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I'm writing to you from Austin, Texas, where the Texas legislature is rushing to pass bills that would severely criminalize nonviolent direct action at fossil fuel infrastructure sites. Bills like this are sweeping across the entire US in reaction to the strength of the water protector movement.
Last week, I spent long hours at the Texas Capitol waiting to testify against the bill in the House committee. A lot of people spoke out in opposition, and yet the bill was just voted out of the House committee on Monday and will likely be voted through the Senate Natural Resources committee today. This is not how I want to spend my time and not what policymakers need to be focusing on!
As much as possible, I have been sitting on my back patio witnessing the birdsong and the sunlight shifting through the sky, as showers of small flower petals fall from the canopy of trees in the bursts of Spring breeze.
Spending time out here (even as I read and write emails) feels centering and downright essential right now.
Joanna Macy, the beloved elder, EcoBuddhist philosopher, and author, speaks about three dimensions of the Great Turning. This simple framework has been very helpful for me personally, as a guide for how to balance my activism in a way that fosters wellbeing.
My journey into activism began with joining the resistance to the Keystone XL pipeline construction through Oklahoma and East Texas in 2012 --- deeply in the Great Turning dimension of "holding actions" to slow the magnitude of damage to Earth and its beings.
This was exhausting, scary, and often depressing work! I have found in these 7 years since that the best way for me to foster the mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical stamina to show up fully for the hard and essential work of "holding actions", I have to intentionally balance my life with actions in the other two dimensions of the Great Turning (shifting consciousness and creating structural alternatives).
Taking the time to enjoy the peace and slower pace of the ecosystem around me can fill me with the energy and inspiration that I need in order to pack my bag and head down to the Texas Capitol --- or prepare myself for another round of KXL resistance --- in a grounded and centered way.
What helps you to find a sense of balance and centeredness in your busy life? How do the three dimensions of the Great Turning manifest in your own sacred activism?
New Spring for Change Worship Resources!
The Spring for Change webpages have just been updated, and you can now download a 21-page compilation of selected readings by The Reverend Stephen Shick to support your Earth Sunday worship planning.
Hear from Lummi Nation leaders & Dina Gilio-Whitaker
There are just two webinars left in this EJPN webinar season! On April, 25th, UUs will tune in from across the country for a conversation with special guests Fred Lane (Lummi Nation Tribal Council member) and Dr. Kurt Russo (Senior Strategist, Lummi Nation Sovereignty and Treaty Protection Office). On May 23rd, UUs will tune in for a call with special guest Dina Gilio-Whitaker for a conversation about her soon-to-be-released book As Long As Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock.
Write Here! Write Now! Tell US Senators to Act on Climate (CORRECTED LINK & FULL DETAILS!)
UUMFE is partnering with the UUs for Social Justice (UUSJ) for a “Write Here! Write Now!” letter-writing advocacy campaign during Spring For Change: A Season of Sacred Activism. This year the campaign focus will be to tell our U.S. Senators that urgent action is needed to address the climate crisis. With the introduction of the Green New Deal resolutions and carbon pricing legislation, there is new energy and growing public support for addressing comprehensive climate policy issues. We want to urge our Senators to take action NOW!
The Promise to Protect Training Tour
The Promise to Protect Training Tour kicked off on March 23rd, and is taking place in 10 cities and 4 reservations, with a goal of training 2K+ people for direct action to stop the Keystone XL (KXL) tar sands pipeline. Despite numerous court rulings denying permits, the Trump administration has issued another presidential permit to fast track the project without further environmental review. Native and non-Native environmental justice activists will come together to take powerful collective action along the pipeline route and in our local areas. Our UU faith calls us to heal our relationship with the earth through action in solidarity with those resisting the fossil fuel industry’s extraction and exploitation of people, resources, and lands.
UU Young Adults for Climate Justice Theologies of Place Zine
Calling all young adult artists and writers!! The UU Young Adults for Climate Justice is seeking written and 2D-art submissions for a self-published zine examining the threads between place, spirituality and climate justice.
Earth Sunday Share the Plate Collections
Please help grow and sustain the UU Ministry for Earth by taking a “Share the Plate” donation for us in your congregation on Earth Sunday (or an appropriate worship service during the Spring for Change Season of Sacred Activism). UUMFE has resources to support you with "making the ask" and taking a collection!
Register your Church’s Event(s) with UUMFE
Does your congregation have special Earth Justice programs or worship services planned for Earth Day, or another day throughout the Season of Sacred Activism (March 22-May 22)? Register your event(s) with UUMFE and you will be entered into a raffle for a $100 gift certificate to the UUA InSpirit Bookstore!
Vegan Risotto with asparagus and mushrooms
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