Many spiritual communities recognize that Earth is a wonderful, sacred gift, that our planet is moving further out-of-balance, and that the most vulnerable peoples and species will (and already are) suffer(ing) the worst impacts of climate crisis. Eco-Spiritual groups have been surfacing, coming together to wake people up to the urgency of our situation. They have been asking us to see Earth-protection as a deeply spiritual act, and one that is of central relevance now.
Indeed, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated in its latest report that we have an 11-year window in which to stem climate crisis, or else, they tell us, we will face cataclysmic destruction, loss and suffering – and on a global scale. Unity Worldwide Ministries developed a Unity EarthCare Program in 2001 to “assist congregations in integrating an earth-oriented spirituality into their ministry.” It encourages us to live sustainable lives.
I, along with Jacob Spearfisher, am Co-Chair of the EarthCare Team at Unity Church in Albany. Along with a small group of dedicated individuals, we have announced our intention to our Board and to Unity Worldwide Ministries, to proceed with EarthCare certification. We extend a hearty welcome to any and all who would like to join us.
We will be carrying out a series of educational, inspirational and spiritual events over the next several months as we launch our EarthCare Ministry. Unity Worldwide Ministries’ Program involves 7 components on its path: Prayer, Vision, Inspiration, Learning, Acting, Sharing and Re-Affirming. We will explore these together.
As we move through that process, our congregation will be choosing one of three tracts laid out by Unity EarthCare:
Level A: EarthCare Covenant involves prayer and discernment. Its goal is to create or adopt a statement of commitment to transform our lives so that we demonstrate renewed reverence for planetary health and respect for the interdependent web of all existence.
Level B: EarthCare Commitment “provides guidance for church communities to demonstrate their commitment . . . by completing 4 (of the 7) steps on the Path to EarthCare. Praying and Visioning infuse all.
Level C Congregations “dedicate themselves to all 7 steps on the path to EarthCare.” This path is “centered on cultivating a consciousness for EarthCare that includes both spiritual and practical actions.” For more information, please see the brochure at both entrances, or go online to: www.unityworldwideministries.org/earthcare.
If you would like to join us, please sign up on the clipboard at the back entrance, call or email me or Jacob. This is a spiritual issue and a social justice issue; Spirit calls on us to extricate our cultural tendencies towards materialism, consumerism and speciesism (placing the human species at the center) so that we may honor biodiversity and ecosystem health.
Not only Climate Scientists but also people of diverse faith traditions have stated that the time is NOW to act, to step out of our comfort zones, to claim the Power of Love and Justice. To move beyond our habitual patterning. Getting out into “Nature” is one of the best ways to commune with Spirit, to nurture ourselves and to fortify our resolve to act in solidarity with all who cherish our Earth home.
Thank you for reading and look for more posts on how we can transform ourselves into dedicated spiritual warriors.
Maia Boswell-Penc, Ph.D. – (518) 588-2011, mboswellpenc [AT] gmail.com
Jacob Spearfisher – jakob.spearfisher [AT] gmail.com
“Nature is surely the glorified face of Good. See the beauty about you and you do see the manifestation of the infinite mind.” – Myrtle Fillmore