Friday, March 28, 2014

The First Principle Project: How do you widen the circle of compassion?

Today's Guest Author: Rev. Julianne Lepp

Eau Claire, Wisconsin

A Sermon

Description of Sermon:  Unitarian Universalism, as a living tradition, challenges us to continually review our values, actions, and beliefs. The First Principle Project has been proposed by the Unitarian Universalist Animal Ministry to expand our first principle from the Inherent Worth and Dignity of Every Person to the Inherent Worth and Dignity of All Beings. What would this change mean in practice and spirit?

Recording Sermon:  Click here to listen

Sermon excerpt:

I was lucky while growing up to have miles and miles of woods behind my house. Early in life I grasped a sense of connection with nature, being so close to so much beauty. I remember being fascinated with tadpoles and watching their life cycle. I would try to call out to mockingbirds that would mock my dog and I in high branches. I sensed something unspoken in the whisper of pines as my eyes peered up at the sky through needles and filtered sunlight. I felt something magical as I broke across the rising mist in early morning walks in the bend of the Broad river. I could hear frogs and crickets in the evenings, and I spent sun-burnt summer days building forts, and playing flash light tag among the fireflies and pines.

My dog Beau would spend hours with me on adventures. He would walk down to the river with me just as the sun broke the sky. He would swim in the river as I read or played on river rocks, mindless of moccasins or the rush of the river. I look back on those wild moments of my childhood and I know there was a deep sense of connection to the beings, the life around me. I understood deeply that this was my world and I was a part of it. There was some elemental understanding in my connection with those woods, that river, and the pulse of life. What are the experiences in your life that have led you to a sense of an interdependent and connected world?

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