“When we act alone, it is true that we feel powerless. Our strength and courage, though, shine out when we join with a group of others, all with the same values, working for the same cause.” Rev. Marilyn Sewell, The Moral Demands of Climate Change.
Earth Day is the culmination of the Commit2Respond Climate Justice Month, 2016. Looking at today’s actions and those taken over the past few weeks, it is clear that we have come together with strength and courage.
World Water Day began with a Love and Liberation Prayer that we may “reflect back on this day, one year from now, and find that our efforts have moved us into a more loving and liberated world” where safe and affordable water access is upheld as a human right. The UU Service Committee (UUSC) helped us bring this call for justice to the attention of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with a petition that was delivered at an Inter-American Commission on Human Rights hearing.
Thousands answered the call to participate in Democracy Spring and Democracy Awakening in early April, in the name of fair representation and voting rights in our democracy. Over 1,400 activists were arrested this month which prompted nearly 100 members of Congress to call for hearings on voting rights and campaign finance reform legislation.
UUs were present at the Church Center of the United Nations for the presentation of the Interfaith Statement on Climate Change to the President of the UN this week, which was signed by over 5,700 individuals, including UUA President Peter Morales. UU Cindy Davidson witnessed the ceremony, and wrote about it on the Commit2Respond blog. We celebrate, as today Secretary of State John Kerry signed the #ParisAgreement with his granddaughter on his lap.
This week, a call for Action through Poetry encourages us to reflect and renew our covenant for climate justice in ways that honor our cultures, lived experiences and deepest selves. Check out the offerings, starting with one from spoken word poet Christopher Sims, HERE and add your own contribution.
We celebrate the many UUs across the United States who are engaged in Earth Day events, including worship services, workshops, community fairs, and climate justice actions. Add your event, share your pictures, and join the contest for a gift certificate to the inSpirit Bookstore.
We uplift this Earth Day Prayer by Paula Cole Jones as an expression of gratitude for our connection to one another and the Earth:
by Paula Cole Jones, Racial & Social Justice Consultant, Joseph Priestley District in the Central Eastern Region, UUA
May we honor the Spirit of Life that flows through the ages and runs through all living things.
May we be enlivened with curiosity about the mystery and sustainability of our planet.
May we approach learning about, understanding, and appreciating this world as part of our daily bread.
May we find peace and connection with each other, with life and with the environment around us.
May we fall in love with aspects of this Earth over and over and over again,
because we take care of who and what we love.
May it be so,
All of the Commit2Respond Volunteers and Staff