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The Water That Connects Us: Reflections for World Water Day 2020

Rev. Kathleen McTigue reflects on how World Water Day takes on more significance in the age of coronavirus.

By on March 20, 2020

The routines, habits, and general flow of life that we have come to consider “normal” have all been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. Even our faith communities have temporarily suspended the in-person gatherings that mean so much to us, as we all learn new ways to stay connected through a decidedly abnormal time.

It’s more vital than ever that we refuse fear and divisiveness, and instead hold onto the things that nourish our souls and our communities.

March 22 is World Water Day. Water is literally the source of life. To take notice and honor water in all its forms is to remember the rhythms and sustenance of the earth itself and our place in the interconnected web of life.

Small drops of water fall as rain and fog, snow and drizzle, all over the earth. Water seeps into the soil, feeds the roots of growing things, and filters back up into the air through the marvelous invisible breathing of plants. What the plants cannot use flows on down, becoming part of underground aquafers and flowing again into the light as springs and lakes, streams and rivers, eventually joining the oceans and then rising again in mist and storm to start the cycle all over again.

As we all step up our handwashing routines to combat the spread of coronavirus, may we bring attention and gratitude to that 20 second cleaning ritual. May we remember that the same water that cleans our hands or refreshes us as we drink it has been an ongoing part of Earth’s miraculous cycles for millions of years. We are all part of the same immense eco-system: everyone draws on the same life-giving source.

We’ve gathered some resources and reading on water for reflection today to buoy individuals and congregations during these challenging times of disrupted routines and limited physical contact with our communities. Focusing on the interconnected water of Earth can be a spiritual practice in this time, helping us ground ourselves in gratitude and commitment to the wellbeing of our interconnected communities, safeguarding the rights of all.

We are particularly mindful of the populations within our global family who have been made vulnerable by systems of oppression: migrant workers, refugees, people in detention and prison, Indigenous Peoples, those who are homeless, those who face deepening poverty and lack of access to clean water, and people living with physical challenges or weakened immune systems. All of these are especially in need of increased care and support, in each of our regions and cities, and we know our congregations are finding powerful, creative ways to respond.

Please check in with those in your community who may be facing greater needs, and think about how you can reach out virtually, financially, or in other ways to maintain strong bonds and connections through this difficult time. In the meantime, be sure to follow us on social media, as we continue to provide materials that will help us overcome detachment, transcend distance, and spiritually sustain in the weeks and months ahead.

Photo Credit: mrjn Photography on Unsplash


About UUSC: Guided by the belief that all people have inherent worth and dignity, UUSC advances human rights globally by partnering with affected communities who are confronting injustice, mobilizing to challenge oppressive systems, and inspiring and sustaining spiritually grounded activism for justice. We invite you to join us in this journey toward realizing a better future!

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