The UU Ministry for Earth Board and Staff send our very best wishes to you and yours across the miles this Earth Day!
Unitarians Universalists have many ways of commemorating or observing Earth Day, each to his, her, or their own. All embody a commitment to affirming and promoting the interdependent web of existence of which we are a part. But a small part, I might add.
Perhaps you have memories of the first “Earth Day” fifty years ago or have heard others tell their stories, and can recall some of the many Environmental Teach-in activities and results. Reportedly one-tenth of the US population participated in some way! The mainstream environmental consciousness and wave of environmental regulations that ensued has since given way to a larger, more complex awareness of climate change and need to effect necessary systemic change if we are to protect all life on Earth. Clearly, the need for ongoing teach-ins, lifestyle change, civic activism, and legislative change continues. On this Earth Day. On each day, in our homes, communities and at the ballot box in November and onwards.
Perhaps, for you, Earth Day is a reminder of the preciousness and beauty of this planet, a time set aside to “get back to nature,” soak up her beauty and restore your soul. Reverence for the flourishing of all life may be an important part of your spirituality or some part of a spiritual practice in which you ground your daily life. Perhaps you can call to mind a place where you have felt great peacefulness, happiness or joy, and a sense that all was well in the world. Perhaps you have reflected on what would mean to lose this place as you have known it in a climate-changing world and have been reminded of both the fragility and ever-present resilience of our web of life. Perhaps that awareness and reverence grounds your commitment to action and helps sustain your activism.
At this time, many are contrasting the global response to the coronavirus pandemic to what is needed to address the worst degrees of suffering and harm from our climate crisis. I am seeing, for the most part, that an ethic of community care is flourishing, the needs of those on the frontlines of this public health crisis are being prioritized and a keen understanding of the immorality of inaction is inspiring a range of place-based responses and commitment of resources at all levels of society. Alongside inspiration and innovation, I am also witnessing disappointments, setbacks, loss, and grief. And yet, hope lives on.
Against this backdrop, I ponder what commitments to Earth and creating climate justice to make or strengthen this Earth Day. I wonder, what is it you will choose to do?
I invite you to join me in listening closely to the stirrings of your heart, to be mindful of protecting the tree of life on which we too bloom, and to lift up your voice. May your voice be one that breaks climate silence and lifts up our ability to make drastic changes in our daily lives and society when the stakes are high and the need to do so is crystal clear. May your voice be one of many that create climate justice by highlighting an ethic of community care, the needs of frontline communities, and careful attention to inclusive, collaborative practices that address the nuances of specific place-based and community challenges.
UUMFE would like to hear from you and invites you to share your special memories of Earth Day, past and present, with our larger community on our Facebook page!
As always, thank you for all the ways you participate in actions with UUMFE and support us.
With joyous resolve,
Rev. Cindy Davidson, Board Chair, UUMFE
PS: Be sure to check out Earth Day Live from April 22-24. Thanks to the leadership of young people, opportunities to strike, divest and vote for climate are only a keystroke away! Click here to learn more.