On April 14 the Massachusetts Senate passed a bill that accelerates the clean energy transition. Some of its features include special emphasis on renewables such as offshore wind and electric vehicles (including bus and rail). It reinforces incentives on the use of solar energy, and it attempts to rein in emissions from existing buildings as well as set standards for new construction. It enables several pilot communities to establish plans for no new gas/oil hookups. It also creates a plan to renovate schools to increase energy efficiency and indoor air quality. The bill soon moves on to the Massachusetts House where it faces further deliberation.
Although this bill is a great step forward, climate and environmental justice activists warn that the bill is not enough to stop utility companies in Massachusetts from continuing to rely heavily on fossil fuels, nor is it not enough to address climate justice needs. There are key amendments that need to be added to the House version, before the bill goes to conference. First Church’s Earth Stewardship group encourages you to review an analysis here and help advocate for these amendments.
Climate Change as Spiritual Practice
Tuesday, May 10, 3:00 p.m.
Join Joanna Macy, author of Active Hope, and Jonathan Gustin, the founder of Purpose Guides Institute, to discover your authentic place in the world and to offer your soul-level purpose as a gift of service to life in this time. Register to attend and receive a recording here.
Climate Migration: Responding with Faith, Care, and Equity.
Wednesday, May 11, 1:00 p.m.
According to a recent UN climate report, 20 million people have been displaced each year
since 2008 due to extreme weather that is often exacerbated by the climate crisis. There is much we can do as people of faith to both mitigate the severity of the climate crisis and reduce worsening inequities amid forced displacement. Hosted by the Rev. Brooks Berndt and the Rev. Michael Malcom, this webinar will feature those working to address climate migration from a place of deeply held values. You can register here.
Embodied Regenerative Weekly Practice
Thursday, May 12, 5:00 p.m.
Recognizing that white supremacy culture is at the root of systemic racism, the climate/environmental crises, and profound alienation from our bodies and the bodies of all living beings, this interfaith group is gathering to develop a spiritually grounded, anti-racist climate justice community. The weekly Zoom practice will provide ways to create awareness of our embodied racialized behaviors and to develop new habits in how we relate to others and the Creation in our lives and organizing work. For more information, click here. To sign up or indicate interest (even if the time doesn’t work), contact Lise Hildebrandt (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Why Prophets Matter Today: Confronting the Climate Crisis
Our colleague Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas recommends this lecture by the Rev. Dr. Brooks Berndt, the United Church of Christ’s Environmental Justice Minister. He outlines “10 Naked Truths” that point to the need for prophetic action and its key elements. Visit here for the list of 10 naked truths. A YouTube link is here for the lecture (from 6:30-45:00).
Mass Poor People’s and Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly and Moral March
Saturday, June 18
This will not be just a day of action, but a declaration of an ongoing, committed moral movement. Led by Bishop William Barber and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, the Poor People’s Campaign march will focus on voting rights and economic justice, as part of their intersectional understanding that climate justice depends on racial justice and a healthy democracy. More information here.