Teachers We Learn from:

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.

http://www.healingourworldandourselves.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Handout2013.pdf )

From Bruce Alexander (author of The Globalization of Addiction):

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”.

Sister Pat Siemen (former Director of Center for Earth Jurisprudence, Barry Law School):

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.

Thomas Berry:

“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.”

Joanna Macy:

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.

See you soon.

Gregory

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1O7obVICcM

 

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Continuity of Care in Relationships; written 1998

Continuity of Care in Relationships

A relationship has the potential to be either nurturing or devaluing. In a nurturing relationship each person has the sense of being valued, important, safe (both emotionally and physically), confident, welcomed, feels the other pays attention to them , and able to voice their own individuality. In a devaluing relationship the person is devalued, used to meet the others needs without concern, , has no voice, and lives in fear of abandonment marked by living an anxiety filled life with an underlying depression.
One of the difficulties in Western Culture is that we function in an economic system that is toxic to the psychological and spiritual life of individuals, families, and communities. Paul Gilbert, in his work, Depression, The Evolution of Powerlessness, does an excellent job of connecting the dotes between the development of our subjective/inner world, where our sense of self evolves, and the relationship to our social/economic structure. In his concluding observations on Western Culture he highlights the toxic relationship between our economic way of life and our psychological life. This conclusion of his research helps us focus the question, How can we as a community create a place of emotional safety and health when we live in the context of a socio-economic system manipulates our collective imaginations to relate to one another in a dehumanizing way? Continuity of care in relationships is a practical method and practice that begins to answer this question and provides a way of relationship that moves individuals, relationships, and communities in the direction of spiritual and psychological health.
The central perspective of continuity of care in relationships is developing the capacity to view the world through relationships and have the health of the relationship as a primary value. The guiding question that is central to this method is, “What is going on?”, in terms self and the “other”. This question is mindful of life cycles, community history, personal narrative, and the value systems of the other. These awarenesses are the constructed given out of which we live and make life’s decisions. What practicing continuity of care in relationships does is to bring to consciousness to the constructed givens both the internal and relational activity. An example of using this method in the work of pastoral care: several years ago while working with a couple Jan reporting being concerned about her relationship to Mike. She had the feeling that after their two children left home, two boys one 17 and one 15, that the distance that had evolved in the relationship over the past 18 years would become an insurmountable problem. They did have relational issues and those issues were receiving the focus of her energy. When I asked what the children leaving home meant for her, not the relationship but her and her own life? She looked puzzled, she had, all her life referenced her doings in life around others and the care for others. Supporting others as they got along with their life’s journey. When asked about her dreams and hopes for this next era of her life an entirely new way of thinking opened up, which took some of the pressure off the relationship, not all of the pressure but some of the pressure. Understanding this method from the family perspective means moving beyond relating to children to behave in a particular way, even moving beyond influencing children to have a particular set of values. A primary dynamic in continuity of care in relationships is to be aware where children are developmentally and relating to them considering age appropriately. An example is, at the ages around 8-12 children need to be bringing tasks to completion. If there is a great amount of pressure to do this prior to the ages 8-12 and the child begins to complete tasks prior to this era it may be pleasing to the parent but it also may prevent the child from feeling and thinking freely and creatively. They are vulnerable to becoming rigid in their thinking or angry children. If a parent completes projects for the child at this time rather than gradually letting go of helping them in a slow and graceful process which allows the child to take over his or her’s own life this is also problematic. The child may become manipulative in getting others to do their work and life for them. Continuity of care in relationships keeps an observing eye on relationships and asks, “What is going on here, and how am I to respond?” This focus highlights what I call an ethical way of being in which the other is held in a state of mindfulness. The other could be immediate family as well as persons who live in a community in which my company just decided to build a chemical plant.
Continuity of care in relationships is a way of understanding and experiencing the other through the lens of relationship steeped in the value system that evolves out of the conviction that persons are blessed, known, good, and loved. Once a person or a group of people ask the question, “What is going on?”, the next question is, “What shall I do?” This means that this is a response to the world recognizing that I am, we are part of a larger community.

