Learn

Working for climate justice on God's good Earth
Please click on the images below to find resources in each area.
From the fig tree, learn its lesson…

Climate Emergency Webinar: Learn

In May 2021, members of the two Episcopal dioceses in Massachusetts recorded a one-hour video about how the climate crisis calls us to pray.

Consider the Connections

What is climate justice and how do we support it?

How does racism connect with climate justice?

How does COVID-19 connect with climate justice?

Start a book study group

Rooted & Rising

Begin with the new book co-edited by Margaret Bullitt-Jonas and Leah Schade, Rooted and Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis.

This collection of 21 essays by a wide range of faith-based leaders is for readers who worry about the climate crisis and want to draw from the wisdom and spiritual resources of fellow pilgrims grappling with grief and despair.

Divided into seven sections, the book provides study questions and suggested spiritual practices that make it an excellent choice for a book group.

Rooted and Rising is available at a 30% discount if you buy it directly from the publisher and use the code: RLFANDF30.

The BTS Center recorded short (less than 20-minute) interviews with seven contributors to Rooted & Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis, including the book’s editors, Leah Schade and Margaret Bullitt-Jonas. The videos can be viewed here. Watch these videos on your own or as part of a group book study.

“This book put new steel in my spine and fired up my resolve. You need this book, and the Earth needs you to take its message and resources to heart.”
Brian D. McLaren, author of The Great Spiritual Migration

Facing the Climate Emergency

This excellent short book introduces a new paradigm for climate action: emergency mode. Margaret Klein Salamon, PhD, is a clinical psychologist who founded The Climate Emergency Declaration campaign. She argues that, in order to protect humanity and the living world, the climate movement must tell the truth about climate emergency and act as though that truth is real – employing emergency communications, militant tactics, and demanding an emergency mobilization from the government and all society.

Facing the Climate Emergency shows how we can use our fear, grief, pain and other painful feelings evoked by the climate crisis to transform ourselves, so that we re-imagine our life story and become climate warriors. Discussion questions after each chapter make this a fine choice for a book group.

Face the truth. Accept your fears. Become the hero that humanity needs.

For an overview of Salamon’s approach, read her article, “Leading the Public into Emergency Mode: Introducing the Climate Emergency Movement

Climate Church, Climate World

The revised and updated edition of Jim Antal’s inspiring book, Climate Church, Climate World, includes questions for group discussion. Perfect for congregational study, with questions for discussion after each chapter. Over 50 sermon suggestions.

Jim’s book received a strong review in the Chicago Tribune: “Do you believe in God? Then you have a moral duty to fight climate change, writes Jim Antal.”

‍As Bill McKibben writes in the Foreword: “Jim’s never-ending witness is the best incitement to optimism that I can imagine. At first he was a voice crying in the wilderness, but now everyone right up to Pope Francis is singing from the same hymnal. The world owes him a mighty thanks.”

Life After Doom: Wisdom and Courage for a World Falling Apart

Brian McLaren’s riveting new book, Life After Doom: Wisdom and Courage for a World Falling Apart, engages with the catastrophic failure of religious and political leaders to address the dominant realities of our time: ecological overshoot, economic injustice, and the increasing likelihood of civilizational collapse. McLaren defines doom as the “un-peaceful, uneasy, unwanted feeling” that “we humans have made a mess of our civilization and our planet, and not enough of us seem to care enough to change deeply enough or quickly enough to save ourselves.” Highly recommended.

All We Can Save

A collection of essays and poetry published in 2020, All We Can Save features perspectives on the climate crisis from fifty-eight women across the United States.

Here are some other books to suggest, ranging from theology to basic science and a hands-on workbook

  • Kathleen Fischer, Loving Creation: Christian Spirituality, Earth-centered and Just, Paulist Press, 2009.
  • Pope Francis, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home (released in 2015, this groundbreaking encyclical is a must-read. Many study guides are available on the Internet.) Also check out his short, pointed sequel, Laudate Deum (2023).
  • Katharine Hayhoe, Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World, New York: One Signal Publishers, 2021.
  • Naomi Klein, On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal, New York: Simon and Schuster, 2019. (She calls for an urgent social and economic transformation that is surprisingly similar to that of Laudato Si.)
  • Sallie McFague, A New Climate for Theology: God, the World, and Global Warming, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2008. (An Episcopal theologian whose book is for anyone interested in the theological challenges posed by the climate crisis.)
  • Bill McKibben, Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet, New York: Times Books/Henry Holt, 2010. (A scary and readable overview of the situation we’re in.)
  • Bill McKibben, Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?, New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2019.
  • James A. Nash, Loving Nature: Ecological Integrity and Christian Responsibility, Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1991. (A classic introduction.)

