Call to Arts! Join the Procession of the Species

Dear Unitarian Universalists,

Today is “Endangered Species Day”, and the Interdependent Web of Life on Earth is in trouble.

Wildlife populations have declined, on average, by 58% between 1970 and 2012 (Source: WWF 2016 Living Planet Report).

A recent United Nations report estimates that one million species out of the estimated 8 million species of Life on Earth are at risk of going extinct in the coming decades.

Sir Robert Watson, the Chair of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), which is the UN organization responsible for this recent comprehensive report, tells us:

The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide.

…it is not too late to make a difference, but only if we start now at every level from local to global. Through ‘transformative change’, nature can still be conserved, restored and used sustainably – this is also key to meeting most other global goals. By transformative change, we mean a fundamental, system-wide reorganization across technological, economic and social factors, including paradigms, goals and values.”

As Unitarian Universalists, our 6th Principle, “The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all” & 7th Principle, “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part”, call us to be actors for transformative change in these dire times.

This Call to Arts from UU Ministry for Earth (UUMFE) is an invitation to honor the Web of Life on Earth in community, through artwork. It is a resource for you to begin conversations and create experiences in your community or congregation that can shift paradigms, goals, and values.

The artwork that you make locally will become a part of a “Procession of Species” created by Unitarian Universalist communities across the entire Association. The first “Procession of Species” will be at the General Assembly coming up June 19-23, 2019, with UUMFE and Rev. Bonnie Tarwater of the Church for Our Common Home. The Procession will continue to grow and manifest throughout 2019 and 2020, culminating again at the General Assembly in 2020.

Please join the procession of species! Now would be the perfect time to begin these conversations and share this invitation with other UUs in your community — May 17th is Endangered Species Day and May 22nd is World Biodiversity Day.

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Aly Tharp
Aly Tharp
Aly Tharp is the program director at the UU Ministry for Earth and has been with UUMFE since 2014, initially serving as the network coordinator for the UU Young Adults for Climate Justice. Aly lives in Austin, Texas, and in their free time is an arts-activist and community organizer supporting a local food forest on public parkland and Gulf South climate justice movements.