Dear Friends of MAICCA,
We want to share an important message about a change in MAICCA's status and activities. After close consideration, shared reflection, and prayer, the MAICCA Leadership Team has decided to suspend future activities of MAICCA, at least for the time being. We do this with some sadness - and a great measure of hope, faith, and gratitude.
We are grateful to every person and congregation that has been part of MAICCA's advocacy for climate justice in Massachusetts over the past two years.
You may have shared in spirited prayer and singing with more than 500 people at "Answering the Call," our launch event in Wellesley in October 2015. Shortly thereafter, you may have joined our Legislative Action Day, rallying on the Grand Staircase at the State House and meeting with your legislators to push for a clean and just energy future. Maybe you joined us in Boston for the "Jobs, Justice, and Climate" march and rally in December 2015, the biggest climate rally in the city's history. Maybe you walked and prayed with us in West Roxbury in May 2016, when clergy and people of many faiths were arrested in acts of civil disobedience to protest construction of the fracked gas pipeline. Maybe you prayed with us at our interfaith gathering before the People's Climate Movement March in Boston this past April, or participated in the Climate Justice Simulation in Jamaica Plain in May. Maybe you connected with MAICCA at one of our educational events, joined a delegation at one of MAICCA's waves of meetings with local legislators, or read our newsletter.
However you engaged with MAICCA, thank you for adding your voice to the growing, multi-faith movement in Massachusetts to call for solutions to the climate crisis that are rooted in racial, social, and economic justice.
We recognize that our nation's political and spiritual landscape changed profoundly in 2017. Navigating the storms has been a struggle, especially for immigrants, low-income communities, racial and gender minorities, the historically under-served, and those most vulnerable to environmental threats and climate change. To our dismay, we have watched the White House and Congress rapidly dismantling environmental protections and policies that safeguard clean air and water, public health, wilderness, and a habitable planet.
In this tumultuous time, Pope Francis' call to hear the "cry of the earth and the cry of the poor" has grown ever more urgent, and MAICCA has wrestled with how best to respond. The members of our leadership team have sought to discern how each of us is called to engage in the work of climate justice in this unique and difficult period of history.
We still believe fervently that religious and spiritual communities and collective faithful action have a critical role to play in responding to the climate crisis and helping build a just and livable future for our planet and its inhabitants.
At the same time, our leadership team has concluded that we as individuals and as a community are in a different place than we were when we gave rise to MAICCA, and that for the time being, MAICCA may no longer be the best venue for our shared work. We have decided to suspend plans for future MAICCA campaigns and programs. For now, MAICCA is on hiatus. In acknowledging that this particular chapter of MAICCA's existence has come to an end, we hope to open the way for new partnerships and coalitions to emerge.
We are sharing this news with all of our members and friends so that everyone is clear about MAICCA's status. We imagine that this may be disappointing to you, and we are grateful for your understanding. Please know that each of us on the leadership team remains deeply committed to faith-based activism; we remain good friends; and we look forward to seeing each other - and you - at the State House and on the streets, as we continue to press for climate justice in Massachusetts.
We also want to acknowledge the other climate justice networks that already exist in Massachusetts. We hope you will take this opportunity, if you haven't done so already, to engage with one or more of the powerful organizations listed below, and bring your unique gifts and leadership potential to the climate movement.
We hope that you will continue to organize within your own faith community and tradition to witness and work for climate justice. We encourage you to connect with and to build on the climate justice work already being carried out within your faith tradition (some of these groups are listed below).
We give thanks for the Spirit that led us to form MAICCA. We trust that the same Spirit is guiding us now as MAICCA's present incarnation comes to an end. We look forward with joy to seeing how the Spirit will guide us in the years ahead. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to a member of our leadership team.
Thank you for being on the journey with us.
The MAICCA Leadership Team
Amy Benjamin, Co-founder
The Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas
Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman
The Rev. Reebee Girash
Lise Olney, Co-founder
The Rev. Mariama White-Hammond
A sampling of climate justice groups in Massachusetts:
- 350Mass for a Better Future, the grassroots climate justice network that now has 16 nodes across the Commonwealth
- Climate Action Now, the grassroots climate justice network centered in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts
- Elders Climate Action, MA Chapter, connecting elder activists in Massachusetts
- Mass Power Forward Coalition, working on a wide variety of clean energy and anti-fossil fuels initiatives
- Mass Campaign for a Clean Energy Future, a coalition of organizations in Massachusetts dedicated to putting a fair price on carbon
- Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light, helping congregations "go green" and advocate for climate solutions
- Mothers Out Front, mobilizing mothers, grandmothers, and other caregivers to ensure a swift, just transition away from fossil fuels and toward clean renewable energy
- SAICAN (Springfield Area Interfaith Climate Action Network), a growing interfaith climate action network in and around Springfield
A sampling of climate justice initiatives in Massachusetts that spring from a particular faith tradition:
- The American Baptist Churches of Massachusetts (TABCOM) Creation Care Ministries
- The Boston Catholic Climate Covenant
- Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts: Creation Care Initiativeand Episcopalians Caring for Creation (on Facebook)
- Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts: Creation Careand Creation Care on Facebook
- Jewish Climate Action Network (JCAN)
- Lutherans Restoring Creation
- MA Conference, United Church of Christ: Environmental Ministries Task Team
- UU Mass Action