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.

Digital Potluck: Crispy Potatoes with Vegan Nacho Sauce

While I am not officially a vegan, I have been on the hunt for vegan recipes my family will love as I strive to eat plant-rich meals that are not only good for my body but are also good for the planet. Because I am far from being a professional chef or baker, I look for recipes that are hard to get wrong or still taste good even when you do get them wrong. A couple of my recent kitchen experiments illustrate my approach in action. First, I endeavored to make "Crispy Potatoes with Vegan Nacho Sauce." Despite my best efforts, the resulting sauce was granular in appearance and looked nothing like the smooth sauce pictured next to the recipe. Nevertheless, the dish was a huge hit with my family. That's an enormous accomplishment when considering the highly discriminating taste buds of my five- and eight-year-old daughters. (More.)


Ten Ways to Mobilize

In recognition of the urgent need to address the intertwined crisis of climate and inequality, the UCC Council for Climate Justice has defined the next ten years as kairos window of divine opportunity in which people of faith are called to an all-out mobilization of their gifts and resources. Here are ten ways churches can mobilize: (More.)


Digital Potluck: Plant-Lover's Pizza

After the first month of pandemic living, I became obsessed with trying to re-create from home my favorite childhood pizza: a stuffed pizza loaded with almost an inch of mozzarella cheese and a layer of pepperoni. This pizza is full of comfort and nostalgia for me, but to be honest, it is not particularly healthy for me or the planet. Researchers tell us that what is good for our bodies is also good for the planet, and this means having a plant rich-diet. Thus, I set out this past weekend to create a good tasting Plant Lover's Pizza. (More.)


VOTE JUSTICE

When it comes to the future of the planet and the welfare of communities in the face of environmental destruction and the climate crisis, the importance of the November election cannot be underestimated. As much as ever, it is important that people of faith vote and vote their values. Now is the time to vote for justice. Here are three resources to help guide your congregation when it comes to caring for creation and voting one's values: (More.)


Resources for Discussing the Rights of Nature

In October of 2020, the Federated Church of Marlborough, New Hampshire is proposing to the Annual Meeting of the New Hampshire Conference "Who Will Speak for the Trees?: A Resolution of Christian Witness on the Rights of Nature." The text of the resolution is available on the New Hampshire Conference website. This page provides the following resources to accompany that resolution: (More.)


The UCC as a Green Denomination Full of Potential

Survey Findings

The findings of a recent survey indicate that the UCC is a notably green denomination with enormous potential to become even greener. The survey by EcoAmerica of 439 self-selected UCC members—both laity and clergy—found levels of climate concern and action that were notably greater than the broader population in the United States. Members of the UCC, for instance, were “very concerned” about climate change at rates nearly double the national average. Such statistics mirror what is happening in our churches. Nearly 9 in 10 of those surveyed in the UCC are hearing about climate change from their faith leaders compared to 1 out of 10 nationally. (More.)


The Food System in a Kairos Moment

The following is a statement from the Food Justice Affinity Group of the UCC's Council for Climate Justice.

The U.C.C. Council for Climate Justice’s A Kairos Call to Action: 10-Years of Church Mobilization on Climate and Inequality declares that we are living in a Kairos, God-charged moment of crisis and opportunity. The Food Justice Affinity Group is specifically charged with examining in this moment the food sector, which includes associated manufacturing, production, processing, transportation, marketing and consumption; all of which accounts for 30 percent of global energy consumption and 20 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions. (More.)


The Wisconsin Conference Embraces Call to Action

On June 6th, the Annual Meeting of the UCC's Wisconsin Conference voted that their congregations and members would covenant with one another as they made a full commitment to the Kairos Call to Action—a call issued by the UCC's Council for Climate Justice for an all-out mobilization of churches to address climate and inequality. What follows are the adapted remarks of the Rev. John Helt before the vote: (Read...)

 


It's Up to Us to End This

"Another man was lynched today" posts filled my timeline once again. Another African descended human is dead at the hands of injustice, intolerance, and indifference. Another life has been hastened to the ancestors at the hand of white supremacy. (More.)


For November... Organize Now!

A few weeks ago I attended a community meeting as my home state of Ohio prepared for a vote-by-mail election after having postponed the originally scheduled election due to the coronavirus. While this particular election was important, the discussion at the meeting ultimately served as a wake-up call for November’s election. What we realized in talking about the likely level of low voter participation was the high level of confusion and general lack of awareness among voters with regard to when and how to vote. One of our members had pulled a public record of who had requested a vote-by-mail ballot. In doing so, she discovered that even mayors and prominent local elected officials had not yet requested a ballot. If they did not do so within the next 24-hours, it seemed likely that they would not be able to vote in time for their vote to be counted. Elected officials almost always vote, so this was particularly concerning. Perhaps, they were just like many of our friends who were either confused, unaware, or simply over-burdened with pandemic life when it came to voting. (More.)