Read books to children about climate change

In Blessed Tomorrow’s blog post, “Why reading books on climate change is important for children,” you’ll find suggestions for good books and learn how reading can support children’s mental health.

Offer educational programs on the biblical and theological basis for Creation care

Offer a climate justice curriculum for youth and young adults

Easter People: Faith Practice and Climate Justice provides creative lesson plans for middle school, high school, or young adults. Written by the Rev. Nurya Love Parish and published by the Department of Faith Formation of The Episcopal Church, the curriculum was written for the Easter season but can be used any time of year. Each of the curriculum’s seven sessions include prayers, Bible passages, activities, and reflection questions. The activity plans include options for both in-person and online activities.

Watch “Christianity and Climate Change”

Christianity and Climate Change” is a nine-part video series for small groups featuring Katharine Hayhoe, the internationally renowned climate scientist and Evangelical Christian. The videos are only six minutes long, leaving plenty of time for discussion:

  • What the Bible says about the natural world
  • Climate change is a poverty issue
  • How to persuade others to care about climate change
  • What we can do as a church
  • Speaking to other Christians about climate change
  • Grateful for fossil fuels but time to move on
  • Climate change is a threat multiplier
  • There can be a better future, and
  • It is not too late.

Study the House of Bishops’ 2011 Pastoral Teaching on the Environment

At its 2018 General Convention, The Episcopal Church adopted The House of Bishops’ 2011 Pastoral Teaching on the Environment as an official position of the Church, a document that urges every Episcopalian “to acknowledge the urgency of the planetary crisis in which we find ourselves.”

“A Life of Grace for the Whole World, Leader’s Guide: A Study Course on the House of Bishops’ Pastoral Teaching on the Environment”

“A Life of Grace for the Whole World” re-claims the theology of salvation and redemption for all creation. Using The House of Bishops’ 2011 Pastoral Teaching on the Environment as a guide, “A Life of Grace” engages participants in understanding how the call to care for Creation informs and deepens our love for God and God’s work in Creation, and how that finds expression in the faith life of individuals and churches.  There is a leader’s guide, a book for adults, and a booklet for youth.

Read “To Serve Christ in All Creation: A Pastoral Letter from the Episcopal Bishops of New England”

Sent to the Episcopal Churches of Province One (New England) in 2003, “To Serve Christ in All Creation” is the first pastoral letter on the environment from the Episcopal Church. It provides a good brief overview of our urgent biblical and theological call to protect God’s creation.

This short statement from the bishops of Province One also includes a four-session study guide.

View and discuss Renewing the Life of the Earth: An Eco-Theology Resource

The Anglican Communion has released set of video presentations on ecological theology and practice from around the world. They focus on the Fifth Mark of Mission (the fifth indicator that we are sharing in Christ’s mission): “To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.” The resource includes a curriculum for small group discussion of the short videos, with discussion questions. Rev. Margaret provided a 6-minute video on how the mission of the Church must change in a time of climate emergency.

Other Resources

What does the Bible say about climate change? This 30-minute podcast from Citizens Climate Radio features three American Evangelicals who consider faith, theology, and global warming. Kyle Meyaard Schaap (National Organizer and spokesperson for Young Evangelicals for Climate Action (YECA)) and Corina Newsome (YECA steering committee member on the diversity and civic engagement subcommittees), along with Rev. Josh Gibson (pastor of Emmanuel Bible Fellowship Church in Sunbury, PA) chat with host Peterson Toscano about the Bible, stewardship, loving our neighbor, heaven, and earth. Discover how these Evangelicals approach the often political topic of climate change, and learn how to connect with Bible believers, who may not be environmentalists but care very much for what happens to people and to our earthly home. (Here is a list of the various Bible passages referenced: Genesis 1:26, Genesis 2:15, Leviticus 25:4, Psalm 24:1,2, Psalm 104:10-15, Colossians 1:15, Revelation 21, Matthew 25:31-46, Romans 8:19-21.)

