About Eco-Justice Notes
the weekly commentary from Eco-Justice Ministries
Eco-Justice Notes is a free, weekly commentary by Rev. Peter Sawtell, the Executive Director of Eco-Justice Ministries.
These e-mail newsletters -- clearly written with a crisp, engaging style -- bring an eco-justice perspective to items in the current news, lift up biblical and theological commentary, and provide support and encouragement to those who are committed to ecologocal sustainability and social justice. Notes often points to options for political advocacy and personal behavior, and highlights resources that are appropriate for congregational use.
Our readers have used Eco-Justice Notes for personal education and inspiration, as a source of sermon themes and illustrations, as fodder for conversations and discussion groups, and as a means of lifting up insights and perspectives to friends, colleagues and decision-makers. (Suggestions for using Notes, and comments from some of our readers, are listed below.)
If you subscribe to Eco-Justice Notes -- and we certainly hope that you will do so by entering your email address in the form above -- we won't overwhelm you with emails. Notes is sent out just once a week. Each commentary is short enough that it is easy to read in one sitting. (If you print them out, they're around two pages long.) When you sign up for Notes, you may also elect to receive very occasional emails from Eco-Justice Ministries dealing with political advocacy or upcoming events.
Peter's highly-acclaimed commentary is a central part of our programming and outreach. Through it, we keep in touch with an international constituency of clergy and church leaders who are committed to working for peace, justice and harmony for all of God's creation.
While Notes is targeted to a church-related audience, we also have many enthusiastic readers from other faith traditions and without religious ties who find meaning and value in Peter's insights.
We invite you to read the most recent issue of Notes. All of the back issues of Eco-Justice Notes are available on our archive page, listed both chronologically and in a subject index.
Individuals or congregations are invited to underwrite Eco-Justice Notes with a designated contribution to Eco-Justice Ministries. Information on underwriting is posted on this website.
Suggestions on Using Notes
In your congregation:
- Copy issues, or selections from an issue, into your church newsletter or bulletin. (Non-commercial copying is OK, but please give credit and a reference back to our website!)
- Use Notesas a discussion starter for a fellowship group or class. Class members can read it quickly, and there's often enough innovative or provocative content to stir up a lively conversation.
- Share an issue with an appropriate committee or officer, to help them see how their role in the church has environmental implications.
- Pass along an issue to your pastor to help start a conversation about bringing eco-justice into the life of your congregation. Notes often has a style that can invite clergy to use their own interests and priorities in the eco-justice cause. Our reflections on theology, biblical studies and worship can help clergy see the faith basis for eco-justice perspectives.
- Steal an idea or an illustration from Notes for a sermon. If your just "borrowing" a story, there's no need to tell where you got it! If your whole sermon is inspired by something we said, you might want to mention that.
- Lift up a topic from Notes in prayer concerns. Expanding congregational prayers beyond local pastoral concerns is an important step in developing awareness and compassion for the whole Earth community.
- Copy an issue on your church website (again, please give appropriate credit), and/or provide a link to the article posted on our site. If your web-wizard wants to provide a consistent link to the most recent issue of Notes, please point to http://www.eco-justice.org/E-current.asp.
For your personal use:
In other settings:
- Use Notes as part of a regular discipline of study, reflection and prayer. Over a period of weeks and months, Notes will guide you into an eco-justice perspective on faith, ethics and policy.
- Realize each week that you are not alone in your concerns and commitments! You are part of a global community of faith that will act for the healing of God's whole creation.
- Forward issues of Notes to friends and colleagues. We often hear that Notes "puts into words what I've been trying to say."
- Reply to an issue with your thoughts, comments, or questions. Your input is valued! Peter reads all responses, and tries to reply personally to all substantive comments.
- Be inspired to take action on a political issue, or in your personal lifestyle. Notes often points toward specific actions and behaviors on important issues.
- Be challenged by the vision that is often expressed in Notes of churches as relevant, engaged and transformative. Reflect on your own congregation, and your own church particiaption, and seek to embody that vision in your local setting.
- Share selected Notes with activists working on specific issues. We often have a distinctive perspective on issues, and we encourage a wide range of strategies for social and political change.
- Include a copy of Notes in letters that you write to politicians on specific issues, or copy a few paragraphs that express your faith perspective.
What Our Readers Are Saying
Thanks for bringing the heart of a pastoral exegete to the prophetic work of eco-justice.
Greg - Pennsylvania
I read your article and found it to be really wonderful even though it was hard to hear
Marian - Washington
Your article really hit home. I'm going to use part of it this fall in sermon series on stewardship.
Doug - Missouri
This is a stunning piece! I am going to engage in a flurry of forwarding thereof. ... Thank you, Peter, for your ongoing ministry to those of us who constantly are searching for more reliable and pertinent information with which to arm ourselves.
Jack - Colorado
I so appreciate this view of "the news" and do not feel quite so alone in the world knowing that others feel the importance of it also.... Thank you.
Constance - California
Really appreciate the newsletters. Good, creative thinking. Challenging and exciting. Lots of ahas! Thank you very much!
Bill - Texas
Thanks - this is just what I needed to hear!
Karen - South Africa
Thank you so much for your great messages of hope and inspiration. I count on them. I also forwarded some of your stuff to my state reps and senators because I think they reflect exactly what I have been trying to say.
Ginny - Maine
The messages [this week were] particularly well-thought-out and -written, compelling and helpful. Thank you for consistently good quality and for your inspired commitment to creation and us.
Brendon - New Hampshire
As usual, your insights amaze me! You just said what I have been trying to verbalize for some time. Thank you for putting it so eloquently with such a meaningful example.
Helen - Missouri
Thanks, again, for being such a prophetic voice, Peter.
Kathryn - Colorado
As always I give thanks for your original thinking, thoughtful contemporary exegesis and articulate language.
Cynthia - Arizona
I have really appreciated receiving eco-justice notes. I have been encouraged, inspired and challenged to think about both my personal commitment to seeking environmental justice as part of my discipleship as a Christian and also to think about what this has meant for us as a Uniting Church here in South Australia as we continue to grapple with what it means for us as a church to 'do justice' in relation to the environment.
Kate - Australia
Eco-Justice Ministries * 400 S Williams St, Denver, CO 80209 * 303.715.3873
Home Page: www.eco-justice.org *