September 6, 2018
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John Finn head shotWhy I Volunteer with Citizens’ Climate Lobby                                                                         
By John T. Finn

When I first heard about Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL), I was intrigued, but also a bit put off by the name.  My impression of anything “lobby” was quite negative, and I imagined some aggressive, slick, little beltway pressure group. I was surprised to learn that CCL, it turns out, is none of those things. It is made up of thousands of volunteers across the country, organized into local chapters who meet face to face and engage in climate education and advocacy in a most respectful and considerate manner.   read more

More MCCN River Clean-Ups

Mennonite Creation Care Network's first quarterly focus wrapped up the end of August, leaving a number of North American rivers a little bit cleaner. See earlier clean ups here.
Photo Contest Winner: Taftsville Chapel Mennonite Church, Taftsville, Vt., received the Weird Waste Prize for its participation in Mennonite Creation Care Network's River Clean-Up this summer. The plastic flamingo has been repurposed as a flower vase at the church. Note the painted turtle, starboard. More photos
Photo Contest Winner: St. Jacobs Mennonite Church and its partner congregation, Burning Bush Forest Church, received the Triple Crown photo prize for photos illustrating a diversity of gifts utilitized in its summer river clean up. Above, the Conestoga River was a focal point for the junior youth during the St. Jacobs' Vacation Bible School. More photos.
Emmanuel Mennonite Church of Abbotsford, BC completed a watershed clean-up on July 22, 2018. Almost 40 congregants of all ages came in spite of the high temperatures. This is the largest MCCN clean-up we know of. The clean up crews went on bike, foot, and even by shopping cart. More photos.
Fall 2018 Focus:
MCCN Calls Congregations to an Energy Upgrade

Mennonite Creation Care Network has a new focus for September through November: energy upgrades such as weather-stripping or lifestyle tweaks. Not everyone has the cash to invest in green technology, but most of us can make changes that reduce our consumption of fossil fuels. For example, carpooling with one other person in an average car instead of driving alone will give you mileage comparable to that of a Prius. 

Let's begin with some math to stoke our creativity: What would you do if the amount you spend on fossil fuels just tripled? If you or your congregation plan to participate, find more ideas and register here

A column based on tips by Carole Suderman, Boulder Mennonite Church, Boulder, Colo. Carole has been offering her congregations challenges like these for the past 20 years. Tips are adapted for a broader audience.

1. Remember to clean or replace your furnace filter. Proper maintenance can save 5 to 15% on monthly heating bills, which means you are saving that much energy as well. Get the facts. 

2. Are you prepared to vote for people and policies that will preserve God's creation? Research the positions of the politicians you will vote for or against in the November election and share what you learn with others. We can multiply the impact of our own efforts by electing people who will pass laws to conserve natural resources, save endangered species and support alternative energy. You could start by picking just one issue you care about. 

Green Churches Network

Churches in Canada have an ecumenical organization to support their creation care efforts. The Green Churches Network has a mission similar to MCCN's and provides resources for spirituality, education and action.  Among its resources are these prayers.

Season of Creation

September is the Season of Creation. Like Advent and Easter, this is a period of time when Christians worldwide gather around a particular theme: in this case, caring for the earth. The Season of Creation begins on September 1, the World Day of Prayer for Creation that is celebrated by the Orthodox and Catholic Churches. It  ends with the Feast of St. Francis on October 4. The Season of Creation website offers litanies, prayers, Bible studies and other worship resources.

The Big Shift

The Big Shift 
is a global campaign that is asking the World Bank to stop funding fossil fuel energy and step up its commitment to making affordable renewable energy available worldwide. Faith-based groups such as Christian Aid, Church World Service, Green Faith, Season of Creation and Kairos are among the supporters. The suggested action step is to contact the president of the World Bank.

March for Jobs, Climate, Justice
September 8, locations around the U.S.

Global Climate Action Summit
September 10 to 14, San Francisco Bay Area  Lots of interesting and upbeat articles on this website; you can also stream part of the summit.

Energy Star Stewardship Tour
September 25, Mennonite Central Committee, Akron, Pa. 

Global South Voices Tour
September 15 to October 5, Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions/Mennonite Central Committee. International guests will visit locations in the Great Lakes Area and East Coast to speak on the effects of climate change on their communities.

Rooted and Grounded: A Conference on Land and Christian Discipleship
September 27 to 29, Anabaptist Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Ind. 

Christians, Climate and Culture: Relationships, Tensions and Resolutions
Katherine Hayhoe to speak March 29 to 31, 2019, Goshen College, Goshen, Ind.

Californians Commit to 100% Renewable Energy 

As of August 28, California is headed toward an energy grid powered by 100% renewable energy by 2045. The legislation also raises their current goal of 50% renewable energy by 2030 to 60%. Hawaii was the first state to pass a bill of this sort. California is the largest economy in the world to commit to 100% renewable energy.

"The move to pass SB100 comes after a recent Public Policy Institute of California poll found that 72% of Californians supported the motion, despite lawmakers voting to block the bill last September," reports Read more

Companies Offer Employees Incentives to Go Green

Sustainably-minded companies have found a surprising number of ways to entice their employees toward greener lifestyles. Transportation incentives range from compensation for living within ten miles of the office to a $5 per day bonus for commuting by bike. Other companies provide grants toward the purchase of solar panels or energy-efficient appliances. WeWork, a startup with 6,000 employees, caused a stir in July when they banned meat from company events and no longer provided reimbursement for meals containing meat. See who's doing what

Mattresses Are Recyclable After All

Spring Back Colorado tackles a hard-to-recycle resource: old mattresses. Most second hand stores won't take mattresses, and between 20 to 40 million of them end up in the landfill each year. Spring Back's process breaks down over 90% of each mattress into components that can be reused. The organization hires workers with barriers to employment.
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