Later this month, on May 22, marks the International Day for Biological Diversity, a day proclaimed by the United Nations to raise awareness about the threats to Earth’s rich biological communities. It is a time to reflect on the importance of stability in the web of life and the risks we face when a species is lost to extinction. Please consider honoring the biodiversity of our Web of Life at your congregation next Sunday, May 23, and marking your congregational calendars now for next year's UUMFE Biodiversity Sunday, on May 22, 2022.
For those of us who feel a deep spiritual kinship with the millions of species who share our Earthly home, the idea that extinction is a natural and inevitable part of evolution can be difficult to acknowledge. Though we know intellectually that life on Earth has endured a series of mass extinction events, including the Cretaceous extinction 66 million years ago that allowed mammals like us to evolve and flourish, the perishing of a species has a finality that can evoke the pain of grief. Reading about the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon in the early twentieth century whose flocks once darkened the sky or seeing the images of emaciated polar bears threatened by the disappearance of sea ice due to climate change can bring us to tears and fill our hearts with anguish. The biologist Edward O. Wilson suggests we human beings possess an innate “biophilia” – a love of life – that makes us feel a connection to the wondrous diversity of life on Earth, so it is only natural that we should feel such sorrow.
But the mass extinction event we are witnessing now was not caused by massive volcanic activity or the unfortunate collision with a meteorite. Human-caused climate change, habitat destruction, and simple indifference and wastefulness has decimated animal and plant populations and accelerated the rate of extinction far beyond natural levels. Familiar species, and species we never got to know, are disappearing forever far too soon, leaving us with a biologically and spiritually impoverished world. But this time, we are not powerless. We can do something about it if we have the will. Let us grieve as we must, but then let us take action to preserve and protect the biodiversity that remains. Billions of our fellow creatures are counting on us.
In faith and solidarity,
Rev. Kevin Carson
UUMFE Board Member
PS: As always, UUMFE appreciates your commitment to the work we do together, and the generous outpouring of financial support this spring. Give to UUMFE at any time throughout the year to help sustain our ministry!
Get in on the Final Push for UU Drawdown Initiative: 10K Actions!
UUs and Elders Climate Action have accomplished 2,900 climate actions as part of the Drawdown Initiative -- can you help us reach 10,000 actions? Continuing until June 15, every action grows the collective UU climate justice movement with science-based, solution-oriented steps that bend the curve into Drawdown. Learn with your fellow UUs about the most effective solutions by attending an upcoming Action Presentation -- and it's Game On!
Action Spotlight: Biochar as a Climate Solution
Many UUs have been working to promote biochar as a climate solution! Biochar is a kind of charcoal that can be used to sequester carbon and mitigate soil degradation. Learn more about this technology and how UUs are bringing it to their local communities.
Action Presentation: Biochar
Sunday, May 16 at 2pm PT / 3 MT / 4 CT / 5 ET
Hear from Paul Belanger (he/him/his), Geologist/Paleoclimatologist, Ph.D. SWS 2020; 2nd Vice President-Board of Directors about how biochar can help sequester carbon. This fits the category Coastal, Ocean, and Engineered Sinks as part of the UU Drawdown Initiative with Elders Climate Action.
Strengthening Local Climate Commitments: Happy 1st Birthday Celebration
Wednesday, June 2 at 5pm PT / 6 MT / 7 CT / 8 ET
You’re invited to celebrate a successful first year of the Strengthening Local Climate Commitments campaign (SLCC). Don’t miss this call to reflect together on how much the SLCC campaign has accomplished in its first year, and how UUs will deepen advocacy moving forward. The campaign has reached more than 250 participants in 41 states, Canada and Mexico, all strengthening and accelerating climate commitments locally. The SLCC Campaign is a step-by-step action guide for enhanced community engagement, and collaboration calls are held on the first Wednesdays of each month.