For an adult ed program, invite your congregation to reflect on our Christian call to advocate for climate health. Visit the Advocacy page for a video, study guide, and list of resources.

Interfaith Power & Light offers suggestions for educational material for children and youth.

Read and discuss A Catechism of Creation: An Episcopal Understanding

Congregational Watershed Discipleship Manual: This resource helps congregations become disciples of their watersheds and of the world’s waters. One manual has an interfaith emphasis, and one has a Christian focus. Find out more and download a free copy here.

Read and discuss the free conversation guide from The Christian Century, Responding to Climate Change (a guide for personal reflection and group discussion).

Explore how to become a climate resilient congregation

Creation Justice Ministries is an excellent source of webinars and educational materials on climate resilience.  

Download the Faithful Resilience series for a 6-part guide:

1. The Land We Inhabit
2. The Fierce Urgency of Now
3. Resilience and Restoration
4. Climate Migration
5. Building Resilience
6. Resilient Worship

‍Check out virtual workshops on such topics as “How to Become a Climate-Resilient Church”; “Climate Resilience & Faithful Democracy”; “Spirituality, Trauma, & Climate Resilience.”


Check out the “Faithful Resilience Storymap” to help your congregation anticipate and prepare for natural disasters and to bounce forward into a just, sustainable, and resilient community.

Learn from the wisdom of non-Christian traditions

  • Climate Crisis as Spiritual Path” is a 20-minute interview with the brilliant Buddhist eco-philosopher, Joanna Macy, which addresses an essential question: How we are going to live our lives fully, with inner peace and courage (and even joy), as we confront a world that is destroying itself? Joanna Macy says, “The greatest gift we can give our world is our full presence.”
  • Pachamama Alliance is a global community whose programs “integrate Indigenous wisdom with modern knowledge to support personal, and collective, transformation that is the catalyst to bringing forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on this planet.” Its free, introductory, online course, Awakening the Dreamer, is composed of short, stunning videos.  The course is listed as two hours long, but this includes time to journal and pray.  Some Episcopal churches have used individual videos as a focus of study around Creation care and climate emergency.

Receive training in how to inspire people to take climate action

Become a certified Blessed Tomorrow Climate Ambassador! The Blessed Tomorrow Climate Ambassador Training is available in-person, live online, and now through a *NEW* online and on-demand learning management system, which allows you to take the 4-5 hour training online, on your own schedule.

The free training and resources will empower and equip you to inspire clergy, congregants, your workplace, community and policymakers to take action on climate change that makes a difference. You will also get connected with peers who provide mutual support and encouragement. For more information, visit here.

Learn how to have conversations about climate change and how to connect climate and faith.

View Katharine Hayhoe’s TED talk, “The most important thing you can do to fight climate change: talk about it

#TalkingClimate Handbook: How to have conversations about climate change

“Having conversations about climate change in our daily lives plays a huge role in creating social change.We take our cues about what’s important from what we hear our family, friends, colleagues and neighbors talking about. Politicians also need strong social consent to implement successful climate policies.

But talking about climate change, especially beyond the green bubble, is hard. That’s why we’ve produced an evidence-based, practical guide to help make those conversations easier and more meaningful – and to come out of them feeling inspired and connected.”

The Handbook’s advice is structured around the mnemonic REAL TALK:

Respect your conversational partner and find common ground
Enjoy the conversation
Ask questions
Listen, and show you’ve heard

Tell your story
Action makes it easier (but doesn’t fix it)
Learn from the conversation
Keep going and keep connected

For 15 steps to create effective climate communications, communication guidance for faith leaders, and many other resources, visit the Creation Care pages of The Episcopal Church.

Stay Informed

Receive Fossil Free Digest every 2 weeks

Subscribe to stories and news on climate organizing that matter and inspire, brought to you every two weeks by 350.org, the global grassroots movement for a fossil-free world. To sign up, visit here.

Explore TED talks and podcasts

  • Seven of the Best TED Talks on Climate Change: This series includes a talk by Katharine Hayhoe, the atmospheric scientist and Evangelical Christian who is a renowned communicator on faith and climate.  She is clear, positive, and down to earth.
  • Climate Changed is a podcast from The BTS Center exploring what it means to live, love, and lead in a climate-changed world.

