Religious organizations are not simply using RENEWAL within individual congregations. The Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ (MACUCC) has purchased over 400 copies of the film to distribute to each of its member churches. Reverend Jim Antal, Minister and President of the Massachusetts Conference, is sending a copy of RENEWAL to every UCC minister along with a letter encouraging them to become active in the growing religious-environmental movement.
In Massachusetts, one of the movement's more active and innovative projects is the MassReLeaf Ministry. MassReLeaf Ministry is as innovative partnership between MACUCC and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. This ministry facilitates the planting of large trees in open spaces in low-income neighborhoods and communities across the state. The state supplies the trees and technical assistance on planting and caring for the trees in their first years. UCC congregations and residents of the communities receiving the trees supply the labor. The trees reduce carbon-dioxide and global warming, as well as filtering out many harmful pollutants in the urban air. So far more than two dozen communities have benefited from these planting projects and Massachusetts has over 500 new trees growing within its borders.
Rev. Antal hopes that RENEWAL will encourage all UCC congregations to become engaged in a broad spectrum of environmental issues and will help members to recognize the depth and breadth of commitment to environmental stewardship that is rightfully a part of their religious life.
To learn more, visit http://www.macucc.org/emj.