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Highlights from Earth Day 2015

This year, the Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth continued our multi-year focus on different aspects of “Working Towards Sustainable Communities” by addressing the critical role energy production and consumption plays in today’s world and the challenges we face in bringing about a just transition to a low carbon future.

In conjunction with the launch of the Commit2Respond campaign, we compiled the latest information and resources, including worship materials and our first-ever commissioned sermon, in order to suggest a range of faithful responses for congregational, small group and individual action. These materials, like the ones from earlier years, are only a keystroke or two away, ready for use at any time of the year for your educational and programming needs and reference.  Please use them generously and share them widely!

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Have you taken the Climate Justice Month survey?

Thank you to everyone who signed up and was a part of the first-ever Climate Justice Month!

I was amazed to see the eight organizations leading Commit2Respond all participating in their own ways, from providing Earth Day resources to raising money for a brand new young adult climate justice training to offering opportunities for protecting water rights. Climate Justice Month brought us together in new ways, and it's just the beginning.

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You Decide What's Next

Thank you for an amazing, first-ever Climate Justice Month!

Commit2Respond is now more than three thousand people strong, almost 200 organizations and congregations have signed on, and hundreds of us have now made new commitments for climate justice. 

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Earth Day: The Beginning of New Commitments

Today is Earth Day, when people all over the planet celebrate our beautiful, life-giving, and fragile Mother Earth.

This year our eight Unitarian Universalist organizations teamed up and created an unprecedented network of concern and action: Commit2Respond. Climate Justice Month, which has been running since World Water Day (March 22), ends today—and we ask you to join us in committing to action in the face of climate change!

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Day 31: An End and a Beginning

As we reach the end of our Climate Justice Month, we have reflected on Rejoicing, Reckoning, Reconnecting, and Committing. 

These are complex ideas on which we will be continually reflecting in our rapidly changing world. But while our internal reflections continue, we must engage with the outer world to create climate justice. Even if we feel like we still have a lot of work to do on our own selves, we have to push our imperfect selves into action. Even if we make mistakes, our imperfect actions will deepen our reflections as we continue the cycle of praxis. 

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Day 30: The Courage to Commit

As we make our commitments of how we will take a stand for climate justice, it’s worth reflecting on the courage that will be required to hold on to those commitments.  

There are always plenty of reasons to abandon our commitments to justice. Sometimes it’s inconvenient; sometimes we’re tired; sometimes we forget.  

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Day 29: A Climate Trinity

How do we bridge from I to Thou and on to We?

More than any other challenge we’ve faced in the history of humankind, the unfolding climate catastrophe requires us to collaborate. Survival of our species and countless others demands that we tap our higher order capacity to muster compassion and inspire community on a global scale.  

That may feel like an overwhelming challenge, but Commit2Respond offers a simple way forward: we must each make three commitments.

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Climate Justice Month, Week 5: (Re)Commitment

Dear ones,

As human beings, we go in and out of our commitments.

The Jewish tradition has a formal process every year of returning to their commitment to living in right relationship with the whole. Last week, we read Thomas Berry’s questions: Is my next thought, word or deed sustainable for, an expression of greater intimacy with, a celebration of Earth?

As climate justice Unitarian Universalists who braid the first and seventh principle together, we ask ourselves: Is my next thought, word or deed sustainable for, an expression of greater intimacy with, a celebration of The Whole? Are we in right relationship with The Whole?

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Day 27: Committing Is About Joy

Committing to climate justice has never been about sacrifice in my life.

In 2009, my friend Roseann and I created InterGenerate, a small, food-justice organization in the exurbs of NYC. InterGenerate starts community gardens for people across a variety of diversities to grow our own food. We have three gardens and a chicken co-op.

We hoped InterGenerate would create environmentally and socially sustainable communities. We didn’t know it would become a catalyst for transformation.

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Day 26: Embodied Intimacy

Why should one seek outwardly for a treasure,
when the field of the body has its own bright jewel?

—Pao-chih

I have come to believe the change necessary to transform cultures and institutions for the good, both on the personal and on the systemic level, requires embodied intimacy.

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