Welcome to the last e-newsletter of the UCC Northeast Environmental Justice Center for 2018!

This monthly (ish) e-newsletter is dedicated to sharing information about global, national, regional and local news, action opportunities and events centered on the climate justice movement. The intention is to inform, educate and help folks connect with the movement and each other, so that we can amplify our collective voice on behalf of Creation here in southern New England (and beyond). If you find these e-newsletters helpful, please share widely, and encourage others to subscribe. If you have environmental events open to the public or legislative actions that you would like to include in future e-newsletters, please be in touch.

Happy Holidays to all, and thank you for your actions to care for Creation! I look forward to working with you in 2019. Thanks for reading!

COP24 Recap

The 24th Council of Parties, the United Nations 2018 Climate Change Conference, wrapped up last week in Katowice, Poland. The group agreed on rules for putting into practice the Paris agreement of 2015, which commits the world to keeping global warming “well below” 2°C relative to pre-industrial times, and preferably within 1.5°C. Amid international protests and an inspiring school strike led by 15-year-old Greta Thunberg, the group failed to address the urgency of climate change when they fell short of stepping up their targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Under current targets, the world remains on track for 3º Celsius of warming.

The recently released climate change reports, including the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report and the 4th National Climate Assessment, detail the alarming reality of current and projected climate-related suffering should global temperatures rise to 1.5º Celsius, which it is projected to do by 2040, unless drastic measures are taken.


Education Opportunity: Two UCC Webinars on Climate

"From Climate Reports to Moral Imperatives" Webinar - January 9, 2019 at 1pm

To help faith communities understand the insights of these reports and the moral imperatives that arise from them, the UCC Council for Climate Justice is hosting a webinar "From Climate Reports to Moral Imperatives." The webinar will have three special guests: Katharine Hayhoe, Naomi Oreskes, and Rev. Jim Antal. Hayhoe is a climate scientist at Texas Tech University and is one of the coauthors of the National Climate Assessment. Oreskes is a professor at Harvard University and has been a leading public voice in discussions about the science of climate change. Retired MACUCC Conference Minister Antal is a long-time leader in faith activism on climate change and is the recent author of "Climate Church, Climate World: How People of Faith Must Work for Change."

This webinar is co-hosted by the Rev. Dr. Brooks Berndt of the United Church of Christ Environmental Justice Ministry and the Rev. Michael Malcom of Alabama Interfaith Power & Light. Register for this webinar even if you can't attend, and you will be sent a link to the recording.


"Acting on Faith: Climate Action in 2019" Webinar on January 11, 2019 at 1pm

As a follow-up to the "From Climate Reports to Moral Imperatives" webinar (above), Rev. Kent Siladi, CTUCC Conference Minister, will be joined live online by Pam Arifian, Director of the UCC Environmental Justice Center (that's me!) to discuss the highlights of the National UCC webinar and the impact of the reports, and to focus on opportunities for acting on the moral imperative here in southern New England in 2019.

This live conversation will be recorded and available for viewing afterward. Register now to receive a link and lo let us know you'll be watching!

Fossil Fuel Resistance - Pipelines & Power Plants Updates

Atlantic Coast Pipeline Win

"I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues" - The Lorax by Dr. Seuss.
A federal appeals court denied the permit previously granted to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross through two national forests and the Appalachian Trail. The judges in the 4th District Court of Appeals in Richmond, VA, actually cited The Lorax in their decision, and reprimanded the U.S. Forest Service for granting permits to begin with.
Line 3 Pipeline Fight Enters Court
The fight against the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline continues with lawsuits filed with the Minnesota Court of Appeals to overturn the decision in June by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to grant a "certificate of need" for the new pipeline. The joint appeal was filed by Honor the Earth, the Sierra Club and the White Earth and Red Lake bands of Ojibwe. Winona LaDuke, Native American activist with the Ojibwe Nation and Executive Director of Honor the Earth, gave a great interview with Democracy Now's Amy Goodman, that is well worth a view.  Donate to Honor the Earth to support the indigenous-led resistance to this pipeline.
Action Opportunity - Weymouth/Quincy/Braintree/South Shore MA
Enbridge plans to build a 7,700-horsepower fracked-gas compressor station as part of the Atlantic Bridge pipeline project. The compressor station is sited adjacent to the new Fore River Bridge in North Weymouth, MA, a densely populated area, exposing the surrounding communities of Weymouth, Quincy, Braintree and South Shore to major health and safety risks. UCC clergy and lay leaders are among many who have been involved in actions against the compressor station. Find out more here and join the opposition!
Mothers Out Front is a national organization that is building a movement of mothers to demand renewable energy in their communities and stop the climate crisis. The MA chapter of Mothers Out Front is joining with Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station (FRRACS) to support the resistance effort, and wants to engage communities of faith involved in this specific action. To get involved with Mothers Out Front MA, please contact Betsy Ericksen, Community Organizer.