The continuity of care in relationships is manifested in relationships when persons maintain a conscious awareness of the other, the divine and the natural environment from which life emerges, and the awareness of the other is embedded in a sense of care, love, empathy, or agreed upon qualities that would be healing for that particular relationship. For example, in working with couples when exploring their story an awareness may become conscious of the lack of care toward them in their family of origin (which could manifest itself in many ways ). At that time couples can label that negative experience such as the lack of affirmation, criticism, abuse, and/or neglect, and the couple can agree to place the sense of what was lacking in the foundation of continuity of care in their relationship. For example if one or the other grew up in an emotional unsafe environment, they could agree that a sense of emotionally safety would need to be a part of the foundation of the continuity of care in their loving relationship. This can provide a deep awareness within the relationship of the painful emotional experiences of the other and may also over time provide healing to the historical injuries because of the intentionality and consciousness of the agreement. The sense of care for the other is held in caring consciousness (it is a way of remembering and being remembered) of the relationship over time. When the continuity of care is interrupted both parties become aware and that the work of the relationship is to understand the process of brokenness which creates an opportunity for reconciliation and closeness. This work takes a strong commitment and a willingness to journey inward. This is also an image of a spiritual discipline concerning one’s relationship to the divine. This process explores how memories of the other, the divine, and ourselves are held and how the emotional atmosphere around those memories influence relationships and ones sense of self. It places us in touch with how we believe we are held in the memory of others and how we hold others in our memory. With this sense of how one holds self and others in consciousness we can discern if how we are living our daily lives represents a congruency between our stated theology/value systems and our lived theology/value systems. In other words if the husband agrees to work on creating a house hold that is emotionally safe and continues to shame others and to speak sarcastically then his lived behavior is not congruent with his stated value system which affirms an emotionally safe household.
Historical Roots of Separateness: a case
As I counseled with a couple they shared that over a period of 15 years, they had grown apart. Both felt as if they were not important to the other because over time their activities together had diminished. Through counseling both discovered that this feeling and belief of not being important could be traced through their childhood. Each agreed to work on facilitating the sense of importance within the other, because they are important to each other regardless of the belief and feeling. I suggested their work of restructuring their relationship communicate over time the sense of importance. The event of committing out of a love relationship brings warmth and vitality to both individuals and the relationship. This has not been an easy change for them however their experience of the relationship and their self has gained an emotional quality it did not have before; emotional safety and a realistic expectation of kindness being predominate in the house hold.
From this perspective I came to a greater understanding of a teaching from the life of Jesus that had always troubled me, “ if you love me (warmth) you will obey (vitality) my commandments.” I suppose it is the combination of love and obedience, as opposed to love and freedom that had caused me difficulty in understanding. I did not realize similarities between love and obedience and love and freedom. When a couple structures their relationship out of love for the other obedience also enters the picture. It is a curious thing, I am obedient to my spouse (without her speaking) in that I don’t do and also work at not doing the things that I know that would hurt her, betray her or myself i.e., the vows that I made, or go against the spoken and unspoken vows. I obey because of the foundation of love based on the confidence that each person wants what is best for them as well as for the other. In relationship to this teaching commandments are kept because out of the love relationship a new way of life evolves that is an expression of the love and activity of the relationship, a new thing. Following the newly forming way of life which nurtures the healing and well being of the relationship will create a fertile ground/ a fertile imaginative field where love is experienced and the actualizing the commandments is creatively expressing the will of the relationship. And the relationship does have a will.

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Black lives

Black Lives Matter: Why the aggressive reaction?

The cry “Black lives Matter” is a voice calling for peace, justice, and a trustworthy governing force, from a place of economic and social injustice, and realizing that in their community, they do not matter to certain elements of society’s governing forces.

Contrasting views:
1. “The Black Lives Matter movement is “racist” and akin to the Ku Klux Klan, Fox News host Sean Hannity said Wednesday.”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/sean-hannity-black-lives-matter-kkk_5628ff2ee4b0ec0a38936571

2. “In a broadside that was inflammatory but complicated by stats, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) accused President Barack Obama of encouraging lawlessness, said the Black Lives Matter movement didn’t deserve legitimization, and argued that police officers around the country were under siege.”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/chris-christie-black-lives-matter_562cf159e4b0443bb5643b87

The cry “all lives matter” not just black lives is the cry of the conservative media and some conservative politicians, and reveals the lack of empathy and either a lack of understanding or a clear understanding and an attempt to squash the revolutionary voice.

