Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Online Service
By Joseph Plummer
With the observance of Earth Day as a backdrop, UU Fellowship of San Miguel de Allende’s Affiliate Minister, Rev Tom Rosiello considers spiritual traditions guiding humanity’s relation to the natural world. Biblical authors present an adversarial conquest of the Earth and the reaping of its gifts without reflecting upon damage to nature. Native Americans extol kinship with Mother Earth, Father Sun, Brother Forest, and Sister Sea. In contemporary spirituality, such contradictory spirits are reconciled, as in Unitarian Universalism’s seventh principle affirming an interconnected web of existence.
Whether as part of an interconnected web or in whirlwind of destruction, humanity can lose its place in nature, as COVID-19 demonstrates. Dr Martin Luther King Jr sounds almost clairvoyant when he said, “For we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.”
For these times, Rev Rosiello reflects upon the goodwill, ingenuity, and the steep learning curve that enables the UU Fellowship, like many other organizations, to continue pastoral and social work. Online media, he notes, make Dr. King’s “network of mutuality” uncannily tangible. As on five previous Sunday mornings, Rosiello speaks to the Fellowship from his San Miguel home as more than 120 households turn on electronic devices and join Zoom in Rosiello’s living room. In this cautionary foreshadowing of the global climate crisis, Rev Rosiello reminds us that humankind has the tools at hand to nourish the human spirit even when nature asserts its dominance in Earth’s interconnected web.
The Fellowship reaches out online to continue other services to which it has committed resources before the pandemic. Its online COVID-19 Task Force distributes science-based information to the Fellowship. The UU Care Team meets online each week with members living alone or managing illnesses and supports their needs for contact and other services. A UU Women’s Group meets every week online. UU discussion groups assemble through Zoom at their individual venues. Members who return to the United States and Canada can continue to participate. The busy UU Fellowship is committed to serving and connecting members with each other during these challenging times of isolation.
Pianist Paula Peace will share music to celebrate the Earth, including “From a Distance” and Kim Oler’s “For the Earth Forever Turning,” a movement from Paul Winter’s Missa Gaia/Earth Mass.
To participate in the online service, members and visitors are invited to download the Zoom Cloud Meetings app through their smartphone, tablet, or on a laptop or desktop computer at https://zoom.us/download. Join the service at zoom.us/j/414604040. The password is 294513. Sign-in between 10:15-10:25 am. The UU Fellowship welcomes people of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientation, and gender identity. For additional information, visit www.uufsma.org.