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It’s harder to turn away than to face the work that we’re all called to do. Reducing the harmful risks of Climate Change exposes the injustices even more clearly. And so, I imperfectly do my part with the tools and talents I’ve been given. I continue the work because of the motivating wisdom of friends around the country, and around the world who understand and live this call. Here are some of the sources I've been drawing inspiration from recently:
A response I heard years ago from a climate scientist being asked how he could remain hopeful -- “Well, what’s the alternative?”
And this quote from scholars Schenk and Churchill (page 505): “to accompany humanity in this extraordinary transition and to be present to the earth and the biosphere at this time.”
We are the first generation to experience climate change and the last that can do anything about it. How do we grasp this enormous responsibility and opportunity that has been laid before us?
My choice has been to encourage Strengthening Local Climate Commitments (SLCC). For me, SLCC is the WHAT to do about climate injustice and COP 27 makes visible the WHY. There are an infinite number of ways each of us can engage. For me, this arena has the greatest potential lift, yet still is the greatest gap in climate progress. It is locally where your school board vote for solar panels and actually puts them on roofs; where your health department monitors dropping atmospheric particulates in marginalized neighborhoods to keep their commitment to reducing the injustice of asthma emergencies; and it is where we, the engaged and ever vigilant public, can hold our governments to task.
With the election looming large tonight, may we stay grounded in our own ability to work for justice. May we remember that we have power as individuals, and exponentially more as communities. Regardless of election outcomes, we will continue building a climate-resilient world.
Locally is where we live our 8 UU Principles. To be successful in response to this greatest moral and existential issue of our time is for each of us to find our own best method of Engagement, informed through Empowerment, and then Embodied in our actions and relationships.
With deep gratitude,
P.S. UU Ministry for Earth is a growing organization with a budget of over $198,000, led by a board of dedicated volunteers. Through your generosity, we are able to employ a small and mighty team of part-time leaders dedicated to creating opportunities for climate justice education, organizing and spiritual grounding.
We recognize you have many worthy causes to support. We’re grateful for your consideration of UU Ministry for Earth for Giving Tuesday 2022 and the upcoming Holiday season.
Alice Kurima Newberry, a former UUMFE collaborator, explores how to find hope in the uncomfortable truths of climate change in this UU World article. She writes, "my survival and ability to thrive means I must practice radical care for life, and through this care is the reason to hope." Thank you Alice for this candid and thoughtful article!
This December, join UU Ministry for Earth and Sanctuary Boston to feed your spirit and be galvanized for the work ahead.
Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth is excited to offer a winter concert fundraiser for Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth, Monday, December 5th, (8 pm ET/7 pm CT/6 pm MT/5 pm PT) -- with the amazing musicians Karishma Gottfried and Matt Meyer from Sanctuary Boston!
We are so excited to host Sanctuary Boston for a special dialogue with UU Ministry for Earth's Dr. Susanna Wu-Pong Calvert, followed by a concert!
Let's celebrate sacred possibilities! UU Ministry for Earth is excited to invite you and your communities to our second annual Solstice celebration, "Evergreen: A Winter Solstice Service." Join us for an evening of music, reflection, meditation, and spiritual grounding hosted on Zoom Wednesday, December 21 at 5 pm PT/ 6 pm MT/ 7 pm CT/ 8 pm ET. Even in heartache times, we can connect and be galvanized for the present we live in, and the future we seek.
Movements for justice needs moments of deep presence and connection. Let's connect and be present for work today and to come. We hope to see you then!
UU Animal Ministry has proudly reinstated its Albert Schweitzer sermon contest. This year we are opening the contest to UUs across the globe, encouraging diverse perspectives about how UUs view our duty to care for creation. A $1,000 prize will be awarded to the person delivering the best sermon on the topic of our responsibilities to non-human animals. Please let your minister and lay speakers know!
Women, People of Color, LGBTQIA+ people, and differently-abled people are especially encouraged to apply. If you have questions about the contest, send a message to email@example.com with “sermon contest” in the subject line.
COP 27 is upon us! The Conference of Parties (COP) started on November 6th in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. Former COP attendees and UUMFE board members Dr. Bill McPherson and Doris Marlin will help break it down through daily check-ins and close the series with meaningful advocacy. These discussions will follow the progress, make sense of the sessions, and engage with observers on the ground.
Join UUSJ’s Environmental Action Team in urging Senators to act for Climate Sanity.
Monday, November 14th 9 am ET/ 10 am MT/ 11 am CT/ 12 pm ET
We still have climate work to do amid this year’s last legislative push of the 117th Congress and the upcoming U.N. Climate Change Conference – known as COP 27. (Nov. 6-18 in Egypt.) We continue to work for mitigation and resilience programming, such as the Green Climate Fund, to help meet U.S. global obligations. We are showcasing support for the Environmental Justice For All Act, which codifies protections for impacted communities. We oppose including the Schumer-Manchin permit fast-track side deal in a must-pass bill. We urge a permit reform proposal that moves through a regular and transparent deliberative process, although we could support a stand-alone bill.
UUMFE is excited to partner with the Connectivity Project! The Connectivity Project is a documentary series examining the ripple effects of our actions in an interconnected world. Comprised of three short films (15 minutes each) which can be watched separately or together, the Connectivity Project helps to build awareness of our interdependence, encouraging a deeper understanding of the potential impact of our actions - large and small - with empowering films, engaging curriculum and a curated collection of related resources. "Small and Mighty" congregations are invited to receive access to the films and resources for FREE! We only have 15 all-access passes, so if you'd like to make this part of your fall/winter congregational offerings, reach out with the link below right away!
October 24 was United Nations Day—the annual holiday commemorating the creation of the international body in 1945. This year, it arrived at a particularly fitting time. World leaders—acting through UN venues this month—have a once-in-a-generation chance to advance human rights and protect humanity’s common interests. If they act now, they can be remembered as the people who averted global catastrophe. If they fail to take bold action, they will go down in history as the leaders who sleepwalked into disaster. This article outlines the steps that the UU Service Committee urges world leaders to take at the UN in the coming months.
Embrace the squash season with this Butternut Squash Pasta! In similar dishes, the squash is pureed into the sauce, which you can certainly do, but this version leaves chunks of roasted squash and other veggies in the dish. Texture is tasty! And because sunflower seeds are used, this dish is nut free!
We close this newsletter with a reflection and blessing from Cindy Piester, UUs for a Just Economic Community Board Member and COP 27 NGO Delegate.
"With COP 27 just around the corner, the tension is building. Will the call of the unified hearts, minds, and souls of millions around the globe be sufficient to meet the 1.5° C goal of the Paris Agreement? Will the wealth and power of controlling interest somehow yield for the sake of the greater good? Will the Global South, which contributed least to the climate disaster, be spared paying the ultimate price for the energy gluttony of the Global North? Will the young be spared the devastating impacts of neglect of their own elders?
In the midst of this turmoil, there is stillness. And there is Power. The power to make the urgent changes, at scale, that life itself demands. May it be so."
P.S. We are grateful recipients of the Deborah Pulliam Grant from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Castine, Maine. This grant will support the work of the UUMFE BIPOC Caucus. Thank you, UU Castine!