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.

Monthly Nature Walks

FCCS-Montly-Nature-Walk-Photo-web.jpgEach month our Earth Care Committee at First Congregational Church of Sonoma, UCC, organizes and leads a nature walk.


Re-Envisioning Rural and Agrarian Ministry

Berndt4-web.jpgAt The Keep & Till church in Carroll County, Maryland, we are committed to being a community of learning.  We keep our ears are tuned to anything that may impact our place and people.  That's why we started "Headwaters:  A Rural and Agrarian Ministry Conference."  We wanted to bring emerging voices to our place to strengthen and encourage our congregation, the existing churches in our "ecosystem," and the dreamers and prophets who envision a new kind of church.  At the recent Headwaters conference, we experienced an estuary of discipleship, commensality, theology, and practical ministry for healthy, productive, and sustainable rural churches empowered to speak prophetically to a world threatened by community erosion, climate change, and food insecurity. We would like to share a few ideas that were presented at Headwaters and are shaping our thinking about agrarian communities of faith.


When Enough People Join In, Social Movements Become Unstoppable

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The following is an excerpt from 
"Resistance Guide: How to Sustain the Movement to Win" by Paul Engler and Sophie Lasoff in Collaboration with Momentum.

Social movements work by getting enough people engaged, involved and activated in a variety of methods of protest, including public actions, actions directed at decision-makers and electoral work.

This raises an obvious question: How many is enough?


Climate Connections: From Scripture to the Pressing Issue of Our Generation

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Reflection on the October 29th Lectionary Reading—Matthew 22:34-46


The Find a Better Bank Toolkit

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When members of Northshore UCC discovered that their church’s bank helped finance the Dakota Access Pipeline, they decided it was time to move the church’s money elsewhere. The church became the first religious institution in the country to join the Mazaka Talks Boycott, a Native-led effort calling for a boycott the 64 banks funding new tar sands pipelines and the Dakota Access Pipeline. Northshore UCC created a step-by-step guide for other churches who want to move their money.


Credit Unions as a Partner for Climate Justice

BankProtest.jpegWhile the wild fires still rage in Northern California, property is destroyed and lives are lost, hope is alive. The first responders are working tirelessly, and neighbors are coming together to support one another. Some might be surprised to know that among those playing an active role in responding are local credit unions. (Read more.)


Love of Neighbor and Eco-Justice

SAWTELL.jpegIt is good to be called back to the center on occasion, to remember our grounding and our core principles.

When every day brings a jumble of conflicts, issues, threats and crises, it is all too easy to get distracted and fragmented. In such a moment—which seems to be the new normal—it is valuable to take a step back, to set aside the cacophony, and to regain some footing.

For more than a decade, I have rooted my life and my vocation in a five word summary of the teachings of Jesus: "Love God; love your neighbor." These words serve as a short-hand summary of what Jesus declared to be the two greatest commandments. While love of neighbor is not typically understood through an environmental lens, I see three important ways in which an expansive definition of neighbor is relevant and much needed in the work of eco-justice today. (Read more.)


Climate Connections: From Scripture to the Pressing Issue of Our Generation

Rainbow.jpgThose who know me know that I love to talk about root causes. If we don’t know the causes, we won’t know the cures, and we will be forever pasting teeny band-aids on huge, festering wounds.


Creation Justice and Animal Consumption

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Have dominion, said the Genesis storyteller, clearly laying the health of the planet at our feet. We hear it and think of plastic, fracking, coal, fossil fuels, Styrofoam.   

The big picture is that the planet is dying and we’re the ones holding the plastic bag over its head. But there is something else that makes a huge impact. If we are serious about environmental justice, we need conversations about the animal industry.


Motivated by Love, A Doctor Prescribes Action on Methane Pollution

PetersonPhoto.jpgAs a doctor and as a person of faith, I believe the only prescription for methane pollution is action. I believe it must be rapidly reduced for the sake of our global neighbors impacted by climate change, for the sake of our children inheriting this world, and for the sake of our earth and its diminishing ecosystems.