Join the Treaty People Gathering to Stop Line 3
Over this weekend, Water Protectors and allies are called to gather in Northern Minnesota to stop construction and tell the world that the days of tar sands pipelines are over. Only a major, nonviolent uprising - including direct action - will propel Line 3 to the top of the nation’s consciousness and force Biden to act. If you are planning to join in-person, come prepared -- physically, spiritually, logistically and otherwise. Find resources at WelcomeWaterProtectors.com, Minnesota UU Social Justice Alliance, and the Stop Line 3 group in CreateClimateJustice.Net.
TODAY: Red, Black & Green New Deal Climate Summit
Tuesday, May 11 at 3-5pm PT / 4 MT / 5 CT / 6pm ET
Join this Climate Summit to learn more about the Red, Black and Green New Deal platform from Movement for Black Lives, and ways to get involved! The Red Black and Green New Deal will be the first of its kind, a multifaceted initiative that is designed to educate, catalyze, and empower Black people to take actions that mitigate the impact of the climate crisis on our families and our communities. The Movement for Black Lives is organizing to introduce a National Black Climate Agenda that includes federal legislation to address the climate crisis by investing in Black communities and repairing past harms. Learn more and take action with the Partner Toolkit.
BIPOC Caucus on Climate Justice Session 4: The Seventh Principle and Racial and Climate Justice Work
Thursday, May 27 at 5pm PT / 6 MT / 7 CT / 8 ET
All are welcome to attend the 4th session of the Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) Caucus, convened by Paula Cole Jones (All Souls Church DC) and Rashid Shaikh (First Parish Cambridge). Session 4 will cover The Seventh Principle and Racial and Climate Justice Work, and include both a BIPOC and White caucus space. The BIPOC caucus is inspired by the UU Seventh Principle (respect for the interdependent web of all existence) and the proposed Eighth Principle (accountably dismantle racism and all other oppressions).
DRUUMM Worship & Fundraiser: Becoming Human, Again and Again
Wednesday, May 19 at 5:30pm PT / 6:30 MT / 7:30 CT / 8:30 ET
It’s easy to become so overwhelmed by the tragedies of the day that we no longer feel human. We must find ways to return to our present human experience; becoming a softer and stronger human, again. This worship will lift up the Diverse & Revolutionary UU Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM) community and explore the journey toward our human-ness, featuring Guest Preacher Rev. Mitra Rahnema, and Musical Artists Joshua Long (UUMFE Board Member) and Nicole Rumeau. All are invited and welcome to experience, return, and give to the BIPOC community. While the worship is offered for free, please consider making a donation to DRUUMM. Register below for a Zoom link, or watch the livestream from the DRUUMM Facebook Page.
Help UUMFE Expand its Board!
UUMFE welcomed two new members to the Board earlier this year: Rev. Kevin Carson, Minister of the UU Church in Idaho Falls, ID and Susanna Wu-Pong Calvert, founder and lead of the Earth Ministry at First UU Church in Richmond, VA. We are so grateful for their service!
UUMFE is seeking additional volunteers who are ready to “Go All In” and use their talents and skills to help UUMFE grow organizationally and in its impact.
We are especially in need of volunteers with skills and experience in:
- Communications and marketing, at all levels: strategic planning to implementation
- Grant writing
- Curriculum writing, editing and review
- Executive Directorship
- Previous Board leadership
- Leadership experience in other UU organizations
UUMFE is geographically dispersed, Zoom-friendly, and committed to using forward-looking, dynamic governance practices. Help us become a stronger, more dynamic, multicultural, multigenerational and counter-oppressive Board. We invite you to expand and invest your heart and mind in our shared quest for environmental and climate justice.
Reach out to Board Chair, Rev. Cindy Davidson at firstname.lastname@example.org, for an exploratory conversation. Or learn more online at the UUMFE Board position description below. below.
BONUS RECIPE: Vegan Risotto with Miso and Spring Vegetables
“This 8-ingredient vegan risotto is beautifully rich in flavor thanks to miso, white wine, and vegan parmesan cheese. And it’s beaming with fresh spring vegetables in every bite! Make it for yourself and enjoy leftovers throughout the week, or wow dinner guests. Let us show you how it’s done!”