Many Unitarian Universalist congregations celebrate Earth Day with an entire month of reflection, action, and new commitments to environmental and climate justice. “Climate Justice Month” can be celebrated for the month of April, or from the month between World Water Day (March 22) and Earth Day (April 22).
During COVID-19, we provided live and recorded Earth Day worship services. You can find a sampling here.
The 2014-2017 Commit2Respond campaign, of which UU Ministry for Earth was a founding partner, provided materials each year for Climate Justice Month 2015-2017 and UU Ministry for Earth has continued releasing support resources for Climate Justice Month 2018. These resources may be helpful inspiration to UUs and other people of faith and conscience in ongoing Earth Day and Climate Justice Month observances.
Climate Justice Month 2018
The theme of Climate Justice Month 2018 is “Justice for #EachGeneration”, exploring how climate change is a threat to intergenerational equity and expressing solidarity with the 21 youth plaintiffs of the Juliana vs U.S. constitutional climate lawsuit. UU Ministry for Earth and UU Young Adults for Climate Justice are co-sponsors of an effort to deliver 1,000 Justice for #EachGeneration worship services collectively, in partnership with the United Church of Christ Council for Climate Justice and numerous other organizations.
A toolkit is provided to assist congregations in organizing worship services and events:DOWNLOAD 2018 TOOLKIT
Climate Justice Month 2017
Climate Justice Month 2017 drew inspiration from Joanna Macy’s Spiral of the Work That Reconnects, a spiritual practice that can help individuals or communities to find deeper levels of authenticity and actualization. “The activist’s inner journey appears to me like a spiral, interconnecting four successive stages or movements that feed into each other.” —Joanna Macy
Each week of the month featured a different theme:
- Week 1: Opening to Gratitude
- Week 2: Honoring Our Pain for the World
- Weeks 3 & 4: Seeing With New Eyes
- Weeks 5 & 6: Going Forth
A toolkit provided inspiration, readings, tools, and other resources related to each theme, as well as opportunities for action and deepening engagement.
Climate Justice Month 2016
Climate Justice Month 2016 centered on water justice, honoring International climate commitments, reclaiming democracy, and personal reflection through poetry.
The month featured personal messages and calls to action from UU environmental justice leaders, including Paula Cole Jones, Aly Tharp, Irene Keim, Lavona Grow, and Rev. Karen Brammer, as well as poetry from Christopher D. Sims, Rev. Maria Cristina Vlassidis, Paula Cole Jones, and others.
The messages and poetry shared throughout the month were compiled in a Climate Justice Month 2016 packet.
Climate Justice Month 2015
The inaugural Climate Justice Month in 2015 featured daily messages that each offered a reflection, a spiritual practice, and a resource to take it further, plus a framing message at the beginning of each themed week—all geared toward getting spiritually grounded and making bold, lasting commitments to climate justice.
These messages were written and/or solicited by UU environmental justice leaders Rev. Sofia Betancourt, Rev. Peggy Clarke, Tim DeChristopher, Kat Liu, and Rev. Jennifer Nordstrom.
The weekly themes were:
- Week 1: Water: Rejoicing and Celebrating in Our Natural World
- Week 2: Fire: Reckoning with and Grieving the Loss We are Confronting
- Week 3: Air: Reconnecting with Front-Line Communities and Earth in All Her Glory
- Week 4: Earth: Committing to a New Way
A 2015 Climate Justice Month packet was created to provide all of the daily messages so that anyone can embark on a Climate Justice Month any time of year.
In addition, the five leaders above compiled worship resources that tied into each weekly theme: