Grove Harris offered this prayer during the worship service.
Prayer for Kindness and Belonging – Wednesday, September 20, 2023
Greetings of Peace. I am Grove Harris, Director of Global Advocacy and Representative to the United Nations for the Temple of Understanding. We are one of the oldest interfaith organizations, now focused on eco-justice advocacy. I offer this prayerful reflection on kindness and our sacred bonds with each other and with the earth.
I pray that we, and our world leaders at the United Nations this week, may each know Kindness more and more deeply, kindness towards others, and kindness towards ourselves. Kindness is an outgrowth of kinship, of caring and claiming relationship, of belonging within ourselves and with others, and within the entire ecosystem. May we all open to a profound sense of belonging that can transform fear and greed, and guide us all into bold clarity about where we are and what we must do, for ourselves and for all people, and for the environment.
Robin Wall Kimmerer is a Native American botanist and author of the amazing book Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, She offers us the following wisdom:
“Knowing that you love the earth changes you, activates you to defend and protect and celebrate. But when you feel that the earth loves you in return, that feeling transforms the relationship from a one-way street into a sacred bond.”
“Even a wounded world is feeding us. Even a wounded world holds us, giving us moments of wonder and joy. I choose joy over despair. Not because I have my head in the sand, but because joy is what the earth gives me daily and I must return the gift.”
May we all enjoy and express our gratitude in acknowledgment of gifts received,
-from the earth, including food, shelter, and great beauty,
-from the air, including each breath and all perfumes,
-from the sunshine, which warms us, lights our days, and contributes to photosynthesis,
-and from the water that makes up most of our bodies, that quenches thirst and offers so much beauty, pleasure and other necessities.
May we rejoice in our obligations and opportunities to return the gifts of the earth.
May we approach our obligations to the Earth and all the global community guided by our kinship and belonging.
May we and our leaders be honest, bold and decisive, coming from kindness towards all.
Copyright @ Grove Harris Used with Permission.