This Sunday we will honor all of the ways that our friends and members have shown up over and over for First Parish. Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty will talk about the importance of give and take with regard to reciprocity also known as interdependence. During the worship service we will welcome your annual financial pledge of commitment as we close the First Parish canvass. See you there for all of the festivities!
A new world that is what many of our ancestors faced as they landed in Provincetown/Plymouth/Boston/Salem and eventually in New York greeted by Lady Liberty. With each new generation our forebears have mustered the courage to handle the challenges of their time. Some choices that were made settled this country while others displaced the people we found when our people first arrived. Why do we make the choices that we do? How are these decisions made and what are the long-term consequences for those yet to arrive? How can and will Unitarian Universalism inform and bolster us to face fear and stand on the right side of history? Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty will be contemplating the motivation and character of the Unitarian Universalist pioneer spirit in the early twenty-first century.
Are you aware of our UU Ministry for Earth? Check them out at uuministryforearth.org.
Recent information from them, thanks to Bruce Langmuir:
UU Ministry for Earth – Defend Vital Climate & Environmental Justice Programs
The proposed federal budget includes seriously dangerous budget cuts to environmental justice and climate programs for the EPA, NOAA, and NASA. Former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says the proposal “shows the Trump administration doesn’t hold the same American values for clean air, clean water and healthy land as the vast majority of its citizens… Our health comes before the special interests of multibillion-dollar industries.” (Source: AP, 3/3/17)
Here are some highlights of the budget cuts to the EPA:
The Environmental Justice program budget, which has historically supplied grants to 1,400 frontline communities, would be cut 78%, from $6.7 million to 1.4 million. Mustafa Ali, the director of the program for 24 years, resigned last week, saying “My values and priorities seem to be different than our current leadership and because of that I feel that it’s best if I take my talents elsewhere.”
Funding for restoration work in Puget Sound, the country’s second-largest estuary, would be cut from $28 million to $2 million.
Funding to combat algae blooms, invasive species and other water pollution problems in the Great Lakes, the world’s largest group of freshwater lakes, would be cut from $300 million to $10 million.
Funding for restoration in Chesapeake Bay, the country’s largest estuary, would be cut from $73 million to $5 million.
The EPA’s work studying endocrine disruptor chemicals that can interfere with the body’s reproductive and developmental systems would drop from $7.5 million to $445,000.
$9.5 million of EPA funding for state testing of bacteria levels at beaches around the country would be 100% eliminated.
$8.7 million annually for children’s environmental education programs would be cut to $555,000.
(Source & More Info at: OregonLive.com, 3/2/17)
Proposed NOAA budget cuts endanger climate science research and data collection, and coastal resilience programs meant to help coastal communities adapt to the increased risk of extreme weather and sea level rise. “NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research would lose $126 million, or 26 percent, of the funds it has under the current budget.” (Source: Washington Post, 3/3/17)
COMMIT2RESPOND: Call your congresspersons in the House and Senate, and tell them:
“As a person of faith, I believe we have an obligation to protect the web of life and the human rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and a livable climate. I support the important work of the EPA, NOAA, and NASA, to help us restore ecosystems, study climate change, and support communities…
The Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice in the National Capital Region invite congregations all over the country to incorporate letter writing into their climate justice advocacy. Volunteers with UUSJ’s Advocacy Corps will deliver your congregation’s letters on Capitol Hill. Visit their website for a toolkit and more information.
For more information, and to share an online version of this call to action, click here. Special thanks to Jan Dash, UU-United Nations Office Climate Portal volunteer editor, for his research and work bringing this call forward.
Commit2Respond Executive Team
Programs Coordinator, UU Ministry for Earth & UU Young Adults for Climate Justice
Memorial Garden Subcommittee to review Memorial Garden Procedures
The time has come for the Landscape Committee to reexamine whether we are doing justice to this space. Our landscape committee is asking for a small study group to learn what others have done successfully, to compile and compose our philosophy and to help direct our actions moving forward. In our service, we would be seeking results that would help to guide us to a clear mission for what we want the garden to be for us all. My hope is for a small and focused group to work toward this end. To do this, we need two more representatives from the congregation to volunteer to be on this committee. All of us on the Landscape Committee look forward to your input as we seek to create a place where the natural world and the nurture of our spirit can continue.
I believe we are called to tend both the spirit of our land and the spirits of those we have lost. In my brief time here with the congregation, listening to conversations I have had with regard to our garden on the hill, the idea of a place for remembrance filled with the beauty and joy of nature seems paramount to our community. As stewards, our charge is to honor the memories of those interred. I believe we accomplish this by planting with care and thought, by maintaining our woodland to the highest standards, by enhancing the experience of those who visit and by establishing detailed records of what has come before and what is yet to be.
“Help us to be ever faithful gardeners of the spirit, who know that without darkness nothing comes to birth and without light nothing flowers” – This quote from May Sarton seems quite fitting when I think about our garden;
Steve Smith, Memorial Garden Subcommittee Chair.
Please reach out to Marge Langmuir or Steve Smith to see how you can help, and thank you for your support.
Seekers Gatherings—monthly film, discussion and potluck
Join us for our thought-provoking monthly get-togethers on Saturdays. This year we offer a new format. Rev. Marjorie will show an episode of the popular National Geographic series hosted by Morgan Freeman “The Story of God”.
Our next Seekers Gathering will be on Saturday, January 7 at 5:30pm in the Commons. We will begin with our potluck, then watch the episode “The Apocalypse” which runs for about 50 minutes. We will follow with dessert and discussion. * Childcare can be provided if you let Fran Sharp know by 5pm on Thursday, March 9.
Upcoming episodes: “Beyond Death”.
All are welcome for this stimulating topic and discussion.
For information, please contact Fran Sharp in the office.