Let us take a history tour: It is clear that to the power structure that formed our nation, the lives (lives meaning living and enjoying the maturing process of being human, not being an object of use without consideration) of black people did not matter. The facilitating and securing slaves from Africa and cultivating the breeding process of black people for work as slaves communicates to us that the black lives involved in forming our nation did not matter. This was true even after establishing the 14th amendment in 1868 to include African Americans, [“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” ]. “Between 1890 and 1910, more than 300 cases were brought before the Supreme Court under the 14th Amendment: 288 by property organized in the corporate form; 19 by African-Americans.”

https://movetoamend.org/sites/default/files/racism_global_corp.pdf

This proclaims another message, corporations matter. During the same time period the not so well known history of Sundown Towns (http://sundown.afro.illinois.edu/sundowntowns.php) was a clear statement that black lives do not matter. In today’s world simply review the prison population, the educational system, unemployment rates of young men. The fact is that black lives do not matter in relation our laws and social structures. So to really understand the cry “black lives matter” you need to know what it means not to matter. The voice of black lives matter is not originating from a place where security needs are being met. Maybe the voice of black lives matter will wake us all up and we can join their leadership in this revolution where life and the well being of persons and the planet rules the value system.   The question remains why the intense push back by white conservative spokespersons.

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Sunday Celebration 1:00

 Jan Booher a representative from Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth will be speaking at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Brevard on Sunday June 21st,    2185 Meadow Lane Melbourne Florida at 1:00, helping us celebrate the installation of our solar panels. She is a leading Progressive in the Boca Raton/ Miami area. Follow the links provided and review her work. We are honored to have be with us on this happy day.

Jan Booher is a Board Member of The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Boca Raton (UUFBR), where she chairs the Climate Change Working Group. Last year, this group formed a community effort to promote citizen support for the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Action Plan (RCAP). 

This year her efforts have been focused on building an advocacy network of both UU and other groups in Southeast Florida, that is cooperating to support the local, state, and federal agendas articulated by the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact.
( http://www.southeastfloridaclimatecompact.org/ )

Jan is cooperating with others to organize actions and community outreach efforts that help residents of Southeast Florida make the connection between climate change and the increased flooding, beach erosion, and saltwater intrusion into our water supply. She is also working with others to create Florida Earth Festival ( http://www.floridaearthfestival.com/ ) a celebration of the people, products, policies, and services that are moving us toward sustainability. The absence of love is fear. My hope is that by reaching out in love, and sharing a fun and exciting view of a sustainable world that includes arts that inspire, delicious food, and exciting technology; people will move out of fear and embrace love of Earth. We must see what we might become, so we may chart a course.

From Jan: Love life… it’s far more fragile than we think.
Breathe! Hold each other. All efforts to heal ourselves, and all efforts to heal the world, are one and the same. We must reach inward to connect with our life’s purpose, and when we are thereby connected to the healing life force, we have the strength and the hope to work outward to create connections between people, among the peoples of the world, and between people and Earth.

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Earth Recovery Groups

Gregory Wilson and Earth Recovery Groups (from Bruce Alexander’s article Recovery from Addiction: The Role of Spirituality and the Planet Earth)

Gregory Wilson is a pastoral counselor, a Unitarian-Universalist minister, and an organizer with the Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth. He is in recovery from alcohol and says that “my recovery process has been my involvement in reflective meaning making processes over the past 30 years, which include psychotherapy, 12 step groups, and a variety of support groups, and culminating in building a healthy community.” He has studied William James.

One of Gregory Wilson’s missions is to organize “Earth Recovery Groups” which he describes as “designed to help people deal with the addictive process they are in and deal with the realization that the condition of the world is also a result of that same addictive process. And then recovery is about taking care of self and pushing back, in some way, against the oppressive forces manifesting addictive behaviors and life styles.” (Wilson, 2013).

Wilson sees the essence of spirituality and recovery as residing in the decision of a person to commit himself or herself to the recovery of the earth. As he puts it:

The heart of spirituality is in the decision making process of Jesus standing on the edge of Jerusalem and deciding to cross the line to enter Jerusalem, of the living room conversation in which that group of women [Suffragettes] finally said let’s go to the White house, when Siddhartha saw the poverty and suffering and realized even as King [that] because of the power structures he would not be able to end suffering and poverty, he had to leave his power and wealth to find another way, create another story. It is the inner workings of making a decision to do what is right, moved by compassion and integrity for the other that is the heart of the mature spiritual life. Which moves us to feel the connection to all living beings including the earth (Wilson, 2013).

