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Join the Quiet Revolution

Recently, I was asked to create a eulogy for someone I did not know. In my conversations with the family, I didn’t ask about the beliefs of the person who had died. Near the end of the eulogy, I said, “In recent years, I have put less importance on what someone believed and more importance on how they lived.” The person who died had lived a good life. She was kind to the people around her. She was a good mother to her sons and a good partner and friend.

I begin with this because the Unitarian Universalist Association is now considering changing our principles and sources to values. During General Assembly, Unitarian Universalists will discuss this change and the delegates will have a chance to vote on whether they want this change to be presented and voted on next year. If this change is important to you, whatever your opinion, I hope that you get involved in the discussion.

I also believe that just as the person whose life I eulogized, we, as Unitarian Universalists, will be known not by these words but by how we live out our values in the world. In Prescott and the surrounding Quad City area, few people know of our principles and sources. They know us for how we show up in the community. They know us by how we live. The new people who come to us can see how we are living and what we are doing. This should always be our focus.

From the first Sunday of June, you have been bringing food items for the pantry up to the front of the sanctuary during our Joys and Sorrows. This embodies our commitment to healing food insecurity. In September, the great collaborative congregational effort with PUUF will come to fruition with Empty Bowls. During the past months, our congregation has been encouraged and cajoled to make some new and seemingly small shifts in our lives. Under the direction of Susan Cooper, the Green Team asked us to connect with sustainable energy sources through electric company programs (we are signed up through APS), a solar cooperative, or our own solar panels. We have achieved 31%. This is a great number for most ventures and for a faith community that is known for our stands around climate change, I think that we need to do much better.

When we think of climate justice, it is easy to pontificate or put on our T-shirts with emblazoned slogans and march around the Courthouse Square. The Green Team is asking us to align with our stand on climate change by enrolling in programs through the APS Green Choice program or Arcadia. If this presents a technological problem for you, members who are impassioned with making this happen can help. Some of you do not have connections with electric companies because you are in an independent or assisted living situation. You are excused! I think, though, that we can raise this number to at least 80%. If we do, that would be something to put in a poster. If you need help, please contact our administrator, Tracy Powers, and she will put you in touch with someone who can help you.

Another area we can raise above 80% is the number of households that are composting. Mary Lou and I have a beautiful lidded pot by our sink that holds our kitchen scraps. Outside our door is a larger plasticlidded bucket that holds a week’s worth of scraps. Each Saturday morning, we take these scraps to the Farmer’s Market and come back with a clean bucket. If you don’t come to the Farmer’s Market, then you can bring your scraps to our compost piles in our community garden across the street from our building. Stephen Lovejoy is willing to tell you all about this after any Sunday service.

Both reducing waste and our dependence on fossil fuels are key to mitigating the effects of climate change and they show our love for the Earth. When you take the time to make these changes, the Earth will reciprocate. You will be more susceptible to the beauty that is around us, the sound of wind in the trees, the woodpeckers chasing each other up the side of a ponderosa. The light filtering through the trees or playing on the mountain tops. The trouble we take in our personal lives will return to us in unexpected joy. We will be walking the talk that is written on the wall behind our pulpit of “respecting the interconnected web of life.” Will you join this quiet revolution? Let us be who we say we are.

I look forward to talking with you about this when I return in August from my long walk.


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