The Gift That Sustains Our Lives
My blog posts on the first of each month are dedicated to the practice of Living Connected. The focus of our connection for May 2021 is water.
Go outside and find some water in your yard or neighborhood. It may be a puddle, pond, creek, or water from a faucet. Splash in the water and watch it move through your hands. Notice its feel on your skin, the way it flows and changes shape, and the play of light in it. Look for creatures and plants who rely on the water for life. Celebrate the miracle of water.
Water sustains our lives. All life as we know it depends on water. Freshwater, the kind we use for drinking, cooking, bathing, and growing crops, is only about 3% of all the water on earth. We get freshwater from the precipitation portion of the water cycle, which is formed by the planet’s climate. Our cities and agricultural regions are located where they are because of the availability of freshwater. We depend on a stable climate to provide this water.
Pour a glass of water and take a drink. Say a prayer of thanks for the water cycle and natural systems (rivers, lakes, aquifers) that provide the water you need, and for people who work to keep your water free of pollutants. What can you do to protect the water others drink and to ensure all have access to water?
I invite you to try one of the following practices this month.
Say a prayer of gratitude for water each time you turn on a faucet in your home.
Read Watershed Discipleship: Reinhabiting Bioregional Faith and Practice, edited by Ched Myers.
Consider how scripture may inform the way you think about water: Job 36:24-28; Psalm 104:10-13; Ezekiel 34:17-19; Matthew 5:43-48; Matthew 25:31-40.
Use the Environmental Protection Agency’s My Waterway program to find your watershed and learn about its water quality.
Perform a home water audit and discover which of your activities uses the most water. Here’s a helpful worksheet.
Implement water conservation measures for your household. Here are a couple resources:
Replace landscaping with native plants that don’t require watering.
Participate in your utility’s round-up or donation program for people who can’t pay their water bill.
Support organizations that work for water justice.
Volunteer to be a Waterkeeper in your community.
Attend public meetings of your local water board or utility. Comment on documents made available for public review, and advocate for justice in the water planning process.
Engage your faith community in Congregational Watershed Discipleship, using the manual co-authored by ELCA pastor Rev. Dr. Nancy Wright.
I'm working on a project to help congregations test for lead in their drinking water, perform a facility water audit, and develop a water conservation plan. If you and your congregation are interested in being a pilot site for the project, send me an email at email@example.com