#476 | Karen Mathews | Change "cherish" to "protect"

Section C-2.2. Values and Covenant.

Interdependence. We honor the sacred interdependent web of all existence.

We covenant to [delete: cherish] protect Earth and all beings from exploitation, by creating and nurturing relationships of care, respect, and justice. With humility and reverence, we acknowledge our place in the great web of life, and we work to repair harm and damaged relationships.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

Stronger words.

I love the spirit of the proposed Interdependent web text, but feel that some wording tweaks could strengthen it.

Sentence 1
— adding the word “sacred” conveys the Interdependent web of life as an important spiritual conviction, not (or not only) a scientific theory.

Sentence 2
— “cherish” is a worthy aspiration, but passive; “protect” is active, and conveys strength and resolve.
— adding “from exploitation” makes the challenge to Interdependence concrete. Exploitation is an overarching theme: a root cause of environmental destruction
and damage to the Interdependent web of life.
— relationships of “care, respect, and justice” conveys a stronger, more active covenant than “care and respect.”

Have you discussed this idea with your congregation or other UUs?

I have been away from my congregation for quite a while, so haven’t had many opportunities to discuss Article II with other UUs. However, I was able to participate in a recent Zoom meeting led by UUAM Ex. Dir. Rev. John Millspaugh to brainstorm wording in the Interdependence text. The discussion helped me clarify my thinking, and informed my wording suggestions.