Like Mary Pipher, Gregory Wilson finds it hard to imagine psychological or physical health among people who are destroying their own planet:

In these recovery groups, “we must recover our vision … our ability to move out of the dream of being the chosen people … We need to begin to see the whole of this land, of this Earth and that we are part of the whole.” Our health as humans is directly related to the health of this planet.

We need to come to the realization that “the planet Earth is a one-time project – there is no real second chance. We need to understand that the land’s primordial powers have been debilitated and we must be involved in the future of bringing health to this planet in some comprehensive manner.” (Wilson, 2013. Interior quotes are from Thomas Berry, 2009).

Whereas William James and Bill W. focussed their attention on the relationship between individual people and God, more contemporary religious thinkers believe that the crucial relationship now is between people and the sacred universe, especially the planet earth. They believe that it is the failure of that relationship the is the primary source of our current alienation, as well as of the the ecological crises that may destroy us (Berry, 2009, chap. 3; p. 104). As Gregory Wilson put it:

I do believe that anchoring the recovery in the larger context is helpful at the very beginning. Although my recovery is important it is not as important as the planet. The planet is the higher cause, gives meaning and purpose. [It]Can pull me out of my addiction. The love of life is the goal of recovery and is one of the promises. (Wilson, 2013, italics added)

Gregory Wilson summed this thinking up in a prayer, with the inspiration of Shyla Nelson (Burlington Free Press, 2012). The prayer seems quite different in its implications – and in its form as a prayer – from the Serenity Prayer, although it is meant to complement the Serentiy Prayer rather than replace it.

Prayer

From our brokenness we gather.

From our brokenness we heal

From our brokenness we speak

From our brokenness we listen

From our brokenness we change

From our brokenness we build community

From our brokenness we change the world

Amen

http://www.brucekalexander.com/articles-speeches/274-recovery-the-role-of-spirituality-and-the-planet-earth-2

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Induce Memory to Serve Us, Elie Wiesel  Ruben Vardanyan 

This article reminded of several aspects of the sermon today:

Induce Memory to Serve Us

Elie Wiesel 
Ruben Vardanyan 

Amid news of the repeated brutalities committed by Boko Haram in Africa, the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Islamic State throughout the Middle East, it’s easy to presume that the 21st century is experiencing violations of human rights and dignity at a pace faster than ever before.
Perhaps. Or perhaps the images make us more aware of man’s inhumanity to man, still unbridled and with a persistent sense of impunity.
As individuals who have seen first-hand the devastation, past and present, behind images, we are convinced that the truth is more complex, but also more hopeful.
We have come together on the centenary of the modern era’s first genocide — a crime committed by the Ottoman government against its own Armenian population — to say that it’s time we own the human suffering in our midst, both past and present, and to act to restrain such violence as consistently and publicly as the perpetrators.
Even as politicians and societies debate actions to protect man’s basic right to life, the rest of us can — we would say must — take center stage in international discourse, harness the hard lessons of past atrocities, and take pride in our ability to overcome, to thrive and to salute those who have chosen goodness and humanity over violence and evil.
How can remembering past injustices help us tackle the diverse human rights abuses today?
The tortured tales of Armenians who survived deportation and massacre in the early 20th century genocide, the Jews who outlived Hitler and his butchery, the Rwandans who endured unspeakable violence and began to build again, the people of Sudan who continue, against the odds, to resist both man-made and natural calamities — these stories teach us that no period of time, no region and no religion are immune to the political and social forces which can transform neighbors into perpetrators.
Forgetting man’s past atrocities or ignoring those happening, now, today, in too many places around the world, is both callous and short-sighted, because it permits violence to happen again, often, and closer to home. That is bad enough. But it’s equally hazardous to ignore the astonishing and perilous acts of human courage that negate, undo, reverse the violence and uphold our rights and dignity as humans. By forgetting, we relinquish the record of human history to those who have destroyed, not those who have saved and built.
Oskar Schindler, memorialized in Steven Spielberg’s classic film, showed us that one person of integrity can do battle for the humanity of hundreds.
Karen Jeppe, a 27-year-old missionary when she left Denmark, came to help Armenian women, orphaned or abducted in the forced desert marches that became the killing fields of the Armenian Genocide. She succeeded in saving and supporting some 2,000 of the 200,000 whose fate was death.
A century ago, a group of generous and caring people met in New York’s Plaza Hotel to raise $117 million (equivalent to $2.7 billion today) to send volunteer doctors and nurses to aid Armenian refugees. Their assistance saved scores from starvation and death. Today, the descendants of those survivors are scientists, ministers, artists, athletes, businessmen and educators. They live, with gratitude for the kindness and humanity of strangers.
In 2006, a Denver businessman and two Sudanese refugees developed the Nuba Water Project to bring clean water to save the lives of people living in remote areas of Sudan, persecuted by their own government.
These stories inspire hope because they reveal that despite the imperative of those same political and social forces that wrought destruction, sometimes neighbors became not collaborators, but rescuers; saviors even, since the individual actions of single human beings have given life where there was to be only death.
Our new 100 Lives initiative will recognize and amplify the acts of redemption and salvation by people anywhere. Every year, 100 Lives will bestow a global humanitarian award — The Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity — of $1 million. This initiative and the grant will contribute to the global efforts to raise public consciousness and encourage action to protect the most vulnerable, by rewarding those whose work demonstrates a commitment to that goal.
An anniversary of a genocide will have meaning only if we collectively work to thank those who resisted and fought back then, as well as those who withstand and fight back now. We will honor and support them, not just by thanking them but also by joining them.

