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The Reverence for Life Program
The Reverence for Life Program assists Unitarian Universalists interested in understanding human relationships with other species, and what might be the response of both individuals and congregations to this understanding. Grounded in Unitarian Universalist principles and our rich religious and philosophical traditions, most importantly Albert Schweitzer's Reverence for Life Ethic, the program aims to deepen awareness that all life is interconnected and interdependent (UU 7th Principle) and all beings have inherent worth and dignity (UU 1st Principle). This awareness gives humans a chance for nourishment, healing, and a sense of belonging to the web of life, so that they may in turn nourish and heal the world. This nourishing and healing leads us to examine moral questions as we begin to shape a vision of liberation that includes all creation.
For this aim, the Reverence for Life Program supports congregations in the process of beginning, growing, and revitalizing their animal ministries. Congregations in this program may elect to become a UUAM chapter. Alternatively, members within an entire congregation can covenant with each other to be on a path of learning about the inherent worth and dignity of every being and becoming advocates for all life. Congregations may also seek Certification as a Reverence for Life Congregation.
There is also an individual certification program where individuals can become "Reverencers." The Reverence for Life Manual guides individuals and congregations through suggested steps to start and grow your animal ministry. Once you have reviewed the manual, you may decide to enter the program. To do so, submit an Application of Intent. (To obtain an electronic version of this form that is easier to fill out, contact the Reverence for Life Coordinator.)
The Reverence for Life Program also includes small group ministry and classes. Congregations participate in this small group ministry through covenant style discussion groups which use the Seeking Circle Sessions Guide, which is available here. If you plan on using this Guide, please let the Reverence for Life Coordinator know (currently Rev. LoraKim Joyner). Furthermore, if you would like to suggest any editorial or content improvements, please let us know. Thank you.
Members of congregations may attend Reverence for Life classes by watching recordings, or by participating in live on line classes when they are held. The classes currently available are:
In addition, the Reverence for Life Program offers weekend Reverence for Life workshops to interested congregations. During these workshops, which are led by trained facilitators, participants will have the chance in an interactive setting to see how connected humans are to other species and how this sense of belonging and interconnection can support interweaving social and ecological justice work. Furthermore, attendees will learn and practice social, emotional, and ecological intelligence parameters for increasing satisfaction and effectiveness in their relationships with others of all species, and in their work on the behalf of other beings.
View the Reverence For Life Manual.
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