First Congregational Church Sonoma, in partnership with the Valley of the Moon Garden Club and CA State Parks Vallejo Home, has developed a Monarch Butterfly Habitat Garden. As you may know, the monarch butterflies and other butterflies like the swallowtails are suffering from habitat loss and the effects of pesticide use. Our congregation's goal is to plant milkweed and build a Butterfly Highway along the properties of churches and interested conservationists in Sonoma Valley.(More.)
Church of the Covenant in Boston participated in the Creation Care Voter Project as a part of our Sunday morning worship on October 14th. We wanted very much to support this initiative in time for it to influence our congregants as they prayerfully decided on their voting choices, so we invited those worshipping with us to take the Creation Care Voter Pledge. Through this pledge, persons commit to consistently vote their values in caring for God's creation. Thanks to a partnership with the Environmental Voter Project those who make pledge receive free reminders to show up for each election. (More.)
In April of this past year, Church of the Wild was launched. Once a month, the church gathers at a park in the metro area of Washington DC. It is part of a Wild Church Network that consists of 15 outdoor churches from around the United States and Canada. The Spiritual Leader of the church is the Rev. Sarah Anders. She works collaboratively with Beth Norcross who serves as the Executive Director for the Center for Spirituality in Nature. I interviewed both as part of an ongoing series focused on church leaders who are envisioning and bringing to life new ways of being the church with a notable emphasis on creation care and justice. (More.)
For church discussion groups, Martín Anderson has created a study guide for Naomi Klein's The Battle for Paradise: Puerto Rico Takes on the Disaster Capitalists. In this investigative book, bestselling author and activist Naomi Klein documents a battle between the ultra-rich and the ordinary citizens of Puerto Rico as the island seeks to recover from disaster. The study guide is accompanied by biblical reflections on colonialism. Questions are provided for each section of this 96-page book. Download the study guide now!
For many, the release of a new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change may have been cause to seek what I call climate therapy—anything that might brace one’s spirits in the face of climate realities that are known to induce an array of responses ranging from despair and anger to denial and fear. (More.)
During a presentation on environmental justice this past year, the speaker showed us a photo that depicted a fox ravaging a hen house. Above the door of the henhouse, a sign read, “EPA.” On an almost daily basis since then, I have had opportunity to reflect upon the truth captured in this cartoon. This past week one New York Times headline read, “EPA to Eliminate Office That Advises Agency Chief on Science.” A few days earlier another headline had read, “EPA Places the Head of Its Office of Children’s Health on Leave.” There has been a clear pattern unfolding at the EPA under the present administration: anyone or anything that impedes the corporate pursuit of profit is to be pushed aside, even if it puts the health of children and our planet in jeopardy. (More.)
When we flip a light switch or turn the key in our vehicle, few of us think about the impact of our energy choices. We have grown accustomed to an energy intensive lifestyle that is dependent on fossil fuels—both in our homes and in our cars. However, with improvements in technology, we no longer have to sacrifice our lifestyle to live in a sustainable way that protects the planet. While combatting an existential threat like climate change can seem overwhelming, the Rock Spring UCC congregation believes it’s not a hopeless task, and has chosen to launch a mission endeavor that we are calling the Green Accelerator Project (GAP).
In a keynote address at the 6th Annual HBCU Climate Change Conference, Benjamin Chavis, Jr., concluded with a plea. If those in the audience did not remember anything else from his speech, they should remember this: Don’t let anybody or anything break your spirit. (More.)
Natural disasters reveal a lot about what is “unnatural” in our world. A headline story for today’s New York Times tells us that more than 40 gold miners in the Philippines have been killed in a landslide caused by Typhoon Mangkhut. The story provokes innumerable questions about the how and the why of this devastating event, but it is clearly evident that risk and vulnerability amid disaster are frequently not accidental occurrences. As the Rev. William Barber II wrote before Hurricane Florence struck, storms such as these “expose the inequities in our society that are perpetuated by extreme policies.” (More.)
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.
In 1951, the publication of God, Whose Farm is All Creation in the United Kingdom changed the traditional focus of harvest festival hymns from the crops themselves to the activities required to grow them. (More.)