going to stop those projects on their own.


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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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