Watch a film about God’s creation and the struggle to protect it

In alphabetical order, here are some suggested films to watch as individuals or as a congregation.

In addition, take a look at this list of climate justice films, assembled by the climate justice ministry of St. Anne-in-the-Fields (Lincoln, MA). Since 2015, their climate justice ministry has sponsored a film series highlighting challenges to our climate future, our environment, and vulnerable people who are already threatened by our changing planet. They serve a simple vegetarian soup supper before each film. They accept donations to pay for the screening rights to each film, and they have nice collection of DVDs in their library. For more information about how to get your own film series started, email Alex Chatfield.
  • Behold the Earth
    Could a journey into creation determine the future of the church?  This music-rich documentary film by David Conover explores America’s divorce from the great outdoors and the church’s engagement in environmental issues.
  • Climate Change & Biodiversity Loss
    This concise, 13-minute YouTube video gives an overview of the climate crisis and makes the connections between climate change, species extinction, animal welfare, and livestock production for the animal-based diet.
  • Climate Emergency: Feedback Loops
    Narrated by Richard Gere, this series of five short educational films shows why global warming’s feedback loops are alarming scientists, and why we have less time than we think.
  • Disobedience
    A 40-minute film, Disobedience, now available on YouTube, tells the story of four communities preparing to participate in direct action to break free from fossil fuels. What are your thoughts about – or experience with – nonviolent civil disobedience? What would motivate you to engage in civil disobedience?
  • Entangled
    Entangled is an award-winning, feature-length film about how climate change has accelerated a collision between one of the world’s most endangered species, North America’s most valuable fishery, and a federal agency mandated to protect both.
  • How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change: A film by Academy Award® nominee Josh Fox, Director of “Gasland”
    ‍"This is a brave film that pulls no punches in exploring the impacts of climate change on human society. Combining a personal perspective with a global survey of community responses to the challenge, it is simultaneously a tragedy about climate change and a celebration of human potential. Like the director, you may find yourself both crying and dancing."
    –Susan Clayton, Professor of Psychology and Environmental Studies, College of Wooster
  • Ice on Fire
    Produced by Oscar-winner Leonardo DiCaprio, George DiCaprio and Mathew Schmid and directed by Leila Conners, Ice on Fire is an eye-opening documentary that focuses on many never-before-seen solutions designed to slow down our escalating environmental crisis. The film goes beyond the current climate change narrative and offers hope that we can actually stave off the worst effects of global warming.
  • Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power
    Al Gore’s sequel to his groundbreaking documentary, An Inconvenient Truth: AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL sounds the alarm on the climate crisis and shares the truth of clean energy solutions. “Fight like your world depends on it.” For a trailer of the film, click here.
  • Inner Climate Change
    This is a Findhorn Foundation production, inspired by the people who participated in the April 2019 “Climate Change and Consciousness” conference held at the Findhorn Foundation, Scotland. The one-hour film weaves a touching and often intimate narrative from their personal insights and resolutions in the face of inner and outer climate change. Among those featured in the film are Vandana Shiva, Charles Eisenstein, Jonathon Porritt, Xhiutecatl Martinez and Polly Higgins (RIP). Many more youngers and elders from around the world add their voices to the call for us to stand up as the creators of our reality. Watch this one-hour documentary free on YouTube here.
  • Journey of the Universe
    An inspiring, big-picture look at the nature of the universe, created by evolutionary philosopher Brian Thomas Swimme and historian of religions Mary Evelyn Tucker.
  • Kiss the Ground
    Narrated by and featuring Woody Harrelson, Kiss the Ground is an inspiring and groundbreaking film that shows how regenerating the world’s soils “can completely and rapidly stabilize Earth’s climate, restore lost ecosystems and create abundant food supplies. Using compelling graphics and visuals, along with striking NASA and NOAA footage, the film artfully illustrates how, by drawing down atmospheric carbon, soil is the missing piece of the climate puzzle. This movie is positioned to catalyze a movement to accomplish the impossible to solve humanity’s greatest challenge, to balance the climate and secure our species future.”
  • The Letter: Laudato Si Film
    This film about Pope Francis’ call to care for our planet is the fruit of many years of work between Laudato Si' MovementOff the Fence (the Oscar-winning production company for My Octopus Teacher) and the Vatican.
  • A Life on the Planet
    David Attenborough’s magnificent documentary, A Life on the Planet, is streaming on Netflix. In its “Critics Pick” review, the New York Times notes that the famed naturalist has mapped how steeply the planet’s biodiversity has diminished over his lifetime. The film can be painful to watch, yet it ends of a note of sober hope. “The film’s grand achievement is that it positions its subject as a mediator between humans and the natural world. Life cycles on, and if we make the right choices, ruin can become regrowth.”
  • What does the Green New Deal mean for communities of color?
    Wondering how the Green New Deal might affect communities of color? This one-hour video offers a response to this question from People’s Climate Movement and Grist.
  • The Wisdom to Survive
    Climate change is here. Will we have the wisdom to survive? The film features thought leaders and activists in the realms of science, economics and spirituality discussing how we can evolve and take action in the face of climate disruption. Interviewed: Bill McKibben, Joanna Macy, Roger Payne, Herschelle Milford, Quincy Saul, and more.

