Unitarian Universalism and the Environment
I look forward to everyone joining us for our next meeting Wednesday April 15th at 7:15 in the community room at the Davidson Public Library. Our topic of discussion will be Unitarian Universalism and the environment. Our guest speaker will be Dave Martin, an Economics Professor at Davidson College and President of the Davidson Land Conservancy. He will talk to us about what the Land Conservancy does and how it impacts our community.
The Davidson Lands Conservancy is a locally-based, nonprofit organization that works in partnership with private landowners, public agencies, developers and others to create and capitalize on land preservation opportunities and trail advocacy that ensures the natural beauty and ecological diversity of the Town of Davidson, the Davidson extraterritorial jurisdiction, and adjacent areas are preserved for generations to come. We create opportunities for education and research that heighten interest in land preservation and lead to greater appreciation for conservation efforts.
We invite you to join DLC and play a vital role in preserving land in and around Davidson for generations to come. Make a commitment today to invest in Davidson’s future. Your neighbors will thank you!
In thinking about UU and the environment, we can point to one of the guiding principles of Unitarian Universalism and to one of the many sources from which we garner inspiration:
UU principle to think about:
*Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
UU source to think about:
*Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.
Unitarian Universalism is a very environmentally conscious religion. We believe that it is our moral responsibility to protect the earth. Our faith’s Principles and Sources include “spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature,” and call us to have “respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.”
Unitarian Universalists (UUs) work for environmental justice in many ways: religious education programs that teach our children to respect the earth, environmentally-friendly congregational buildings and sustainable practices, and advocacy on issues such as climate change, environmental racism, socially responsible investing, and corporate accountability. We are committed to understanding and addressing the threats to vulnerable communities that are always connected to the degradation of the environment. Earth justice and social justice go hand-in-hand.
For Unitarian Universalists who hold earth-based spiritualities, environmental justice is even more central to their beliefs. From the nature-revering Unitarian Transcendentalists in the eighteen hundreds to today’s Unitarian Universalist Pagans, honoring and protecting the earth has been and remains a deeply spiritual aspect of our faith community.
Our last meeting on April 1st was a great success. We had over 20 energetic and enthusiastic people attend. Paul Gibbs, our guest speaker, helped us through a basic understanding of Buddhism and how it can enhance our spiritual lives through loving kindness meditation and appreciation of self. Below are the 4 Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path that is central to Buddhist philosophy:
Four Noble Truths
1. Suffering exists
2. Suffering arises from attachment to desires
3. Suffering ceases when attachment to desire ceases
4. Freedom from suffering is possible by practicing the Eightfold Path
Right View, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, Right Contemplation