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Spring has finally sprung --- gracing us with a gorgeous full supermoon on the Spring Equinox --- and so begins our Spring for Change: a Season of Sacred Activism.
From World Water Day (today) to Earth Day (April 22), to World Biodiversity Day (May 22), UU Ministry for Earth will be sending weekly messages of inspiration and resources to support you in springing for change as a part of this spiritual community and active Ministry for Earth.
I pray these messages may inspire and recharge your spirit. I pray they may ground your actions in the power of love, life, and possibility throughout these charged, challenging, and critical times.
This World Water Day, many communities across Mozambique, Africa and the US Midwest are mourning lost lives, displacement, and deep heartbreak as they struggle to address widespread humanitarian crises from Clyclone Idai and historic flooding.
Water is a miracle and a source of all life, but it is also often a dangerous force stronger than our civilian infrastructure can hold back and withstand despite our countless engineering efforts.
I am reminded of these words shared by Rev. Sara Green in New Orleans, at the 2017 UUA General Assembly morning worship titled “Who Taught You To Resist?” (Sara’s reflection begins at minute 14:00 in the video):
“Resistance looks like knowing where to place one’s anger --- and where the anger does not belong is in the water. Resistance looks like acknowledging all the human failures that went into what happened on August 29, 2005.
The effects of the hurricane were not the water’s fault. The deaths of thousands in my community was not the fault of the water. I learned not to be angry at the water, but angry at systems. Because the water was still there --- after all that was said and done --- still cleansing, still showering, still shifting. The water taught me that I’m held in community and deserve to be transformed over and over again.”
Today, I invite you to join me in taking time to honor water as a spiritual practice in your daily life --- take time to acknowledge and appreciate every sip in a glass of water, or every drop of your next shower. If you’re feeling lush (or achey) enough today to soak in a bath, put your hands by the drain as you let out your bath water, and think/feel/say a deep “thank you… thank you… thank you…” as the water rushes past your fingers.
Water plays a very impressive long-game. It has so much to teach us about resistance, about power, about change, and about life.
UUMFE Program Director
By Stephen M. Shick
‘Scientists discover there is more water beneath the earth’s
surface than is in all the oceans, lakes and rivers we see.’
We too float on an inward sea
hidden beneath dry surfaces
covered over by oceans of churning water.
Isn’t this why
With backs to the land we sit on sand?
Why we splash joyously,
dive and drink deeply?
Why we go ‘down to the sea in ships’
risking drowning, again and again?
Isn’t this why we remember when he spoke to the waters saying
"Peace, be still”?
Isn’t this why those words recall to us a simple truth,
We float free in water
Are washed clean by water
Were born in water.
Isn’t this why we long to discover
the waters of our inward sea?
[Republished with permission from Stephen M. Shick. Excerpted from Water Communion By Stephen Shick; Adapted from original published in The Communion Book, edited by Carl Seaburg, Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, 1993.]
US: Letterwriting Advocacy Throughout April
Throughout the month of April, collect letters at your congregation calling for a national policy action to address the climate crisis. Your letters will be delivered by hand to the offices of US Senators on Capitol Hill by the Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice Advocacy Corps! Follow the link to RSVP or request to be contacted with more information. The full resources for this campaign will be released shortly.
CANADA: The Ripple Effect Campaign
Take the plunge with the Canadian Unitarian Council to explore issues surrounding water, our interconnections with it, and our responsibilities to it! Join the CUC Ripple Effect campaign to identify a water-related issue you want to learn more about, and take action on.
Hear from Sharon Lavigne, a Cancer Alley Environmental Justice Organizer
Join the Environmental Justice Practitioners Network Webinar on next WEDNESDAY, March 27th, to hear special guest speaker Sharon Lavigne, the founder of RISE St. James: a grassroots, Christian faith based environmental justice organization based in St. James Parish, Louisiana.
WORLD WATER DAY: LEAVING NO ONE BEHIND
This year, the theme for the United Nations World Water Day is leaving no one behind -- uplifting the Sustainable Development Goal to have universal access to safe drinking water by 2030. Yet around the world, thanks in part to climate change, drinking water is becoming less available and more expensive.
WE STILL NEED YOUR HELP TO BUILD A STRONG UUMFE
UU Ministry for Earth depends on donations from individuals and congregations in order to empower bold action, partnership, and connections within and beyond Unitarian Universalism. Please give to support this vital ministry and make arrangements to take a collection for UUMFE on Earth Day Sunday! All donations will be doubled until we reach our $20,000 matching campaign goal!
INTRO section photo by Aly Tharp: Peach blossom at the Festival Beach Food Forest, an edible and medicinal landscape on public parkland in Austin, Texas
ACTIVATION section photo via UUSJ: Paul Hoekstra of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington drops his letter in the mailbox for later hand delivery to his elected official.
CONNECTION section photo by Julia Dermansky via Truthout.org
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