Also, there are many short videos (less than 10 minutes long) that are wonderful to see.

  • Rise: From One Island to Another (6 minutes)
    Watch this poetic expedition between two islanders, one from the Marshall Islands and one from Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland), connecting their realities of melting glaciers and rising sea levels. Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner and Aka Niviâna use their poetry to showcase the linkages between their homelands in the face of climate change. Through this video we get a glimpse at how large, and yet so small and interdependent our world is.

    The science behind climate change and its causes has been clear for decades. And yet, it has not been enough to drive the change we need to see in order to salvage our planet. We hope this poem can spark the emotion and drive needed for more people to rise and take action.

    This is an invitation to take a few minutes to watch this film, unplug from your daily distractions, immerse yourself in the beauty of our shared home, and let the poetry heal.
  • Global Weirding
    For a collection of informative (and very accessible) short videos by the renowned climate scientist and Evangelical Christian, Katharine Hayhoe, visit her Global Weirding YouTube channel. Her style is upbeat and forthright, and very appealing.

Bring together faith leaders in your town. Organize a panel or conference.

Climate change and environmental degradation can unite diverse faith groups in a common search for solutions. Invite your town’s religious leaders to speak about the environmental teachings of their religious traditions and about the actions that their congregations are taking.

Learn to protect dark nights

Unlike human beings, most mammals and half of all insect species are nocturnal. Artificial lighting can have devastating effects on the health of wildlife (you can find some information here, here, and here). LED lights are wonderfully energy-efficient, but did you know that blue-rich, overly bright LEDs are bad for both animal health and human health, according to the American Medical Association? Redder LEDs with shields are just as energy efficient and better for light pollution, but too few people know that they are an option or understand the need. Consider organizing a parish study group to learn more about light pollution.

You might wish to read The End of Night by Paul Bogard, which looks at each aspect of our relationship to night and light (historical, artistic, ecological), including the spiritual role of night in our lives. In the Bible, many revelations of God are given at night (remember the star of Bethlehem, or God calling Abram outside to “Look toward the heaven and count the stars,” Genesis 15:5). Yet because of light pollution, 80% of North Americans cannot see the Milky Way at night.

Stay Connected

Would you like to join a growing network of folks in and beyond the Diocese of Western Mass. who care about Creation and want to stay connected?

Visit RevivingCreation.org to sign up for the Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas’s blog posts.

Check out our Facebook Group, Creation Care, and join the conversation.

Explore the resources of the Creation Care Justice Network (CCJN), a growing band of Episcopalians across Massachusetts working together to build a robust response to the climate/ecological emergency. To connect with our network and receive email updates, please sign up here.  For more information, please email: creationjusticeepisma@gmail.com.

For a spectrum of additional creation care resources, please visit Sustainable Life: Responding to the Climate Emergency, a collection of resources assembled and periodically updated by members of CCJN.

There is no such thing as “human community” without the earth and the soil and the air and the water and all the living forms. Without these, humans do not exist. In my view, the human community and the natural world will go into the future as a single sacred community or we will both perish in the desert.