What are your commitments? Last month, we explored Beloved Community together. Beloved Community and commitment are intertwined in many ways. This month, we’ll explore how we use commitments to ourselves, our values, and others to uphold the Beloved Community. Check out the activities below for inspiration for yourself and your family.
Treasure Hunt for Commitment
The UUA joins other groups in observing Climate Justice Month, March 22 (World Water Day) to April 22 (Earth Day), a commitment to approaching climate justice as a matter of faith. UUs acknowledge that the issue of climate justice is best addressed when it acknowledges North America’s legacy of colonization, and looks to the leadership of indigenous peoples who have been protecting the earth and its waters for many, many generations.
This month’s treasure hunt can be done in a combination of spaces–online, and in-person outside.
See if you can find or find out:
- The names of the native peoples of the land you live on. Do you know anything about those peoples, historically and currently?
- A historical marker or heritage site in your area that acknowledges the land’s indigenous population. (The Historical Marker Database might be a place to start, or you could contact your local historical society for pointers.)
- Five native plants
- Five introduced plants
- Your watershed; have you been to the body of water that your land’s runoff drains into?
- The landfill closest to you (Not the most exciting field trip, we know, but an important visual to have in mind when we throw things “away.”)
- Who is leading environmental protection efforts in your area? Which one seems like the best fit for your family to be involved with?
Commit to the Uncomfortable Conversations Around Race
The National Museum of African American History and Culture has an excellent resource page on the work of talking about race, for both white folx and people of color. Unitarian Universalism calls us to commit to dismantling white supremacy culture, and honoring this commitment takes sustained effort over time.
Invitation: Even if you think you’ve done the deep work and internalized the needed paradigm shifts, check out this website as a family. There is one section in particular, “A Questioning Frame of Mind,” that offers sample scripts for how to interrupt racism in interpersonal conversations, using curiosity and connection. Practice these conversations within the family, and talk about why experiencing the discomfort of confronting racism is worth it.
Committing to Consistency: Lynn Ungar’s “Sustaining the Tree of Life”
In the story, a village is blessed to live around a big, ancient, generous, and mysterious tree. But rather than simply take what the tree offers, the villagers make a commitment to it, and to each other. Every day, one of the villagers takes the role of keeper of the tree. And that’s how the real magic happens:
- What do you think it would be like to take your turn as keeper of the tree? What have you “kept” and protected this way in your own life?
- How do you think the merchant’s mind changed after talking with the keeper of the tree? Tell about a time someone else helped you to consider how your words or actions were impacting others.
Bonus: Watch this newer, acoustic version, video that Peter Mayer recorded of his beloved song “Blue Boat Home” as a reminder that one of our fundamental commitments, as Unitarian Universalists, is to the earth we share.