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Earth Day Reflection: Honoring the Interconnected Web of Our Shared Ecosystem

UUSC President & CEO, Rev. Mary Katherine Morn, reflects on our work with Indigenous partners in climate justice.

By Rev. Mary Katherine Morn on April 22, 2019

“I [leave the convening] with a full heart. It’s amazing to know what the whole world is going through. One of my Elders talked about connection with the water. If you feel alone, put your hand in the water and know that you’re connected with each other.”

–Indigenous leader at 2018 First Peoples’ Convening on Climate Forced Displacement

When I left this fall’s convening of First Nation and Indigenous leaders who are facing climate forced displacement, I felt more connection and more hope than I’ve felt in a long time. Among the learnings I received was the place of honor in the work of justice. Honoring the Elders. Honoring the Earth.

Today, joining people around the globe who are observing Earth Day, I hope that we find new ways to honor the interconnected web that is our shared ecosystem.

For UUSC, Earth Day also marks the culmination of a month-long process of learning and action to better understand our obligation to honor the planet and all of the people who inhabit it at this critical time in human history. We are so thankful for your participation, joining thousands of UUSC members as together we deepen our commitment to environmental justice.

UUSC is proudly developing and cultivating new partnerships that support First and Indigenous Peoples who are most impacted by our warming planet. By listening to and learning from the wisdom of our partners who are leading the work on the ground, we are better equipped to assist them as they continue to develop solutions to climate threats affecting their way of life. Communities from Alaska to the Pacific Islands are facing dire consequences which demands a unified response and coordinated effort—most critically for frontline communities who face land erosion from sea-level rise, making relocating entire communities an inevitability.

We all have a stake in this climate crisis. As one of our partners Angela Johnson noted: “We are at the start of this; we are the first people that are experiencing all this. It will hit other people someday; they will have to ask us how we adapted. We are going to be the ones that know because we are the ones who had to go through it first.”

Just as we all have a stake in this crisis, we can all be involved in building a new way forward. I hope UUSC’s month of action and learning has helped you in small or large ways to sustain and grow your commitment to environmental justice. I hope connecting with our partners and their needs and vision inspires you to stay engaged.

May our actions and our commitments honor those who came before us.

May our actions and our commitments honor those who will follow us.

Photo Credit: Brian Adams

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