From Our Minister: The Generosity of Mother Earth

Earth teach me stillness
as the grasses are stilled with light.
Earth teach me suffering
as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility
as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth Teach me caring
as the mother who secures her young.
Earth teach me courage
as the tree which stands alone.
Earth teach me regeneration
as the seed which rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself
as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness as dry fields weep in the rain.

— Selection From the Ute Indigenous People of North America (Entire piece here.)

Springtime brings delicate new life sprouting from the soil and thunder, storm clouds, and rains to nurture these humble beginnings. The transitions of the seasons have lessons to teach us if we are attentive to nature’s wisdom. This vernal season of abundance also inaugurates our annual stewardship campaign to raise the funds to support the vibrant life of our beloved community. Rev. Kikanza reminded us the other Sunday that our congregation and the living tradition to which we belong are larger than any of us. They were here before us and they will outlive all of us if we are careful and generous stewards of the many gifts we have received.

Mother Earth teaches us profound generosity as nature’s gifts not only make life possible but also make it worth living. Nature pours itself out in abundant measure. It enfolds us in an interdependent web of existence which provides not only for our sustenance but also the relationships of our families, friends, communities and the natural world which give life its dignity, worth, and meaning. Our beloved community is an extension of the generous fluorescence of life. We are called to be participants in sharing this abundance of life as we carry forward the living tradition that has been bestowed to each of us. So in the midst of the beauty of the world around us and thunderstorms which are sometimes necessarily in our midst, let us hopefully recommit to be active participants in the glorious unfolding of life and the realization of our liberal religious dreams for ourselves, our communities, and our world.

Our friends at Soul Matters theme-based ministry have generated some truly thought provoking questions for our exploration of the spiritual theme of interdependence this month. Sitting with one of these questions this month or exploring a few in a Chalice Circle, a small group meeting, or during another church activity will provide a fertile opportunity for spiritual deepening.

  1. What aspect of nature did you connect with most meaningfully as a child? A dog? A horse? A tree? The ocean? Lightning bugs? The rain? A path in the woods?
  2. Do you think age impacts the way we care for the interdependent web?
  3. Do you think age impacts the way we connect with the interdependent web?
  4. Has a beloved young person ever altered the way you think about your relationship with nature or the planet?
  5. Where do you feel your connection to nature in your body? What happens to you when that place of connection is stirred? What has that feeling of connection communicated to you most recently?
  6. Do you feel that “sacrifice” has a central role to play in addressing the climate crisis?
  7. When was the last time you became thoroughly absorbed in the curiosity of understanding another creature’s life?
  8. How has the place where you live shaped the way you understand and approach life? And yourself
  9. Some of us live in a place and others of us belong to a place. Have you found a place you belong to yet?
  10. What time of day do you feel most like “yourself”?
  11. Has a tree ever spoken to you? How about a river? Or the ocean? Or the moon? What about a weed?
  12. Has your commitment to community been tripped up by the trap of self-improvement?
  13. We are glad to support and bear the burdens of others. But many of us wouldn’t dare “burden” those same people with our troubles. What has tricked you into thinking that your grief, worry or struggle is unwanted by or too heavy for others? Who or what taught you that the weight of your worries must be carried by yourself alone?
  14. Have you ever had a friend that “birthed a new world in you”?

Our Pastoral Care Team is available to provide support in the good times and the difficult times in the life of our congregation. This trained group of committed volunteers practices a confidential ministry of presence to help our members process difficult feelings like grief, hurt, pain, and loss and also to acknowledge and celebrate life’s triumphs and joys. Spiritual support can be requested by emailing or by calling the church office.

If you have a joy, sorrow, or milestone to share with the congregation in our weekly announcements and on a Sunday morning, you can now email Help us keep our beloved community informed about your “one wild and precious life.”

Happy Arab American History Month, Ramazan, Passover, and Earth Day!

Yours in love and gratitude,


Rev. Jeremiah Lal Shahbaz Kalendae
Developmental Ministry