I would like to share with you some thoughts from the teachers we have brought to our church physically and spiritually, as well as a new voice.
These quotes are from the first Healing Our World and Ourselves Conference which UUCB and UU Justice Florida organized in Orlando in 2013, from the problem and solution statements we received from our speakers and presenters.
Addiction provides one important window into the workings of a society that stands on the edge of self destruction. For more than a century, we have treated addiction as if it were only a problem of sick individuals who are caught up in the use of drugs or alcohol. The problem of addiction is tied into the structural problems of geopolitics and the environment that threaten our very existence.
The environment must be healed. The political system must be transformed. People must recover their ability to work together creatively and effectively. People must reacquire self respect and spiritual meaning. Mass addiction must be brought under control. It is absolutely pointless to argue about which of these goals should be undertaken first — We must find a way to achieve them all together. The time is now. In my world, which focuses on addiction, the emerging concept is “Social Recovery”.
Earth is 4.6 billion years old. Humans have been here approximately 200,000 years. In that short time we have created institutions such as education, religion, economics, law and governance that advance human culture and well-being. The problem is that these institutions are primarily all framed in a solely human-centered paradigm.
By recognizing that gifts are inherent in acknowledging that Earth/Nature has limited capacity to renew itself and is not an endless source for consumption we can experience a richness of sustainable community rather than a loss of “commodities”. Rights of Nature advances the creation of laws and governance systems that recognize the intrinsic rights of the natural world to exist and flourish. That means that all beings and entities who have Earth as home (members of the “Earth community”) have an inherent, moral and ethical right to its natural habitat and fulfill its purpose in the ever evolving Universe. The Rights of Nature movement advocates adoption of legal protections and standing for nature.
David Cobb (National spokesperson, Move to Amend):
Multinational corporations have become the governing institutions – determining for us how our food is grown and distributed, how we heat and light our homes, what poisons we breathe, drink and eat. Giant corporations largely decide what controversies get attention, how wealth is shared and distributed, what solutions are acceptable, who gets elected to public office and how the United States treats other nations. Citizens have lost our authority over the fundamental decisions that affect our lives.
A Constitutional Amendment We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United and other related cases, and move to amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.
“THE SPIRITUALITY of the Earth refers to a quality of the Earth itself, not a human spirituality with special reference to the planet Earth. Earth is the maternal principle out of which we are born and from which we derive all that we are and all that we have. We come into being in and through the Earth. Simply put, we are Earthlings. The Earth is our origin, our nourishment, our educator, our healer, our fulfillment. At its core, even our spirituality is Earth derived. The human and the Earth are totally implicated, each in the other. If there is no spirituality in the Earth, then there is no spirituality in ourselves.”
From this Humble and sweet spirited Women comes this ferocious love and action.
Three Dimensions of the Great Turning:
1) Actions to slow the damage to Earth and its beings, 2) Analysis of structural causes and the creation of structural alternatives, 3) Shift in Consciousness.
These have been our teachers since 2006. The first three have been to our church on several occasions. The spirit of Thomas Berry and Joanna Macy are in all that we do. One teaching that Thomas Berry calls central to this “Great Work” is “To recover such a situation where humans would be present to the Earth in a mutually enhancing manner, I believe we must return to a sense of intimacy with the Earth akin to that experienced by many indigenous peoples of earlier times.” How are we to experience this intimacy that is central to building the beloved community that includes all beings and earth. How are we to love the earth as we love those we share holiday dinners? Recently I have been introduced to another teacher, Kathleen Dean Moore. I have listened to two of her you-tube videos and read her book “Great Tide Rising”. Halfway through the book and after watching two videos, I realized she is teaching the intimacy that Thomas Berry is naming as central to the new story, moving toward a culture of life. Her calling us toward our moral courage at this time is out of love and concern. I believe both videos are from UU churches, as we could expect. I invite you to get to know her as you review the work of the other teachers we have brought to our church to help us clarify what we ought to be doing during these times. If you are new to our church or if these names are not familiar to you please search them out, for these are our teachers on the cutting edge of the prophetic voice. And it is at this edge that Unitarian Universalist prophetic voice can be found since the 1600’s.