United Church of Christ

The Pollinator is a digital platform of the UCC for the sharing of ideas and inspiration. Its focus is the building of a faith-filled and faith-rooted movement for the care of creation.

Sign up to recieve the Pollinator newsletter to get regular updates from our UCC Minister for Environmental Justice, Rev. Brooks Berndt.

Dead Fish and Dead Satellites: Becoming a Space Age Environmentalist


When I was a boy, I worried about dead fish and polluted rivers. I still worry about fish kills, but today I also worry about dead satellites and other space debris whizzing around congested orbits.

In 1963, the modern environmental movement was gestating, and I was in 6th grade. Crossing the Hudson River by ferry on a sunny afternoon, I was revolted by the dead shad floating on the surface and complained to my father. He helped me convert my complaint into a commitment before we docked. (More.)

Church Rallies Community in Support of Climate Lawsuit Filed by Youth


The Earth Care Committee of First Congregational Church of Sonoma recently hosted a forum to hear two of the nation’s leading environmental lawyers share updates on the landmark Federal lawsuit—Juliana v. U.S —filed by 21 courageous youth. Sharon Duggan and Coreal Riday-White are both with Our Children’s Trust (OCT). OCT is a nonprofit that, according to its co-founder Duggan, is “inspired fundamentally by young people who in their own ways realize this unfolding disaster and want to be heard. These young people are being denied a livable future as a consequence of the government’s conduct.” (More.)

The Reluctant Radical: A Documentary for Churches to Screen


A new documentary called “The Reluctant Radical” offers congregations an opportunity to reflect and discern how God is calling them to act. (More.)

The Return of the Lorax: A Children’s Sermon

Lorax.jpgIn the basement of a library in a box underneath boxes way in the back of the back, a remarkable book was found: The Return of the Lorax. (Read the children's sermon that tells the sequel of Dr. Seuss's famous book.)

Dr. Seuss as an Environmental Prophet


Some years ago I became acquainted with the concept of “fan fiction.” For those unfamiliar with it, fan fiction refers to writings by those whose love of particular characters and stories compels them to write their own works featuring the adored characters. Google “Harry Potter fan fiction,” and you will find a whole universe of stories. None are written by J. K. Rowling. All are written by Potter devotees. I myself once caught the fan fiction bug, but for me, it wasn’t for Potter. It was for The Lorax. I love The Lorax so much that I had to write a sequel to it. As a pastor, I once delivered it as a children’s sermon over the course of a couple of Sundays leading up to Earth Day. (More.)

For the Love of Children: A New Column


Brooks Berndt introduces a new column called "For the Love of Children" as he speaks of one of his driving passions: thinking about environmental issues in relation to children. (Read more.)

Vatican Calls for Responsible Stewardship of the Outer Space Environment


In 2015, the UCC General Synod passed a resolution on Responsible Stewardship of the Outer Space Environment. Through a regular series of articles, the UCC maintains its commitment to addressing the serious threats posed by space debris.

Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, addressed the growing problem of space debris last October in remarks to the General Assembly’s Special Political and Decolonization Committee. (More).

Climate Change and Traumatic Stress Disorder


I have heard Rev. Jim Antal, President of the Massachusetts Conference, mention that we would be dealing with grief with climate change. I agreed with him, and now I want to further nuance his insight. The grief from climate change can border on trauma. The latest severe climate events of 2016 with the three hurricanes and the fire-storms indicate what will be the new normal for the United States. (More).

The Letter Manifesto: Children and Climate


Dear Parents, Grandparents, and Anyone Who Has a Heart for Children,

Let me begin with a confession: I admit to being an imperfect parent. I often consciously make mistakes as a parent while having little idea of what would be the better alternative. Among the great mysteries of life for me is how to get one’s children ready and out the door by 8 am while simultaneously living out a steadfast, unwavering commitment to world peace. (More).

Fossil Fuel Divestment and Other Strategies: A United Church Funds Report


After the passing of the 2013 General Synod Resolution Urging Divestment–Along With Other Strategies–From Fossil Fuel Companies to Address Climate Change, United Church Funds has undertaken a number of steps to fulfill its commitments. Through recent actions, we have made new strides forward. (Read more).