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.

Suffering from Climate Burnout? Learn from a Burnt Out Moses

After a couple of recent conversations with friends who confided that they were suffering from burnout, I found myself asking a number of questions: What exactly are we referring to when we say we feel “burnt out?” What are the causes? Why does burnout seem so prevalent these days? Could burnout for some people be connected to the psychological toll of the climate crisis? And, finally, what is to be done about burnout? (More.)

 


Caring for the Trees: An Urban-Rural Divide

When it comes to caring for God’s creation with regard to our nation’s wooded lands, there is often a disconnect between rural and urban areas. As a pastor who has been serving small rural congregations in the United Church of Christ since the 1970s, let me explain how I came to this perspective.  I currently serve three congregations that stretch along the Canadian border in Northern Minnesota by the Rainy River between Rainy Lake and Lake of the Woods.  Along with fishing tourism, the timber industry is an important part of our economy along with some paper or packaging businesses. (More.)


A Call to Action in a David and Goliath Struggle

Dear Friends and Churches,


I am pastor of East Weymouth Congregational Church, United Church of Christ. I would very much appreciate your prayers, support, and/or action. Our town of Weymouth, Massachusetts, and the larger South Shore region have been fighting a David v. Goliath battle for five years. The 3rd largest and wealthiest international gas company, Enbridge, is forcing a deadly gas compressor on us despite vehement bipartisan opposition from residents, 3 mayors, 6 city councils, 29 State Senate Senators, all 14 legislators of the South Shore, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Senator Warren, Senator Markey, Representative Stephen Lynch, emergency planning councils, public health researchers, climate scientists, and all major environmental groups of Massachusetts. The state senators in opposition stated that the application was fraught with "errors, inaccuracies, and obstructions," especially for a site that suffers from the environmental and public health burdens of heavy industry already. The compressor would “pose a threat to the Commonwealth as a whole." (More.)


Woe to the Unambitious: Greta as Prophet

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Prophets provoke a reckoning, a moment of truth that cannot be denied. The illusion of righteousness is dispelled. The mask of insincerity is ripped away. The rhetoric of duplicity is forced to light. The time has come when the mirror is held aloft, and we must look to see our true reflection without lie or deception. The old magic of obfuscation and distraction holds sway no more. The complacency of careful calculations remains tenable no longer. (More.)


Come Together to Pull Back from the Brink

If the General Synod of the United Church of Christ passed a resolution in support the "Back From The Brink" campaign to prevent nuclear war, Joe Scarry promised himself that he would spend a month in sacred study. For that month, he reflected upon the story of Noah and the flood. He shared his thoughts through his blog. In this post, he reflects upon the passage in which God's the gift of a rainbow as a sign of the covenant. (More.)


Creation Care Moment: A Practice for Each Sunday

At Weybridge Congregational Church, the beginning of worship every Sunday includes a Creation Care Moment. It is a time of reflection dedicated to our first calling as Christians to be caretakers of our common home. Some of these Creation Care Moments take the form of readings from authors who have written poignant meditations on our world and our relationship to it. Others are original offerings such as this one by the Rev. Daniel Cooperrider. It was delivered as the congregation began the conversations that eventually led to it becoming a Creation Justice Church. (More.)

 


Green New Deal Reading Challenge

Have you read the Green New Deal? The United Church of Christ chose to endorse it at its General Synod. This vote has created a lot of interest among UCC members, myself included. When a neighboring church held a meeting to discuss what transpired at synod, my husband and I asked if we could attend as guests, and they warmly welcomed us in. After experiencing the dynamic discussion that ensued as we held in close covenant with one another, I felt a renewed admiration for our denomination and our ability to practice radical hospitality to the stranger and engage in civil discourse. I also chose to read the Green New Deal for myself. (More.)

 


Jesus as an Anti-Colonialist: Why It Matters Today

If someone were to ask me why I am Christian, the scripture that comes to mind first is a passage in Matthew that begins, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you…” Jesus goes on to explain how his followers are to embody a life that places the Roman Empire on its head. Greatness is no longer defined by power over others but rather by service for others. (More.)

 


Climate Change Morality and the Titanic: Preventing Disaster

Imagine that you could travel back in time with one chance to avert the sinking of the Titanic. Theologically, you could say, “Well, it must be God’s will for the Titanic to sink, so I will just let it sink, even if I have the needed knowledge to save everyone and even if I am going down with the ship as well.” From this vantage point, you could decide to muster a bit of hope and add, “I will certainly pray that God has a change of heart and saves us all. Alternatively, you could determine that this trip to the past is a divine ordained opportunity to serve as a vessel of God’s will and act rather than sit idly by as disaster occurs. (More.)


Three Actions to Support the Carbon Dividend Act

The General Synod of the United Church of Christ, in June 2019, voted in favor of a resolution to support the “Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019.”  This Act has been introduced into the U. S. House of Representatives as H. R. 763.  Citizen's Climate Lobby has created a website to provide information about the Act.

Each UCC church is asked to support the Act with the following actions: (More.)