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Anyone who can solve the problem of water will be worthy of two Nobel prizes—one for peace and one for science. — John F. Kennedy

The Earth is our home, the place where waters flow and life thrives. Our Unitarian Universalist faith calls us to stewardship of the Earth, recognizing that without our stewardship, humanity and all other life may not survive.

Many users of Gather the Spirit live in areas with plentiful water resources. In this workshop, participants consider what it would be like to live where there is limited access to clean drinking water. The first activity engages participants to confront "polluted" water directly. Then they explore the impact people have on each other and on Earth's resources. They consider their responsibilities to all their neighbors on Earth, near or far.

Empowering participants with information about our Earth, its resources and how we use or misuse them is a critical goal of Gather the Spirit. Problems related to water may seem overwhelming to some. Yet, participants will learn they can express, through stewardship, a Unitarian Universalist faith in humanity's power to protect Earth's gifts and share them equitably.


This workshop will:

  • Explore themes of stewardship and water
  • Present a large view of Earth's water resources and humankind's role in preserving them
  • Introduce a large view of "Who is my neighbor?" and the concept of reciprocal stewardship
  • Explore how and why as Unitarian Universalists, we can commit to stewardship of Earth's water resources
  • Draw wisdom from Unitarian Universalist Sources, particularly science, humanism and world religions.

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Experience wanting to drink water when no clean water is available
  • Understand the human role in water pollution and human potential to clean and protect our shared waters
  • Consider who their neighbor is and what their responsibilities are
  • Understand that upriver acts have downriver consequences
  • Hear a story from the Masai people of Kenya

  • See water as central to the full web of life
  • Explore Unitarian Universalist stewardship of water resources.

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