Join us this Sunday and Beyond to Honor Biodiversity!
Biodiversity Sunday 2022 is on May 22, directly following Endangered Species Day on May 21, and on the International Day for Biodiversity. This is a day for honoring, celebrating, and committing to restore and protect the Web of Life. It is also the final day of Spring for Change: A Season of Sacred Activism.
This Biodiversity Sunday, UUMFE is excited to announce the development of “May You Survive and Thrive,” a new multi-generational, arts-based curriculum to cultivate and sustain ecological awareness this Sunday, at the upcoming General Assembly, and throughout the year.
We are looking for congregations like yours to help pilot this draft curriculum! Join the Survive and Thrive Cohort, a cohort of committed congregations who will be among the first to use the curriculum with support from UUMFE and each other. Find out more and sign up below.
Whether or not joining the Survive and Thrive pilot cohort works for your congregation, below you’ll also find some great ways to incorporate Eco-arts elements into your worship and congregational life this Biodiversity Sunday and beyond.
We look forward to hearing how you and your community are honoring the Web of Life, and we hope to see you at the Procession of Species at GA in June!
Building lasting connections between people, place, and our faith.
The overarching goals of Survive and Thrive are to:
- Cultivate Biodiversity Sunday as an annual event on the UU church calendar,
- Strengthen Unitarian Universalist cultural and spiritual practices of honoring the Web of Life in our congregations and at the UUA General Assembly,
- Strengthen multi-generational relationships and connections between UU climate/environmental team members and the children and youth in their congregation and other congregations across bioregions, and
- Strengthen Unitarian Universalist communities’ understanding, relationship, and ethic of accountability to Place and to the Rights of Nature.
Ways to celebrate Biodiversity on May 22 and beyond:
Incorporate words, prayers, hymns, and practices related to Biodiversity and our interconnected Web of Life in your worship service.
To view these and additional worship elements, click here.
We light this chalice in honor of the Web of Life.
We honor this sacred ecosystem of ecosystems we call home.
We honor all of our diverse animal, plant, fungal, and insect relatives,
And the land, water, and air we all share.
May we remember that all life is worthy, all life connected, all life is sacred.
“We Americans are reluctant to learn a foreign language of our own species, let alone another species. But imagine the possibilities. Imagine the access we would have to different perspectives, the things we might see through other eyes, the wisdom that surrounds us. We don’t have to figure out everything by ourselves: there are intelligences other than our own, teachers all around us. Imagine how much less lonely the world would be.”
― Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants
Prayer / Closing Words
Spirit of Life,
On this Biodiversity Sunday and always,
We give thanks
For the bees, moths, and butterflies
For the glistening green mosses and prickly pear cacti
For the pine trees, purple flowers, and fleshy fungi
For the birds, the bears, and the big cats
We give thanks
For the whales, the worms, and the walruses,
For the flies, the foxes, and the ferns
For the llamas, the lichen, and the lizards
We give thanks
For the land, water, and air we share
For this whole sacred ecosystem of beings
Bless what we share in common – our hungers, thirsts, our drive to connect
Bless our beautiful differences and diversity – our bodies, histories, our unique paths
Bless the roots and relationships that connect us to one another
And bless our right to belong, to be, to become
In this wild, wonderful Web of Life that is our home.
May it be so, May we be so. Amen, Blessed be.
Use an activity from the UUMFE’s new Biodiversity-focused curriculum this–or any!–Sunday, and consider joining the growing Survive and Thrive Cohort of congregations to pilot the whole draft curriculum.
UUMFE is excited to launch the piloting of “May You Survive and Thrive,” a new draft curriculum for building multi-generational connections, ecological awareness, and spiritually nourishing experiences with their families, youth groups, climate/environmental teams, and worship teams. We need YOU to help us in this important stage of development!
“May You Survive and Thrive” is an accessible, experiential curriculum that facilitates creative, embodied connection to the natural world, each other, and local endangered species and habitats. Our goal is to make this available to congregations across the country to foster a felt, sustained awareness of our 7th principle–our interconnected Web of Life–in this time of climate crisis and transition.
The curriculum culminates with an Endangered Species Art Project, which congregations can use in their own worship and programming, to bring to local eco-activism events, and/or to the Procession of the Species at General Assembly this June! UUMFE will facilitate support for creating the art and representing it at GA, as well as host a virtual maker-space and gallery for sharing with other congregations and teams.
Drawing from methodologies of nature-based education and community arts-organizing, “May You Survive and Thrive” uses collective learning and creativity as a vehicle for integrated, long term community building and social change.
This curriculum is perfect for congregations hoping to build an integrated, multi-generational, and multi-cultural ecological awareness.
SIGN UP HERE to get a copy of the draft curriculum and find out more about joining the piloting cohort for the “May You Survive and Thrive” program.
Make a banner, puppet, poems, or costumes to represent your local Biodiversity at worship services, local eco-activism events, and General Assembly.
As in previous years, UUMFE is hosting another Procession of the Species at the UUA General Assembly, in Portland, OR this June, in collaboration with UUA General Assembly organizers and the UU Animal Ministry. We invite congregations to bring any local species-related art to this special event! Ideally, this art would travel with the delegates from participating congregations to the GA, but we understand that many are attending virtually this year. There is some capacity for artwork to be mailed to Portland, as well. Definitely reach out to coordinate!
The “May You Survive and Thrive” curriculum, outlined in the section above, includes creating local species and habitat-inspired art as a culminating collaborative activity, but you can also facilitate this as a stand alone experience in Religious Education classes, a multigenerational event with your sustainability/climate teams, or in partnership with a local campaign to protect local species and habitats.
UUMFE is here to support you in building and bringing this art to GA 2022 in Portland this June. If you want to make something but will not be attending in person, please fill out the form and we will work with you to figure out an alternative way for your local species art to be represented! Sign up and find our more below:
Click here for the 2022 Call for Arts! Eco-Art toolkit
SIGN UP to bring or share your art at the GA Procession of the Species!
Questions? Email Stephani Pescitelli, firstname.lastname@example.org
Resources and Examples from Prior Years:
Here is a virtual Biodiversity Sunday program from May 2020:
Here are some photographs from the “Environmental Justice Forest” at the 2017 General Assembly and the “Procession of the Species” at the 2019 General Assembly to give you some inspiration and ideas for how each group’s project will feed into a larger UU arts-witness:
 California Condor Puppet by Neighborhood UU Church, Pasadena, CA
 Golden Cheeked Warbler banner by Wildflower UU Church, Austin, TX
 “We need bees!” banner by Woodinville UU Church, Woodinville, WA
 Talequah the orca puppet by UU churches of Corvallis and Eugene, OR
 Participants in the 2019 Procession of Species posed together for an ariel drone photograph creating the shape of an orca
 The Environmental Justice Forest at GA 2017. Each tree banner was made by a different congregation. Photo by Peter Bowden
 Participants in the UU Climate Justice Collaboratory workshop at GA 2017 gather & smile together with banners from the Environmental Justice Forest. Photo by Peter Bowden (UU Planet, UU Climate Action)
 Earthworm puppet made by member of UU Young Adults for Climate Justice, used for puppet theater during a morning worship homily by Rev. Sara Green at GA 2017