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The fruit of our Ministry, sign up

UU Justice Florida is offering a PARTIAL REBATE of $50.00 for the cost of the April 10 hotel for each of the first two rooms reserved by Unitarian Universalist congregations in Florida. On the reservation form, where it says “company name”, list the name of your congregation (spelled out). To encourage participation from Unitarian Universalists all over the state, UU Justice Florida is offering this incentive as we did for the two Healing Our World and Ourselves conferences in 2013 and 2014. Unitarian Universalists should bring your paid hotel receipt to us Saturday morning to be eligible for the partial rebate.
Register Now! http://interfaithflorida.com/climate-conference/climate2015/

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Commit2Respond

Save the Date: March 22–April 22, 2015
From World Water Day to Earth Day, we will embark on a spiritual journey for climate justice.
Commit2Respond has been growing and we’ve been sharing our ideas for how this coalition of people of faith and conscience can best take action to Shift to a low carbon future, Advance human rights, and Grow the movement. Now it’s time for us to make commitments together and stretch ourselves to take action in new ways that will make a real impact.
Sign up for Climate Justice Month using the form below.
 
CLIMATE JUSTICE MONTH TIMELINE
March 22:            World Water Day: Climate Justice Sunday
Week 1:               Reveling in connection with the natural world and its gifts
Week 2:               Reckoning with the impacts and injustices of climate change, exploring where our energy comes from
Week 3:               Reconnecting with hope through relationship, exploring who is impacted by our energy sources
Week 4:               Committing to long-term actions to shift energy, advance human rights, and grow the climate justice movement
April 22:               Earth Day: committing to a future of clean, renewable energy
 
WHAT WILL WE DO?
During Climate Justice Month you will be invited to learn, reflect, and discern what long-term actions you, your family, and/or your congregation or group can take on that will build resistance to climate change. This website will become a hub for sharing and tracking our commitments. Suggested actions will be provided, or you can create your own. 
Rather than simply taking on small actions for a month, we are setting aside a month to delve into our spiritual grounding for this work, deepen our learning, and intentionally decide how we can commit to transform our lives and our world. 
Committed action that springs from principled and spiritual grounding gets us through setbacks and compels us from a place of possibility and creativity. It is a stance of commitment to justice and integrity of all life over the long haul. This theological or principled grounding calls us to evaluate our work and take next steps with more wisdom and impact.

http://www.commit2respond.org/act

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About Our Friend Bruce

Bruce Alexander has spoken at our church several times and has been a speaker at the Healing our World and Ourselves Conferences over the past three years.

“The rats with good lives didn’t like the drugged water. They mostly shunned it, consuming less than a quarter of the drugs the isolated rats used. None of them died. While all the rats who were alone and unhappy became heavy users, none of the rats who had a happy environment did.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/the-real-cause-of-addicti_b_6506936.html

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Pastoral Care Class

Pastoral Care Class
January 31st Saturday at 4:00

Questions that will guide The first Pastoral Care Class:

What is the nature and function of pastoral care in the congregation?

What are the community responsibilities that the pastoral care ministry addresses?

Learning the art and practice of the ministry of Pastoral care.

What is the difference between active pastoral care and reactive pastoral care?

Introducing several perspectives concerned with the administration of Congregational Pastoral Care.

Future plans and rap up.

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