Looking Ahead to 2019: Opportunities to Engage

Legislative Sessions for CT, MA and RI all begin in early January 2019. Get ready! Let's help each other get involved - please send me legislative actions that need support for inclusion in these e-newsletters. If you're in CT, consider joining the CTUCC Advocate Corps to get plugged in to the work of the CTUCC Legislative Advocate, Michele Mudrick. Thank you!


IREJN Green Forums in 2019 - Your Input Needed!
The InterReligious EcoJustice Network focuses its efforts on empowering and engaging religious communities in CT to be faithful stewards of the earth. In 2018, IREJN shifted away from the annual climate stewardship summit to co-sponsoring Green Forums with houses of worship, religious groups and partner organizations such as the CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs. IREJN wants your input on Green Forum topics for 2019 - what do you want to learn about, and what environmental conversations do you think need to happen? Please take the brief online survey to help IREJN decide on Green Forum topics for 2019.

Dr. Larry Rasmussen to Speak in Greenwich, CT

Dr. Larry Rasmussen, author of "Earth-Honoring Faith" and more, will be offering talks at Round Hill Community Church on February 2nd and 3rd, 2019. All events are free and open to the public.

"Five Practices of Healthy Congregations in the Anthropocene"
Saturday, February 2, 2019
9:30-11:00 am
Round Hill Community Church, 395 Round Hill Road, Greenwich CT 06831

"Why Religious Communities Matter to Climate Justice"

Saturday, February 2, 2019

12:00-2:00 pm

Round Hill Community Church, 395 Round Hill Road, Greenwich CT 06831

* this event is sponsored by Union Theological Seminary's "Faculty on the Road" program. This event is free, and lunch is offered - RSVP is required.


On February 3rd, Dr. Rasmussen will preach a sermon during the 10:00 am worship service at Round Hill Community Church, followed by a forum.


Would your congregation and/or youth group be interested in hosting a workshop about environmental justice issues and how to get engaged?

Talk to Pam about scheduling a visit to your church in 2019!   


Registration is OPEN for the 2019 Environmental Justice for All! Retreat

Are there high school youth in your life who might be interested in a weekend of community and fun, and of learning about environmental issues and how to harness their talents to create a more just and sustainable future?

The annual Environmental Justice for All! Retreat  will offer all of this and more! Please Join Us!

May 17-19, 2019 at Silver Lake Conference Center in Sharon, CT
Cost: $145 per person; scholarships available.

Green Your Church in 2019!
The Green Church Awards offer a great way for your congregation to take action on environmental stewardship by offering a checklist of options for engagement.

In Connecticut, the CTUCC Environmental Ministry Team offers the Green Church Awards program, and the InterReligious EcoJustice Network offers the Green Houses of Worship program.

In Massachusetts, the MACUCC Environmental Ministries Task Team offers their Green Congregations Program.

In Rhode Island, the RI Interfaith Power and Light offers resources and support for congregations seeking to reduce their footprint.  

Nationally, the UCC Environmental Ministry offers the Creation Justice Church program, in addition to the Creation Justice Webinars.


The Northeast Environmental Justice Center
of the United Church of Christ

Housed at Silver Lake Conference, the EJC offers education and advocacy resources to the northeast region.

Pam Arifian, Director, 860-364-5418