Thanks to the support of the Johnson Foundation at Wingspread, the UU Church West is having a different kind of Water Communion at our Ingathering Sunday this September. Many Unitarian Universalists use water as a symbol for our individual lives – gathering our waters into one stream as we come together each fall for a new church year.  How many of us, however, as we enjoy this ceremony, truly take a hard look at the freshwater crisis in our nation and our world, and the water cost of the way we live?

This year, using the Our Commitment To Water handout generously provided by the Johnson Foundation’s Environment Programs department, Unitarian Universalist Church West in Brookfield, Wisconsin, will do just that.  It’s an easy-to use guide with practical steps that families can follow to reduce their water footprint.

The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread is dedicated to serving as a catalyst for innovative public and private solutions to regional and global problems.  Their Freshwater Summit held on June 8th and 9th, 2010, brought leaders in business, government and not-for-profits together to develop a national call-to-action and a set of key water initiatives. Specifically, participants included senior level representatives from Mars Incorporated, Diversey, Inc., Kohler Co., U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the White House Council of Environmental Quality, Pacific Institute, World Wildlife Fund and Iowa Soybean Association. In total more than 25 leaders convened at Wingspread to discuss the challenges, opportunities and solutions to addressing the nation’s freshwater crisis.