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Lighting the Way

(Nov. 25, 2015) A message from the Commit2Respond campaign

“To change everything we need everyone.” This slogan of the People’s Climate March spoke to the coming together of people from every community and interest group, and also the fact that the march coincided with the United Nations Climate Summit in New York.

In order to halt climate change we need all countries to join the struggle.

Graphic for Lighting the WayYou can help. Next week Commit2Respond is joining OurVoices for #LightForLima, a global, multi-faith prayer vigil, at the invitation of endorser group GreenFaith. December 1-12 is the next opportunity to call on our leaders for climate justice. At the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference, held this year in Lima, Peru, leaders will establish the fundamentals of an agreement to be honed over the coming year and signed in Paris next December.

Each evening from December 1-7, households and communities around the world will light a candle, a chalice, or a solar lamp and pray, meditate, or offer an invocation for a climate agreement. Then we’ll take a photo and post it on Facebook or Twitter with our hopes for the future and the tags #LightForLima and #Commit2Respond.

On the evening of Sunday, December 7, people around the world from diverse faith and spiritual communities will gather for vigils. Take action: join or organize a vigil!

Time is running out for a strong climate agreement. World leaders in Lima need to know that people of all faiths and spiritualties are holding them in our thoughts, meditations, and prayers—supporting their efforts to reach an agreement and bearing witness to their decisions. Our lights will guide the way.

UUMFE Fall Newsletter

(Sept. 24, 2014) The UUMFE Fall Newsletter is now available. Contents include:

  • Commit2Respond: A Religious Response to Climate ChangeNewsletter Thuimbnail
  • Message from the Board Chair
  • People’s Climate March Makes History – UUs Help! 
  • Take Action for Climate Justice
  • Something’s Happening Here . . .
  • On the Move – Young Adults Look Back, Move Forward
  • Gaia In a Temper
  • UU Cool Congregations
  • The Giving Garden – Social Justice, Ecology, Community Building


People's Climate March Makes History!

UUs marched in NYC to affirm a new commitment to work towards a sustainable, just, and fossil-fuel free future. 

Reports on attendance vary from 310,000 to 400,000 in NYC. About 10,000 marched in the Interfaith contingent; of these, about 1,500 were Unitarian Universalists (the second largest faith group after the Catholics – not bad for a small denomination!). The line of marchers was longer than the parade route (2.6 miles)! Crowds along the way were sometimes 5-6 people deep. Peter Bowden’s photos of UUs in particular and the Interfaith contingent at https://flic.kr/s/aHsk3YMmBE­.  More faith group photos at http://peoplesclimate.org/faith/Peoplesclimate.org has a one-minute video overview and http://350.org/campaign/peoples-climate-march/ showcases international marches. 

What’s next?

How do we capitalize on this remarkable momentum and outpouring of energy to further the goals we all share?  Here’s one way: Sign up for Commit2Respond, a new effort led by Unitarian Universalists “to shift to clean, renewable energy, grow the Climate Justice movement, and advance the rights of peoples impacted by climate change” and take part in actions during the coming years. Learn more on the UUMFE Commit2Respond page.  

People's Climate March – New York City, Sept. 21, 2014

People's Climate March LogoMark your calendars! Rev. Peggy Clarke, consultant with the UU Metro New York District, is organizing UUs through this Meetup site. If you plan to go, be sure to register so you can keep up with plans as they unfold. Find more information on the new Facebook page.

Read Bill McKibben's article in Rolling Stone: "A Call to Arms: An Invitation to Demand Action on Climate Change," learn about the march and explore transportation options on the main website, and check out the Facebook events page.

The march was conceived by 350.org and many, many other organizations have joined in for the planning and execution of the event, timed to coincide with the UN summit on the climate crisis.

Historic National UU Gathering In Detroit

Many people who do not live in Detroit perceive the city as an example of the nation’s despair and the demise of "The American Dream." Yet, Detroit proved a perfect setting for Group portrait of Collaboratory participantswhat later may be seen as a watershed event in UU history.

Twenty-nine UU leaders from around the nation recently came away from a strategic gathering there energized and inspired by local activists and committed to an ambitious action plan for congregational organizing and ministry which weaves together racial, economic, and environmental justice. Read more about the "Environmental Justice Collaboratory."

Climate Change Report From AAAS

An important new report from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) was published on March 18. Titled “What We Know: The Reality, Risk,Cover of AAAS What We Know report and Response to Climate Change,” the report is an accessible, easily understood summary of the current and future trends in climate change and the urgent need for action. Read the executive summary, watch a five-minute video, and download the 18-page document on the AAAS website. You may also read and download the report here. Read a review of the report – Scientists Sound Alarm on Climate – by environmental reporter Justin Gillis for The New York Times. Additional coverage by John Light at Moyers & Company: Climate Change: 'Abrupt,' 'Unpredictable,' 'Irreversible' and 'Hightly Damaging'

A Meditation

From Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea, by Carl Zimmer

If the 4 billion years that life has been on Earth were a summer day, the past 200,000 years – which saw the rise of anatomically modern humans, the origin of complex language, of art, religion, and trade, the dawn of agriculture, of cities, and all of written history – would fit into the single flash of a firefly just before sundown.

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